Biological Science degrees

As the most diverse department in the Faculty of Science, the Department of Biological Sciences offers degree programs in nine different focus areas, along with a large breadth of courses and research opportunities.

Program Description

Note: *Biology 30 and Chemistry 30 or equivalent are required to be successful in each of the following programs. See the course pre-requisite chart for more.

Undergraduate areas of study:

Program Availability:

Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences is available as a major or minor in the BSc General degree, and allows you the flexibility to take a variety of courses from the department of Biological Sciences, including: biochemistry, botany, biology, bioinformatics, cell biology, entomology, genetics, immunology, marine science, microbiology, neuroscience, paleontology, pharmacology, physiology and zoology.


Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
This program introduces students to the study of the interactions of organisms with their environment, diversity of organisms both extant and extinct, adaptations, and mechanisms behind evolutionary change. Course offerings provide students with a foundation in plant, animal and microbial ecology and evolution, studying at the level of individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems, and at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.


Immunology and Infection
Immunology is the study of the physiological system that prevents or limits attack by infectious organisms. This is a broadly based program that considers the full range of host responses to pathogens that occur in living organisms. The diversity of infectious agents and their adaptations in response to host immune systems will be central to the program.

The program has three over-lapping themes:

  1. Function of the innate and adaptive immune system in a diversity of organisms,
  2. The biology of prokaryotic, eukaryotic and viral pathogens and
  3. The biology of host-pathogen interactions.

Techniques and skills used in studying immunology and infection are microscopy, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, genomics and proteomics.

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Students in this program study molecular structures and processes of cellular life and their roles in the function, reproduction, and development of living organisms. Courses cover a broad range of topics including molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, cell biology, developmental biology, microbiology, and molecular plant genetics.

It has equivalent undergraduate training in genetics, microbiology and plant molecular genetics the first two years of the program, after that students can chose emphasis and focus in final years of program. Techniques and skills used in molecular biology and genetics include mutagenesis, recombinant technologies, transgenes, culturing microbes, biochemistry, cytogenetics, bioinformatics, microscopy, chemical and enzyme analysis, and whole genome sequence analysis.

Integrative Physiology

This program covers the processes that occur within all living organisms including the regulation of functions at the subcellular, cell, tissue, organ and whole organism levels, as well as their interactions and integration. Courses also address how internal and external factors affect physiology across different taxonomic groups.

Students have the opportunity to study a diverse range of topics such as endocrinology, neurophysiology, developmental biology, immunology, cell signaling, toxicology, and environmental physiology in a wide variety of organisms. Techniques and skills used include microscopy, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell/tissue culture, electrophysiology, flow cytometry, and spectrometry.