Degree Options

Major? Honours? Minor? How do you choose?

To ensure your study plans align with your career goals, it's important to consider the various degree options available to you and the requirements for each.

While general requirements for each degree option is listed below, specific requirements depend on which faculty and department you belong to. You can find specific degree requirements by looking at the Undergraduate Academic Calendar

This information is for Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science students only and reflects changes made to the degree program options for the 2013/14 academic year. Remember, you are bound by the regulations and programs in place the year in which you started your current degree at Dalhousie.

Minor

A 15-credit degree with a minor is considered a "general" bachelor's degree because it offers the least breadth and depth. It can be a good choice for students wishing to move quickly into the workforce, or who wish to do a professional program that requires some prior university work (e.g., Architecture, Pharmacy, Social Work, among others).

General requirements:

  • You must complete 3-6 credits beyond the 1000-level in the chosen minor.
  • If you take 5 courses per term you can usually complete this degree in 3 years.
  • You may also choose to graduate with this degree and return later to finish the 20-credit degree.

Major

The 20-credit major option provides a general education in a particular field of study and is becoming the standard undergraduate degree—it is often required for admission to further educational pursuits such as Education, Medicine, Dentistry, and Law.

General requirements:

  • You must complete 5-10 credits beyond the 1000-level in the chosen major subject.
  • If you take 5 courses per term, you can usually complete this degree in 4 years.

Double major  

You may be interested in the double major option if you have an equal or comparable interest in two disciplines. A double major is an optional 20-credit degree that provides a general education in two major subjects.

General requirements:

  • You must complete 10-14 credits beyond the 1000-level divided between the 2 subjects.
  • If you take 5 courses per term, you can usually complete this degree in 4 years.

Honours  

An honours degree is usually required for admission to graduate programs (e.g., master's and doctoral degrees) because of the depth of study, the minimum GPA, and the fourth-year research project or seminar (honours essay). This 20-credit degree option provides a general education and allows students to develop extensive knowledge in the honours subject.

General requirements:

  • You must complete 9-11 credits beyond the 1000-level and an honours essay/research project.
  • If you take 5 courses per term, you can usually complete this degree in 4 years.
  • You must apply through the department and meet the academic eligibility requirements set by the faculty and the department.

Combined honours  

You may be interested in the combined honours option if you have an equal or comparable interest in two disciplines. This is an optional 20-credit degree that provides a general education and allows students to develop extensive knowledge in two honours subjects. If you are interested in pursuing graduate study, check the graduate programs to ensure a combined honours degree will give you sufficient background for graduate study.

General requirements:

  • You must complete 11-14 credits beyond the 1000-level divided between two subjects and an honours essay/research project.
  • You must apply through the department and meet the academic eligibility requirements set by the faculty and the department.

Co-operative Education

Some degree programs offer co-operative education, combining classroom learning with on-the-job training experiences. Co-op programs can help you make connections in the work world and learn while employed. In some programs, like Commerce, co-op is mandatory. It is also available as an option in some Faculty of Science disciplines, Engineering, and Computer Science.

Need help deciding?

Academic Advisors are available to help you make this decision. If you'd like to discuss your options, phone (902) 494.3077 to make an appointment or email: advising.studentservices@dal.ca.