Jun 13, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Biological Science

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General information

As students proceed through the Biological Science program, they will obtain a background in cell biology, genetics and molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry and developmental biology. Senior level courses such as Bioethics, Neuroscience, Functional Genomics and Proteomics, along with access to modern laboratories, computational tools, sophisticated equipment and state-of-the-art facilities will enable advanced research work and skills training in industry best practice and in research.

Students can study through the Biological Science major, or choose to specialize in either Life Sciences , Environmental Biology , Environmental Toxicology  or Pharmaceutical Biotechnology .

Admission requirements

Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.

Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U), Advanced Functions (MHF4U), and two of Biology (SBI4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U), Chemistry (SCH4U), or Physics (SPH4U). In addition, a combined minimum 70 per cent average in math and science courses is required. It is recommended that all four MCV4U, SBI4U, SCH4U and SPH4U be taken. All other applicants should refer to admissions  for the requirements for their specific category of admission.

Program details and degree requirements

Students taking Biological Science will work with the science academic advisors to customize a program map that matches their interests and career plans. The requirements for the regular four-year Honours Biological Science program are detailed below.

In addition to the regular program, a co-op program is also available. Students in Biological Science wishing to follow the co-op program  should seek academic advising early in their second year. 

Although reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the following program details, course requirements and term offerings may change.

Students must successfully complete 120 credit hours according to the requirements below.

First-year required science courses – 27 credit hours

Upper-year specialization – 27 credit hours in Biological Science

All students must successfully complete at least 27 credit hours in additional courses in biological science at the third- or fourth-year level, with a minimum of six of these credit hours at the fourth-year level.

Additional science courses – total of 27 credit hours

These science courses must include:

Remaining 15 credit hours

The remaining 15 credit hours must be in courses offered by the Faculty of Science in the subject areas of:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Energy and Environment Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Particular sets of science courses are designated as minor programs. Please consult Astronomy minorChemistry minorComputational Science minorData Science minorMathematics minor or Physics minor for more information.

Liberal Studies and non-science courses – 12 credit hours

These courses must be in subjects not taught within the Faculty of Science.

General electives – 12 credit hours

These courses may be in science or in non-science subjects.


The program must include 36 credit hours in science courses at the third- and fourth-year level; of these, at least 12 credit hours must be at the fourth-year level. No more than 42 credit hours may be taken at the first-year level.

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