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Applied Animal Biology Major

Applied Animal Biology Major

Applied Animal Biology is intended for students who want to study and/or work with animals. It provides students with fundamentals of animal behaviour, animal physiology and related fields as applied to farm, companion and other animals. It also exposes students to the role of animals in human society and the ethical, environmental and other issues that arise. It offers training in research skills needed for graduate work, and (with appropriate selection of courses) prepares students for admission to veterinary and human medicine. Students have various options to gain practical experience on farms and in laboratories, animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres.

Degree Requirements

First Year
LFS 100 1
LFS 150 or ENGL 112 3
BIOL 112 &121 6
BIOL 140 2
CHEM 121 (or 111)1 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 102 or equivalent2 3
PHYS 101, 107, or 1173 3
Restricted electives4 3
Unrestricted electives5 3
Total Credits 32
Second Year
LFS 250 6
LFS 252 (or FRST 231 or BIOL 300) 3
BIOL 200 & 201 6
CHEM 233 & 235 4
MICB 201 3
Restricted electives4 9
Total Credits 31
Third Year
Restricted electives4 24
Unrestricted electives5 6
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year
Restricted electives4 15/18
Unrestricted electives5 12/15
Total Credits 30
Overall four-year total6 123
1 CHEM 111 is not for students with Chemistry 12.
2 Students who have not completed Calculus 12 must take MATH 180 or 184 to fulfill their first year Math requirement. Students planning to study Veterinary Medicine must take MATH 103 or 105 as a restricted elective.
3 Students without credit for Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses.
4 To be selected in consultation with a program advisor. Typically includes courses in APBI, BIOL, and FNH. For suggested courses see Restricted Electives List.
5 Third and fourth year unrestricted electives should be selected from either 300- or 400-level courses.
6 A minimum of 45 credits of the 123 credits required for the Major must be from courses numbered 300 or higher.

Applied Animal Biology Honours Program

The Applied Animal Biology Honours program is intended for exceptional students with an interest in research. Students interested in careers in research-intensive areas including veterinary medicine, biomedical science, animal welfare, animal nutrition, and wildlife conservation may especially benefit from this opportunity.

Who Should Apply?

This program will only accept students with both a strong academic record during their first and second years of study and an interest in research.


Successful applicants will have a cumulative average greater than 75%.


Students apply near the end of their second year of study by contacting the Student Services Office at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. The applicant must write a letter explaining why they wish to enrol, their career goals, and any past or current research experience they may have.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants admitted into the Honours Program must complete a minimum of 132 credits rather than the 123 credits required to graduate with an Applied Animal Biology degree. Of these 132 credits, 48 must be chosen from the Applied Animal Biology Restricted Electives list. Students must complete their degree within a maximum of 5 calendar years. During the third and fourth years, Honours students must not fail any attempted courses, must complete a minimum of 30 credits per calendar year, and maintain a minimum of 70% in every 300- and 400-level course completed. Students who do not meet these requirements will move to the Applied Animal Biology Major and will no longer be eligible to stay in the Honours program.

Required Courses

  • APBI 398 (3 credits) - Research Methods in Applied Animal Biology
  • APBI 499 (6 credits) - Thesis

APBI 499 Thesis Course

During the third year of study, students must contact a prospective supervisor for the APBI 499 thesis course to discuss possible thesis topics. A thesis application/proposal form must be filled out by the student and approved by the prospective supervisor before the end of the fall semester of the year prior to the year in which the thesis is to be completed. If the proposal is not satisfactory, the student may have to make modifications and re-submit it over the summer.

Completion of the 6-credit thesis course (APBI 499) will occur during the entire fourth year of study. Students will complete a research project and write up a thesis similar to a master’s thesis. At the end of the year, each student will present their work to other third and fourth year Honours students.

Benefits of a Thesis

The APBI 499 thesis course gives students an opportunity to work closely with a supervisor or faculty member and work with material at an advanced level. This experience will give students an idea of what it is like to work at the graduate level, working on a single topic over many months. The thesis will also provide experience in academic writing and communications.

Benefits of the Honours Program

Graduates of the program will have:
1. demonstrated their ability to succeed in a challenging program of study
2. gained exposure to a wide variety of topics in applied animal biology
3. in-depth experience in one or more areas of research
4. worked closely with faculty members and other researchers
5. gained skills in independent research and oral and written communication useful for a wide range of professional careers in knowledge-intensive industries

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