Human Biosciences

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

How do food, drugs and the environment impact your health? That is the central question of the Human Biosciences program. 

Introductory courses provide the necessary background in an interdisciplinary manner with each course blending concepts from biochemistry, nutrition, pharmacology, and toxicology.

Students may tailor their program to their own interests through diverse electives leading to one of the pre-defined sub-specialties:

  • biochemistry,
  • gene regulation,
  • health and disease,
  • nutrition,
  • or a student-defined general Human Biosciences degree.

Honours degree options involve completion of a research project that may focus on either laboratory-based research, a literature-based systematic/scoping review, education/outreach, or entrepreneurship/business projects, depending on student interests and career goals.

Human Biosciences at Memorial

Many of our undergraduates conduct research through the Memorial University Career Experience Program (MUCEP), ISWEP, Student Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) and other summer research programs. Ongoing research activities include studying the progression of cancer, the development of the immune system, describing protein structures that may lead to drug development, the role of small RNA in the control of gene expression, and how proteins that detect chemical signals in the body are involved in health and disease.

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

  • Cell Biology and Human Biosciences (B.Sc. honours)
  • Chemistry and Human Biosciences (B.Sc. honours)
  • Human Biosciences and Physics (B.Sc. honours)
  • Human Biosciences and Behavioural Neuroscience (B.Sc. honours)

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 should 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 Human Biosciences 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 major.

Admission to the major for current Memorial students

Intake: Fall, winter or spring semesters
Application deadline: May 31 (recommended) via departmental application (details below)

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

  • six credit hours in critical reading and writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English
  • Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or 1200 and 1001)
  • Mathematics 1000 or 1006
  • Biology 1001
  • Biology 1002 or Human Biosciences 1001 (or Biochemistry 1600)

You must successfully complete the 8 courses mentioned above with a minimum overall average of 60% and be eligible for entry to Chemistry 2400.

Upon completion of these courses, you must apply to the major. You are strongly recommended to apply by May 31 of their first year. Failure to apply by this date may result in your application not being processed before your registration time.

Sample courses beyond first year

HUBI 2003 - Basics of Human Metabolism
HUBI 3005 - Environment-Health Interactions
HUBI 4231 - Molecular Biology of the Bacterial-Human Interface

Career opportunities

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

  • researcher (academia/industry)
  • technical sales representative/marketing consultant
  • scientific/technical writer or editor
  • forensic scientist
  • clinical biochemist
  • professor/lecturer/teacher
  • medical doctor/dentist/veterinarian
  • patent lawyer
  • environmental consultant
  • biomedical engineer
  • physiotherapist/occupational therapist
  • genetic counsellor

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.