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Athabasca University

Bachelor of Science (4 years—120 credits)

Regulations effective September 1, 2016.

The Bachelor of Science is offered by Athabasca University’s Centre for Science. This degree provides students with a general science education. Given the ever-increasing importance of science and technology, this degree will prepare students to cope with the science-based world of today and the increasing technological demands of the future. It will also prepare students for the challenges science presents to the modern world by including courses in scientific reasoning; the history of science; and ethics, science, technology, and the environment.

Students have the opportunity to complete courses that are transferable to pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, and pre-veterinary programs offered at other universities in Alberta and across Canada. Students should consult with the program advisors at the professional schools to ensure they are undertaking appropriate course patterns.

Students are strongly encouraged to register in ENGL 255 early in their program. Refer to the English Writing Skills Requirement below.


Second Undergraduate Degree

Students who hold a recognized first degree and who wish to obtain an AU undergraduate degree in a different subject area, must apply under the second undergraduate degree regulations. These students may transfer in up to 50 per cent (60 credits) into the four-year degree program, based on course work in the first degree that is applicable. Preparatory (100 level) credits cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of a second undergraduate degree.


Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University." Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.


Program Structure
Total credits in the program 120
Minimum Credits Required
Senior (300 or 400) level 75
Science credits 75
  • In senior (300 or 400) level science courses (12 credits at 400 level)
Arts and/or Applied Studies courses
No more than 9 credits from any one discipline
Residency requirement. A minimum of 30 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University 30
Graduation with Distinction or Great Distinction. At least 24 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University in order to be considered. 24
Maximum Credits Allowed
In any one Science discipline 45
At the preparatory (100) level 6
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits 30


Core Course Requirements

A total of 18 credits in junior (200 level) laboratory science courses to be selected from at least three of the following areas: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography (in the science area of study), Geology, or Physics.

Six credits in Mathematics from:

MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics

MATH 216 Computer-oriented Approach to Statistics

MATH 265 Introduction to Calculus I

MATH 270 Linear Algebra I
Any university-level computing science (COMP) course (3)
SCIE 326 Scientific Reasoning (may be used to satisfy the minimum senior-level science credit requirements) (3)
PHIL 333 Professional Ethics**

PHIL 371 Ethics: Science, Technology, and the Environment**
HIST 404 Historical Foundations of Modern Science** (3)
ENGL 255 Introductory Composition**
(*see note following)
** These core Arts courses will fulfill part of the minimum credits required in Arts and/or Administrative Studies.


*English Writing Skills Requirement

If you satisfy one of the following, you are not required to take ENGL 255. However, you must replace the three credits in order to satisfy the program’s credit requirement.

  • have a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better in an Athabasca University English course above the preparatory (100) level;

  • receive credit for an English course in which a grade of B- or better was achieved.


Specific Regulations

The following supersedes some of the general policies governing academic studies at Athabasca University:

  1. In order to graduate, students must have a GPA of at least 1.7 (60 per cent) across all courses taken at Athabasca University towards a Bachelor of Science degree.
  2. Athabasca University will not grant transfer credit for science courses that were completed more than 10 years ago (including computer science courses).
  3. Students who hold an approved college or technical institute science-oriented diploma that is less than five years old will be eligible for transfer credit towards this degree program.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated June 28 2016 by laurab

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