Major in Environmental Biology


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Are you interested in tackling problems such as endangered species conservation, or the effects of climate change on animals and ecosystems? If so, Environmental Biology is the program for you. From plants, birds and mammals, to insects, fungi and microbes, you will receive a world-class training in their biology, conservation and ecology. Study how organisms adapt to changes in the environment and the consequences for the ecosystem. The most critical environmental challenges we face today involve biologists with specialized knowledge of human impacts on species and ecosystems. With the Environmental Biology program, you can make a difference.

Practical, real-world experience is a strong part of this program. Take advantage of the many unique learning environments on or near campus: the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers; the Morgan Arboretum, a 245-hectare (605-acre) forested reserve used for teaching and research; the McGill Bird Observatory; the Ecomuseum Zoo; and the Lyman Museum. You will also have the opportunity to participate in field courses and semester-long programs in Africa, Barbados, Panama and the United States.

Summer internships are also a popular way to gain experience. Our students have worked on assessing environmental impact in Paraguay, as wildlife rehabilitation interns in Canada or the United States, worked with sea turtles in Greece, whales in the St. Lawrence River, medicinal plants in Peru and much more. A research-intensive Honours program may also be a possibility in your final year.

The experience and skills you acquire in this program will prepare you for a wide choice of careers in biological and environmental sciences.

For more information, please contact the bsc-advisor.agenvsc [at] (student advisor.)


Each specialization consists of 24 credits of courses (required and complementary) that provide a coherent package designed to prepare you for a future career in a given discipline.

Suggested Specializations

  • Wildlife Biology:  Biology, ecology and behaviour of mammals, birds and fish; Management and conservation of wildlife species and their habitats; Hands-on training to solve problems related to wildlife in natural environments
  • Applied Ecology: Structure and function of the world’s ecosystems; Ecosystem vulnerability and resilience to the effects of pollution, over-harvesting, acid rain and climate change; Applying systems thinking for better design and management of ecosystems for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and urban development
  • Plant Biology: Molecular, biochemical and cellular biology of plants; Management of plant diversity and beneficial plant interactions; Active learning to identify and propagate plants for multiple purposes: food, fibre, fuel and medicinal compounds

May I take any other specializations?

You will need to select at least one specialization. However, if you wish to broaden your training, you have the option of choosing to do two specializations. Click here to view the complete list.


The Environmental biology Major consists of a core of 42 credits plus a 24-credit Specialization. To view the list of courses:

Bachelor of Science (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) (B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.)) - Major Environmental Biology (42 Credits)


Career paths include:

■ Wildlife Biologist
■ Conservation Officer
■ Wildlife Veterinarian
■ Zookeeper
■ Public/Private Lands Manager
■ Environmental Impact Assessment Officer
■ Environmental Protection Agent
■ Environmental Toxicologist
■ Environmental Lawyer
■ Herbarium Curator
■ Horticulturalist
■ Medicinal Plant Specialist
■ Nature documentary filmmaker
■ Environmental/Science journalist

For more career options:

Ready to apply?

Learn about the next steps and start preparing your application.

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