Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Program Length 
    4 Years
  • Credential 
    Bachelor Degree
  • Options 
    Co-op
  • Location Offered 
    Nanaimo


The Program

Fisheries and Aquaculture has long been an area of specialization at Vancouver Island University. VIU has an international reputation in fisheries and aquaculture applied research, technology transfer, training, and education. VIU boasts an extensive array of facilities and equipment: three cool-water hatchery complexes; a warm-water hatchery; salt-water system; fish disease laboratory; lake study field station; oyster farm; sturgeon, trout, and wild and cultured salmon research programs. The proximity of VIU to fresh-water lakes and streams, as well as to the ocean and estuaries, allows fieldwork in these habitats to be a central part of students’ education.

The new Centre for Shellfish Research (CSR), located beside the Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture, was created to facilitate the emergence of the B.C. shellfish aquaculture industry as a sustainable economic engine for healthy, vibrant coastal communities. CSR faculty teach upper-level courses in fisheries and aquaculture, and there are many opportunities for students to participate in CSR research projects.

Furthermore, the federal government’s Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo provides access to numerous acclaimed fisheries scientists and one of Canada’s best libraries in this field. Fisheries (sports and commercial), and aquaculture are immensely important throughout the world and are key to the economy (and employment) in British Columbia.

The B.Sc. in Fisheries & Aquaculture has been designed to offer students a great deal of flexibility, and there are several routes through this program. Students may begin in year one and complete the program at the end of year four, or they may enter at year two or three from Vancouver Island University or from other institutions. They may also complete the two-year Fisheries & Aquaculture Technology diploma program and then proceed to the B.Sc. with up to two years (60 credits) of advance credit. Some students elect this pathway after completing the Technology program and then working in industry for a few years.

Note: institutional B.Sc. requirements are undergoing changes; please check the website or contact the Advising Centre for details.

Applied Technology

The Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Aquaculture is an applied technology degree program. In association with the two-year Fisheries & Aquaculture diploma program and the Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology degree program, the B.Sc. in Fisheries & Aquaculture degree provides a mix of a broad science background and applied, hands-on, technical skills. Graduates will be well schooled in scientific principles, have an understanding of the philosophical and ethical underpinnings of science, and will be trained in the practical skills required to enter employment in industry or government.

Program Format and Courses

The Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Aquaculture degree program is a four-year degree program requiring 130 credits of study. Of these 130 credits, a minimum of 42 must be upper-level. Students will take the Core program (109 credits), a minimum of six credits of Fisheries or Aquaculture electives, plus a minimum of six non-Science elective credits.

A variety of elective courses allow students to create a program suitable to their particular interests.

This degree is closely tied to the Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology. Students take core courses in Biology and are encouraged to take upper-level electives in Biology. Students may switch between the two degrees if their areas of interest change.

Undergraduate Research Project

In fourth year, students may choose to complete an Undergraduate Research Project in FISH 491. For this course, students will have a Faculty Project Advisor (in some cases faculty may be from another institution) and will carry out their research under the direction of this Advisor. Students not wishing to pursue a research career may take a Directed Study FISH 490 and one upper-level Science elective or two upper-level Science electives.

Electives

Students are encouraged to augment their program by selecting relevant electives from a variety of disciplines (see list of suggested electives below).

Program Outline

See the section on Institutional B.Sc. Degree Requirements. The 130 credits required for graduation are as follows:

Core courses

109

Upper-level Aquaculture, Fisheries, or Biology electives

6

Non-science electives

6

Electives (including 6 upper-level credits)

9

Note: Most core and elective courses have prerequisites. Students should check prerequisites carefully and consult the Fisheries & Aquaculture Advisor when planning their program.

Core Courses

Year 1

Credits

FISH 123* - (Concepts in Biology) or,
BIOL 121 - (Introductory Zoology)

4

Select one of the following pairs: 
CHEM 140** - (Chemistry Fundamentals I) and,
CHEM 141** - (Chemistry Fundamentals II) or 
CHEM 142** - (Chemistry Fundamentals II)

8

FISH 204 - (Aquatic Plant Ecology and Culture)

4

MATH 121 - (Calculus I) and 
MATH 122 - (Calculus II)

6

PHYS 111 - (Physics for the Life Sciences I) and 
PHYS 112 - (Physics for the Life Sciences II)

8

Degree English Requirements

6

Total Credits

36

* FISH 123 is the preferred option.

** Effective September 2011: CHEM 140 will replace CHEM 122CHEM 141 will replace CHEM 111, and CHEM 142 will replace CHEM 121. Students who have already completed the old Chemistry courses can still use those courses to meet the 1st-year chemistry requirements.

Year 2

Credits

BIOL 201 - (Principles of Biochemistry)

3

BIOL 212 - (Genetics)

3

CHEM 231 - (Organic Chemistry I)

3

FISH 205 - (Invertebrate Zoology)

4

FISH 211 - (Life History and Management of Salmonids)

3

FISH 222 - (Larval Rearing and Invertebrate Culture)

4

FISH 227 - (Fish Husbandry I)

3

FISH 253 - (Fisheries Engineering I—Hydrology) or,
FISH 254 - (Fisheries Engineering II—Hydraulics)

3

MATH 181 - (Intro to Statistics) or,
MATH 211 - (Statistics I)

3

Total Credits

29

Note: Because of scheduling, some courses listed in second year may have to be delayed until third year and replaced by electives in second year. Students should plan their program with the Fisheries & Aquaculture Advisor.

Years 3 and 4

Credits

CHEM 311 - (Environmental Chemical Analysis)

3

FISH 321 - (Lake and Stream Ecosystems)

3

FISH 322 - (Coastal and Estuarine Ecosystems)

3

FISH 324 - (Ichthyology)

4

FISH 327 - (Salmonid Husbandry) or,
FISH 331 - (Advanced Fish Culture)

3

FISH 341 - (Diseases of Fish and Shellfish)

4

FISH 371 - (Aquaculture Practices I)

3

FISH 372 - (Aquaculture Practices II)

3

FISH 392 - (Project in Husbandry IV)

3

FISH 453 - (Fish Habitat Assessment and Rehabilitation)

3

FISH 473 - (Summer Field Practicum)

3

FISH 490 - (Directed Studies) and 1 upper-level science elective or,
FISH 491 - (Undergraduate Research Project) or,
Two upper-level science electives

6

MATH 203 - (Biometrics)

3

Total Credits

44

List of Suggested Electives

Note: These courses may not be offered every year.

FISH 331 - (Advanced Fish Culture)

3

BIOL 200 - (Principles of Cell Biology)

3

BIOL 322 - (Terrestrial Ecosystems)

3

BIOL 331 - (Physiology and Genetics of Prokaryotes)

3

BIOL 332 - (Microbial Ecology)

3

BIOL 334 - (Virology)

3

BIOL 353 - (Non-Vascular Plants)

3

BIOL 356 - (Biological Issues in Forestry)

3

BIOL 395 - (Tropical Biology)

3

BIOL 402 - (Evolution)

3

BIOL 403 - (Current Topics in Biology)

3

FISH 333 - (Tropical Coastal Ecosystems)

3

FISH 334 - (Tropical Marine Aquaculture)

3

FISH 490 - (Directed Studies)

3

FISH 420 - (Marine Biodiversity and Conservation)

3

FRST 242 - (Integrated Resource Management Seminar)

3

MGMT 192 - (Principles of Management)

3

MGMT 381 - (Entre/Intrapreneurship)

3

Options to take Courses Elsewhere

Most university-level courses offered at the Bamfield Marine Station during Fall or Summer sessions are also accepted as Science electives and, in some cases, as core courses in the B.Sc. in Fisheries & Aquaculture degree program. The Bamfield Marine Station offers many high quality courses and a unique West Coast experience. Accredited Science courses offered at many other universities may also be acceptable as either Core or Science elective courses. Students should, however, consult with the Chair or Faculty Advisor of Fisheries & Aquaculture before including such courses in their degree planning. Discussions are underway to arrange other one-semester exchange options at universities in both Canada and the United States.

Updated 
Monday, November 6, 2017

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Aquaculture takes place at the first, second or third-year level.

Admission to third year requires completion of a minimum of 54 credits of university study, see Program Outline. In addition, admission to the B.Sc. program (including the practicum courses, FISH 371/372) will require an interview with the faculty that can be arranged during the second year. The interview will determine the student’s understanding of the current fisheries and aquaculture industry. This interview is necessary, as these two courses involve considerable work with institutions or companies outside VIU. Advanced standing may be granted for previous course work.

Courses in first year have prerequisites. To satisfy all first-year course prerequisites, students must complete the following B.C. Secondary School courses, or equivalent:

  • English 12 with a minimum grade of “C.”
  • Biology 11, Chemistry 12, and Principles of Physics 11, all with a minimum grade of “C+”.
  • One of Principles of Mathematics 12 or Pre-calculus 12 with a minimum grade of “B”.
  • Biology 12 and Physics 12 are recommended but not required.
  • Some seats are available for students who have completed Chemistry 11 with a “C+” but have not completed Chemistry 12.

Students who are lacking any or all of the above-noted prerequisites for first-year courses should speak with a VIU Advisor about upgrading courses.

Note: Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.

Admission following completion of VIU’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Diploma program

Students who successfully complete the Diploma in Fisheries & Aquaculture program at VIU will be given third-year standing in the B.Sc. in Fisheries & Aquaculture. Several courses in the Diploma program are similar to those in the B.Sc. program and will receive direct transfer credit. Several other courses in the Diploma program are transferable; students may opt for Diploma (first or second year) credit, but with additional assignments may be able to receive upper-level credit (third year) for courses.

Students admitted in this manner will likely complete first-year Science courses then go on to complete the remainder of the program in an additional two or three semesters. Admittance to the B.Sc. in Fisheries & Aquaculture program through this route requires an interview. Students will be assessed by the interview results and their GPA score.

Entry with Advanced Placement

Entry into other years of the program will be based on the individual’s academic record. Students holding a two-year diploma in a field related to the biological sciences may receive advanced standing, depending upon their program.

All students who request advanced placement in the program must consult with the Department Chair or an upper-level Advisor within the department of Fisheries & Aquaculture during their first year at VIU. As with all other categories of placement, admittance is determined by an interview and by previous GPA score. Applicants are strongly urged to consult with the Fisheries & Aquaculture Chair or Faculty Advisor before the interview.

Note: Computer literacy (use of word processing, spreadsheets, and databases) is not an entrance requirement; however, it is expected that students entering second year will have those skills. Students may acquire computer literacy through self-study or may take a computer literacy course in their first year, e.g.,CSCI 110 or QUME 185.

Notes on Admission

Start Date and Application Deadline

The program starts in September and applications are accepted between the first business day in October, and March 31. For further information regarding late applications and program contacts check the Program Availability List.

Domestic Fees | International Fees

Domestic Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year*

Amount

Tuition (30 credits x $147.76 per credit)

4,432.80

Student Activity fee (4% of tuition)

177.31

Student Services fee (30 credits x $6.53 per credit)

195.90

VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $19.43 per month)

155.44

Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)

275.00

Approximate yearly cost for books and supplies

2,000.00

Total

7,236.45

Notes

*  The above table is based on ten 3–credit courses taken over two semesters.

The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full–time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

Science and Technology courses with a compulsory lab have a lab fee of $20.81 per course.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

International Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year*

Amount

Tuition (2 semesters x $7620 per semester)

15,240.00

Ancillary Fee (2 semesters x $374.4 per semester)

748.80

VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $19.43 per month)

155.44

Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)

275.00

Approximate yearly cost for books and supplies

2,000.00

Total

18,419.24

Notes

The above table is based on 15 credits or less per semester. Additional fees of $635.00 per credit will be applied if taking more than 15 credits per semester.

*  The above table is based on ten 3–credit courses taken over two semesters.

The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full–time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

Science and Technology courses with a compulsory lab have a lab fee of $20.81 per course.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Updated
Sunday, April 1, 2018
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