Recent discoveries and new technologies are revolutionizing the biological sciences, placing increasing emphasis on integrating knowledge across all levels of organization, from molecules to ecosystems.  Our programs give students both the intellectual tools and the hands-on experience they need to pursue careers in fields as diverse as conservation and endangered species; land-use management; ecotoxicology; academic, industry or government research; or health care.  Learning takes place through traditional classroom instruction, innovative laboratory projects with state-of-the-art technologies, field-based courses around the world, and a strong research program in which undergraduate students of all years are intensively mentored in a research lab.
The honours in biology allows for in-depth study in one or more biological disciplines. Students can concentrate on a particular area by choosing one of three options: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Physiology, or Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. This route includes a compulsory independent research project to equip students with advanced research, analysis and communication skills applicable to diverse careers.  Students thinking of a career in research should consider the Research Focus, an immersive research experience in the third and fourth years.  Alternatively, they can pursue diverse interests by selecting a general course of study that includes a number of advanced courses, and they can gain work experience while studying through the Co-Operative Education Programs.
The major in biology introduces students to cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology and physiology (both plant and animal). It is combined with either another major or a minor. The major allows students to pursue diverse interests while opening the door to graduate studies or a career in the life sciences. 

The minor in biology is a flexible program that allows students to select a subset of biology courses.

This program is offered in English and in French.

Co-operative education is available with this program.

The extended French stream is available with this program.

Requirements for this program have been modified. Please consult the 2015-2016 calendars for the previous requirements.

3 optional course units in English (ENG) at the 1000 or 2000 level3 Units
BIO 1130Introduction to Organismal Biology3 Units
BIO 1140Introduction to Cell Biology3 Units
CHM 1311Principles of Chemistry3 Units
CHM 1321Organic Chemistry I3 Units
GEO 1111Introduction to Earth Systems3 Units
MAT 1330Calculus for the Life Sciences I3 Units
MAT 1332Calculus for the Life Sciences II3 Units
PHY 1321Principles of Physics I3 Units
BCH 2333Introduction to Biochemistry3 Units
BIO 2129Ecology3 Units
BIO 2133Genetics3 Units
BIO 2135Animal Form and Function3 Units
BIO 2137Introduction to Plant Science: Biodiversity to Biotechnology3 Units
CHM 2120Organic Chemistry II3 Units
MAT 2379Introduction to Biostatistics3 Units
BIO 4920Seminar I Evaluating Science1.5 Units
BIO 4921Seminar II Developing and Communicating Science1.5 Units
Ecology/Evolution/Behaviour Option - Block A
BIO 4009Honours Research9 Units
BIO 4158Applied Biostatistics3 Units
Ecology/Evolution/Behaviour Option - Block B
12 course units from:12 Units
Molecular Evolution
Field Biology
Conservation Biology
Ecosystem Ecology
Population Genetics
Evolutionary Biology
Ecophysiology of Plants
Population and Community Ecology
Animal Behaviour
Plant Systematics and Diversity
Computational Tools for Biological Sciences
Biology of Algae and Fungi
Pesticides and the Environment
Plant-Animal Interactions
Experiments in Animal Behaviour
Phylogenetic Systematics
Spatial Ecology
Freshwater Ecology
Evolutionary Ecology
Tropical Ecology
Génétique évolutive humaine
Physiologie évolutive et écophysiologie
Field Course in Ecology
9 optional course units in biology (BIO), biopharmaceutical science (BPS) or environmental science (EVS), ITI 1120, BCH 3120, BCH 3125, BCH 3356, BCH 4122 , BCH 4125, BCH 41889 Units
3 optional course units in biology (BIO), biopharmaceutical science (BPS) or environmental science (EVS) at the 3000 or 4000 level, BCH 3120, BCH 3125, BCH 3356, BCH 4122, BCH 4125, BCH 4188 13 Units
9 elective course units offered by the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management9 Units
24 elective course units24 Units
Total: 120 Units


This message is intended for students registered in the Faculty of Science. If the components of your program of study require common compulsory courses, you will have to replace the units as follows:

  1. 1000-level courses must be replaced with elective course units;
  2. 2000-level courses and above must be replaced with optional course units from either discipline at the same level or above.

Please note that all programs in the Faculty of Science require a minimum of 12 elective course units from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Telfer School of Management. Once you have decided on the replacement courses, please inform the Office of Undergraduate Programs of the Faculty of Science by email at so that we may amend your Academic Advisement accordingly.

List of Optional Courses

List of Optional Courses with a Laboratory Component
BIM 4316Modern Bioanalytical Chemistry3 Units
BIO 3103Field Biology3 Units
BIO 3126General Microbiology Laboratory3 Units
BIO 3137Experiments in Animal Physiology3 Units
BIO 3146Ecophysiology of Plants3 Units
BIO 3151Molecular Biology Laboratory3 Units
BIO 3152Cell Biology Laboratory3 Units
BIO 3154Population and Community Ecology3 Units
BIO 3158Vertebrate Zoology3 Units
BIO 3310Plant Systematics and Diversity3 Units
BIO 3333Entomology3 Units
BIO 3334Invertebrate Zoology3 Units
BIO 3360Computational Tools for Biological Sciences3 Units
BIO 3924Biology of Algae and Fungi3 Units
BIO 4004Honours Research3 Units
BIO 4009Honours Research9 Units
BIO 4122Experiments in Animal Behaviour3 Units
BIO 4148Phylogenetic Systematics3 Units
BIO 4150Spatial Ecology3 Units
BIO 4156Freshwater Ecology3 Units
BIO 4158Applied Biostatistics3 Units
BIO 4910Field Course in Ecology3 Units
BPS 4104Bioinformatics Laboratory3 Units
BPS 4127Advanced Techniques in Biosciences3 Units