Consider our shorter program when goals change.

Science Teaching Complex view upon entering the building.

Students walking to and from classes in the Science Teaching Complex.

Is General Science the right program for you?

Are you finishing high school and planning to start university in the Fall? This is not the program for you. Applications into university are available through the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). The General Science program is not an entry program or major available through the OUAC. You may be interested in Honours Science, our most flexible program. There are also 16 other science programs and majors to choose from, and we strongly encourage you to investigate which might be the best fit. If you have questions, connect with the Science Recruitment Coordinator.

Have you taken an extra semester of high school and you want to start your studies in the Winter or the Spring? We recommend waiting for the next Fall cycle to start your studies. General Science is regular only, and a switch to co-op is usually not an option. Course offerings are planned based on a September start, so there may be prerequisite issues.

Are you transferring from another post-secondary institution and wish to start in Winter or Spring? Contact the General Science advisor to discuss your situation and your plans to determine whether this is the best route for you.

When is General Science the best choice?

General Science is a three-year program. Some students choose to switch into General Science to graduate faster, either because they were offered a job, or because they were accepted into professional or grad school, or even because life circumstances demanded that they finished their studies earlier than planned. Students graduating with General Science receive a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. 

Is this your case? You can submit a Plan Modification Form to Science Advisor requesting to switch into General Science right away, and plan to submit an Application to Graduate during your last term of studies.

Were you moved to General Science?

Are you in General Science because of your averages? I know it's tough. Let's chat...

All Science honours-level programs (majors) require averages of at least 60%, with some requiring averages of up to 70%. When a student's averages drop below their program requirements, they are normally removed from that program and moved into a program with a lower average requirement. When there isn't a program with a lower average requirement, the student receives a required to withdraw standing and has to take time off from studies.

The General Science program requires minimum Science and overall averages of 55%, which offers a buffer for students to continue studying after being removed from an Honours program. Without General Science, students would be required to withdraw when their averages dropped below 60%. For more information about academic standings, please review the Academic Standings page in the Science section of the Undergraduate Calendar.

You are not 'stuck' in General Science

General Science can be a temporary program. If you do not wish to graduate with this degree (BSc in General Science), you can take courses to help raise your averages and shadow your desired program, until you meet the requirements to switch into your desired program. The General Science advisor can discuss your options and eligibility, and refer you to other advisors when applicable. 

However, if you decide this is the program for you, you can graduate sooner. General Science is a shorter program. It gives students the opportunity to wrap up their studies earlier and move on to the job market or further studies in a different field, should they decide that Science is no longer the right option. There is also the opportunity to upgrade to the Honours Science degree in the future, which may be needed for graduate studies, for example. 

There may be other options for you

Being moved into General Science gives students an opportunity to re-evaluate their study plans. Was their original program the best fit for them? Are there other Science programs, or even programs in another faculty, that would be a better match with their skills and strengths? Many students realize there are other paths for them when forced to take a pause from their original program. We recommend booking an appointment with a Career advisor in the Centre for Career Action to discuss different professional paths. 

Are you unsure of what to do next?

Science Student Success Officer Priscila Carrara meeting with a Science student.

Dealing with the unplanned can be overwhelming. Even more so when decisions need to be made. Don't fret! The Science Student Success Officer is the General Science program advisor and is available to help students navigate the different options available within the program and across the university. Appointments can be booked through the Advisor Availability form



General Science students graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and can choose to focus on a specific Science field, to pursue a Science minor. 

The University of Waterloo offers over 50 other minors to students within the Faculty of Science, and most are available to General Science students. Common minors from other faculties include Psychology, Music, or Math.

General Science is available in the regular stream of study only. Students interested in developing their professional skills and exploring career options should consider the EDGE Certificate, a fantastic opt-in experiential education certificate program. There are also a lot of work-integrated learning opportunities on campus for students in the regular stream of study as well as postings in WaterlooWorks from employers looking to hire students either part-time or as a summer student (non-coop).

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  • Resiliency
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability

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