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Biology

The departments of Botany and Zoology jointly offer one undergraduate degree. For information on advanced programs in biology, see graduate Botany and Zoology. Students wishing to undertake a graduate program in biology should contact the life science departments most appropriate to the field of specialization.

There are several undergraduate degree options leading to a major or honours in biology or a combined major or combined honours in biology and chemistry, biology and oceanography, or biology and computer science. See the Biology Program Guide for details. It is also possible to add a minor in another subject.

Courses in marine sciences are offered at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) on Vancouver Island operated by the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society (WCUMSS). Students who have completed second year and have suitable course prerequisites may take combinations of 3-week or 6-week courses during Summer Session to a maximum of 18 credits each summer. BMSC also offers a 4-month immersion program from September to December (15 credits). Please visit the BMSC website for more information or consult the Biology office.

Biology Specialization Requirements

Students who are entering second year and wish to pursue a biology specialization must apply using the online process administered by the Faculty of Science. Students will receive an email communication regarding the process in late May or early June. Due to the similarity between the major and honours biology specializations in second year, the Faculty of Science only admits students directly to the Major, Combined Major, or the Combined Honours.

Students who are not eligible for entry into a biology specialization using the second-year online process can apply for entrance into third-year biology specializations during the months of May, August, and January. For further information on our specializations and admission process, please see the Biology website. Students transferring from other institutions into third-year biology and who have completed the prerequisite courses may submit late applications as needed. Students who have already been admitted into a second-year biology specialization do not need to reapply for admission in third year unless they are applying to enter an honours specialization.

Qualified students wishing to enter a biology honours specialization should contact the Biology Office. Students wishing to enter a biology honours specialization must have a 75% average in courses taken during the previous Winter Session and meet all other honours requirements. Students can apply for entrance to a biology honours specialization during the months of May, August, and January.

Progress of continuing biology students will be reviewed and considered for promotion at the end of each academic year.

Co-operative Education Program

This optional program integrates academic study and supervised work experience. Enrolment is limited. Admissibility to the third-year biology B.Sc. program is prerequisite for admission. Detailed information is available from the Biology Program Office, or the Co-operative Education Program.

First-Year Course Options

BIOL 112, 121 and 140 are prerequisites to many BIOL courses. All three of these courses are required for the major and honours specializations in biology, the combined major and the combined honours in chemical biology, the combined major and the combined honours in computer science and biology, and the combined honours in oceanography and biology. BIOL 112 and 121 are required for the combined major in oceanography and biology. Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112, 121 or 140. Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112.

Students interested in meeting the entrance requirements of the Faculties or Schools of Land and Food Systems, Dentistry, Forestry, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kinesiology, and Rehabilitation Sciences should consult the appropriate office to determine the first-year biology requirement.

Specializations

Major (3095): Biology (BIOL)

Students may enter the Biology Major beginning in their second year or third year.

First year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 1122 3
BIOL 1212 3
BIOL 1402 2
CHEM 121 (or 111)3 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
CPSC 1034 3
MATH 100 or 102 or 104 (or 120 or 180 or 184)5 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (or 121)5 3
PHYS 1016 3
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 230, 2607 9
BIOL 233 or 2347 3
Two of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 2018,9 8
CHEM 233, 235 4
Electives4,5,7,8,9,10 3
Total Credits 30
Third and Fourth Years
BIOL 30011 3
BIOL 336 3
Biology Laboratory Selections12 4
Life Science Selections12 20
Electives4,5,7,8,9,10 29
Total Credits 59
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112, 121 or 140. Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112.
3 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
4 May be deferred until second, third, or fourth year to allow space for electives. CPSC 100, CPSC 110, or CPSC 301 may substitute for CPSC 103. Students who substitute CPSC 103 with CPSC 110 should decrease the electives by one credit.
5 MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. Students may substitute 4-credit MATH courses (MATH 120, 121, 180, 184) as appropriate by decreasing the electives.
6 PHYS 107 or 117 may substitute for PHYS 101. Students who take PHYS 117 are encouraged to also take PHYS 119. Students without credit for Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses. PHYS 100 will count as an elective.
7 Up to 3 credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
8 Up to 4 credits of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 201 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives. BIOL 201 and CHEM 205 are recommended electives.
9 Students who take MICB 201 as one of the two organismal diversity courses (BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 201) should increase the electives by 1 credit.
10 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
11 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
12 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory and Life Science selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory selections will count toward the Life Science selections. At least 12 credits of Life Science selections must be taken from BIOL or MRNE courses. See the Biology Program Guide for advice about choosing appropriate Life Science and Laboratory selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

Students must take at least two of the following courses:

  • BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 342, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444.

Note:
BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Life Science Selection or 4 credits of Life Science Selection.
BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 1 credit of Life Science Selection or 3 credits of Life Science Selection.

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two groups: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • admission to the Biology Major does not guarantee admission to these courses;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, BIOL, MICB or MRNE that is open to Life Science majors plus:
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

Honours (3194): Biology (BIOL)

First Year and Second Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)1
Total Credits 61
Third Year
BIOL 3002 3
BIOL 3473 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOL 336 3
Two Biology Laboratory Selections6 4
Life Science Selections6 24
Electives1,4 25
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4495 6
Total Credits 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each Winter Session and meet the Faculty of Science Requirements for Honours.
2 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
3 Please see a biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit in your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Department of Botany or Zoology.
6 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory and Life Science Selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory Selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory Selections will count toward the Life Science Selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 342, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444
  • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a biology advisor.

Note:
BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Life Science Selection or 4 credits of Life Science Selection.
BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 1 credit of Life Science Selection or 3 credits of Life Science Selection.

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • At least 18 credits of Life Science Selections must be taken from BIOL or MRNE courses; at least 9 credits of which should be at the 400 level. Third-year courses should be chosen carefully to ensure that all prerequisites are taken.
  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open to Life Science Majors plus:
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

See the Biology Program Guide for advice about choosing appropriate Life Science and Laboratory Selections.

Honours (0054): Animal Biology (ANIM)

First Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 230, 2602 9
BIOL 233 or 2342 3
BIOL 204 and 2053 8
CHEM 233, 235 4
Electives2,3,4,5 3
Total Credits 30
Third Year
BIOL 3006 3
BIOL 361, 363, 364 6
BIOL 3477 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOL 336 3
Biology Laboratory Selection9 2
Animal Biology Selections9 12
Life Science Selections9 9
Electives3,4,5 24
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4498 6
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement
2 Up to three credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
3 One of BIOL 204 or 205 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives. BIOL 201 and CHEM 205 are recommended electives.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each winter session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
6 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
7 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
8 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Department of Zoology.
9 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory, Animal Biology and Life Science Selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory Selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory Selections will count toward the Life Science Selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • One of BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 404, 409, 437
  • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a Biology advisor.

Note:
BIOL 331 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Animal Biology Selection or 4 credits of Animal Biology Selection.

Animal Biology Selections

  • BIOL 310, 325, 326, 327, 328, 331, 410, 411, 413, 416, 418, 425, 426, 427, 428, 450, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 465
  • MRNE courses with permission of Biology advisor.

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement.

  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Animal Biology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

Honours (0405): Cell and Developmental Biology (CELL)

First Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 201, 230, 2602 12
BIOL 233 or 2342 3
One of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 2013 3
CHEM 233, 235, 205 7
Electives2,3,4,5 3
Total Credits 31
Third Year
One of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 2013 3
BIOL 3006 3
BIOL 340 and 341 4
BIOL 3477 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOC 303 6
BIOL 335 3
BIOL 336 3
Cell and Developmental Biology Selections8,10 12
Life Science Selections10 9
Electives2,3,4,5 15
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4499 6
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 70
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Up to three credits of BIOL 201, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
3 Students must take two organismal diversity courses (BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 201) prior to graduation; at least one of these courses must be taken in second year. Students may choose to take both courses in second year, by replacing the second year elective and increasing the available electives in third and fourth years. Students who take MICB 201 as one of the two organismal diversity courses (BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, or MICB 201) should increase the electives by 1 credit.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each Winter Session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
6 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
7 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
8 Honours Cell and Developmental Biology students are strongly recommended to take at least two of BIOL 331, BIOL 361, and BIOL 362 in their third year.
9 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Departments of Zoology or Botany.
10 See below for the list of accepted Cell and Developmental Biology and Life Science Selections. At least 6 credits of Cell and Developmental Biology Selections must be at the fourth year level.

Cell and Developmental Biology Selections

  • BIOL 331, 337, 351, 352, 361, 362, 423, 430, 431, 433, 436, 437, 440, 441, 444, 448, 450, 455, 456, 458, 463, 464

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these credits carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Cell and Developmental Biology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

Honours (0583): Conservation Biology (CONS)

First Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 230, 2602 9
BIOL 233 or 2342 3
One of BIOL 204, 2053 4
One of BIOL 209, 210, 320, 321, 322, 3243,4 3
CHEM 233, 235 4
Electives2,3,4,5,6 4
Third Year
BIOL 3007 3
BIOL 3478 3
Third or Fourth Years
Two Biology Laboratory Selections10 4
BIOL 306 3
BIOL 336 3
BIOL 416 3
Conservation Selections10 12
Life Science Selections10 9
Electives3,4,5 22
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4499 6
Total Credits in Third and Fourth Years 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Up to 3 credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
3 One of BIOL 204, 205, 209 or 210 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives.
4 Students who take 4 credits of organismal diversity courses (BIOL 209, 210, 320, 321, 322, 324) should take 3 credits of electives.
5 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
6 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits in each Winter Session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
7 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
8 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
9 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Departments of Botany or Zoology.
10 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory, Conservation Biology, and Life Science selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory selections will count toward the Life Science selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • BIOL 301, 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444;
  • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a Biology advisor.

Note:
BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Life Science Selection or 4 credits of Life Science Selection.
BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 1 credits of Life Science Selection or 3 credits of Life Science Selection.

Conservation Biology Selections

  • BIOL 301, 310, 402, 404, 408, 411, 415, 418, 434, 462
  • CONS 200, 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 386, 395, 432, 495
  • LAW 387, 388
  • MRNE 430, 435; Other MRNE with permission of a Biology specialization advisor.
  • EOSC 474

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Conservation Biology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus:
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

Honours (0045): Ecology (ECOL)

First Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 230, 2602 9
BIOL 233 or 2342 3
One of BIOL 204, 2053 4
One of BIOL 209, 2103 4
CHEM 233, 235 4
Electives2,3,4,5 3
Total Credits 30
Third Year
BIOL 3006 3
BIOL 3477 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOL 306 3
BIOL 336 3
BIOL 415 or 418 3
Two Biology Laboratory Selections9 4
Ecology Selections9 12
Life Science Selections9 9
Electives3,4 22
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4498 6
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Up to three credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
3 One of BIOL 204, 205, 209, or 210 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives. BIOL 201 and CHEM 205 are recommended electives.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each winter session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
6 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
7 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
8 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Departments of Botany or Zoology.
9 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory, Ecology and Life Science selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory selections will count toward the Life Science selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437
  • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a Biology advisor.

Note:
BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Life Science Selection or 4 credits of Life Science Selection.
BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 1 credit of Life Science Selection or 3 credits of Life Science Selection.

Ecology Selections

  • BIOL 310, 324, 402, 404, 406, 408, 409, 411, 412, 413, 416, 418, 434, 445, 462
  • FRST 432
  • MICB 301
  • MRNE 430; MRNE courses with permission of Biology advisor.

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Ecology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
  • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus:
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

Honours (0983): Evolutionary Biology (EVOL)

First and Second Years
Same as for Biology Major (3095)1
Total Credits for First and Second Years 61
Third Year
BIOL 3002 3
BIOL 3473 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOL 336 3
Two of BIOL 415, 417, 434 or two of BIOL 417, 418, 434 6
EOSC 326 3
Two Biology Laboratory Selections6 4
Evolutionary Biology Selections6 12
Life Science Selections6 9
Electives4 19
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4495 6
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each Winter Session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
2 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
3 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Departments of Botany or Zoology.
6 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory, Evolutionary Biology and Life Science selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory selections will count toward the Life Science selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • BIOL 301, 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444
  • MRNE courses with permission of Biology advisor.

Note:
BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 2 credits of Life Science Selection or 4 credits of Life Science Selection.
BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of Laboratory Selection and 1 credit of Life Science Selection or 3 credits of Life Science Selection.

Evolutionary Biology Selections

  • BIOL 310, 320, 321, 323, 324, 326, 327, 328, 332, 412, 413, 415, 417, 418, 427, 428, 430, 434, 465

Life Science Selections

The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

  • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
  • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

  • Any third or fourth year course in BIOL (including those listed as Evolutionary Biology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
  • Any third or fourth year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus:
    • ENVR 430
    • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
    • GEOB 307, 407
    • FNH 350, 351, 451
    • MATH 462
    • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
    • PCTH 305, 325

b) Life science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

  • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
  • CONS 330, 440, 486
  • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 495

Honours (0518): Marine Biology (MRNB)

First Year
Same as for Biology Major (3095)
Total Credits 31
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 230, 2602 9
BIOL 233 or 2342 3
BIOL 205, 2093 8
CHEM 233, 235 4
Electives2,3,4,5 3
Total Credits 30
Third Year
BIOL 3006 3
BIOL 3477 3
Third or Fourth Years
BIOL 320 3
BIOL 326 3
BIOL 336 3
Biology Laboratory Selection9 2
Marine Biology Selections9 12
Life Science Selections9 9
Electives3,4 24
Fourth Year
BIOL 447 3
BIOL 4498 6
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 71
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Up to three credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
3 One of BIOL 205 or 209 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives. BIOL 201 and CHEM 205 are recommended electives.
4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
5 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each Winter Session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
6 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
7 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
8 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Departments of Botany or Zoology.
9 See below for the list of accepted Biology Laboratory, Marine Biology and Life Science Selections. If the credit total of the courses selected for the Biology Laboratory Selections exceeds 4, then these excess credits of Biology Laboratory Selections will count toward the Life Science Selections.

Biology Laboratory Selections

  • BIOL 301, 331, 337, 340, 341, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444
  • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a Biology advisor.
  • Note:
    BIOL 351 counts as either 2 credits of laboratory selection and 2 credits of Life Science selection or 4 credits of Life Science selection.
    BIOL 352 counts as either 2 credits of laboratory selection and 1 credit of Life Science selection or 3 credits of Life Science selection.

    Marine Biology Selections

    • BIOL 325, 428, 465
    • CONS 486
    • EOSC 315, 372, 373, 470, 475
    • Any third- or fourth-year course in MRNE.

    Life Science Selections

    The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

    Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

    • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
    • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

    a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

    • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Marine Biology selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
    • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus:
      • ENVR 430
      • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
      • GEOB 307, 407
      • FNH 350, 351, 451
      • MATH 462
      • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
      • PCTH 305, 325

    b) Life science selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

    • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
    • CONS 330, 440, 486
    • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

    Honours (0372): Plant Biology (PTLB)

    First Year
    Same as for Biology Major (3095)
    Total Credits 31
    Second Year
    Communication Requirement1 3
    BIOL 200, 230, 2602 9
    BIOL 233 or 2342 3
    BIOL 209, 2103 8
    CHEM 233, 235 4
    Electives2,3,4,5 3
    Total Credits 30
    Third Year
    BIOL 3006 3
    BIOL 3477 3
    BIOL 351, 352 7
    Third or Fourth Years
    BIOL 324 3
    BIOL 336 3
    BIOL 415 3
    Plant Biology Selections9 12
    Life Science Selections9 9
    Electives3,4 19
    Fourth Year
    BIOL 447 3
    BIOL 4498 6
    Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 71
    Total Credits for Degree 132
    1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
    2 Up to three credits of BIOL 200, 230, 233, 234, and 260 may be deferred until third year to allow space for additional electives.
    3 One of BIOL 209 or 210 may be deferred to third year to allow space for additional electives.
    4 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
    a) Foundational Requirement;
    b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
    c) Science Breadth Requirement;
    d) Science and Arts Requirements;
    e) Upper-level Requirement;
    f) General Degree Requirements.
    5 Prospective honours students and students in honours must ensure that they take at least 30 credits each Winter Session and meet Faculty of Science requirements for Honours.
    6 STAT 200 can replace BIOL 300 with permission of a Biology specialization advisor. However, students who take STAT 200 must complete an additional 3 credits of BIOL numbered higher than 300.
    7 Please see a Biology advisor if BIOL 347 cannot fit your timetable or if you are a student entering honours in fourth year.
    8 Potential research project supervisors will be drawn from the Department of Botany.
    9 See below for the list of Plant Biology and Life Science Selections.

    Plant Biology Selections

    • BIOL 320, 321, 322, 323, 406, 412, 416, 418, 421, 423, 433, 444, 462
    • MRNE courses may be taken with permission of a Biology advisor.

    Life Science Selections

    The list of Life Science Selections below is divided into two sets: a) science courses that count towards the Science Requirement and b) non-science courses that do not count towards the Science Requirement. When choosing Life Science Selections, students should ensure that these courses, together with their other required courses and electives, will fulfill the Faculty of Science’s Upper-level Requirement, Science and Arts Requirements and General Degree Requirements.

    Note that careful prior planning is essential because:

    • enrolment in many Life Science Selections is limited;
    • some of these courses carry additional prerequisites.

    a) Life Science Selections that count towards the Science Requirement:

    • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOL (including those listed as Plant Biology Selections taken in excess of the required minimum 12 credits).
    • Any third- or fourth-year course in BIOC, CAPS, MICB, or MRNE that is open for credit to Life Science majors plus:
      • ENVR 430
      • EOSC 470, 471, 474, 475, 478
      • GEOB 307, 407
      • FNH 350, 351, 451
      • MATH 462
      • MEDG 410, 419, 420, 421
      • PCTH 305, 325

    Note that honours students are strongly recommended to take BIOL 347 in their third year.

    b) Life Science Selections that do not count towards the Science Requirement:

    • APBI 311, 312, 314, 315, 318, 342, 401, 411, 418, 419, 442, 444
    • CONS 330, 440, 486
    • FRST 302, 310, 385, 386, 395, 399, 444, 485, 495

    Combined Major Specializations

    Combined Major (3340): Chemical Biology

    See Chemistry.

    Combined Major (3125): Oceanography and Biology

    See Oceanography.

    Combined Major (1370): Computer Science and Biology

    First Year
    BIOL 112, 1211 6
    CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
    CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
    Communication requirement3 3
    CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107)4 4
    CPSC 1215 4
    MATH 100 or 102 or 104 (or 180 or 184 or 120)6 3
    MATH 101 or 103 or 105 (or 121)6 3
    Total Credits 31
    Second Year
    BIOL 1401 2
    BIOL 200 3
    BIOL 233 or 234 3
    CHEM 233, 235 4
    Communication requirement3 3
    CPSC 2105, 213, 221 12
    MATH 200 or 221 3
    Total Credits 30
    Third Year
    One of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 2107 4
    BIOL 230 or 260 3
    BIOL 300 or STAT 200 3
    CPSC 310 and 320 7
    Third or Fourth Year
    CPSC 313 3
    CPSC courses numbered 300 or above8 6
    CPSC courses numbered 400 or above8 3
    Two of BIOL 326, 3319, 337, 340, 341, 342, 3519, 3529, 363, 404, 409, 437, 4446 4
    BIOL 336 3
    BIOL courses numbered 300 or above7 6
    Electives6,7 17
    Total Credits for Third and Fourth Year 59
    Total Credits for Degree 120
    1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 as an elective before taking BIOL 112, 121, or 140. Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112.
    2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
    3 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
    4 While CPSC 110 is the recommended route for students pursuing a specialization in Computer Science, CPSC 103, 107 may be taken in its place using 2 credits of electives.
    5 Students pursuing a Co-op program in Computer Science are advised to also take CPSC 210 in their first year or in the summer following their first year. Co-op students will then be in a position to take one or both of CPSC 221 and CPSC 213 in term one of second year before going out on a Co-op work term.
    6 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Students who take courses in BIOL or MATH with more credits than those recommended may require fewer elective credits. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
    a) Foundational Requirement;
    b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
    c) Science Breadth Requirement;
    d) Science and Arts Requirements;
    e) Upper-level Requirement;
    f) General Degree Requirements.
    7 It is recommended that students take at least 2 of BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210. Students interested in phylogenetics should also take upper-level organismal courses and/or BIOL 417. MATH/STAT 302 and BIOL 436, BIOL 430, BIOL 440 and MICB 405 are recommended for those interested in bioinformatics or genomics. MATH 361 and 462 are recommended for those interested in modelling biological processes.
    8 Suggested courses for those interested in bioinformatics are CPSC 304, 404, and 445.
    9 BIOL 331 is a lab and lecture course (4 credits) so 2 credits can be counted towards the upper-level BIOL selections. BIOL 351 is a lab and lecture course (4 credits) so 2 credits can be counted towards the upper-level BIOL selections. BIOL 352 is a lab and lecture course (3 credits) so 1 credit can be counted towards the upper-level BIOL selections.

    Combined Honours: Computer Science and Biology is also offered. Students must contact a computer science advisor for entry into the Combined Honours: Computer Science and Biology.

    Combined Honours Specializations

    Combined Honours (3132): Chemical Biology

    See Chemistry.

    Combined Honours (0535): Oceanography and Biology

    See Oceanography.

    Combined Honours (1460): Computer Science and Biology

    First Year
    BIOL 112, 121, 1401 8
    CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
    CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
    Communication requirement3 3
    CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107)4 4
    CPSC 1215 4
    MATH 120 or 100 or 102 or 104 or 180 or 1846 3
    MATH 121 or 101 or 103 or 1056 3
    Total Credits 33
    Second Year
    BIOL 200 3
    BIOL 233 or 234 3
    BIOL 230 or BIOL 2607 3
    CHEM 233, 2357,8 4
    Communication requirement3 3
    CPSC 2105, 2137, 221 12
    MATH 2007 3
    STAT 200 or BIOL 300 3
    Total Credits 34
    Third Year
    BIOL 335, 336 6
    CPSC 310, 320 7
    STAT 302 3
    Third or Fourth Year
    BIOL 4499 or CPSC 44910 6
    MICB 405 3
    Two of CPSC 304, 313, 420, 421, 44511 6
    CPSC courses numbered 300 or above 6
    7 credits12 from BIOC 302, 402, BIOL 301, 331, 337, 340, 341, 347, 431, 433, 434, 4479 7
    Bioinformatics or genomics electives13 6
    Electives6 15
    Total Credits for Third and Fourth Years 65
    Total Credits for Degree 132
    1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 as an elective before taking BIOL 112, 121 or 140. Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112.
    2 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
    3 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
    4 While CPSC 110 is the recommended route for students pursuing a specialization in Computer Science, CPSC 103, 107 may be taken in its place using 2 credits of electives.
    5 Students pursuing a Co-op program in Computer Science are advised to also take CPSC 210 in their first year or in the summer following their first year. Co-op students will then be in a position to take one or both of CPSC 221 and CPSC 213 in term one of second year before going out on a Co-op work term.
    6 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Students who take courses in MATH with more credits than those recommended will require fewer elective credits. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
    a) Foundational Requirement;
    b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
    c) Science Breadth Requirement;
    d) Science and Arts Requirements;
    e) Upper-level Requirement;
    f) General Degree Requirements.
    7 One of BIOL 230, BIOL 260, CHEM 235, CPSC 213, or MATH 200 can be deferred to third year.
    8 CHEM 203 and 213 are also acceptable.
    9 BIOL 447 is required for students intending to take BIOL 449.
    10 Taken in fourth year; the thesis topic must be related to bioinformatics. Students intending to take CPSC 449 must take CPSC 349 in their third year.
    11 We recommend that at least one of the remaining courses be taken as part of the 6 credits of CPSC courses numbered 300 or above.
    12 It is possible to replace some of these credits by a life science course not on this list, as long as the replacement is approved by a Biology specialization advisor.
    13 Bioinformatics or genomics electives can be upper-level BIOC, BIOL, CPSC, MATH, MICB, or STAT courses. Recommended courses include BIOL 338, 430, 436, 440. Students not taking CPSC 449 must have at least 3 credits of CPSC courses 400 or above, out of the 6 credits used to satisfy this requirement.

    Page last updated: July 3, 2019

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