The following undergraduate programs are available in the Department:
Details of joint programs are given after the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science.
Biology course descriptions are found at the end of the Faculty of Science section under Course Descriptions, Biology.
Entry to the Biology Majors Program is competitive and based on academic standing.
To be considered for admission to the program students must have completed Biology 1001/1002 with an average of at least 65%. In addition, applicants will normally have completed the following courses (or their equivalents) and must have a minimum overall average of 60% in these courses.
If Mathematics 1000 taken, any one other first year course.
Chemistry 1010/1011 (or 1050/1051) should be taken in the first year, as it is a prerequisite for other required courses in the Biology program, and delaying chemistry until second year may make it difficult to complete the program in the normal eight semesters.
A minor in Biology will consist of 24 credit hours in Biology courses: 1001 and 1002 (or equivalent) plus any 18 credit hours chosen from the list of Biology courses except Biology 2040, 2041, 2120, and 3053. The choice of courses must be made in consultation with the Head of Biology or delegate and it is recommended (but not required) that students take at least two Biology courses at the 3000 level or above
Each Biology Major is assigned a faculty advisor who should be consulted on academic problems, including course selection. All students majoring in Biology are required to complete a minimum of 45 credit hours in courses from the Biology Department offering. Those 45 credit hours must include Biology 1001/1002 or their equivalents, the 15 credit hours in core courses listed below, and 24 credit hours in biology elective at the 2000, 3000 or 4000 level except Biology 2040, 2041, 2120, and 3053.
All majors must also successfully complete the following courses or their equivalents:
Extra Science courses as necessary to fulfil the requirement for 78 credit hours in Science as stipulated in Clause 3. a. of the Regulations for the General Degree of Bachelor of Science.
It is recommended, but not required, that a Computer Science course be included and the Biology Department strongly recommends Computer Science 2650.
The attention of students wishing to take Honours is called to those sections of the Calendar dealing with Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours).
Sixty-nine credit hours in courses, including the 6 first year credit hours and the 15 required core credit hours outlined in the regulations for the General Degree, and the Honours Dissertation (Biology 499A/499B), shall be taken from the Department of Biology offering. Students may elect to complete an Honours Program in Biology or in one of the joint Honours Programs listed under the heading "Programs in Biology". Programs of students taking Honours shall be drawn up in consultation with the student's supervisor, and must be approved by the Head of the Department (or his/her delegate) in accordance with Regulation 1. b. of the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science.
Some Graduate Courses may be taken in the final year of the Honours Program with the permission of the Head of the Department and the course instructor.
A dissertation (6 credit hours) is to be presented on some original piece of work undertaken by the candidate, under the guidance of a faculty member of the department, as appointed by the Head of Department. For students electing to take one of the Joint Honours Programs, the dissertation shall be on a topic representative of the selected program. The Department of Biology considers the dissertation to be an important part of the Honours Program.
The dissertation will be based on a 6 credit hours course (Biology 499A/499B). It will involve directed reading relevant to the dissertation topic, preparation of a dissertation outline, supervised research, data synthesis and interpretation, and preparation and defence of the dissertation.
Two typed copies of the dissertation, complete with figures and tables, are to be submitted not less than two weeks before the end of lectures in the semester in which the candidate is registered for Biology 499B. These copies must be submitted to the Head of Department, and must have met the prior approval of the candidate's Honours supervisor.
Before the last day for examinations in the semester, the candidate will be examined orally on the contents of the dissertation. The examining committee shall consist of the Head of the Department, or delegate, the candidate's supervisor, and an examiner appointed by the Head of the Department in consultation with the candidate's supervisor.
Students seeking the Honours Degree in Biology must satisfactorily complete Biology 1001/1002 (or equivalent) and the 15 credit hours of core Biology courses. The remaining 48 credit hours in Biology courses, which must include the dissertation (499A/499B), may be taken as electives from the Biology offering (except Biology 2040, 2041, 2120, and 3053), on the advice of the supervisor. Additional courses from other departments required for the Honours Degree in Biology include those given for the Major in Biology Program as outlined above.
An Honours degree in Biology may comprise a broadly based selection of courses according to the students interests, or it may be more narrowly focussed. An Honours student may focus on any area of Biology where an appropriate supervisor can be found. All Honours students should choose courses in consultation with their supervisors, but it is particularly important that students wishing to focus within the Honours degree should discuss course selection with an Honours supervisor within their area of interest.
As a guide to course selection a number of foci are set out below with some appropriate courses. Note that students are not limited to these areas but may focus their programs wherever they wish provided that (I) an appropriate supervisor is available, (ii) consultation with that supervisor takes place, and (iii) the resources of the Department, as determined by the Head of Department, are appropriate and adequate. Area of focus will not be indicated on the students' transcript.
Students wishing to focus on marine biology in their Biology Honours program must fulfil all the requirements for an Honours degree in Biology as set out above. The following courses are recommended for this area of interest: Biology 2010, 2122, 2210, 3050, 3295, 3620, 3709, 3710, 3711, 3712, 4012, 4360, 4505, 4510, 4600, 4601, 4605, 4701, 4750, 4810. (Note: this list is only advisory; these are not required courses).
Students wishing to focus on cell biology/molecular biology in their Biology Honours program must fulfil all the requirements for an Honours degree in Biology as set out above. The following courses are recommended for this area of interest: Biology 3050, either 3401 or 3402, 3500, 3530, 3540, 3620, 4000, 4040, 4241, 4245, 4402, 4404, 4605. (Note: this list is only advisory; these are not required courses).
Students wishing to focus on ecology and/or evolution in their Biology Honours program must fulfil all the requirements for an Honours degree in Biology as set out above. The following courses are recommended for this area of interest: Biology 3041, 3050, 3295, 3610, 3620, 3709, 3710, 3711, 3712, 3714, 4040, 4150, 4306, 4360, the former 4504, 4605; either 4810 or 4820. (Note: this list is only advisory; these are not required courses).