Biology Honours Programs
Counsellor: Dr. Jim Quinn
Our most popular program because it offers students the most flexibility in course selection, the Honours Biology (Core) is built upon a set of fundamental courses that are shared with other Biology Honours specialisations. You will be able to choose biology courses following your own interests, or to develop an interdisciplinary approach to biology that makes it easy to obtain a minor in another subject, or prepare yourself for a professional program, such as midwifery or medicine. You can also select the level of exposure to the laboratory that you prefer. Students selecting this program should be aware that many 3rd and 4th year courses have specific course pre-requisite requirements.
Biology – Discovery Sub-Plan
Counsellor: Dr. Jim Quinn
The Honours Biology – Discovery Sub-Plan program allows students to choose Biology courses that reflect their own interests but includes more lab and research experience than the Honours Biology program. Biology – Discovery students obtain practical training in experimental design by choosing at least 9 units from the laboratory and field biology course list (see below) and are required to complete a 6 or 9 unit independent research project in faculty labs in level IV. Enrolment in this program is limited and possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
Biology - Physiology Specialization
Counsellor: Dr. Grant McClelland
Physiology is concerned with how organisms function and it includes the study of processes such as nutrition, growth, reproduction, respiration, osmoregulation and excretion. This area also examines how animals sense and respond to conditions such as low oxygen availability or to environmental challenges such as pollution or global warming. Physiology involves study at all levels from molecules through cells, tissues, organs and whole animals.
Molecular Biology & Genetics
Counsellor: Dr. Xu-Dong Zhu
Students gain an in depth view of biological processes emphasizing the application of molecular biology and genetics in the study of human, animal and plant diseases, developmental biology, microbiology, gene regulation, evolutionary processes, and the growing field of bioinformatics. Students will obtain practical training in molecular biology laboratory skills and communication preparing them for graduate school, careers in medicine, genetic counseling, the biotechnology sector, bioengineering, pharmacology, agriculture and conservation.
Molecular Biology & Genetics (Co-Op)
Counsellor: Dr. Xu-Dong Zhu
This program is aimed at students who want a challenging program that provides them with valuable experience obtained in an industrial research lab and in an academic research environment. For more information, please consult the Science Career & Co-Operative Education Office.
Counsellor: Dr. Roger Jacobs
Honours BSc Neuroscience is geared towards undergraduate students who are interested in a career in neuroscience research. The program is jointly administered by the Departments of Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB). Neuroscience is an inherently interdisciplinary field. Comprising all research related to neurons and nervous systems, neuroscience spans a vast array of topics, from the biophysical and electrochemical properties of nerve cells to the developmental biology of neural circuit formation to the information processing calculations carried out by the brain. To be able to comprehend past and current developments in neuroscience, and to contribute to future developments, students obtain a broad foundational skill set in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics, coupled with a strong introduction to the core areas of molecular, cellular, and systems neuroscience.
Interdisciplinary Honours Programs
Biology & Environmental Science
Counsellor: Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser
Honours Biology and Environmental Sciences is a flexible program that focuses on interdisciplinary studies among these two fields. Jointly offered by the Department of Biology and the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, this program enables students to select courses according to their interests; to develop broad knowledge, and understanding of the linkages between biological processes and environmental ones; and to apply these to questions of biological, biomedical, or environmental interests. This program prepares students for graduate studies, careers in industry or academic research laboratories.
Biology & Mathematics
Biomathematics, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics are disciplines that combine the use of Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics to study questions of importance in Biology. These areas are as diverse as Biology itself. Many applications are in genomics and other high-throughout, data generating areas. Results from these areas are used in proteomics, pharmaceutical industry, biodiversity, conservation genetics, etc.
Biology & Psychology
Counsellor: Dr. Graham Scott
Honours Biology and Psychology is designed for students with broad interests in the biological and neurosciences who want the freedom to choose the best courses from the Department of Biology and the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB). The program is uniquely interdisciplinary. Your studies can merge leading-edge knowledge from both fields, combining molecular biology, development, or ecology with the latest ideas in cognition, learning, or neurophysiology to gain a truly ‘big picture’ perspective of the living world. The fourth year research thesis can be taken under the supervision of either a Biology or PNB faculty member, so you will gain exciting hands-on experience in topics as diverse as clinical studies of child development, fieldwork in behavioural ecology, cellular neuroscience, or the molecular biology of social learning and memory. Because the program provides students with an elite double-major honours degree in Biology and PNB, it facilitates access to graduate schools in either discipline and to an array of clinical or professional programs (e.g., law, medicine, dental, clinical psychology), and it opens doors to careers in university or industrial research (e.g., pharmaceutics), genetic counselling, or education.
Find Career examples here.
Contact the Bio/Psych Society
Integrated Science (Biology Concentration)
Counsellor: Dr. Chad Harvey
The Honours Integrated Science program is an interdisciplinary, research-based science program targeting highly motivated, high-achieving students. The science curriculum will be taught in a fully integrated way, and will allow students to understand how knowledge has accumulated within and across scientific disciplines, and how new scientific thought is created. Beginning in Level I, students will engage in research and will have opportunities throughout each level of the program to work with faculty members on interdisciplinary research projects in laboratory and field settings. Research collaborations and internships with government, industrial and community partners will also be encouraged. The Integrated Science program will intentionally teach scientific ‘literacy’ in its broadest sense and students will learn and develop skills in the areas of scientific writing, research ethics, and critical thinking.