2019-2020 Academic Year

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Chair

Dr. Ron MacKay

Biology is the scientific study of past and present life. The Department of Biology offers programs and courses that introduce students to fundamental and specialized biological knowledge and train students in scientific thinking and biological investigation and communication. The BSc Major, Combined Major and Major with Honours programs all provide a thorough grounding in the organismal perspective of biology – that is, in the many ways organisms (including humans) make their livings, grow, develop, interact with other organisms and their environments, regulate internal conditions and processes, and reproduce. Required courses in the BSc programs introduce students to the incredible diversity of the animal, plant and microbial worlds and to the unifying disciplines (cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and metabolism, developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology) that indicate descent of all organisms from a common ancestor. All required courses in these programs have laboratory components in which students learn “hands-on” from nature and develop practical lab skills and techniques of data-analysis and written and oral scientific communication. Students in BSc programs acquire specialized knowledge by completing elective biology courses at the 2000-, 3000- and 4000-levels. A student may choose courses that deepen knowledge of a particular group of organisms (plants, animals, humans, microbes or fungi) or follow a recommended path of required and elective courses that should prepare him/her for careers in:
                                Health, Veterinary and Plant Sciences
                                Evolution, Ecology and Environment
                                Neuroscience and Biological Psychology
                                Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Consult the department for advice on following one of these paths or see the large poster on the departmental website and bulletin board.

Graduates can pursue careers in the animal and human health professions, environmental sciences, resource and wildlife management, journalism, public relations, library science, biotechnology, epidemiology and public health, education, public service, conservation and research.

Students interested in research can satisfy their curiosity and learn about scientific culture and communication by becoming involved in faculty research. This may take the form of one or more 4000-level courses in directed literature, laboratory or field research extending over a single term or a full academic year (BSc Honours). Alternatively, students can be part-time or full-time research assistants.

The department’s objectives for students in biology and non-biology programs are the same: (1) to include students in our community of biology scholars and to teach them about scientific philosophy and culture; (2) to share up-to-date fundamental and specialized biological knowledge; (3) to satisfy your personal interests and support the career ambitions of students; (4) to develop the analytical, critical and creative intellectual skills od students; (5) to make students effective communicators of science; (6) to develop in students some degree of personal responsibility for social welfare as it relates to biology.

Students seeking admission to biology programs and courses are advised to have knowledge of basic chemistry and facility in mathematics and oral and written English.

Any student wishing to complete a major, concentration or minor in Biology should consult a faculty member or contact the Centre for Academic Advising and Student Success for help with planning an academic program.

(View the course planning guide here) 

Admission Requirements

Review sections 2.1.4 Admission Requirements and 2.1.6 Additional Admission Requirements.

Major
Combined Major
Honours Degree
Concentration
Minors

Major

The degree with a major is intended for those students with a clearly focused interest who wish to gain knowledge in depth of a single discipline.

Students intending to complete the major degree must declare their intention to do so before they register for their sixth unit of coursework. Students who do not make this declaration within this time frame will not be permitted to register for further coursework.

The Mount also offers a limited enrollment BSc internship option.

Students must successfully complete 20.0 units with the following requirements:
a minimum of 8.0 and a maximum of 10.0 units in the major as follows:
 BIOL 1152, 1153, 2240, and 3312
 1.0 unit selected from BIOL 2203, 2204, 2207
 1.0 unit selected from BIOL 3309, 3310, 3322
 BIOL 3370 or 3372
 2.5 additional units of BIOL at the 2000 level or above
Note: BIOL 2201 and 2202 may not be used to fulfill the requirements for a major in biology
 1.0 additional units of BIOL at the 3000 level or above
 a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the required 8.0 units of BIOL
CHEM 1011, 1012, and 2401
MATH 1113, 2208, and 2209

a minor consisting of 3.0 units in a science field (Applied Statistics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Statistics or designated Applied Human Nutrition courses) as specified by the department offering the minor. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required 3.0 units
students may choose a second 3.0 unit minor in any area that offers a minor or up to 2.5 additional units of arts or science electives
1.0 unit from each core group A, B, and C listed under the Bachelor of Arts (General Studies)
(exclusive of the major): 
 Core A - Sciences & Mathematics (1.0 unit)
Note: Core A is fulfilled by CHEM/MATH requirement)
 Core B - Social Sciences (1.0 unit)
 Core C - Humanities (1.0 unit)
at least 9.0 units must be at the 2000 level or above 
Note: No more than 4.0 units from professional areas may be counted toward the degree. Courses included in the Applied Human Nutrition science minor will not be counted as professional electives.


Special Studies
Students may count a maximum of 4.0 units of directed/independent/research studies courses in a Bachelor of Science (Major), with no more than 2.0 units in any single discipline.

Major Certificate

Students who have graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Science (General Studies) degree may apply to do a major certificate. Students must fulfill the requirements for the major degree listed above.

Combined Major

The combined major degree is intended for those students who wish to gain in-depth knowledge of two disciplines. Students must declare a major or combined major before registering for their sixth unit of coursework. Students who do not make this declaration within this time frame will not be permitted to register for further coursework.

The Mount also offers a limited enrollment BSc Combined Major internship option.

Students must successfully complete 20.0 units. In order to complete a combined major in Biology, the following requirements must be met:
a minimum of 6.0 units and a maximum of 8.0 units in the Biology combined major as follows:

BIOL 1152, 1153, and 2240

1.0 unit selected from BIOL 2203, 2204, 2207

1.0 unit selected from BIOL 3309, 3310, 3322

BIOL 3370 or 3372

1.5 additional units of BIOL at the 2000 level or above

0.5 additional units of BIOL at the 3000 level or above
CHEM 1011, 1012, and 2401 
MATH 2208

a second combined major specified by another program (Canadian Studies, Chemistry, Cultural Studies, Economics, English, Family Studies, French, Gerontology, History, Mathematics, Political Studies, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, Women’s Studies)
a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the required 6.0 units of each combined major
at least 5.0 units of the 12.0 units overall required for the combined majors must be at the 3000 level or above
1.0 unit from each core group A, B, and C listed under the Bachelor of Arts (General Studies)
(inclusive of the majors):

Core A - Sciences & Mathematics (1.0 unit)
Note: Core A is fulfilled by CHEM/MATH requirement) 

Core B - Social Sciences (1.0 unit)

Core C - Humanities (1.0 unit)
at least 9.0 units of the total 20.0 units must be at the 2000 level or above 
Note: No more than 4.0 units from professional areas may be counted toward the degree. Courses included in the Applied Human Nutrition science minor will not be counted as professional electives. 

Students wishing to combine an arts major and a science major (e.g. Chemistry and English or Biology and Political Studies): 
must meet all of the requirements listed above 
and 
  ♦to complete a BSc (Combined Major) primary science discipline plus secondary arts discipline
  ❏ must complete a minimum 12.0 units of the total 20.0 units in science disciplines
  ♦to complete a BA (Combined Major) primary arts discipline plus secondary science discipline
  ❏ must complete a minimum 12.0 units of the total 20.0 units in arts disciplines

 

Honours Degree

The honours degree option is available to students who wish to study a single discipline in depth, usually with post-graduate study as a goal.

Students wishing to do an honours degree must apply in writing to the departmental Honours Coordinator by the 1st of March of the year preceding enrolment in BIOL 4499 Honours Thesis. Application may be made after successful completion of 10.0 units of study. Minimum requirements for honours program entry are an average GPA of 3.0 in biology courses, a GPA of 3.0 in courses counted for the degree beyond the first 5.0 units completed, and the agreement of a faculty member to supervise the thesis. Approval of the department is necessary for a student to be accepted into the honours program.

Students must successfully complete 20.0 units with the following requirements:
a minimum of 10.0 and a maximum of 12.0 units in the honours subject as follows:
 BIOL 1152, 1153, 2240, and 3312
 1.0 unit selected from BIOL 2203, 2204, 2207 
 1.0 unit selected from BIOL 3309, 3310, 3322
 BIOL 3370 or 3372
 BIOL 3999
 BIOL 4499
 2.5 additional units of BIOL at the 2000 level or above Note: BIOL 2201 and 2202
may not be used to fulfill the requirements for the honours in biology

1.5 additional units of BIOL at the 3000 level or above
CHEM 1011, 1012, 2401, and 3501
MATH 1113, 2208, and 2209
a minor consisting of 3.0 units in a science field (Applied Statistics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Statistics or designated Applied Human Nutrition courses) as specified by the department offering the minor. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required 3.0 units
1.0 unit from each core group A, B, and C listed under the Bachelor of Arts (General Studies)
(exclusive of the honours subject):
 Core A - Sciences & Mathematics (1.0 unit)
Note: Core A is fulfilled by CHEM/MATH requirements)
 Core B - Social Sciences (1.0 unit)
 Core C - Humanities (1.0 unit) 
obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a grade of at least C- in all 10.0 units of the required BIOL honours courses 
achieve a minimum of B- in the honours thesis (BIOL 4499)
obtain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses counted for the degree beyond the first 5.0 units
Note: No more than 4.0 units from professional areas may be counted toward the degree. Courses included in the Applied Human Nutrition science minor will not be counted as professional electives.
Note: First-class honours will be awarded to students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better in 10.0 units in the honours subject and no grade below B- in all courses counted for the degree beyond the first 5.0 units taken.  

  

Honours Certificate

Students who have graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology may apply to do an honours certificate. Students must fulfill the requirements for the honours degree listed above and meet the University regulations regarding honours certificates. 

Concentration
To obtain a concentration in Biology, students must fulfill the following requirements: 
BIOL 1152 and 1153
0.5 units selected from BIOL 2203, 2204, 2207

2.5 additional units of BIOL at the 2000 level or above, of which at least 1.0 unit must be at the 3000 level or above

 

Minor in Biology
To obtain a minor in Biology, students must fulfill the following requirements:
BIOL 1152 and 1153
2.0 additional units of BIOL
  
Minor in NeuroscienceTo obtain a minor in Neuroscience, students must fulfill the following requirements:
BIOL 1152 and PSYC 1110
BIOL/PSYC 2260 
and an additional 1.5 units from PSYC 2214, 2216, BIOL/PSYC 2217, including a minimum of 0.5 unit from BIOL 3260, 3322, BIOL/PSYC 3332, PSYC 4417 or PSYC 4432

 

Academic Note: This web-based calendar information is applicable for the 2019-2020 academic year which runs from September 01, 2019 to August 31, 2020.

For the complete 2019-2020 Academic Calendars, please consult the PDF versions of the Undergraduate Academic Calendar andGraduate Academic Calendars. (underlines are links to the PDF versions of each)

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