Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Location: Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
9th Floor
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-6436
Fax: (902) 494-1355


Biochemistry is the study of biological function at the molecular level. Although biochemical processes follow the basic laws of physics and chemistry, living organisms, because of their complexity, operate on a set of distinct principles that are not found in simple isolated chemical systems. The goal of biochemistry is to elucidate these principles. The department offers an integrated series of courses that will provide students with an up-to-date view of modern biochemistry and molecular biology ranging from evolution of genomes to structure-function relationships in macromolecules to the dynamic aspects of metabolism. The core programs can be adapted to emphasize different biochemical specialties such as structural biology, metabolism, molecular biology and cell signaling. Students wishing to pursue advanced studies in related sciences can include courses in Physiology, Pharmacology and/or Pathology in their programs. Greater flexibility is available in combined degree programs of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with another subject; most often with Chemistry, Microbiology, Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology or Environment, Sustainability and Society. Specific programs developed with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology provide coordinated studies of metabolism, enzymology and molecular biology with bacteriology, virology and immunology. These programs provide the foundation for molecular genetics, genetic engineering, biotechnology, biomedical research and medicine.

Laboratory Exercises: Some of the courses offered by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology include a laboratory component. The laboratory exercises provide an opportunity to develop laboratory skills, as well as to illustrate the theoretical principles taught in course. This process culminates in fourth year, with a supervised research project required for Honours Biochemistry and Molecular Biology students. Although no exercise involves live animals, experiments may use materials derived from animal sources, as well as from plants and micro-organisms. Laboratory experiments will often be performed in groups, but writing of reports is expected to be an individual effort, meeting the guidelines on plagiarism set out in the University Regulations in the Calendar and the Department Policy on Plagiarism.

Degree Programs

The Department offers the following degree programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • BSc (120 credit hour) Honours (Concentrated)*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Combined Honours*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Major*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Double Major*
  • BSc (90 credit hour) Minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

* BSc Co-op option available (see below)
* May be combined with Minors from other disciplines

Departmental Requirements for each degree program can be seen by following the links in the menu to the right and in the Undergraduate Handbook, available on the departmental website  In addition to departmental requirements, students must satisfy the requirements outlined in the Academic Regulations and the College of Arts and Science Degree Requirements sections.

A student is governed by the academic regulations in place at the time of initial enrolment, as long as the degree is completed within the time permitted (10 years). Subsequent changes in regulations shall apply only if the student so elects. Students applying the old academic regulations should consult the calendar of the appropriate year.

Students should plan their programs of study carefully. It is recommended that students considering an Honours or Major program consult with a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Academic Advisor prior to registering for second year classes.

Students who participated in the Integrated Science Program in their first year should consult the Undergraduate Calendar for first year course equivalencies. The following options fulfill the first year requirements for any Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program:

  • SCIE 1515.36
  • SCIE 1520.30
  • SCIE 1540.27
  • SCIE 1505.18