Academic Calendar Fall 2020


Biology Honours

This program will allow students to further their Biology degree through additional course requirements with greater course expectations and a higher degree of research in the form of a project. The in-depth research project will prepare students for admission to graduate schools and/or professional work.

Students may apply for entry into the program after completing the first and second year Biology major program requirements but before they are awarded a BSc degree in Biology. However, interested students are encouraged to seek out information and advice on the honours program from Biology faculty or an Advisor as early as possible in their coursework, and to apply to the honours program at the earliest possible entry date.

Entrance requirements

60 credits of coursework, including all lower-level Biology major program requirements, with a minimum GPA of 3.33.

How to apply

Once students have the entrance requirements, they are eligible to apply for entry into the Biology Honours program. Students will be required to identify a faculty advisor who is willing to supervise the research project. Students can also be admitted if they identify a research supervisor from outside the department who would need to be approved by the department. In this case, a faculty advisor would be assigned to monitor the progress of students in the program.

Students are encouraged to approach a departmental faculty member appropriate to their research interests by the end of the second year of their Biology program. Students must complete the Biology Honours Application form, available from the department assistant.

Program outline

This section specifies the Biology Honours discipline requirements only. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science section for information on additional requirements.

Lower-level requirements

Course Title Credits
BIO 111 Introductory Biology I 5
BIO 112 Introductory Biology II 5
BIO 201 Cell Biochemistry/Metabolism 4
BIO 202 Cell Signaling/Gene Regulation 4
BIO 210 Introductory Ecology 4
BIO 220 Genetics 4
CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I (discontinued) 4–5
or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry I  
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II (discontinued) 4–5
or CHEM 114 Principles of Chemistry II  
PHYS 105 Heat, Waves, and Optics 5–10
or the combination of:  
PHYS 111 Mechanics
and PHYS 112 Electricity and Magnetism  
MATH 111 Calculus I 4
MATH 112 Calculus II 4
or MATH 118 Calculus II for Life Sciences  
STAT 271 Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling 3–4
or Any 200-, 300-, or 400-level biological statistics course  
CHEM 213 Organic Chemistry I 4
Plus: An additional CHEM course numbered 200 or above 3–4
One of: 4
STAT 104 Introductory Statistics  
STAT 106 Statistics I  
MATH 270/ STAT 270 Introduction to Probability and Statistics  

Upper-level requirements

Course Title Credits
Two of: 6
BIO 310 Conservation Biology
BIO 312 Developmental Biology
BIO 320/ BIOC 320 Biochemistry
BIO 416 Evolution
Plus: (see Note 1)
BIO 499 Honours Research Thesis 9
Plus: 24 credits of BIO courses numbered 300 and above (see Note 2) 24
Plus: 14 credits of upper-level university courses in any discipline, three credits of which must be non-BIO 14

Note 1: Students who completed MATH 302 prior to September 2012 can use this course toward upper-level requirements.

Note 2: Included in these 24 upper-level credits must be at least eight credits chosen from four-credit BIO courses with labs.

Upper-level courses at other institutions may be counted as upper-level Biology transfer credit. See Courses at other institutions for details.

Research project

Prior to enrolling in BIO 499, each honours candidate will need to meet with their honours supervisor to assess their progress in the honours program. At this time, the candidate should submit an updated transcript to their supervisor for review.

Successful completion of a research project is required prior to graduation. This project is developed in consultation with a faculty (or research and honours) supervisor and demonstrates students' skill and knowledge in the area of biological research being pursued. Each honours student will then be required to present the findings of their research at a professional or university conference, or at some other venue approved by the HAC.

Following project completion and presentation, the honours supervisor will recommend a letter grade. The HAC will choose whether or not to accept this grade based on further review of the student’s work in BIO 499.

Graduation requirements

A minimum final CGPA of 3.33, and a grade of B+ or better in BIO 499, must be attained in order for an honours designation to be awarded.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students