well plate with purple-colored samples

Program Information for students in

Life Sciences

Life Sciences

LIFE SCIENCES MAJOR

Are you a new student? Make sure you check this page         Watch a video explaining how to plan your first-year courses

Are you aware of your program's structure, and the applicable rules? Find this information here

Got questions? Check my FAQs for questions about topics ranging from Honours to feeling overwhelmed to Convocation ceremonies, and everything in between!

Remember, your program requirements are those that were in effect when you started each component of your program. For example, you can be in the 2019-2020 version of your Major, and the 2020-2021 version of your Specialization. To see the term when you started a program component, look at your unofficial transcript on Minerva.

Find your program requirements, including complementary course lists, in the eCalendar:

2021-2022 version of the eCalendar

Previous versions of the eCalendar

Remember that if you click on individual courses in the eCalendar's program requirements, you can view pre-requisites and other restrictions. You can also search the eCalendar for courses.

Students in the Life Sciences Majors can choose from a list of Statistics courses - you are not restricted to AEMA 310. The following downtown Statistics courses are accepted for Life Sciences Students only: BIOL 373, ECON 227 D1/D2, ECON 257 D1/D2, GEOG 202, MGCR 271, MGCR 273, PSYC 204, SOCI 350. Note, however, that if you intend on taking ANSC 326 Fundamentals of Population Genetics, you must take as a pre-requisite AEMA 310 or a course that is considered equivalent to it as listed on the McGill-to-McGill equivalency table.

Note the following courses are offered only in alternate years:

Course   offered next offered
MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Required in Animal Heatlh & Dis. and Micro. Mol. Biotech. Odd-numbered Falls Fall 2021, Fall 2023
MICR 338 Bacterial Molecular Genetics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Required in Micro. Mol. Biotech. Even-numbered Falls Fall 2022, Fall 2024
MICR 450 Environmental Microbiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Required in Micro. Mol. Biotech. Odd-numbered Winters Winter 2023, Winter 2025

Suggested course progression

I highly recommend you follow the recommendations below, to ensure that you make adequate progress in your degree and avoid potentially serious scheduling difficulties in the coming years. If you take courses outside the recommended order, you may run into pre-requisite issues. Also, schedules are made in order for students to be able to complete their program in 3 years assuming they completed all program pre-requisites before starting their Major, and they follow the recommendations below. Of course, not all students can follow these recommendations for a variety of reasons. If you need help planning your courses, please talk to me directly. Note that complementary and even elective courses are included below - these are options which are conflict-free by design, but of course you can choose others, as scheduling permits.

If you are missing Freshman-level courses, please discuss with me the best strategy to include these in your schedule.

Most students take five 3-credit courses per term (15 credits total), but some choose to take four courses (12 credits total).  For most students the overall program can be completed in three years if a full course load (i.e., 15 credits) is taken each term.  If you take less than 5 courses per term it may be possible for you to "catch up" with summer courses, or you can take an extra semester or year. You are considered a full-time student if you register for at least 12 credits in a given term. Note that to be eligible for in-course scholarships from our Faculty, you must complete 27 graded credits in the school year.

The tables below are valid for the 2021-2022 school year. These tables represent blocks of courses that are conflict-free with each other.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1- The vast majority of courses in your program are offered once a year, and there is always only one scheduling option for the lecture. Thus the value of following the recommendations below, to avoid scheduling conflicts which will delay your graduation. 

2- Do not use these tables as lists of program requirements! Program requirements must be accessed from the eCalendar (pay attention to the version of the program you are in, and make sure you look at the correct information on the eCalendar). For example, if an instructor who teaches a required course goes on sabbatic and the course is not offered in a given year, it will not appear in the tables, but it's still required. Similarly, alternate year courses (some of which are required in some programs) will not appear in the tables, in the years when they are not offered.

3- These blocks of courses are conflict-free by design, and exist to ensure it's possible for a "typical" student to complete the program in 3 years. You are free to take different complementary or elective courses than the ones listed below, scheduling permitting. Whether courses from different blocks are conflict-free with each other is up to chance. It's not because courses from different blocks were conflict-free with each other one year, that they will also be in any other year.

4- If the courses listed in a given term are insufficient in number, fill up your schedule with other complementary courses of your choice, or electives. 

Legend for course types

(rM): required in the Major; (rS): required in the Specialization; (cM): complementary in the Major; (cS): complementary in the Specialization; (e): elective

Fall 2021 for students in U1 Winter 2022 for students in U1
AEBI 210 Organisms 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM) †
AEBI 211 Organisms 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)**
AEHM 205 Science Literacy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM) OR
FDSC 230 Organic Chemistry 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e) if not already done*
AEBI 212 Evolution and Phylogeny 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)**
AEMA 310 Statistical Methods 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)
AEHM 205 Science Literacy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM) if not already done
LSCI 204 Genetics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

LSCI 202 Molecular Cell Biology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

LSCI 211 Biochemistry 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

LSCI 230 Introductory Microbiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)†

*To register for LSCI 211 students must also be registered for FDSC 230 Organic Chemistry, in the same or a previous term unless an equivalent Organic Chemistry course was completed prior to coming to McGill. If you already completed a full term of Organic Chemistry, you do NOT need to take FDSC 230 and should replace it by AEHM 205 Science Literacy in your first term. If this is the case and Minerva prevents you from registering for LSCI 211 due to a “pre-requisite/test score error”, please contact me directly.

**Note that some of the labs for AEBI 211 and 212 are scheduled at the same time. Labs for AEBI 211 run from Jan. 5 to Feb. 11, 2022, and labs for AEBI 212 run from Feb. 14 to April 12, 2022. Some systems might indicate there is a scheduling conflict between these courses, but there is not.

†Note that some or all of the labs in this course are restricted by program. You must choose a lab section that is open to students in your program, or that is not restricted, as visible in the course's detailed schedule on Minerva. If you choose a section that is not open to you, you will get a Major Restriction error.

 

Life Sciences and Animal Biology

Fall 2021 for students in U2 Winter 2022 for students in U2
ANSC 250 Principles of Animal Science 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)          
ANSC 234 Biochemistry 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS)
ANSC 323 Mammalian Physiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM) †
ANSC 251 Comparative Anatomy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
ANSC 312 Animal Health and Disease 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM) - next offered in Fall 2023
ANSC 324 Devel. Biology & Reproduction 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM, rS)
ANSC 424 Metabolic Endocrinology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)

†Note that some or all of the labs in this course are restricted by program. You must choose a lab section that is open to students in your program, or that is not restricted, as visible in the course's detailed schedule on Minerva. If you choose a section that is not open to you, you will get a Major Restriction error.

Summer between U2 and U3:

FAES 300 Internship 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 (cM) 

Fall 2021 for students in U3 Winter 2022 for students in U3
ANSC 326 Fundamentals of Pop'n Genetics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS)
ANSC 350 Food-Borne Pathogens 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)
ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM, cS)
ANSC 458 Swine and Poultry Production 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e) 
ANSC 433 Animal Nutrition & Metabolism 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

  (cS)
ANSC 560 Biology of Lactation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

ANSC 451 Dairy and Beef Prod Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM) - next offered in Fall 2023
ANSC 555 The Use and Welfare of Animals 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)
 
PARA 424 Fundamental Parasitology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM) (new code for WILD 424)

 

Life Sciences and Animal Health and Disease

Fall 2021 for students in U2 Winter 2022 for students in U2
ANSC 250 Principles of Animal Science 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)          

ANSC 251 Comparative Anatomy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)

ANSC 323 Mammalian Physiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM) †

ANSC 312 Animal Health and Disease 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)

ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)

ANSC 324 Devel. Biology & Reproduction 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS)

MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS) - next offered in Fall 2023

ANSC 424 Metabolic Endocrinology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)

PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)
PARA 424 Fundamental Parasitology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM) (new code for WILD 424)

†Note that some or all of the labs in this course are restricted by program. You must choose a lab section that is open to students in your program, or that is not restricted, as visible in the course's detailed schedule on Minerva. If you choose a section that is not open to you, you will get a Major Restriction error.

Summer between U2 and U3:

FAES 300 Internship 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 (cM) 

Fall 2021 for students in U3 Winter 2022 for students in U3
ANSC 326 Fundamentals of Pop'n Genetics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)
ANSC 350 Food-Borne Pathogens 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)

ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

ANSC 458 Swine and Poultry Production 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)
ANSC 433 Animal Nutrition & Metabolism 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
ANSC 560 Biology of Lactation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

ANSC 451 Dairy and Beef Prod Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS) - next offered in Fall 2023
ANSC 555 The Use and Welfare of Animals 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)
 
PARA 424 Fundamental Parasitology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM) (new code for WILD 424)

 

Life Sciences and Multidisciplinary

Since all credits in this Specialization are complementary, there is no specific suggestion except:

Summer between U2 and U3: [course medium FAES] (cM)

 

Life Sciences and Microbiology and Molecular Biotechnology

Fall 2021 for students in U2 and U3 Winter 2022 for students in U2 and U3

ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 (cM, cS)     

ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

FDSC 442 Food Microbiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)*

BINF 511 Bioinformatics for Genomics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS)

MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS) - next offered in Fall 2023

BTEC 306 Experiments in Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)

NRSC 333 Pollution and Bioremediation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)
 
MICR 331 Microbial Ecology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)
PARA 424 Fundamental Parasitology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM) (new code for WILD 424)

*When registration opens in April, spots in this course are reserved for students in the Food Science program. Life Sciences students who want to take this course usually get spots, but you need to contact the instructor towards the end of the summer to ask how to get a spot.

Summer between U2 and U3:

FAES 300 Internship 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 (cM)

 

Life Sciences and Plant Biology

Fall 2021 for students in U2 Winter 2023 for students in U2
BTEC 501 Bioinformatics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

BTEC 306 Experiments in Biotechnology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)

ENVB 313 Phylogeny and Biogeography 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)

PLNT 304 Biology of Fungi 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS)
PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)
PLNT 310 Plant Propagation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
PLNT 305 Plant Pathology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
PLNT 353 Plant Structure and Function 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)
PLNT 358 Flowering Plant Diversity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
 

Summer between U2 and U3:

FAES 300 Internship 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 (cM) 

Fall 2021 for students in U3 Winter 2022 for students in U3
BTEC 501 Bioinformatics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(e)

ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

ENVB 313 Phylogeny and Biogeography 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

  (cS)

PLNT 426 Plant Ecophysiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS, cM)

PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

 

PLNT 305 Plant Pathology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)

 
PLNT 358 Flowering Plant Diversity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
 

 

Life Sciences and Wildlife Biology

Fall 2021 for students in U2 Winter 2022 for students in U2
PARA 438 Immunology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)
ENVB 305 Population & Community Ecology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

  (e)
PLNT 358 Flowering Plant Diversity 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
MICR 331 Microbial Ecology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)
WILD 302 Fish Ecology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

  (cS)
WILD 350 Mammalogy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
WILD 307 Natural History of Vertebrates 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
 

Summer between U2 and U3:

FAES 300 Internship 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM) 

Fall 2021 for students in U3 Winter 2022 for students in U3
ENVB 529 GIS for Natural Resource Mgmt 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)

ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells and Viruses 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rM)

NRSC 333 Pollution and Bioremediation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM)
ENVB 437 Assessing Environmental Impact 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
WILD 401 Fisheries&Wildlife Management 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
ENVB 506 Quantitative Methods: Ecology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
WILD 420 Ornithology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(rS)
PARA 424 Fundamental Parasitology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cM, cS) (new code for WILD 424)
 
WILD 421 Wildlife Conservation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

(cS)
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