Academic Calendar 2022/23


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. A minimum of 120 credits are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Science.

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 113 Principles of Chemistry I 5
CHEM 114 Principles of Chemistry II 5
CHEM 213 Organic Chemistry I 4
Plus: One additional CHEM course numbered 200 or higher 3–4
MATH 111 Calculus I 4
MATH 112 Calculus II 4
or MATH 118 Calculus II for Life Sciences  
PHYS 105 Heat, Waves, and Optics 5–10
or the combination of:  
PHYS 111 Mechanics
and PHYS 112 Electricity and Magnetism  
STAT 106 Statistics I 4
or MATH 270/ STAT 270 Introduction to Probability and Statistics  
One of: 3
STAT 271 Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling  
STAT 272 Statistical Graphics and Languages  
STAT 307 Data Visualization  
STAT 315 Applied Regression Analysis  
STAT 330 Design of Experiments  
STAT 350 Survey Design and Sampling  

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
BIO 499 Honours Research Thesis 9
Plus: 24 credits of BIO courses numbered 300 and above (see Note) 24
Plus: Five credits of upper-level university courses in any discipline, three credits of which must be non-BIO 5

Note: Included in these 24 upper-level BIO credits must be at least eight credits chosen from four-credit BIO courses with labs. Directed studies courses may not be used toward this requirement. A maximum of eight field school credits of BIO 442 may be used as part of this requirement.

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

Research project

Successful completion of a research project (BIO 499) is required prior to graduation. This project is developed in consultation with a faculty supervisor and demonstrates students' skill and knowledge in the area of biological research being pursued.

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