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 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; and
    • up to 6 credits from courses offered within the Faculty of Science 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 134 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 six credits of Electives at the undergraduate level 6
Year 3
BIOL 3150 Evolutionary Biology 4
BIOL 3180 Life Science Research Methods 3
Select at least one of: 4
Biology of Plants  
Select at least one of: 4
Molecular Genetics  
Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology  
Select at least 12 credits of BIOL at the undergraduate level 12
Select three credits of BIOL at the undergraduate level 3
Select six credits of Electives at the undergraduate level 6
Year 4
BIOL 4990 Honours Thesis Project 1 4
BIOL 4995 Honours Thesis Project 2 4
Select at least one of: 3
Conservation Biology  
Marine Biology  
Select at least one of: 4
Animal Physiology  
Developmental Biology  
Select at least six credits of BIOL at the 3000 level or higher 6
Select 9 credits of Electives at the undergraduate level 9
 Total Credits134

MATH 1120 may be used as a substitute for MATH 1130

Credential Awarded

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

Co-operative Education Option

The Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology degree is offered with a Cooperative Education Option. Co-operative Education gives a student the opportunity to apply the skills gained during academic study in paid, practical work experience semesters. Degree students can complete a minimum of three work terms while completing their degree. Work terms generally occur full-time in separate 4 month work semesters. Work semesters alternate with academic study.

Students wishing to enter and participate in the Co-operative Education Option must meet the following requirements:

Declaration and Entrance Requirements

  • Declaration into the Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology program
  • Declaration of the co-operative education option prior to completion of 90 credits for the Bachelor of Science (Honours), Major in Biology program
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7 

Program Continuance Requirements

  • Completion of COOP 1101 prior to completing 90 credits
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7
  • Instructor permission

Co-op Course Requirements

The Co-operative Education designation requires successful completion of the following courses: 

COOP 1101Introduction to Professional and Career Readiness1
COOP 1150Co-op Work Semester 19
COOP 2150Co-op Work Semester 29
COOP 3150Co-op Work Semester 39
Co-op Work Semester 4
Total Credits28

Note: COOP courses must be completed in ascending numerical order. Contact the Co-op office for information about the possibility of part-time work terms. COOP courses may be used only to satisfy the Co-op designation and cannot be used to satisfy other curricular requirements of the program.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the requirements stated above, all Co-op students must satisfy the General Co-operative Education Requirements.

Credential Awarded

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

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