First Year Tips

Welcome to Western Science! To help you start navigating your academic path here at Western Science, we have compiled several course suggestions for first-year students based on different areas of interest. We have also compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding first-year course registration.  If you still have questions we encourage you to connect with us through our Academic Counselling Help Portal ; we're here to help!

First Year Course Selection Tips

Actuarial Science and Financial Modelling

  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
  • Mathematics 1600A/B
  • Economics 1021A/B and 1022A/B [1]
  • 2.5 additional courses at the 1000 level*

*Actuarial Science 1021A/B, Business Administration 1220E, Philosophy 1200 are recommended but not required courses

Note: Economics 1021A/B and 1022A/B, Philosophy 1200, plus Computer Science 1026/B and /or Computer Science 1027A/B are recommended but not required for students interested in Financial Modelling

[1] This requirement can be postponed to year 2, 3 or 4 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible

Applied Mathematics

  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
  • Mathematics 1600A/B
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 2.5 additional courses at the 1000 level

Biology

  • Biology 1001A and 1002B
  • Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
  • 1.0 mathematics course from the math list (Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B, 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Data Science 1000A/B [2]
  • 0.5 course from Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 0.5 additional course at the 1000 level

Note : HSP Animal Behavior also requires Psychology 1000 and HSP Genetics and Biochemistry requires 1.0 first year Physics courses

[2] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Chemistry

  • Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
  • Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • Physics 1202B or 1502B
  • 0.5 course from Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
  • 0.5 course from Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B, 1501B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level

Note:  Students interested in a combination of Chemistry and Biochemistry should also take Biology 1001A and 1002B

Computer Science

  • Computer Science 1025A or 1026A  and Computer Science 1027B
  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
  • 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1600A/B
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 2.0 additional courses at the 1000 level

Note:  Students interested in Bioinformatics should also take: Biology 1001A and 1002B, plus Chemistry 1301A and 1302B.

Earth Science for Professional Registration

  • Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
  • Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • Physics 1202B or 1502B 
  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B or Mathematics 1225A/B
  • 0.5 course from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, or 1023A, or 1070A, or 1081A/B or 1083F
  • 1.0 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Computer Science 1025A/B, 1026A/B, 1027A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, Statistical Sciences 1023A/B, 1024A/B
  • 1.0 course from Category A or B at the 1000 level

Earth Science - Geology

  • Chemistry 1301A
  • 1.5 courses from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A, 1070B, 1081A/B or 1083F, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Chemistry 1302B, Physics 1201A, 1501A, 1202B or 1502B
  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B or Mathematics 1225B, plus one of: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B or 1501B, Mathematics 1228A/B, 1229A, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B [3]
  • 1.0 course from Category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level

[3] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Earth Science - Geology & Biology or Environmental Geoscience

  • Chemistry 1301A and 1302B Biology 1001A and 1002B
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level

For Geology & Biology:

  • 1.0 course from Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B and one of: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301B, 1501B, Mathematics 1600A/B, Statistical Sciences 1024A/B OR BOTH OF Mathematics 1225A/B and 1229A/B [4]

For Environmental Geoscience:

  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B or Mathematics 1225A/B 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201A/B, Calculus 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Math 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Statistical Sciences 1024A/B

[4] This requirement can be postponed to year 2 but is recommended to be taken in year 1 whenever possible.

Earth Science - Geophysics

  • 1.0 course from: Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A, 1070A/B 1081A/B or 1083F,
  • Chemistry 1301A, 1302B, Mathematics 1600A/B
  • Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • Physics 1202B or 1502B
  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B and Calculus 1301B or 1501B
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 1.0 additional course at the 1000 level [at least 0.5 Earth Sciences course is recommended]

Environmental Science

  • Biology 1001A and 1002
  • Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
  • 0.5 course from: Environmental Science 1021F/G, or a 1000-level half course in Geography, or Earth Sciences 1022A/B, 1023A/B, 1081A/B, or Physics 1201A, 1202B, 1501A, 1502B
  • 1.0 course from: Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1000A/B, 1500A/B, 1301A/B, 1501A/B, Mathematics 1225A/B, 1228A/B, 1229A/B, 1600A/B, or Data Science 1000A/B
  • 1.0 course from category B at the 1000 level [recommended]
  • 0.5 additional course at the 1000 level

Integrated Science

WISc admitted students need to pick the following courses (5.5 courses in year 1):

  • 2.0 Integrated Science 1001X
  • 0.5 Integrated Science 1000Z
  • 0.5 Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B
  • 0.5 Chemistry 1301A/B
  • 0.5 Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • 0.5 additional Science course*
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level

* HSP in Integrated Science with Biology, the HSP in Integrated Science with Environmental Science, or the HSP in Integrated Science with Genetics take Biology 1001A . HSP in Integrated Science with Mathematics take Mathematics 1600A/B . HSP in Integrated Science with Computer Science take CS 1026A .

Mathematics

  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 3.0 additional courses, with no mark in these principal courses below 60%. It is recommended the Mathematics 1600A/B and/or Mathematics 1120A/B be taken in first-year.  If taken in first-year, the course(s) will count toward the 3.0 principal courses.

Neuroscience

  • 1.0 course: Biology 1001A and Biology 1002B (students in faculties other than Science in Year 1 may take Biology 1201A and Biology 1202B).
  • 1.0 course: Psychology 1002A and Psychology 1003B, or Psychology 1000 (Main Campus students must take 1002A/1003B).
  • 1.0 course: Chemistry 1301A and Chemistry 1302B.
  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or Calculus 1500A/B.
  • 0.5 course: Data Science 1000A/B.

Additional courses required must be completed prior to Year 3:

0.5 course from: Physics 1201A or Physics 1501A, or the former Physics 1028A or the former Physics 1301A.

Note: A full load of courses during the Fall/Winter of Year 1 is not required for admission to Year 2 of the Honours Specialization in Neuroscience, but students should keep in mind 20.0 courses are required to graduate..

Physics & Astronomy

  • Physics 1201A or 1501A
  • Physics 1202B or 1502B
  • Calculus 1000A/B (or 1500A/B) and 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
  • Mathematics 1600A/B (can be done in second-year)
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 1.5 additional courses at the 1000 level (0.5 must be from the Faculty of Science)

Note: Students interested in Materials Science should also take Chemistry 1301A and 1302B.

Statistics

  • Calculus 1000A/B or 1500A/B, and Calculus 1501B or 1301B (with a mark of at least 85%)
  • Mathematics 1600A/B
  • Statistical Sciences 1023A/B (recommended only)
  • 1.0 course from category A or B at the 1000 level
  • 2.0 additional courses at the 1000 level

Note: Major in Applied Statistics requires 1.0 course from: Psychology 1000, Biology 1001A, 1002B, Sociology 1020

Medical Sciences First Entry

5.0 courses and Medical Sciences 1000Y  (non-credit course) must be completed during the Fall/Winter of  Medical Sciences 1

The following courses are the required courses of Medical Sciences 1 and must be completed by the end of the Fall/Winter of Medical Sciences 1.  

  • Medical Sciences 1000Y (non-credit required course, NEW for 2022 )
  • 1.0 course: Biology 1001A and 1002B
  • 1.0 course: Chemistry 1301A and 1302B
  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A or 1500A
  • 0.5 course from: Applied Math 1201B, Calculus 1301B, 1501B or Math 1600A/B
  • 1.0 course at the 1000-level from Category A or B. A 0.5 course from Category A + 0.5 course from Category B, both at the 1000-level, may be taken to satisfy this requirement.
  • 1.0 course which may be deferred to either the summer following Medical Sciences 1 or the Fall/Winter of Medical Sciences 2, but is not recommended:
    • 0.5 course from: Physics 1201A/B, Physics 1501A/B
    • 0.5 course from: Computer Science 1026A/B, Physics 1202A/B, Physics 1502A/B
    • Note: Students who choose to defer this requirement must successfully complete 5.0 courses during the Fall/Winter of Medical Sciences 1 to progress to Medical Sciences 2 (i.e., by taking an optional course). 

Course Selection with particular Modules in Mind:

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete listing of requirements (including admission requirements) for each module offered by the Bachelor of Medical Sciences Program.

  • Medical Bioinformatics :  Students interested in applying to the Honours Specialization in Medical Bioinformatics must complete Calculus 1301A/B or Calculus 1501A/B.
  • Medical Biophysics : Students interested in applying to a module in  Medical Biophysics must complete Calculus 1301A/B or Calculus 1501A/B, as well as 1.0 Physics courses (recommended completion in first year).
*If you do not have the prerequisites to take Calculus 1000A or 1500A please connect with the Academic Counselling Office to discuss your options.

Planning for HSP Neuroscience while maintaining eligibility to continue in Medical Science First Entry:

Medical Sciences 1 students wishing to be considered for the Honours Specialization in Neuroscience while maintaining their eligibility for Medical Sciences 2 must take 5.0 during the Fall/Winter:

Principal courses for Neuroscience:

  • 1.0 course: Biology 1001A and Biology 1002B (students in faculties other than Science in Year 1 may take Biology 1201A and Biology 1202B).
  • 1.0 course: Psychology 1002A and Psychology 1003B.
  • 1.0 course: Chemistry 1301A and Chemistry 1302B.
  • 0.5 course from: Calculus 1000A/B or Calculus 1500A/B.
  • 0.5 course: Data Science 1000A/B.

Additional courses required to progress from Medical Sciences 1 to Medical Sciences 2:

0.5 course from: Applied Mathematics 1201A/B, Calculus 1301A/B or Calculus 1501A/B, Mathematics 1600A/B.
0.5 course from: Physics 1201A or Physics 1501A.
Medical Sciences 1000Y (non-credit required course).

A full load of courses during the Fall/Winter of Year 1 is required for progression to Medical Sciences 2 and it is strongly recommended that the following be taken in first year.

Note: Students interested in Neuroscience may want to consider deferring the following until after first year:

0.5 course from: Computer Science 1026A/B, Physics 1202B or Physics 1502B.

If admitted to the Honours Specialization in Neuroscience, students will not need to complete Physics 1202B/1502B or Computer Science 1026A/B. Students not admitted to Neuroscience and who progress to Year 2 Medical Science First Entry will need to complete this requirement by the end of Year 2.