Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology


The B.Sc. Major in Biology is a foundational degree program strongly grounded in scientific methodology and practical skills. The structure and breadth of courses offered is designed to equip graduates with a high level of competency in the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for competitive entry into the workforce in a wide range of fields. Graduates will also be well prepared for entry into a professional school or graduate studies program.

Central to this program is the provision of a lab intensive experience where students learn first-hand, the appropriate use of equipment and techniques to investigate living organisms and how they function. Upper level courses build upon the core knowledge and skills developed in 1st and 2nd Year, allowing the exploration of more advanced biological concepts and practical techniques. This culminates in a community focused research or directed studies project which requires students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Important Notes:

  • First and second year courses required in the program are normally available on both Richmond and Surrey campuses.
  • Elective courses are not offered every year.  Students are encouraged to plan their courses carefully and to see a degree advisor for guidance.

Who Studies Biology?

This degree program will appeal to individuals with a passionate interest in living organisms and how they function. Whether entering from high school, other post-secondary institutions or returning from the workforce to study, this program will appeal to anyone who shares a concern for the future of humanity and the welfare of our planet and who is seeking a career that can make a difference.

Students who are successful in this program are likely to be self-motivated, have a strong work ethic and have well developed oral and written communication skills.

Faculty's website:

Department's website:

Admission Requirements

The Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, apply to this program.

Declaration Requirements

Students intending to graduate with this Faculty of Science and Horticulture degree must declare the credential by the time they complete 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. At the time of declaration, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

In good academic standing with the University
Completion of a minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate coursework, including the following:

  • 3 credits of ENGL at the 1100 level or higher
  • BIOL 1110 with a minimum grade of “C”
  • BIOL 1210 with a minimum grade of “C”
  • CHEM 1110 with a minimum grade of “B” or CHEM 1210 with a minimum grade of “C”
  • MATH 1120 with a minimum grade of “C” or MATH 1130 with a minimum grade of “C”
  • PHYS 1101 with a minimum grade of “C” or PHYS 1120 with a minimum grade of “C”

Curricular Requirements

All students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • In addition to ENGL 1100, complete 3 credits from courses designated as Writing Intensive.
  • 120 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher. 
  • 45 credits from courses at the 3000 level or higher, including 9 credits at the 4000 level.
  • 18 credits of breadth electives (see Electives below) including at least 3 credits from a course at the 3000 level or higher. These must include:
    • at least 12 credits from courses that are offered outside the Faculty of Science & Horticulture; and
    • up to 6 credits from courses offered within the Faculty of Science & Horticulture other than BIOL, CHEM, MATH, and PHYS.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • At least 50% of all courses for the BSc, and at least 66% of upper-level courses for the BSc, must be completed at KPU.

Enrolment in the Biology Honours program requires the permission of the Biology Department. In order to be considered for the Honours program, students must typically have a record of exceptional academic performance, including a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0

The Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology degree requires the completion of a minimum of 140 credits, including the following specific course requirements.

Note: Some courses are only offered once per year. Please refer to the course timetable and speak with an Academic Advisor when planning.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1Credits
BIOL 1110 Introductory Biology I 4
BIOL 1210 Introductory Biology II 4
CHEM 1110 The Structure of Matter 4
CHEM 1210 Chemical Energetics and Dynamics 4
ENGL 1100 Introduction to University Writing 3
MATH 1130 Calculus for Life Sciences I 1 3
MATH 1230 Calculus for Life Sciences II 3
PHYS 1101 Physics for Life Sciences I 4
PHYS 1102 Physics for Life Sciences II 4
Select three credits of ENGL at the undergraduate level 3
Year 2
BIOL 2320 Genetics 4
BIOL 2321 Cell Biology 4
BIOL 2322 Ecology 4
BIOL 2421 Cellular Biochemistry 3
CHEM 2320 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM 2420 Organic Chemistry II 4
MATH 2335 Statistics for Life Sciences 3
Select nine credits of Electives 9
Year 3
BIOL 3110 Animal Behaviour 4
BIOL 3215 Zoology 4
BIOL 3165 Conservation Biology 3
BIOL 3180 Life Science Research Methods 3
BIOL 3225 Biology of Plants 4
BIOL 3320 Molecular Genetics 4
BIOL 3321 Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology 4
Select three credits of BIOL at the undergraduate level 3
Select six credits of Electives 6
Year 4
BIOL 4140 Animal Physiology 4
BIOL 4150 Evolutionary Biology 3
BIOL 4235 Marine Biology 3
BIOL 4245 Developmental Biology 4
BIOL 4990 Honours Thesis Project 1 4
BIOL 4995 Honours Thesis Project 2 4
Select 12 credits of Electives 12
 Total Credits140

MATH 1120 may be used as a substitute for MATH 1130


As part of this program, students are required to complete 27 credits of electives. These must satisfy the General Requirements for 18 credits of breadth as stated above. The following courses are recommended as electives:

ANTH 3242A Survey of the Primates3
ASTR 1105Basic Astronomy3
ASTR 3111Exploring Stars & Galaxies3
BIOL 2330Microbiology4
BIOL 3330Microbiology II4
BIOL 4260Human Neural, Excretory and Endocrine Systems4
BIOL 4320Human Genetics3
CHEM 2315Analytical Chemistry4
CHEM 3310Physical Chemistry4
CPSC 1100Introduction to Computer Literacy3
EDUC 4100Post University Transition3
ENVI 2305Environmental Toxicology3
ENVI 2405Environmental Legislation3
ENVI 3112Environment and Society3
HSCI 3225Nutrition3
HORT 3310Entomology3

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology.

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