Physiology (PHGY)

Physiology (PHGY)



  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, Room 1021
  • 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler
  • Montreal QC H3G 1Y6
  • Telephone: 514-398-4316
  • Website:

About Physiology

About Physiology

Physiology has its roots in many of the basic sciences including biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics; and it overlaps with other biomedical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, and biomedical engineering. Physiology is one of the prime contributors of basic scientific knowledge to the clinical medical sciences.

Members of the Department of Physiology at McGill are engaged in studies dealing with molecules, single cells, or entire systems in a variety of vertebrates, including humans. A wide range of interest and expertise is represented, including:

  • cardiovascular;
  • respiratory;
  • gastrointestinal and renal physiology;
  • the physiology of exercise;
  • neurophysiology;
  • endocrinology;
  • immunology;
  • biophysics; and
  • biomathematics.

Some faculty members have formal or informal links with the departments of mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, and chemistry, and with clinical departments (medicine, surgery, pediatrics, neurology, obstetrics, psychiatry, anesthesia), reflecting and reinforcing the close ties between physiology and other disciplines.

Graduates at the B.Sc. level have found rewarding careers in secondary school and CEGEP teaching, government service, and laboratory technical assistance such as in pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, and institutions of higher learning. Moreover, physiology provides an excellent background for medicine, dentistry or other postgraduate work, in such fields as physiology, experimental medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry, or physiological psychology.

The programs offered in Physiology differ in their orientation but they all have a common core of material covering:

  • cardiovascular;
  • respiratory;
  • gastrointestinal and renal physiology;
  • neurophysiology;
  • endocrinology; and
  • immunology.

The specified U1 courses are identical for all programs except the Joint Major programs in Physiology and Physics, Physiology and Mathematics, and the Joint Honours program in Immunology, and thus, afford students maximum flexibility before deciding on a particular program to follow in U2 and U3.

All new students to the Department, Freshman and CEGEP, must contact the Student Affairs Officer at 514-398-3689 for advising; further information is available on the Physiology website.

Returning students are encouraged to consult with the Student Affairs Officer regularly throughout the year, in particular at the beginning of their final year, to ensure they have met all departmental requirements.

Please note: Complementary courses are not electives.

The difference between complementary courses and required courses is that complementary courses are defined as offering an element of choice, however small that choice may be. Students may choose from the two (or more) courses specified within complementary course segments of a program description, but ONLY from those. For further information, refer to University Regulations & Resources > Undergraduate > Registration > Course Information and Regulations.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Aug. 8, 2023) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Liberal Program - Core Science Component Physiology (50 credits)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology (66 credits)

(65-66 credits) ...

For more information, see Major Physiology (66 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology and Mathematics (79 credits)

The physiology and mathematics major program is an interdisciplinary program that integrates the world of physiology with mathematics. It explores the relationship between Physiological systems and the quantitative principles underpinning them. Physiology covers topics from cellular function to organ systems and behaviour. Mathematics delves into the basis...

For more information, see Major Physiology and Mathematics (79 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology and Physics (82 credits)

This program provides a firm foundation in physics, mathematics, and physiology. It is appropriate for students interested in applying methods of the physical sciences to problems in physiology and allied biological sciences.

For more information, see Major Physiology and Physics (82 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Honours Physiology (75 credits)

All admissions to the Honours program will be in U2, and the student must have a U1 GPA of 3.30, with no less than a B in PHGY 209 and PHGY 210. Admission to U3 requires a U2 CGPA of 3.20 with no less than a B in U2 Physiology courses. Decisions for admission to U3 will be heavily influenced by student standing in U2 courses.

For more information, see Honours Physiology (75 credits).

Physiology (PHGY) Related Programs

Physiology (PHGY) Related Programs

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

For more information, see Immunology. This program is offered by the Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Physiology.

Students interested in the program should contact:

  • Dr. Monroe Cohen
  • Physiology
  • Telephone: 514-398-4342
  • Email: monroe.cohen [at]


  • Dr. C. Piccirillo
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Telephone: 514-934-1934, ext. 76143
  • Email: ciro.piccirillo [at]
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Aug. 8, 2023) (disclaimer)
Faculty of Science—2024-2025 (last updated Aug. 8, 2023) (disclaimer)
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