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4.1 Biological Sciences
4.1.1 Common First and Second Years
4.1.2 Programs in Biochemistry
4.1.3 Programs in Biological Sciences
4.1.4 Programs in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology
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4.1.7 Programs in Zoology
4.1.8 Environmental Science - Biological Sciences Concentration
4.1.9 Double Major in the Department of Biological Sciences
4.1.10 Minor in Biological Sciences
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University of Calgary Calendar 2019-2020 Faculty of Science 4. Program Details 4.1 Biological Sciences
4.1 Biological Sciences
Degrees Offered

Undergraduate Programs1



Biochemistry BSc BSc Honours
Biological Sciences BSc BSc Honours
Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology BSc BSc Honours
Ecology BSc BSc Honours , BSc Co-op, BSc Honours Co-op
Plant Biology BSc BSc Honours
Zoology BSc BSc Honours

There are many options for graduate studies leading to MSc and PhD degrees in the area of Biological Sciences. Details of graduate specializations can be found in the graduate section of this calendar.

1All degrees in the Faculty of Science, except Environmental Science, can be combined with eligible BA and BSc programs from the Faculty of Arts. Refer to Section 3.4 for information on combined degrees, double majors with programs within the Faculty of Science as well as combined degrees with programs from other Faculties. Students interested in pursuing these degrees are encouraged to speak with an advisor in the Undergraduate Science Centre (USC) to develop a degree completion plan.

Programs Offered in Biological Sciences

BSc and BSc Honours in: Biochemistry; Biological Sciences; Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology; Ecology; Plant Biology; Zoology

BSc and BSc Honours in Ecology Co-operative Education

Minor in Biological Sciences

Department vs. Faculty Regulations

Programs in the Department of Biological Sciences are governed by a combination of general Faculty of Science regulations and the additional program specific regulations listed below.

It is essential for students to be familiar with both sets of regulations. It is helpful to read the Faculty regulations in Section 3 first.

Students should consult Academic Requirements in their Student Centre periodically to ensure that requirements are being met. Also students are strongly urged to consult the Department and the Undergraduate Science Centre (USC) at all stages of their program.

Department Information

Student enquiries: 403.220.3140

Department Office: Biological Sciences 186

Other enquiries: 403.220.5261

Fax: 403.289.9311


Enrolment Limitations

Enrolment Limitations in Programs, Admissions and Student Standing

Admission to programs in the department is competitive. Admission will be granted for Fall Term only and will be based upon academic merit. (New admissions to the University are always subject to A.2 as stated in the Admissions section of this Calendar.)

Applications to the Department of Biological Sciences programs are accepted:

  • Directly from High School (see Section 3.2 Admissions) into either the Biological Sciences program, or into Honours Biochemistry; Honours Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology; Honours Ecology; Honours Plant Biology; or Honours Zoology.
  • From external transfer students and change of program requests from University of Calgary students into the Biological Sciences program.
  • Subject to the Honours qualifications set out in Subsection 3.2 – Honours Programs, and to availability of space, students may request placement into any of the Honours programs offered by the Department.
  • From external transfer students and change of program requests from University of Calgary students into BSc programs in Biochemistry; Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology; Ecology; Plant Biology; and Zoology after completion of a minimum of 30 units.


  • Students who are considering one of the BSc programs described above should plan to complete Biology 311, 371, 331 and at least one of Biology 313 and Biochemistry 393 by the end of their second year. Students should check the specific requirements for the program into which they plan to transfer, as some programs require both Biology 313 and Biochemistry 393.
  • Any student in an Honours program is subject to the provisions for continuation in an Honours program, Subsections 3.2 and 3.4C.
  • Honours students in the Biological Sciences program who do not qualify for continuation in honours will be moved into the Biological Sciences Major BSc Program. Honours students admitted to a specialized program (Biochemistry; Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology; Ecology; Plant Biology; or Zoology) who do not qualify for continuation in honours may be moved into the Major BSc Program of their current specialized program. In order to be moved into the Major BSc Program of their current specialized program students must have completed 30 units prior to their review period and meet the minimum GPA requirement for admission into that specialized program. Students in honours in a specialized program who do not meet the preceding requirements will be moved into the Biological Sciences Major BSc program.
  • Students with a GPA of less than 2.000 are subject to the provisions of 3.7 Student Standing, B. Performance Review, Probationary Status and Dismissal.
  • Students will be notified of the results of their application by email (results will not be provided by telephone).

Enrolment Limitations in Courses

Enrolment in many courses offered by the Department of Biological Sciences is limited by available laboratory or tutorial space.

Consult the Schedule Builder in the Student Centre for details regarding enrolment in these courses.

Transfers between Alberta Universities and Colleges

The Departments of Biological Sciences at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary and the Department of Biology at the University of Lethbridge have a transfer agreement in effect. The full details of the Biological Sciences Transfer Agreement are available in the Alberta Transfer Guide published by the Alberta Commission on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT) -

Ethics in the Biological Sciences

Studies in the Biological Sciences involve the use of living and dead organisms. Students taking laboratory- and field-based courses in these disciplines can expect involvement with and experimentation on such materials. Students perform dissections on dead or preserved organisms in some courses. In particular courses, students experiment on living organisms, their tissues, cells, or molecules. Sometimes field work requires students to collect a variety of living materials by many methods, including humane trapping.

All work on humans and other animals conforms to the Helsinki Declaration and to the regulations of the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The Department strives for the highest ethical standards consistent with stewardship of the environment for organisms whose use is not governed by statutory authority. Individuals contemplating taking courses or majoring in one of the fields of study offered by the Department of Biological Sciences should ensure that they have fully considered these issues before enrolling. Students are advised to discuss any concern they might have with the Associate Head, Undergraduates of the Department.