AQUA Degree Options

Interdisciplinary Studies in AQUATIC RESOURCES (AQUA) is a four-year dual-major program, consisting of the standard 120 academic credits, and leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.

The Aquatic Resources degree option offers students an integrated approach to better understand water - groundwater, watersheds, wetlands, lakes, rivers, oceans - and how it is managed by people through diverse social, economic and political structures.

Many of the most urgent challenges we face today, and into the future, involve water! Some of these are climate change, sustainable energy development, water privatization and accessibility, decline of coastal communities, invasive species, conservation, sustainability of food systems (fisheries, agriculture, aquaculture), etc.

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Economics

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Public Policy and Social Research (combination of Political Science, Public Policy and Governance, and Anthropology)

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Public Policy and Social Research (combination of Political Science, Public Policy and Governance, and Sociology)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Biology

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Mathematics and Statistics


First Year

First Year Student Enrollment

All AQUA students, whether in a BSc or a BA degree program, enroll in a common core of introductory courses during their first year of study:

Aquatic Resources 101 + lab (3 credits, 1st term)

Aquatic Resources 102 + lab (3 credits, 2nd term)

Earth and Environmental Sciences 171 (3 credits, 1st term) or Earth and Environmental Sciences 173 (3 credits, fall term)

Economics 101 (3 credits, 1st term)

Economics 102 (3 credits, 2nd term)

Biology 112 + lab (3 credits, 2nd term)

The balance of first year courses - up to a total of 30 academic credits - will vary by the students' degree program. For example:

BACHELOR OF ARTS students will enroll in the AQUA core courses (as indicated above) and:

  • one or two of: Anthropology 111 & 112; Political Science 101 & 102; Sociology 101 & 102
  • one of Anthropology 111 & 112, or Political Science 101 & 102, or Sociology 101 & 102 AND 6 credits from (examples): Philosophy 100; English111 & 112; History 101,102, 111, 112, 113, 115; Religious Studies 103, 117; Public Policy and Governance 101; a language - French, Spanish, German or Gaelic; etc.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE students will enroll in the AQUA core courses (as indicated above) and 'Science core' classes:

  • 6 credits of Calculus  [MATH 106/126 and 107/127 + tutorials]
  • 6 credits of Chemistry [101 and 102 + labs or 121 and 122 + labs]
Second Year

In the SECOND YEAR, AQUA students enroll in Aquatic Resources 202 and 298, BSAD 111, and a selection of AQUA-designated courses from departments participating in the AQUA Program. Students also enroll in courses from their second area of concentration in one of the following major fields: Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Math/Stats, Economics or Public Policy and Social Research (combination of Political Science and Anthropology or Political Science and Sociology).

Students are encouraged to enroll in one or both new AQUA courses - AQUA 221 (Issues in Resource Management) and AQUA 297 (Intro. to Mapping and Geographic Information Systems [GIS]) - in their second year or, if scheduling is an issue, in their third or fourth years of study.

At the end of the second academic year, in late April, AQUA students will participate in Aquatic Resources 325 or an approved equivalent (i.e., BIOL 307 or ESCI 376). The 5-day AQUA 325 field camp focuses on integrated watershed management and provides students with access to experts in the field, opportunities to visit locations in nearby watersheds, and tangible skills related to working in the field.

Third Year

In the THIRD YEAR, AQUA students enroll in Aquatic Resources 398 (Sustainability of Aquatic Resources); they continue to expand their horizons by enrolling in AQUA-designated courses, as well as courses from their second major area.  In addition, students will begin preparation for their required work term / internship. Students will be contacted early in the first term of their third year to discuss the upcoming work term/internship preparations.

During the summer between the third and fourth years, all AQUA major students complete Aquatic Resources 400, a work term/internship that is characterized by hands-on, career-related experience in an aquatics-related setting. Work term and/or volunteer positions can be with private industry/businesses, government agencies or departments, non-governmental organizations, academic investigators, consulting companies, etc.

Fourth Year

In the FOURTH YEAR, AQUA students begin by participating in a class debrief focusing on their AQUA 400 Work Term/Internship, completed during the previous summer, and they attend professional development sessions during the month of September. Beginning in October, the AQUA 450 seminar is launched. This is an interdisciplinary examination of a particular subject, for example: Aquaculture, Aquatic Protected Areas, Oil and Gas Exploration, Invasive Species, and more. Students will begin, or continue to work with a faculty advisor to develop their Senior Research topic. Each students' senior research culminates in a comprehensive paper,: a professional presentation to the AQUA 450 class, and guests; and a poster that is displayed and evaluated at the annual StFX Student Research Day (usually in March).


Aquatic Resources

335F J. Bruce Brown Hall
2320 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish NS B2G 2W5