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.
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.
This section specifies the Biology Honours discipline requirements only. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science section for information on additional requirements.
Introductory Biology I
Introductory Biology II
Cell Signaling/Gene Regulation
Principles of Chemistry I (discontinued)
or CHEM 113
Principles of Chemistry I
Principles of Chemistry II (discontinued)
or CHEM 114
Principles of Chemistry II
Heat, Waves, and Optics
or the combination of:
and PHYS 112
Electricity and Magnetism
or MATH 118
Calculus II for Life Sciences
Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling
or Any 200-, 300-, or 400-level biological statistics course
Organic Chemistry I
An additional CHEM course numbered 200 or above
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
BIO 320/ BIOC 320
Plus: (see Note 1)
Topical Biology Seminar
Honours Research Thesis
24 credits of BIO courses numbered 300 and above (see Note 2)
14 credits of upper-level university courses in any discipline, three credits of which must be non-BIO
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.
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.
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.