Location: Life Sciences Centre
1355 Oxford Street
2nd Floor
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3515
Fax: (902) 494-3736

Welcome to the Department of Biology. It has been said that the 21st century will be the century of Biology. We are inclined to agree. Biologists study the entire hierarchy of living systems from molecules, cells, organelles and organs to individuals, populations, and ecosystems. Increasingly, the focus of biological inquiry has shifted from reducing living systems into their parts to investigating how these parts interact in complex systems from which novel and unique properties emerge.

The Department of Biology offers both undergraduate and graduate students a wide range of learning experiences and training in the biological sciences. The undergraduate core introduces the student to the whole biological hierarchy and provides an excellent introduction to the biodiversity of species and their habitats. There are multiple avenues for more tailored learning as well, including independent research opportunities, special topics courses, experiential learning, specialty certificates, and honours research. State of the art laboratories provide experience in current technology and experimental design. Our Seaside Program includes a large number of summer field courses covering freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. We excel in Marine Biology as proximity to the Atlantic Ocean gives us the capacity to provide hands-on marine training. In 2014, the Department of Biology began participating in a unique Medical Sciences program that was developed collaboratively by the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine.

There has never been a more exciting time to be a Biologist, nor has the need to understand the intricacies of nature been more urgent. Our comprehensive programs prepare students for a wide range of career options, including research and education, field and laboratory positions, environmental management and conservation, medical sciences and biotechnology, bioengineering, industry, and business. Not every student will use this degree to be a biologist but each one will have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to one of the most worthwhile endeavors in humanity’s near future: understanding nature and how humanity can live better without endangering the multitude of living systems around us, and in turn, ourselves.

Degree Programs

The Department of Biology offers the following degree programs in Biology

  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Honours (Concentrated)*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Combined Honours*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Major*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Double Major*
  • BSc or BA (90 credit hour) Minor in Biology
  • Minor in Biology

* BSc Co-op option available
* May be combined with Minor programs from other disciplines

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. Students are advised that a number of requirements differ for the BA and BSc degrees.

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. Student applying the old academic regulations should consult the calendar of the appropriate year.

Students should plan their programs of study carefully and are strongly encouraged to do so in consultation with a Biology undergraduate academic advisor.

Prospective Biology students should be aware that to advance to second year Biology courses, they must achieve at least a C grade in the prerequisite first year Biology courses. Students with exceptional extenuating circumstances may appeal this requirement to the Biology Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Students should go to the Biology Main Office for further details.