First Year Students

- Below you will find suggestions on what to take based on your area of interest. FAQ's are listed at the bottom of the page.
      - You are strongly encouraged to book an SAO appointment to discuss course selection. For general terms and more help please visit here.
      - You can click on the program titles to be taken to the list of modules available in that area and view all of the required courses.

First Year Course Selection Tips:

Actuarial Science and Financial Modelling

- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
- Mathematics 1600A/B
- Economics 1021A/B and 1022A/B [1]
- 2.5 additional courses at the 1000 level*
*Actuarial Science 1021A/B, Business Administration 1220E, Philosophy 1200 are recommended but not required courses

Note:  Economics 1021A/B and 1022A/B, Philosophy 1200, plus Computer Science 1026/B and /or Computer Science 1027A/B are recommended but not required for students interested in Financial Modelling


[1] This requirement can be postponed to year 2, 3 or 4 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.                                                  

Applied Mathematics

- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
- Mathematics 1600A/B
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 2.5 additional courses at the 1000 level

Biology

- Biology 1001A and 1002B
- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- 1.0 mathematics course from the math list (Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B, 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B) [2]
- 0.5 course from Physics 1028A, or 1301A or 1501A
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 0.5 additional course at the 1000 level

Note: HSP Animal Behavior also requires Psychology 1000 and HSP Genetics and Biochemistry requires 1.0 first year Physics courses


[2] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Chemistry

- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- Physics 1028A or 1301A or 1501A
- Physics 1029B or 1302B or 1502B
- 0.5 course from Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
- 0.5 course from Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B, 1501B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level                                                                                
- 1.0 additional course at the 1000  level

Note: Students interested in a combination of Chemistry and Biochemistry should also take Biology 1001A and 1002B

Computer Science

- Computer Science 1025A or 1026A and Computer Science 1027B
- 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
- 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1600A/B
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 2.0 additional courses at the 1000 level

Note:  Students interested in Bioinformatics should also take:  Biology 1001A and 1002B, plus Chemistry 1301A and 1302B.

Earth Sciences Professional Programs (for Professional Registration)

- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- Physics 1028A or 1301A or 1501A
- Physics 1029B or 1302B or 1502B
- 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, or Mathematics 1225A/B
- 0.5 course from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, or 1023A, or 1070A, or 1081A/B or 1083F
- 1.0 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Computer Science 1025A/B, 1026A/B, 1027A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, Statistical Sciences 1023A/B, 1024A/B
-1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level

Earth Science - Geology

- Chemistry 1301A
- 1.5 courses from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A, 1070B, 1081A/B or 1083F, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Chemistry 1302B, Physics 1028A, 1029B, 1301A, 1302B, 1501A or 1502B
- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B or Mathematics 1225B, plus one of: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1228A/B, 1229A, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B [2]
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level


[2] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Earth Science - Geology & Biology or Environmental Geoscience

- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- Biology 1001A and 1002B
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level
For Geology & Biology:
- 1.0 course from Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B and one of: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B, 1501B, Mathematics 1600A/B, Statistical Sciences 1024A/B OR BOTH OF Mathematics 1225A/B and 1229A/B [2]
For Environmental Geoscience:
- 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B or Mathematics 1225A/B
- 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Math 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B


[2] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Earth Science - Geophysics

- 1.0 course from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A, 1070A/B 1081A/B or 1083F, Chemistry 1301A, 1302B, Mathematics 1600A/B
- Physics 1301A or 1501A
- Physics 1302B or 1502B [3]
- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B and Calculus 1301B or 1501B
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level [at least 0.5 Earth Sciences course is recommended]


[3] Physics 1028A and 1029B, with an average of 80% or above, can also be taken to satisfy this requirement.                                                                     

Environmental Science

- Biology 1001A and 1002B
- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- 0.5 course from: Environmental Science 1021F/G, or a 1000-level half course in Geography, or Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A/B, 1081A/B, or Physics 1028A/B, 1029A/B, 1301A/B, 1302A/B, 1501A/B, 1502A/B
- 1.0 course from: Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B, 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B
- 1.0 course from category B at the 1000 level [recommended]
- 0.5 additional course at the 1000 level

Mathematics

- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 3.0 additional courses, with no mark in these principal courses below 60%. It is recommended the Mathematics 1600A/B and/or Mathematics 1120A/B be taken in first year.  If taken in first year, the course(s) will count toward the 3.0 principal courses.

Neuroscience

- Biology 1001A and 1002B
- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- 1.0 Mathematics courses from: Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B, 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B
- Physics (1028A or 1301A or 1501A) and Physics (1029B or 1302B or 1502B)[4]
- Psychology 1000


[4] This requirement can be postponed until year 2, but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Physics & Astronomy

- Physics 1028A (with an 80%) or 1301A or 1501A
- Physics 1029B (with an 80%) or 1302B or 1502B
- Calculus 1000A/B (or 1500A/B) and 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
- Mathematics 1600A/B (can be done in second year)
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 1.5 additional courses at the 1000 level (0.5 must be from the Faculty of Science)

Note:  Students interested in Materials Science should also take Chemistry 1301A and 1302B.

Statistics

- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
- Mathematics 1600A/B
- Statistical Sciences 1023A/B (recommended only)
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
- 2.0 additional courses at the 1000 level

Note: Major in Applied Statistics requires 1.0 course  from: Psychology 1000, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Sociology 1020

WISc

-Integrated Science 1000Z
-Integrated Science 1001X
-Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
-Chemistry 1301A/B
-Physics 1301A/B or 1501A/B
-0.5 additional Science course*
-1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level

*Students who want to enrol in the Honors Specialization in Integrated Science with Biology, the Honors Specialization in Integrated Science with Environmental Science, or the Honors Specialization in Integrated Science with Genetics are required to take Biology 1001A. Students who want to enrol in the Honors Specialization in Integrated Science with Mathematics are required to take Mathematics 1600A/B.

Medical Sciences 1

- Biology 1001A and 1002B
- Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
- Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
- 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1600A/B
- Physics (1028A or 1301A or 1501A) and Physics (1029B or 1302B or 1502B)[4]
- 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level


[4] This requirement can be postponed until year 2, but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Unsure of what you want?

- Keep your options open as much as possible! Many first year courses are offered in the summer if you realize you need something else for the module you want in year 2. Yes, you can change your mind after first year and switch to a different module!

Considering an Ivey Dual Degree?

- Students interested in or considering a combined degree with IVEY are strongly encouraged to take their 1.0 first year course from Category B to avoid having to overload or take it in the summer. BUS 2257 will count as Category A.

Advanced Standing Credit Advice:

- A degree requires a minimum of 5.0 first year courses. Advanced standing courses count towards this requirement.

- Students may repeat an advanced standing course(s) OR take a combination of first year courses and senior level courses. If they repeat an advanced standing credit, the IB or AP advanced standing transfer credit will be lost.

- If students receive advanced standings for prerequisite courses such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and/or Physics, and choose not to repeat any of those advanced standing credits, they may take module courses (2000 level) that have those courses as prerequisites. This will mean that their course load will have some first year requirements (could be required first year prerequisites and/or electives) and some module courses.

- If admitted with 3.0 advanced standing credits or more, students will be considered as second year.

- Transfer credits may satisfy breadth but no essay requirements.

Basic Guidance

- Students may not take more than 5.0 courses in first year.

- Students must take a minimum of 1.0 first year elective course(s) that is non-science. If student has IB or AP credit that is non-science then the non-science first year requirement has been met.

- Western Scholars: Student has at least a 90% final admission average – encourage them to sign up.


Back to Top

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @westernuSCIAC to keep informed of changes.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a student take a 0.5 course in Category A and a 0.5 course in Category B in first year?
A:
Yes. The Faculty of Science allows this combination, as well as a full 1.0 course in one of the two categories. However, this may also limit a student’s choice in terms of module and course selection in year 2, should they change faculties.

Q: Should Science/Medical Sciences students take an essay course in first year?
A:
Students should be advised to select option courses that are of particular interest to them, based on previous experience – not on the basis of whether the course is an essay course or not. Many modules have essay course built in.

Q: What are the implications for a student who decides not to take any Calculus in first year?
A:
The student will be limiting his/her module choices as at least a 0.5 Calculus is required for most modules in Science and Basic Medical Sciences.

Q: Can a Science/Medical Sciences student take a course at an Affiliated University College?
A:
All students at Western, including those in the Faculty of Science, can take 1.0 course at one of the Affiliated University Colleges per session, provided the course is not offered on main campus.  

Q: What constitutes a ‘subject area’ in Science, to ensure a student has 4 different areas and no more than 2.0 courses in each?
A:
Actuarial Science; Astronomy; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Physics; Statistical Sciences – are all separate subject areas. Courses in Applied Mathematics, Calculus and Mathematics belong to the same subject area – the subject area of mathematics.