Honours Degree

An Honours degree in Ocean Sciences consists of a research project and written thesis under the supervision of a faculty member, and should include an original component in oceanography. Honours research projects must be discussed and agreed upon between student and supervisor. Students are also required to register for OCEA 4201 Honours Research – Part I and OCEA 4202 Honours Research – Part II, and to give a poster presentation of their research at the annual CDOGS meeting in March.

There are three options for doing an Honours degree in Ocean Sciences:

1. Students doing a major in OCEA, with or without a minor in another subject, can apply for Concentrated Honours.

2. Students doing a double major in OCEA and another subject, can apply for Combined Honours.
            a.     with Ocean Sciences as the primary (A) subject.            
            b.     with Ocean Sciences as the secondary (B) subject.

Note that the course requirements for these degree options are different. Students should verify that they will meet the requirements before applying. An Ocean Sciences student who wishes to do Honours with an advisor outside of the department may do so with approval of the Honours Advisor and Curriculum Committee.

To apply for the Honours program, a student should do the following:

A. Verify that they meet the College of Arts and Sciences degree requirements and the Oceanography Department’s requirements for Honours.

B. Identify a faculty member to supervise their thesis, obtain their agreement to act as a supervisor, and discuss the scope of the research project. Once a supervisor and project have been agreed upon, the student and supervisor will read through Ocean Sciences Honours Guide for Students and Supervisors [PDF-344 kB], and the student will draft a short thesis proposal and complete a signed Departmental Honours Application [PDF-119 kB].

C. Along with the Departmental application, the student will need to fill out an Honours Application from the Registrar’s office. This must be filled in by the student and then reviewed and approved by the Honours advisor. Once the Honours advisor has signed the application, the student can then submit the form to the Registrar for final approval. It is best practice to submit this application before beginning fourth school year to avoid registration delays, but it MUST be submitted no later than the Fall term Add Date.

D. Enroll in OCEA 4201/4202 Honours Research – Part I and Part II.

Students may wish to consider pursuing summer research to provide experience as to what research entails, and in doing so help inform their decision as to whether to pursue honours or not. In many cases, students collect or analyze data for their Honours thesis during the summer before taking OCEA 4201 Honours Research – Part I; however, this is not required.

Students may use material prepared while supported in a paid summer research position (e.g., grant-paid position or Faculty of Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award) as part of their Honours thesis. (The deadline for submission of USRA applications is mid- to late January.) Note that material prepared for OCEA 4302 Independent Research in Ocean Science cannot be used in an Honours thesis.