Dernières mises à jour en lien avec la COVID-19 disponibles ici.
Latest information about COVID-19 available here.

Major Biology (59 credits)

Offered by: Biology     Degree: Bachelor of Science

Program Requirements

The Biology Major covers a range of fundamental biological concepts spanning molecules and cells to organisms and ecosystems, including development, behaviour and evolution. The areas of focus include: (1) molecular, cellular and developmental biology, (2) conservation, ecology and evolution, and (3) neurobiology and behaviour.

Required Courses (31 credits)

  • BIOL 200 Molecular Biology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : The physical and chemical properties of the cell and its components in relation to their structure and function. Topics include: protein structure, enzymes and enzyme kinetics; nucleic acid replication, transcription and translation; the genetic code, mutation, recombination, and regulation of gene expression.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Roy, Richard D W; Bureau, Thomas E; Hastings, Kenneth E M (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture, 1 hour optional tutorial

    • Prerequisite: BIOL 112 or equivalent

    • Corequisite: CHEM 212 or equivalent, or CHEM 204

  • BIOL 201 Cell Biology and Metabolism (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : This course introduces the student to our modern understanding of cells and how they work. Major topics to be covered include: photosynthesis, energy metabolism and metabolic integration; plasma membrane including secretion, endocytosis and contact mediated interactions between cells; cytoskeleton including cell and organelle movement; the nervous system; hormone signaling; the cell cycle.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Brouhard, Gary (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture, 1 hour optional tutorial

    • Prerequisite: BIOL 200.

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken or are taking ANAT 212 or BIOC 212

  • BIOL 205 Functional Biology of Plants and Animals (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Unified view of form and function in animals and plants. Focus on how the laws of chemistry and physics illuminate biological processes relating to the acquisition of energy and materials and their use in movement, growth, development, reproduction and responses to environmental stress.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Sakata, Jon; Barrett, Rowan; Soper, Fiona (Winter)

  • BIOL 206 Methods in Biology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Introduction to modern methods used in organismal biology, including ecological sampling, experimental methods and statistics. Particular emphasis is on ways of thinking about the design of sampling programs and the analyses of data to test hypotheses using observational or experimental data.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Pollock, Laura; Larsson, Hans Carl; Leung, Brian (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 1. 2 hours lecture, 2. 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or equivalent

  • BIOL 215 Introduction to Ecology and Evolution (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : An introduction to the fundamental processes of ecology and evolution that bear on the nature and diversity of organisms and the processes that govern their assembly into ecological communities and their roles in ecosystem function.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Price, Neil; Abouheif, Ehab; Sunday, Jennifer (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: BIOL 111

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken ENVR 202

  • BIOL 216 Biology of Behaviour (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Introduction to the study of animal behaviour at the population, organismal, cellular, and molecular levels. Historical and contemporary methods and experiments will be presented and discussed to provide an overall appreciation of the biology of behaviour, with a focus on the application of multiple levels of analysis to biological phenomena and the formulation of hypotheses about evolution, development, function, and mechanisms of behavioural traits. Topics will range from how animals communicate with one another to the cellular mechanisms that allow information to be processed by nervous systems.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Hendricks, Michael; Reader, Simon; Woolley, Sarah (Winter)

  • BIOL 301 Cell and Molecular Laboratory (4 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : An introduction to biology research and communication with a focus on cell and molecular biology. Through conducting a series of project-based experiments and writing a final report, molecular and synthetic biology techniques such as gene cloning, manipulation, protein isolation and characterization and how research is conducted, analyzed and communicated will be addressed. In addition, an introduction to bioinformatics methods and their role in analysis will be provided.

    Terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022

    Instructors: Zheng, Huanquan; Harrison, Paul; Leroux, Maxime; Hayer, Arnold (Fall) Zheng, Huanquan; Harrison, Paul; Leroux, Maxime; Hayer, Arnold (Winter)

    • Fall or Winter

    • 1 hour lecture and one 6-hour laboratory

    • Prerequisites: BIOL 200, BIOL 201 (or ANAT 212/BIOC 212); or BIOL 219

    • Restrictions: Not open to students who have taken or are taking BIOC 300, or BIOC 220 and BIOC 320. Requires departmental approval.

    • For approval email hugo.zheng [at] mcgill.ca. Specify your ID number as well as the term and two lab day preferences.

  • BIOL 302 Fundamentals of Genetics and Genomics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Trait variation within and across populations and species,and how this reflects variation within genomes. Case studies and problem-solving approaches will be used to illustrate the tools of genomics, molecular genetics and classical genetics, and how they are employed to understand the mechanisms of phenotypic variation.Topics will include evolutionary, developmental and human genetics. Application of multiple levels of genetic analysis, formulation, and testing of hypotheses on critical topics ranging from evolution to developmental biology to human genetics.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Schoen, Daniel J; Lasko, Paul (Fall)

  • BIOL 311 Advanced Methods in Organismal Biology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Application of methods and techniques used by organismal biologists, paired with the design of sampling programs to test hypotheses using observational or experimental data, and the analysis of data. Topics include DNA barcoding/metabarcoding and experimental evolution.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Cristescu, Elena; Schoen, Daniel J; Gonzalez, Andrew (Winter)

  • COMP 204 Computer Programming for Life Sciences (3 credits)

    Offered by: Computer Science (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Computer Science (Sci) : Computer Science (Sci): Computer programming in a high level language: variables, expressions, types, functions, conditionals, loops, objects and classes. Introduction to algorithms, modular software design, libraries, file input/output, debugging. Emphasis on applications in the life sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022

    Instructors: Becerra, David (Fall) Li, Yue (Winter)

Complementary Courses (27-28 credits)

Core 12-13 credits

3 or 4 credits selected from CHEM block:

  • CHEM 204 Physical Chemistry/Biological Sciences 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Chemistry (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Chemistry : Similar to CHEM 223/CHEM 243. Emphasis on the use of biological examples to illustrate the principles of physical chemistry. The relevance of physical chemistry to biology is stressed.

    Terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022

    Instructors: Simine, Yelena (Fall) Cosa, Gonzalo (Winter)

  • CHEM 212 Introductory Organic Chemistry 1 (4 credits) *

    Offered by: Chemistry (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Chemistry : A survey of reactions of aliphatic and aromatic compounds including modern concepts of bonding, mechanisms, conformational analysis, and stereochemistry.

    Terms: Fall 2021, Winter 2022

    Instructors: Sirjoosingh, Pallavi; Lumb, Jean-Philip; Vlaho, Danielle (Fall) Vlaho, Danielle; Pavelka, Laura; Luedtke, Nathan (Winter)

    • Fall, Winter, Summer

    • Prerequisite: CHEM 110 or equivalent.

    • Corequisite: CHEM 120 or equivalent.

    • Restriction: Not open to students who are taking or have taken CHEM 211 or equivalent

    • Each lab section is limited enrolment

    • Note: Some CEGEP programs provide equivalency for this course. For more information, please see the Department of Chemistry's Web page (http://www.chemistry.mcgill.ca/advising/outside/equivalent.htm).

    • **Although this course follows a Tuesday/Thursday class schedule, the last class will be held on Friday, June 25 due to the statutory holiday on Thursday, June 24.

* If a student has already taken CHEM 212 or its equivalent, the credits can be made up with CHEM 204, or CHEM 222, or a 3- or 4-credit Biology complementary course to be approved by the Biology Adviser.

9 credits (3 credits from each of Blocks A, B and C):

Block A-Ecology and Evolution:

  • BIOL 304 Evolution (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : A comprehensive introduction to evolutionary biology. It covers both short-term and long-term evolutionary processes. Topics include the history of life, the origin of species, adaptation, natural selection and sexual selection.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Bell, Graham (Fall)

  • BIOL 305 Animal Diversity (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : The characteristics of the major groups of animals, their ancestry, history and relationship to one another. The processes of speciation, adaptive radiation and extinction responsible for diversity. Methods for constructing of phylogenies, for comparing phenotypes, and for estimating and analyzing diversity.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Barrett, Rowan; Larsson, Hans Carl; Bell, Graham; Green, David M; Hendry, Andrew (Winter)

  • BIOL 308 Ecological Dynamics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Principles of population, community, and ecosystem dynamics: population growth and regulation, species interactions, dynamics of competitive interactions and of predator/prey systems; evolutionary dynamics.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Guichard, Frederic (Fall)

Block B-Molecular and Cellular:

Block C-Neuro/Behaviour:

  • BIOL 306 Neural Basis of Behaviour (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : Neural mechanisms of animal behaviour; neuroethology; cellular neurophysiology, integrative networks within nervous systems; neural control of movement; processing of sensory information.

    Terms: Fall 2021

    Instructors: Sakata, Jon; Dent, Joseph Alan; Watt, Alanna (Fall)

  • BIOL 307 Behavioural Ecology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Biology (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Biology (Sci) : The relationship between animal behaviour and the natural environment in which it occurs. This course introduces the subject of ecology at the level of the individual organism. Emphasis on general principles which relate to feeding, predator avoidance, aggression, reproduction and parental care of animals including humans.

    Terms: Winter 2022

    Instructors: Reader, Simon; Woolley, Sarah (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lecture and 1 hour conference

    • Prerequisites: BIOL 205 and BIOL 215 or permission

Other (15 credits)

15 credits other Biology courses at the 300-500 levels, of which 6 credits must be at the 400-500 levels; may include up to 6 credits of research, and may include up to 6 credits of other non-BIOL science courses subject to Adviser approval.

Faculty of Science—2021-2022 (last updated Apr. 7, 2021) (disclaimer)
Back to top