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.

White tail and tourist boatThe 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.



Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Economics

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

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



Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Biology

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Earth Sciences

Major: Aquatic Resources and Major: Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science



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 100 (6 credits, 1st and 2nd terms)

Earth Sciences 171 (3 credits, 1st term)

Economics 101 (3 credits, 1st term)

Economics 102 (3 credits, 2nd term)

Biology 112 (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 111, 112, 120; 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:

  • Calculus  [MATH 106 & 107 + labs or MATH 126 & 127 + labs]
  • Chemistry 100 + labs or 120 + labs

In the SECOND YEAR, AQUA students enroll in Aquatic Resources 201 & 202, BSAD 101, and a selection of AQUA-designated courses from some of the seven departments participating in the AQUA Program. Students also build their second area of concentration in one of the following major fields: Biology, Earth Sciences, Math/Stats, Economics or Public Policy and Social Research (combination of Political Science and Anthropology or Political Science and Sociology).

At the end of the second academic year, in late April, AQUA students will complete Aquatic Resources 325 or an approved equivalent (i.e., BIOL 307 or ESCI 376) in the following year. The week-long 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.

Sunset in the Bahamas

In the THIRD YEAR, students continue to expand their horizons by selecting AQUA-designated courses and continuing to build on their second area of concentration.  In addition, students well begin preparation for their required work term.

During the summer between the third and fourth years, all AQUA major students complete Aquatic Resources 400, a work term 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.


In the FOURTH YEAR, AQUA students work on their senior research papers, they present the results of their senior research projects as part of the Aquatic Resources 450 senior seminar, and they develop a poster that is displayed and evaluated at the annual StFX "Student Research Day" (usually in March).

AQUA Major candidates are required to complete:

i) the core ISAR program of AQUA 100, 201, 202, 325, 400 and 450; ESCI 171; BIOL 112; ECON 101 and 102; and BSAD 101;
ii) 36 to 48 credits in the second major discipline or combination of disciplines, including 9 to 18 credits of AQUA-designated courses from that discipline or disciplines;
iii) at least 6 credits of AQUA-designated courses in each of two of the participating academic departments other than the major.


  • AQUA / AR / ISAR (Interdisciplinary Studies in Aquatic Resources)
  • Annapolis Tidal StationANTH (Anthropology)
  • BIOL (Biology)
  • BSAD (Business Administration)
  • CHEM (Chemistry)
  • CSCI (Computer Science)
  • DEVS (Development Studies)
  • ECON (Economics)
  • ESCI (Earth Sciences)
  • MATH (Mathematics)
  • PHIL (Philosophy)
  • PSCI (Political Science)
  • SOCI (Sociology)
  • STAT (Statistics)

Progression Requirements

All full-time ISAR majors students completing the first-year required core courses (AQUA 100; ECON 101 and 102; BIOL 112; ESCI 171) must achieve a minimum of 65% in AQUA 100 and a minimum average of 65% in all of the core courses in order to maintain their ISAR major and proceed to the second year of study in the ISAR program.

All ISAR major students should seek academic advising from the ISAR Program Coordinator or Program Assistant.