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Bachelor of Science, Major Program

The Bachelor of Science (BSc), Major program is designed for you if you want to specialize in biology/life sciences. Communication skills and computer literacy are promoted, and you have the option to do one directed studies course.

Many BSc graduates are highly successful and are pursuing careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, medical genetics, elementary and high school teaching, resource management, high tech industry, biotechnology, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, wildlife management, respiratory therapy and more.

Program requirements

Some degree requirements may be met with credits earned by prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR).

Since OL does not offer all courses required, expect to complete some degree requirements through TRU (on-campus equivalents are offered for many OL courses) or through other recognized post-secondary institutions. Then, apply to transfer the credit to the BSc, Major. Continue to monitor the OL website for the addition of new courses.

Admission requirements

Open admission

Residency requirements

A minimum of 15 TRU credits (distance or on-campus).

Degree requirements

120 credits total, with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher over all courses required for this credential, as follows:

General education requirements (24 credits)

These may be met with lower-level or upper-level university courses, as follows:

  • Six credits in English (university-level composition and literature (ENGL 1001, 1011 or 1101)
  • Six credits in humanities other than English Literature and Composition (ENGL 1011, 1011)
  • Six credits in mathematics (including statistics) and/or science (these meet lower-level requirements)
  • Six credits in social science
Lower-level requirements (27 credits)

MATH 1141, Calculus I (3) and 1241, Calculus II (3) or equivalents; note that MATH 1001, 1091, 1157, 1171 and 1901 do not meet the mathematics requirement, and MATH 1001 is not accepted in any Science program

STAT 1201, Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3) or equivalent

18 credits in first- or second-year science, with a minimum of 6 credits in any three of the following subject areas:

  • Life science (biology, genetics, zoology, botany, microbiology, biological oceanography, plant and animal physiology: BIOL 1113, 1213, 2131, 2341, 3021, 3101, 3131, 3231, 3431)
  • Chemical science (chemistry, biochemistry: CHEM 1503, 1523BIOL 3131, 3231)
  • Physical science (astronomy, physics: PHYS 1103, 1203)
  • Earth science (geology, atmospheric science, physical geography, geophysics, physical oceanography: GEOG 1221, GEOL 1111)
  • Mathematics (including statistics): MATH 1101, 2111 or 2121)
  • Applied science (bioresource, chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical or computer engineering science; forensic, forest or agricultural science)

Some interdisciplinary areas of studies may be allocated to more than one of these subject areas, depending on the content of the course.

Upper-level requirements (45 credits)

30 credits total in the area of the major (biology/life science), including the option of three credits of Directed Studies

15 upper-level elective credits (may be science or non-science courses)

Directed studies

Directed studies consists of concentrated study of a topic in the discipline of the major that you select in consultation with an Open Learning Faculty Member. It is an option once you have fulfilled the General Education requirements, all the lower-level requirements and a minimum of 15 credits of upper-level courses in the subject of the major. Ask your Program Advisor about registration procedures for Directed Studies.

Elective requirements (24 Credits)

May be lower- or upper-level science or non-science courses, with the exception of MATH 1001, Pre-Calculus Mathematics


The following applies to both major and general programs:

  • MATH 1001, Pre-Calculus Mathematics, cannot be used in any Science program.
  • 30 credits of the degree requirements (with no more than 15 credits at the upper-level) may be applied studies, such as fine and performing arts studio courses and technology courses. Education, business and administrative studies courses are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • No single course may be used to meet more than one of the specific requirements.

Student responsibility

Before you register in any courses, consult with your Program Advisor to ensure that the courses you select can be applied toward the program requirements of your chosen credential.

Also, before you register in a course not listed on the OL website, you must apply for a Letter of Permission (LOP).

If you proceed otherwise, you may find that either course credits cannot be applied to your program or you must pay a transcript reassessment fee.

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