Natural and Applied Sciences Programs In Canada

Quick Facts


  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Associate of Forestry (AF)
  • Associate of Technology (AT)
  • Combined Bachelor
  • Diploma/Certificate

Program Length

  • Combined Bachelor's Degree: 4-5 years
  • Bachelor's Degree: 4-5 years
  • Associate's Degree: 2-3 years
  • Diploma: 2-3 years
  • Certificate: 12-52 weeks


  • Combined Bachelor's Degree - entry after 1-2 years of study
  • Bachelor’s Degree – direct entry; entry after 1 or 2 years of general foundation studies; enter into third year with Associate’s Degree
  • Associate's Degree - direct entry
  • Diploma/Certificate – direct entry

Areas of Study

  • Wide range of general, honours, major, liberal, minor, joint and associated degrees and applied programs
  • Major faculty areas include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics, microbiology, psychology, computer sciences, environmental sciences, health sciences
  • Degree specializations are vast and include biotechnology & genetic engineering, cognitive science, exercise science, genetics, software engineering and statistics, behavioural neuroscience, cellular & molecular biology, photonics, geography, marine biology, astronomy, wildlife & fisheries, agriculture, technology and much more
  • Diploma programs encompass applied science areas such as meteorology, biological sciences with specializations in environmental sciences, renewable resources or laboratory & research, chemical technology, geological technology, landscape architectural technology, animal health technology, water treatment technology and much more
  • Certificate programs are primarily "applied" programs with a cross-over to the health care field and include Veterinary Administrative Assistant, Dental Assisting, Medical Laboratory Assisting, Medical Transcription and more

Special Features

  • Study options include co-op/internship, distance education, summer semester, international exchange, part-time, fast-track
  • Many institutes have extensive collaborations with research universities and institutes around the world
  • Combined programs

The broad term "science" is generally categorized into larger areas. Natural sciences include the discovery of new knowledge about humans, animals, plants, or the universe, while applied sciences include the application of knowledge from one or more natural scientific fields to solve practical problems.

Entrance to most university natural and applied science programs is either through direct entry from high school, or via a university transfer program from college after 1-2 years of study. In addition to a high school diploma, most universities also require specific admission criteria for their science programs, such as a minimum grade point average for specific high school courses such as mathematics and English.

Most universities have Faculties of Science and/or Applied Science and a cornucopia of departments that represent the specialty nature of the university. During first year university science programs, students usually take a variety of core courses in natural sciences. As they progress through the program, they make a series of decisions that result in increasing specialization in the 3rd and 4th years, thus providing a wide range of flexibility to allow students to tailor the program around personal interests and objectives. Natural and applied science programs typically have excellent laboratory components to help develop practical skills and provide hands-on experience. Advanced courses are available at many institutions to provide insight into cutting edge areas of scientific research. These courses include genomics, bioinformatics, bioenergetics, developmental biology, signal transduction, immunology and more.

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) will have a fundamental knowledge suitable for entry into a wide range of graduate school programs, professional programs, government laboratory positions and industry employment in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, forensics, agri/aquaculture, and more.

Bachelor of Science degrees are offered through Canadian universities and degree-granting Canadian colleges. Combined degrees are offered at most universities. Examples of combined degrees include Biology & Mathematics, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, Biology and Physical Geography. The Associate of Science (AS) is a two-year undergraduate degree offered by many community colleges. An associate degree transfers to four-year institutions that offer full Bachelor of Science degrees.

Entrance to most scientific diploma programs at community colleges requires successful completion of a high-school diploma with attainment of certain percentages in specific courses, which vary with each institution. However, some programs are highly competitive and admission requirements can also include completion of at least one-year of post-secondary education, or certification in a specialized field. Submission of supporting personal information such as a resume or letter of intent can sometimes be expected.

Entrance to career college certificate programs in the natural and applied sciences is typically direct and can sometimes include a prior learning assessment and recognition process to recognize experience and previous education.

Check out CampusStarter's database of Canadian Natural and Applied Sciences Schools and Programs