Faculty of Science

General Office: I.U.C - Physics & Administration Building, Room 109
Mailing Address: Faculty of Science, 
University of New Brunswick,
P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, N.B.,
Canada, E3B 5A3 
Phone: (506) 453-4586
Fax: (506) 453-3570
Email: science@unb.ca
Website: unb.ca/fredericton/science/
Dean:  Gary Saunders, BSc, MSc, PhD
Associate Dean: Janice Lawrence, BSc, PhD
Assistant Dean: Ben Newling, BSc, PhD
Assistant Dean Dave Keighley, BSc, PhD
Science Student Services: Angela Jefferies Regier, Co-ordinator

General Information

The first year curriculum is common to all students entering the Faculty. Commencing in second year students must select one of the available options. Some options lead to specialization in a single subject area, while interdepartmental options involve specialization in two subject areas . Majors and Honours programs are available in these options. A Pass degree program is also available in Physics. In addition, co-operative programs are available that enable students to combine academic studies with work terms in university, industry or government laboratories. The General Science Degree option offers a broader exposure to more sciences and the program can be customized to meet the interest and academic development of the students. Honours is not available in General Science but students achieving a high academic performance are awarded Distinction upon graduation.

At the time of registration all students entering the Faculty of Science will be advised by members of the Faculty regarding selection of courses to meet the program requirements. It should be noted that as students register for the second, third and fourth years, approval of the courses and programs should be obtained from the program advisors for the Departments concerned or from the Dean's office when they are not available.

Students are strongly recommended to read the University-wide Regulations, Section III of this Calendar, and in particular the subsection headed Grading and Classification. Any point not covered in the following regulations will be governed by the General University Regulations.

General Regulations

Students should note that in the Faculty of Science the minimum acceptable grade in a course which is required by a particular program or is used to meet a prerequisite, is a "C". Any student who fails to attain a "C" or better in such a course must repeat the course (at the next regular session) until a grade of "C" or better is attained. Students will not be eligible for graduation until such deficiencies are removed. The only exception will be granted for a single course with a "D" grade that is a normal part of the final year of that program, and is being taken for the first time in the final year.

Valid WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) certification is required for all students who wish to take Chemistry laboratory courses. Information regarding WHMIS training will be provided during the first week of classes.

Major, Honours and Minor Programs

Major and Honours Programs

Major and Honours programs are offered for specialization and enriched training, respectively, in various subject areas. Upon the successful completion of the First Year, Science students will declare their Majors in one of the Science options or one of the Interdepartmental programs. Students must consult their respective program advisors to develop their programs and obtain pre-approval for the selection of courses. Such course requirements and choices are listed under each of the options and interdepartmental programs in the subsequent sections.

A minimum CGPA of 3.0 is required for admission to and retention in an Honours program in Science. For individuals who wish to enrol in Honours programs, they must contact the corresponding department Chairs or their delegates to learn about the application procedures and requirements that are discipline specific. In order to graduate with Honours recognition, the graduate must maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.0. Additional discipline specific requirements must also be met. A student who has completed the courses of an Honours program but did not achieve the minimum CGPA requirement will be awarded a Major degree. An Honours graduate with a CGPA of 3.7 and above will be awarded First Class Honours provided that the discipline specific requirements are also met.

Minor Programs

Minor programs are offered to broaden a student's educational background and complement a Major or Honours program. Science Minors are offered in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Earth Sciences, Physics, Psychology, Mathematics and Statistics. The Minors follow the University guidelines outlined in Section V in the University-wide Academic Regulations of the Calendar and consist of a sequential and coherent grouping of courses totalling at least 24 credit hours (with a grade of C or better) as approved by the department offering the Minor. Courses that are required in the student's degree program may not normally be counted toward the Minor.

Co-Operative Education Program

The UNB Faculty of Science seeks to provide opportunities for students and employers to develop relationships that enhance the learning experience for students and present employers with skilled, motivated employees looking to make a career connection. To achieve this, the Faculty, through its constituent departments/programs, operates a co-operative education program (Co-op Program) based on established partnerships with selected employers.

A Co-op team, reporting to the Dean of Science, liaises with the academic advisor in each department/program to ensure alignment between students’ academic and professional experience objectives. The effectiveness of the Co-op Program in delivering the planned professional internship experience is closely monitored and assessed by the Co-op Office through interactions with the students, company personnel, and UNB.

Co-operative education is available within all Science Programs including BAS and BA/BSc. Work terms may be 4, 8, 12 or 16 months in duration and are generally interspersed with academic study terms. Specifics can be obtained from the Engineering and Science Co-op Program Office. Prior to applying for Co-op jobs, students will be oriented to the process and will be assisted in preparing resumes and for job interviews.

Co-op Program Eligibility

  1. A student must be registered as a full-time student in an undergraduate science, BAS or BA/BSc degree program at UNB (a student retains their full-time student status while being on a Co-op work term). 
  2. A student must be in good academic standing. However,
    • A student who has completed the first term of their studies in the Faculty of Science at UNB must have a Cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 and be registered in SCI 1002.
    • A student in terms 2 to 4 of their studies in the Faculty of Science at UNB must have a most recent Assessment GPA of at least 2.7 and have completed SCI 1002.
  3. A detailed degree-continuation plan, usually completed after consultation with an academic advisor, must be submitted by the student to the Co-op Office. The Co-op Office will include this plan when informing the Science Co-op team that the student is planning to go on Co-op. 
  4. Eligibility and suitability to enrol in the Co-op Program is then assessed by the Science Co-op team and the student's department/program. An approval is then forwarded to the Co-op Office. 

Co-op Work Term Requirements

1.    A work term usually commences at the beginning of January, May, or September.
2.    A student must have completed at least two terms of full-time science-related courses at UNB prior to their first Co-op work term. 
3.    A student who has completed the first year of full-time science-related courses at UNB will be limited to an initial summer work term of 4 months.
4.   A student who has completed two years of full-time science-related courses is eligible for work terms of 4 to 16 months, with departmental approval.
5.   A student must inform the academic advisor and the Co-op Office in writing if they would like to extend a Co-op work term. The decision on the approval of the extension will be made by the Co-op Office in consultation with the Science Co-op team. 
6.   A fee is charged for each 4-month portion of a work term.
7.   While on a work term, a student is limited to a maximum of one academic course per academic term. The academic course and the student's work term responsibilities cannot conflict with each other.
8.   After the student's final work term, the student must return to UNB for at least one term of full-time science-related courses to complete their degree requirements.
9.   A student is limited to a maximum of 6 work terms totalling no more than 24 months.
10. The student's evaluation by the employer will be taken into consideration but the final assessment on whether or not a work term has been successful will be the responsibility of the Faculty of Science, based on the student's completion of a work-term report. Where available, successful completion will also be recorded as credit (CR) for a science-department co-op course. 
11. Co-op Education Designation is awarded upon graduation to those students who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 months of work terms. 

More information can be obtained from the Engineering and Science Co-op Program Office. 

First Year Curriculum

The normal requirement for first year science (which must be completed before graduation) is MATH 1003, MATH 1013 (6 ch), 18 ch of First Year lectures in three of the four subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics, plus 8 ch of laboratories to accompany lectures in two of the subject areas. In addition, there are two term courses of electives that may be taken which can be chosen from courses offered by various faculties (6 ch total) or they can be two terms of science laboratories (4 ch) to accompany the third science subject chosen. The total course load will be 36 to 38 ch depending on the above selections. The particular first year science lecture and lab courses should be chosen to fit into the student's future degree program. SCI 1001 is also normally taken in first year, but is not a requirement for graduation.

The First Year core science lecture and laboratory courses, respectively, are:

*Any exceptions allowed in a particular program will be noted in the program requirements. Courses such as CHEM 1982, CHEM 1987 and unassigned first level transfer credits in science disciplines could be used in some circumstances.

First Year Science Entrance Program

  1. High School students who do not meet the admission requirements noted in the Admission Chart for direct entry to the BSc program but have a passing grade in each of the required courses, a minimum senior science average of 70% and an admission average of 70% may be considered for full time admission to an Entrance Program to the extent that capacity allows.
  2. Students enrolled in the BSc Entrance Program are restricted to a maximum of 30 ch in the first year of studies.  This is a prescribed set of courses as determined by the Faculty including SCI 1001, SCI 1002, MATH 1003, MATH 1013, 10 ch of a first-year Science subject and 10 ch of a second first-year Science subject as determined in consultation with a Faculty Advisor. 
  3. Students are required to meet with their Faculty Advisor on a regular basis.
  4. Students who successfully complete their first year with a minimum GPA of 2.0, regardless of the total number of credit hours completed, receive credit for SCI 1001 and SCI 1002 and meet other conditions as outlined by the Faculty, will be approved for admission to the BSc program for the upcoming academic year.
  5. Students who do not succeed in completing the program requirements will not be permitted to continue in the BSc Entrance program nor enter the BSc degree program.
  6. Students can only register in the BSc Entrance program once.
Course Recognitions from other Institutions

UNB recognizes a number of field courses offered at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, and other similar institutions, which may be used toward meeting part of the degree requirements for UNB students as subjected to the approval by the respective Departments or Divisions.

Students should note that at least half the advanced-level courses counted towards Major/Honours/Minor in a Science subject must be from courses taken at the University of New Brunswick.

Advanced Placement Tests

Advanced Placement Tests in selected first year Science courses will be available to students achieving a grade of 90% in the appropriate Level 1 high school course or 95% in the appropriate Level 2 high school course.

Advanced placement in Math requires a high school Calculus course beyond NB Math 120 with a minimum grade of 90%. The Department of Mathematics also offers a “Calculus Challenge Exam” to NB students at a school that has made arrangements with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The Challenge Exam is written in June. Consult the mathematics section of the calendar for more information.

The grade obtained on an advanced placement test will not be included in a student's GPA calculation. It will be equivalent to a transfer credit. A fee would be charged for each placement test.

Criteria for Granting B.Sc. (General Science) degrees to former UNB Science Students who are graduates from Professional Degree Programs

A student who has completed a minimum of 78 ch of science core courses, including those at the 1000 level, with the University of New Brunswick will be granted the BSc degree in General Science upon successful completion of a science-based health professional degree. The Faculty has determined that these requirements can be satisfied by students who have successfully completed Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, or Optometry.

Students wishing to be considered for a BSc (Gen.Sci) degree who satisfy the above conditions must apply in writing, complete with official transcripts, to the Registrar. Students in professional programs not specifically listed above who are interested in being considered for the BSc (Gen.Sci.) degree, should contact the Office of the Dean of Science. Such students are expected to provide detailed description of courses in their programs as well as further information requested by the Faculty.

Regulations for Granting a Second UNB Bachelor of Science Degree

A student who holds a BSc degree from UNB may obtain, following further studies, a second specialization. See the regulations below. BSc degree holders from another university may apply for admission to and follow a program towards a second BSc degree. Further details can be found in the general regulations in Section VII in the University-wide Academic Regulations of this Calendar.

BSc graduates of UNB may apply for admission to and follow a program towards a second BSc undergraduate bachelor’s degree under the following regulations:

  • The general regulations of the University and the regulations of the degree program concerned must be satisfied.
  • Degree and departmental regulations concerning option, concentration, Major or Honours must be satisfied.

Normally, the minimum number of credit hours which must be successfully completed beyond the work required for the previous degree would not be less than the normal load of the final academic year in the degree program concerned. More than the minimum number of credit hours, or courses, may be required.

The courses taken must be approved by the Dean and the Department, or Departments, under which the option, concentration, Major or Honours, falls.

The general regulation that at least half the total credit hours for a degree must be taken at this University will apply.

Candidates for a second undergraduate degree may not choose a Major, or option, or Honours, or concentration using the same Departmental discipline as in the first undergraduate degree, whether the discipline was part of a single or an interdepartmental program. (For example, a student with a BSc in Biology-Chemistry may not return and obtain a BSc in Chemistry. A student with a BSc in Earth Sciences may not return and obtain second BSc degree in Environmental Geochemistry.)

Students with a UNB BSc degree are not eligible to obtain a second degree under the special provisions for granting a BSc (General Science) after a professional school.

Students may be permitted to upgrade a Minor or a Major from the first degree under the following conditions:

  • A Minor from the first degree may be upgraded to a Major or Honours after completion of the first degree.
  • A Major from the first degree may be upgraded to an Honours after completion of the first degree.
  • In either case, a notation only will be included on the student record and a second degree will not be awarded.

Students will not be permitted to include a Minor in the second degree.

Students must make specific application to the Associate Registrar/Admissions for entry to the second degree program.

Only in special circumstances will students be admitted to a third undergraduate degree program.

The final decision on the course work requirements for a second undergraduate bachelor’s degree shall be a matter of agreement between the Registrar and the Dean after consultation with the Chairs of Departments concerned.