Jun 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Biological Science – Life Sciences specialization

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General information

The Life Sciences specialization within the Biological Science program  is well-suited for students interested in medical school and related medical and health science careers. The emphasis is on human aspects of biology, providing an integrated grounding in the life sciences with a particular focus on biology and chemistry and additional course work in neuroscience and human anatomy. Students in this program have priority access to all required courses for professional programs such as medicine, dentistry or pharmacy. Some professional programs will have prerequisite courses required for admission. Students wishing to customize their degree should contact student advising early in their degree.

By means of its broad science foundation and its human biology focus, this program provides an excellent basis for writing the MCAT examinations and for satisfying course requirements for applying to medical school.

In addition to the regular program, a co-op program is also available. Students in Life Sciences interested in the co-op program , should contact the Faculty of Science Co-op Coordinator as early as the fall of their second year.

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

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

Year 1

Semester 2 (15 credit hours)

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Semester 1 (15 credit hours)

Semester 2 (15 credit hours)


No more than 42 credit hours maybe taken at the first-year level.

*Electives and breadth requirements

All students must complete 39 elective credit hours. Students not accepted to take BIOL 4410U  and BIOL 4420U  must take an additional two senior biology electives for a total of 45 elective credit hours. A senior biology elective is defined as any 4000-level biology course not specified in the course map. At least 15 elective credit hours must be in courses offered by the Faculty of Science including at least 3 credit hours at the senior biology level; the additional two senior biology electives required for students who are not enrolled in thesis cannot be used to meet this requirement. In order to satisfy breadth requirements, no more than 12 elective credit hours may be in biology (BIOL) courses; at least 12 elective credit hours must be in courses outside the Faculty of Science. Students must take the remaining 12 elective credit hours in a general elective (offered by the Faculty of Science or outside the Faculty of Science).

**Thesis Project or Senior Biology electives

Students in clear academic standing who have completed 90 credit hours of their BIOL program and six third-year required courses may optionally apply to take a two-course sequence consisting of BIOL 4410U – Biology Thesis Project I and BIOL 4420U – Biology Thesis Project II. Students not accepted to take the thesis courses must complete two additional senior biology electives instead. A senior biology elective is defined as any 4000-level biology course not specified in the course map. A student meeting the above requirements who does not take BIOL 4410U and BIOL 4420U may optionally apply to take BIOL 4430U – Directed Studies in Biology as one of the required senior biology electives. Opportunities for the Thesis Project and Directed Studies options are limited; for either of these options, students must apply through Science Advising by March 30 following completion of the first three years of the program.

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