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Honours Programs

The goal of the Honours program is to provide experience conducting independent research. At the end of the honours program you will have written and defended a research based thesis. The program allows you to earn credit for research based work.

Through the Honours program you will

  • make new discoveries
  • apply the knowledge you learn in lectures
  • discover if a career in research is for you
  • work in an environment that promotes independence
  • participate in research that interests you
  • work in an intellectually stimulating and dynamic environment
  • gain a competitive advantage for future employment
  • gain a competitive advantage for entrance into graduate school and some professional programs

Differences between the Biology BSc and Biology BSc Hons Programs

  • while both programs are 120 credit hours in total (NB: this does not aply to the Environ Biol BSc Hons, i.e. the "2+2" programs), the credit hour allocations are slightly different
  • Biology BSc Hons students take an additional 9 credit hours of BIOL courses (at the 300-/400-level) compared to Biology BSc students, with 9 credit hours fewer electives
  • two of the additional BIOL courses are BIOL 498 and BIOL 499 (these are the Honours research courses)
  • BIOL 498 and 499 are typically taken in consecutive semesters, but may also be taken concurrently

To enroll in Honours program

  • be entering 4th year, or be somewhat close to entering 4th year, at the time of application
  • you will need to find a supervisor (a Biology Dept. faculty member or associate member) for your research project (BIOL 498 and 499); please plan on contacting potential supervisors well ahead of time
  • apply using this Honours/BIOL 498 Application Form (apply early; don't leave it to the last minute)

To graduate with a BSc Honours in Biology you must

  • have completed the same total credit hours as the Biology BSc, but have taken three additional biology courses (9 credit hours) - two of the additional courses must be BIOL 498 and BIOL 499 (independent research)
  • have an overall grade point average average (Program GPA) of at least 70%, and at least 75% for the Major GPA (Biology courses and the non-Biology Science courses required as part of the degree program

BIOL 498 and BIOL 499 as an optional part of the Biology BSc

  • these two courses may also be taken outside of the Honours program, i.e. they are not restricted to Honours students
  • for the Biology BSc program, BIOL 498 and 499 would count as 300-/400-level BIOL courses
  • students must find a supervisor for BIOL 498/499
  • students looking for a one-semester research course should take BIOL 396

For more information please see our honours program guide, or e-mail the Honours Coordinator, Chris Somers.