Department: Biology Faculty: Science Campus: St. John's
Honours available: Yes Co-op available: Yes Length: Four years
University Calendar: Biology
Prospective students: Fill out our student inquiry form to receive updates from Memorial. 

Biology is the study of life and of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution. Of all the sciences, biology is perhaps the most closely related to everyday life. We are exposed daily to news and documentary reports on biological topics such as genetic engineering, environmental conservation, pollution, disease and immunology, social and behavioural interactions and population growth.

Biology at Memorial

Our programs offer tremendous field and laboratory research opportunities for undergraduate students. We offer various field courses in biology at the Bonne Bay Marine Station, located near Gros Morne National Park, as well as in Terra Nova National Park in eastern Newfoundland and at Memorial’s Harlow Campus in England.

In the biology program you have opportunities to become involved in laboratory research, such as through the Memorial Undergraduate Career Experience Program (MUCEP) and the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) program.

Students pursuing a B.Sc. with a major in biology have the option to declare a concentration in one of the following areas:

  • applied ecology and conservation
  • aquatic life
  • biological tools and techniques
  • biology for health professions
  • comparative biology
  • evolutionary ecology
  • molecular, microbial and cell biology

In addition to the major, minor and honours options in biology, joint programs are offered in:

  • biology/behavioural neuroscience (B.Sc. honours)
  • biochemistry/cell biology (B.Sc. honours)
  • biology/Earth sciences (B.Sc. honours)
  • biology/psychology (B.Sc. honours)
  • biology/statistics (B.Sc. honours)

The Department of Biology offers a co-operative education option available to biology majors. Admission to the co-op option is competitive for a limited number of places.

Admission requirements

New Memorial students

Intake: Fall, winter or spring semesters
Application deadline: Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by: March 1 for fall admission, Oct. 1 for winter admission and Feb. 1 for spring admission

You may apply for admission into the Faculty of Science by indicating bachelor of science as your program choice on the undergraduate application for admission.

Direct entry into the Faculty of Science from high school is subject to meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University, including appropriate courses in mathematics and a laboratory science.

Sample first year

Admission into the biology major requires the completion of university level courses. Wondering what courses you should take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses you need to complete before applying for the biology major.

Admission to the major for current students

Intake: Fall, winter or spring semesters
Application deadline: Dates vary depending on semester of application. Details available below.

Entry into the biology major is based on academic standing. In order to apply for the biology major, you must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours (10 courses), including the following:

  • Biology 1001 and 1002
  • Mathematics 1090 and 1006 (or 1000) or Mathematics 1006 (or 1000) and an elective
  • six credit hours in critical reading and writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English
  • Chemistry 1050 and 1051 or Physics 1020 (or 1050) and 1021 (or 1051)

You must complete Biology 1001 and 1002 with an average of at least 65% and have a minimum overall average of 60% in the courses mentioned above.

Students intending to major in biology must submit a departmental application form to the Department of Biology. Forms are usually submitted during the second semester. You will not be admitted to a biology major program until you have met the entrance requirements listed above. Further admission details, including application submission dates, are available from the Department of Biology.

Sample courses beyond first year

BIOL 2250 - Principles of Genetics
BIOL 2900 - Principles of Evolution and Systematics
BIOL 4404 - Microbial Physiology

Career opportunities

A bachelor of science degree, with a major in biology, prepares students for a variety of careers including:

  • fisheries officer
  • wildlife officer
  • marine or aquaculture biologist
  • bio or medical technologist
  • horticulturist
  • science teacher
  • veterinarian

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.