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Faculty of Science FIGs


These First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) are open to any new student in the Faculty of Science who is entering as a first-year undeclared BSc student.

In these FIGs, you’ll meet other first-year students with similar interests, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore those interests, and future academic and career options, with senior peers and with experts—all in a small group setting.

2018-19 FIG options for Science students:

FIGS 0001: Mental Health & Human Behaviour

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to learn more about human behaviour, the brain, and mental health. You probably want to learn about the underlying causes or triggers of mental illness. Or, you may want to explore the scientific evidence underlying the various treatments for psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Your long-term goal may be to work as a clinical psychologist, to obtain a medical degree in psychiatry, or to participate in clinical research on mental health issues. Or you may simply find these topics fascinating and want to learn more! In this FIG, you will meet first year students with similar interests, and you will have the opportunity to explore these interests and future options for you, with senior peers and with experts, all in a small group setting.

Relevant Science programs: Psychology, Neuroscience

Note: This FIG is for first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science as Undeclared Science majors. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.

Format: Seminar

Co-requisites: PSYO 1011

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11201

Fridays, 12:35am–1:25pm

FIGS 0002: Neuroscience: Studying the Brain

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to learn about the brain, how it works, and why that matters. You may be interested in understanding how the brain remembers, or you may want to learn how stress can affect how your brain functions. Perhaps your career goal is to practice medicine with a focus on helping people after brain trauma. Or maybe your dream is to be part of the next big breakthrough in linking mental function and the physical brain. In this FIG, you will meet first year students with similar interests, and you will have the opportunity to explore these interests and future options for you, with senior peers and with experts, all in a small group setting.

Relevant Science programs: Neuroscience, Psychology

Note: For first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science as Undeclared Science majors. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.

Format: Seminar

Co-requisites: PSYO 1011, BIOL 1010

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11202

Fridays, 11:35-12:25pm

FIGS 0003: Human Health

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to learn as much as you can about the human body in all its complexity. You may be most interested in human physiology, for example, in understanding the links between the immune response and nutrition or physical activity. Or you may want to focus on disease, learning about the root causes and treatment of hepatitis or malaria. Your career goals are likely related to relieving human suffering through a medical profession, as a practicing physician or perhaps through medical research. In this FIG, you will meet first year students with similar interests, and you will have the opportunity to explore these interests and future options for you, with senior peers and with experts, all in a small group setting.

Relevant Science programs: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Microbiology, Neuroscience

Note: For first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science as Undeclared Science majors. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.

Format: Seminar

Co-requisites: BIOL 1010, CHEM 1011

Restrictions: Restricted to UNDS students with fewer than 16 credit hours.  

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11203

Thursdays, 3:05 - 3:55pm or Fridays, 2:35-3:25pm

FIGS 0004: The Ocean

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to learn more about the ocean. You may be interested in marine mammal conservation or in finding out how to run a sustainable fishery. Or you may be mostly curious about the organisms themselves – what exactly is a wolf fish and where does it live? Perhaps your goal is to understand the ocean as a whole – how large-scale ocean processes influence climate change, for example. In this FIG, you will meet first year students with similar interests, and you will have the opportunity to explore these interests and future options for you, with senior peers and with experts, all in a small group setting.

Relevant Science programs: Marine Biology, Ocean Sciences

Note: For first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science as Undeclared Science majors. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.

Format: Seminar

Co-requisites: BIOL 1010, CHEM 1011

Restrictions: Restricted to UNDS students with fewer than 16 credit hours.

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11204

Fridays, 1:35-2:25pm

FIGS 0005: Science and Society

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to study science, with the goal of using scientific knowledge and reasoning to make a difference in the world. You may hope to use your science degree to work toward improving human living conditions, at home or overseas. Or you may plan to focus on environmental issues, perhaps as a conservation advocate, or as a government scientist who manages our natural resources. Or you may be considering a career helping the public understand the science that affects them (why vaccines work, how groundwater gets contaminated, how Google knows where you are). In this FIG, you will meet first year students with similar interests, and you will have the opportunity to explore these interests and future options for you, with senior peers and with experts, all in a small group setting.

Relevant Science programs: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Physics, Statistics


Note: For first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science as Undeclared Science majors or as BSc students in the College of Sustainability. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.


Format: Seminar


Corequisites: One Science course or SUST 1000


Restrictions: Restricted to UNDS or BSc (College of Sustainability) students with fewer than 16 credit hours

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11205

Fridays, 3:35am-6:25pm

FIGS 0008: Patterns and Puzzles

Who should register: You are coming to Dal to learn logical thinking and problem solving, and to apply these skills to problems in science, technology and everyday life. You may be curious about the math behind Rubik’s cube and other puzzles, the mathematical laws of the universe, the role of prime numbers in online security, or how quantum computing depends on advanced algebra. You may want to learn the skills to predict financial markets, to discover patterns in large sets of data, or to understand the spread of epidemics. In this FIG, you and a few other first year students with similar interests will explore some of these interests and talk about future opportunities. But most of all, we will have fun with math!

Relevant Science programs: Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Physics, Actuarial Science


Note: For first year students enrolled in the Faculty of Science or Computer Science. FIG courses are zero credit hours, but will appear on the academic transcript if completed.


Format: Seminar


Corequisites: Any first or second year MATH course


Restrictions: Restricted to new students in the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Computer Science (less than 16 credit hours)

Course Reference Number (CRN): 11206

Thursdays, 11:35-12:25pm


FIG registration

You sign up for a FIG when you register for your courses - course registration is open for new students June 9th! You must first register for the appropriate co-requisite course or courses that are connected to the FIG you're interested in. Make sure the FIG time slot doesn't conflict with any of your other courses.