Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2019


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 3.33 cumulative GPA.

How to apply

Once a student has 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 the student 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 requirements

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 Introductory Genetics 4
CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I (previously offered)
or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry I 4-5
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II (previously offered)
or CHEM 114 Principles of Chemistry II 4-5
PHYS 105 Non-Calculus Physics
or PHYS 111 Mechanics
and PHYS 112 Electricity and Magnetism 4-10
MATH 111 Calculus I 4
MATH 112 Calculus II
or MATH 118 Calculus II for Life Sciences 4
STAT 271 Introduction to Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling
or Any 200-, 300-, or 400-level biological statistics course 3-4
CHEM 213 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM CHEM course numbered 200 or above 3-4
Plus one course selected from the following:
STAT 104 Introductory Statistics 4
STAT 106 Statistics I 4
MATH 270/
STAT 270
Introduction to Probability and Statistics 4

Upper-level requirements

Course Title Credits
Two of the following: 6
BIO 310 Conservation Biology
BIO 312 Developmental Biology
BIO 320 Biochemistry
BIO 416 Evolution
Plus: (see Note)
BIO 497 Biology Seminar 1
BIO 499 Directed Studies in Honours Biology 9
24 credits of BIO courses numbered 300 and above. (Included in these 24 upper-level credits must be at least eight credits chosen from four-credit BIO courses with labs.) 24
Electives Upper-level university courses in any discipline, 3 credits of which must be non-Biology. 14

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

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

Honours 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, which will be developed in consultation with a faculty (or research and honours) supervisor, will demonstrate a student’s skill and knowledge in the area of biological research being pursued. Each honours applicant 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

The student’s final CGPA must be at least 3.33, and a grade of B+ or better must be achieved in BIO 499, in order for an honours designation to be awarded.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students