The Biology curriculum is taken within the three year, 90-credit BSc or BASC; it follows a two-year CEGEP program or McGill’s Freshman Program, or equivalent. Minimum entrance requirements include two courses in Biology, two in Chemistry, two in Math and one or two in Physics, depending on program and courses chosen.
The Department offers the following Programs of Study:
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.):
1) Liberal Program in Biology
2) Major Program in Biology (Includes Option in Quantitative Biology)
3) Joint Major in Biology and Mathematics
4) Joint Major in Computer Science and Biology
5) Honours Program in Biology
6) Minor Program in Biology
Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASC):
1) Major Concentration in Biology
2) Minor Concentration in Biology
Liberal Program in Biology
The Liberal Program in Biology is less specialized than the Major Program.
It comprises a core Science component in Biology, and a breadth component (generally, but not always, a minor) in another area of study.
Major Program in Biology
Students following the Major Program in Biology receive a general education in all aspects of Biology in the first year. In the final two years, students may follow a more specialized concentration, or may continue to take courses from diverse areas of Biology. A Major Program in Biology can also be combined with a Minor Program in another department in Science, Arts, Management or other programs.
Biology Major: Quantitative Biology Option
Interdisciplinary research that draws from the natural and physical sciences is an important aspect of modern biology. The Quantitative Biology option is designed for students with a deep interest in biology who wish to gain a strong grounding in physical sciences and their application to biological questions. The program has two streams; an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology stream and a Physical Biology stream. Both streams provide a balance of theory and experimental components.
Joint Major in Biology and Mathematics
This program is built on a selection of mathematics and biology courses that recognizes mathematical biology as a field of research, with three streams within biology: Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology, Molecular Evolution, and Neuroscience.
Joint Major in Computer Science and Biology
This program trains students in the fundamentals of Biology – with a focus on Molecular Biology – and will give them the computational and mathematical skills needed to handle and analyze large biological data sets.
Honours Program in Biology
The Honours Program in Biology is designed to provide students with an enriched training in Biology and more extensive research experience in a chosen area. A student may apply to enter the Honours program from the Biology Major at the end of the U2 year.
Minor Program in Biology
This 24 credit sequence of Biology courses may be selected by science students taking their primary programs in other departments.
Major Concentration in Biology for the B.A. & Sc. Degree
This Major Concentration in Biology which is restricted to students in the B.A. & Sc., is a planned sequence of courses designed to permit a degree of specialization in either cell/molecular or organismal biology.
Minor Concentration in Biology for the B.A. & Sc. Degree
This Minor Concentration in Biology, which is restricted to students in the B.A. & Sc., is a sequence of courses designed to yield a broad introduction to either cell/molecular or organismal biology.
McGill is a research oriented university and the Department of Biology offers students a variety of opportunities to engage in exciting research projects. These may be grouped under two headings: the Honours Research Program and Independent Research Projects.
Biology is the study of life. Its scope ranges from the molecular to the ecosystem. It deals with fundamental questions such as the origin and evolution of plants and animals, interactions between living organisms and their environment, mechanisms of embryonic development, structure and function of the living cell and its organelles, molecular basis of inheritance, biochemical and genetic basis of human diseases, and the operation of the brain and the nervous system. The study of Biology has vast practical applications in agriculture, medicine, biotechnology, genetic engineering, environmental protection and conservation.