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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/science/programs/undergraduate/biology
Administered by: Department of Chemistry and Biology
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.
Full-time, five-year co-op program.

Ryerson's Biology Program dives into the study of living organisms, with the intent of unlocking the mysteries of our planet.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U courses in: English, Advanced Functions (MHF4U), two of Biology (SBI4U) or Chemistry (SCH4U) or Physics (SPH4U).

Notes:
  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. The grade(s) required in the subject prerequisites (normally in the range of 70 percent) will be determined subject to competition.
  3. Completion of all three science courses is recommended. Biology (SBI4U) is strongly recommended.
  4. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

First Year: The BSc (Hons) in Biology shares a point of entry with the programs in Chemistry and Medical Physics, through which new science students at Ryerson complete a common first year. This allows students to explore various science-based routes to degree completion before they commit to the Biology program. In addition to science foundation courses, the first year of studies will include an introduction to the use of computers as scientific tools, and an orientation course that will support students in making a successful transition to university and planning their steps to degree completion. Students in Science programs must enrol in SCI 180 in their first semester of studies.

Upper Years: In the upper years of the curriculum, students will focus on developing their technological expertise and exploring the research and industrial applications of biological science. Depending on the course sequence selected, students may pursue a BSc (Hons) in Biology, with a Minor, and with an Option in Biophysics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology or Environmental Biology. In the final year, they will consolidate their learning by undertaking an independent, faculty-supervised thesis project in their field of academic focus.

Students can enrich their studies and hone their management skills with the Optional Specialization in Management Sciences. Courses within the optional specialization cover four major areas in management sciences: Strategic Engineering Management, Operations Management/Operations Research, Finance and Organizational Behaviour. For eligibility, registration, and course information see Optional Specialization in Management Sciences (OS MS).

Research Practicum

SCI 999 - Research Practicum gives students the chance to gain hands-on research experience, in a lab or in the field, by engaging in the research work of a faculty member. Ryerson records participation in the practicum on the student’s Official Transcript.

SCI 999 is a non-credit, pass-fail course that is not used to fulfil degree program requirements. Students who meet the expectations for the research will get a passing grade. These expectations will be worked out between the student and the professor at enrolment. To take part in SCI 999, students must have a CGPA of 2.5 or more, and they must commit to a minimum of 5 to 10 hours each week (on average) for one term.

There are no tuition fees associated with this practicum.

How to Enrol

  1. Students must first find a supervisor. Descriptions of faculty research are available on the Faculty of Science website.
  2. Students should contact supervisors whose research interests them by email or in person. Students must give their potential supervisor an unofficial transcript, a one-page resumé and a brief covering letter. This package must include their contact information, degree program and stream, a brief statement of their career goals and how this research experience would further those goals, and any relevant work experience (paid or volunteer).
  3. Fill out the Research Practicum Application Form (available at the office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in VIC-741). When students find a faculty member who agrees to supervise them, they will both fill out and sign the Application Form.
  4. Enrol in the course. After the course director has approved the form, students must take it to the office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at VIC-741.

As a graduate of the Biology program, students will have high caliber skills in problem-solving and technological innovation, particularly in the areas of biotechnology and environmental science - two sectors experiencing increasing demand for qualified professionals. Here are a few of the many career paths you may take:

  • Scientist, Researcher, or Science Manager (government, academia, or industry through further studies and completion of a master's degree or PhD at the post-graduate level)
  • Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Sciences, Biotechnology
  • Technical support (Biotechnology, Agri-Food, and Pharmaceutical Sectors)
    •  Research, Product Development and Manufacturing
    •  Quality Control
  • Food and Beverage Industry
    •  Research, Product Development and Manufacturing
    •  Quality Control
  • Environmental Science
  • Teaching (primary, secondary, and post-secondary)
  • Health Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, and allied health sciences)

Students must take three lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

PCS 111, BLG 181, BMS 150, CHY 182, CHY 183 and SCI courses are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Contemporary Science, Medical Physics

BLG 599, BLG 699, CHY 583, MTH 511, and MTH 599 are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Co-operative Program Overview

An optional co-operative program is available which provides the graduating students with 20 months of work experience that enhances their organizational and technical abilities as well as their oral and written communication skills.

Although the Office of Co-operative Education cannot guarantee a placement, they provide major assistance in locating suitable positions and counselling of students in their search for suitable jobs. This co-operative program enables students to earn competitive wages to offset the costs of a university education.

Students who have completed the first year of the program must apply through this department for admission to the co-operative program before the beginning of the second year. Enrolment in the co-op program is limited. Admission will be based on the student's grade point average.

The sequencing of academic and work terms is shown below:

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

Students must successfully complete a minimum of four work terms in order to graduate from the co-op program.

The co-op program requires five years to complete the degree in Biology. The regular program can be completed in four years.

All Co-op placements must be approved by the Office of Co-operative Education and the Dean's designate responsible for administering science programs.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Lee Beaudette, BSc, MSc, PhD
Manager, Soil Biotechnology Laboratory
Environment Canada
Biological Assessment and Standardization Section
 
Jeffery Costa, BSc, MSc (Biology '11)
Geotechnical Lab Technician at Golder Associates,
Royal Ontario Museum
 
Gary A. Epp, BSc, MSc, PhD
Manager Ecological Services - Environment
Global Ecological Services Technical Practice Group Lead
 
Tash Jefferies, BSc (Applied Chemistry and Biology '03)
Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA)
 
Jonathan Newman
Deputy Director, Scientific Services
Centre of Forensic Sciences (Toronto)
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Mark Surka, BSc PhD
Sr. Scientific Lead,
Oncology at Janssen, Pharmaceutical companies at Johnson and Johnson

Biology - First Two Years Common for all Options

1st Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 143 Biology I
CHY 103 General Chemistry I
CPS 118 Introductory Programming for Scientists
MTH 131 Modern Mathematics I
PCS 120 Physics I
SCI 180* Orientation

* This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

2nd Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 144 Biology II
CHY 113 General Chemistry II
MTH 231 Modern Mathematics II
PCS 130 Physics II

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

3rd Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 151 Microbiology I
BLG 230 Botany
BLG 311 Cell Biology
CHY 142 Organic Chemistry I
MTH 380 Probability and Statistics I

4th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 261 Biochemistry
BLG 316 Zoology
BLG 400 Genetics
BLG 567 Ecology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

Regular Program, Full-Time, Four-Year Program

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 307 Molecular Biology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Two courses from Table I.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

BCH 880 Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
BLG 888 Molecular Biology Laboratory

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table I.

7th Semester

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Four courses from Table I.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table I.

Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only)

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 307 Molecular Biology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Two courses from Table I.

6th Semester (Offered in Winter Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

BCH 880 Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
BLG 888 Molecular Biology Laboratory

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table I.

7th Semester

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Four courses from Table I.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table I.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program.

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that applies the theories and methods of physics to biological questions.

Biophysics Option, Full-Time, Four-Year Program

This option is available to students entering their fifth semester of the Biology program. Biophysics typically addresses biological problems at the molecular level by drawing knowledge and experimental techniques from a wide variety of disciplines to indirectly observe or model the structures and interactions of individual molecules or complexes of molecules. Biophysics is typically studied at the graduate level which makes this option at Ryerson unique. Students who choose this option will enhance their undergraduate biology education with courses such as Radiation Biology, Health Physics and Medical Physics. Biophysics offers careers in teaching and research at educational, medical and government institutions, research and development at pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology and other biologically oriented high-tech companies, and in regulation and public policy at all levels of government and private organizations. This undergraduate option can also lead the way to post-graduate studies toward certification as a health or medical physicist.

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
MTH 330 Calculus and Geometry
PCS 229 Introduction to Medical Physics
PCS 300 Modern Physics

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution
PCS 227 Biophysics
PCS 400 Quantum Physics I

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 307 Molecular Biology
PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection
PCS 354 Radiation Biology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table III.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table II.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Two courses from Table III.

Biophysics Option, Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
MTH 330 Calculus and Geometry
PCS 229 Introduction to Medical Physics
PCS 300 Modern Physics

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester (Offered in Winter Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution
PCS 227 Biophysics
PCS 400 Quantum Physics I

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 307 Molecular Biology
PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection
PCS 354 Radiation Biology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table III.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table II.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Two courses from Table III.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program:

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is an interdisciplinary field that applies the techniques of computer science, applied mathematics, and statistics to address problems inspired by biology.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Option, Full-Time, Four-Year Program

This option is available to students entering their fifth semester of the Biology program. Careers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology might range from analysis of genomic sequences to visualizing the activity of an animal's nervous system or modeling the responses of a plant to changing environmental conditions. Students choosing this option will enhance their biology education with courses in computer programming, stochastic modeling and bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a fast growing subdiscipline that uses Bioinformatics and Computational Biology methods for the interpretation of vast amounts of data from high throughout techniques in the biological field. Students who chose to study computational biology will be exposed to this rapidly evolving field and can pursue a career in the Life Sciences as a scientific curator, gene analyst, protein analyst, or phylogenist, in the Computer Science/Engineering area as a database programmer or bioinformatics software developer, in Applied Sciences as a molecular modeller or biostatistician, or Pharmaceutical Sciences as a Cheminformatician or pharmacogenetician.

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 307 Molecular Biology
MTH 110 Discrete Mathematics I
MTH 330 Calculus and Geometry

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution
MTH 500 Introduction to Stochastic Processes

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 800 Genomics and Proteomics
CPS 313 Advanced Programming for Scientists
CPS 501 Bioinformatics

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 888 Molecular Biology Laboratory
CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society
MTH 607 Graph Theory

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Option, Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 307 Molecular Biology
MTH 110 Discrete Mathematics I
MTH 330 Calculus and Geometry

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester (Offered in Winter Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BCH 463 Advanced Biochemistry II
BLG 315 Evolution
MTH 500 Introduction to Stochastic Processes

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 800 Genomics and Proteomics
CPS 313 Advanced Programming for Scientists
CPS 501 Bioinformatics

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 888 Molecular Biology Laboratory
CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society
MTH 607 Graph Theory

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table IV.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program:

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Environmental biology is a science with an inter-disciplinary approach that merges chemistry, engineering and other pertinent fields.

Environmental Biology Option, Full-Time, Four-Year Program

This option is available to students entering their fifth semester of the Biology program. Students will receive training in wastewater technologies, environmental engineering, ecotoxicology, digital image analysis, chemical analytical techniques, ecosystem ecology, wetlands management, data recording and transmission, and statistical and policy analyses. Well educated undergraduates in the Environmental Biology (EVB) option are fundamentally important for research and development of novel technologies to protect and remediate the environment and develop improved and sustainable alternatives. Graduates of the EVB option will likely enjoy great demand for direct employment in government and private organizations and in the ever-growing “green” industries.

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 351 Applied Microbiology
BLG 409 Biometry
BLG 803 Ecosystem Processes

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 315 Evolution
BLG 340 Environmental Biology
CHY 423 Environmental Science

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table V.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 401 Ecotoxicology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table V.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table V.

Environmental Biology Option, Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only)

REQUIRED:

BCH 361 Advanced Biochemistry I
BLG 351 Applied Microbiology
BLG 409 Biometry
BLG 803 Ecosystem Processes

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester (Offered in Winter Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

BLG 315 Evolution
BLG 340 Environmental Biology
CHY 423 Environmental Science

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table V.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 401 Ecotoxicology

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table V.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

CMN 600 Science, Communication and Society

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Three courses from Table V.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program:

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.