Biological Sciences

Biology is the study of life. We address questions as miniscule as the factors controlling the expression of a single gene, to as wide as changes to an entire ecosystem.

We offer Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in two areas: Health Science, which focuses on human biology, and Biodiversity and Ecology, which concentrates on non-human organisms and their environment. For more info on the difference between the programs and the courses available in each, see the Courses & Programs page.

Why study Biology at Bishop’s?

  • Teaching Focus. Our professors have chosen to concentrate on teaching, yet they still maintain research profiles that encourage undergraduate student involvement. See more information about our teaching staff.
  • Small Classes. Small class sizes foster student engagement. Students learn to critically evaluate scientific claims and evidence, and to clearly articulate their thoughts orally and in writing – necessary skills for success in future study or science-related careers.
  • Great Facilities. Our indoor laboratory facilities include molecular biology equipment, aquatic and terrestrial animal rooms, a greenhouse, walk-in-growth chambers, laminar flow hoods, incubators, centrifuges, and research microscopes. Our outdoor facilities include the Peter Curry Marsh, acres of surrounding woodland, canoe access to the Massawippi and St Francis rivers, and easy access to the Johnville Bog.
  • Practical Experience. Our courses have a strong emphasis on labs, and our students learn practical skills useful to their future careers. Students get hands-on experience both in the field and in the laboratory, with a focus on actually “doing” not just observing. We also work hard to foster a capacity for independent thought and work, with ample opportunities to engage in independent research projects that act as excellent training for graduate or professional programs.
  • Community. The entire Biology student population is smaller than a first-year Biology class at a large institution.  Professors know students by name, and our Biology and Pre-Medicine clubs promote professor-student interactions outside the classroom. You can visit the Web page of the by going here: Biology club.

Interested in going to Medical School?

Many of the students enrolled in our biology program are interested in pursuing a career in medicine and our BSc Biology (Health Sciences) program includes common prerequisites for application to medical schools in both Canada and the US. However, students should be aware that the entrance requirements can vary greatly between medical schools, and often change from year to year, therefore we recommend that students decide on which schools they are hoping to go to and then research what are the particular requirements of that school (the faculty can help you with this search). For those students unsure of where they would like to go and wishing to cover as wide a set of potential requirements as possible, BU also offers an inter-disciplinary Pre-Medicine double major, which specifically addresses these concerns.

What Can I Do with a Bishop’s Biology degree?

A Bishop’s Biology degree can prepare you for:

  • Advanced study (M.Sc./Ph.D.) in health sciences, environmental studies, or biological/life sciences
  • Professional programs such as education, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or physiotherapy
  • Employment in fields as diverse as biotechnology, environmental assessment, and wildlife management

See the Careers page for more information about what past students have done with their BU Biology degrees.

Courses & Programs

Student Club

The Biology Club is the official social club for students enrolled in the Biological Sciences. The club is also open to students of other departments who have an interest in biology. Run by the students with help from the departmental technician, Ben Hobson, and various faculty, the club is dedicated to helping students enjoy themselves throughout their time in the department. The club facilitates access to supplemental training that students might otherwise not receive in their academic program. Held every semester, the wine and cheese celebrations are great ice-breakers for new students and also give upper year students the chance to catch up with old friends. Other activities organized by the club include camping and hiking trips, first aid courses, firearm safety courses, and golf tournaments. Activities may change from year to year depending on the interests of the students. In addition to these fun events, the club also holds fundraisers for several charities such as the World Wildlife Fund of Canada. If you have questions about the club, please contact the Biology Lab Technician, Ben Hobson (Bhobson@ubishops.ca).