Admission to 3rd Year Biology & Honours


    • Students who have already been admitted into the 2nd year Biology program DO NOT need to reapply for admission to the 3rd year program unless they are applying to be in Honours or a combined majors degree option.  

    • As of 2022W, there will no longer be a January application period.

    • Applications for Third-Year Admission: Applications for 3rd-year admissions are now closed until August!  Results from the May application period will be communicated by the end of May.  If you have any issues with your application please email

Admission requirements for entry into the 3rd year Biology program:

There are two application periods to apply for admission into the 3rd year biology program May and August.  May admission is open to students who have all their requirements by April.   August admission is open to students who are new to the program or applying to be in Honours.   August admissions is not for students in the Biology program looking for a 3rd-year promotion.  Students who are accepted during the August admission period are offered one seat in a 3rd-year Biology laboratory selection course (i.e. BIOL 306/ 326/331/337/340/341/342/351/352/363) since acceptance into the program occurs after the summer registration period.    Admission into the 3rd year Biology Major program is based on the successful completion of the 2nd year-required courses (please see below) and students achieving a minimum of a 70% sessional average.  The online application to apply to the 3rd year biology program will be available on the Biology website during the first two weeks of the two application periods (i.e. May and August).

The second-year requirements are:
Biology Fundamentals: BIOL 200, BIOL 230, BIOL 233 or 234, BIOL 260
Organismal (select two): BIOL 203, BIOL 204, BIOL 205, BIOL 209, BIOL 210, MICB 201/211
Chemistry: CHEM 233 & CHEM 235 or CHEM 203 or CHEM 223 & CHEM 225

To be eligible for admission to third-year biology, students must have completed at least three of the fundamentals courses (BIOL 200, 230, 233 or 234, 260), one organismal diversity course (BIOL 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, MICB 201/211), and CHEM 233 or CHEM 203 or CHEM 223.

Students intending to take BIOL 363 and 364 must take BIOL 204 and/or BIOL 260 in their second year.   Promotion to the fourth year requires successful completion of a minimum of 72 credits,  full completion of all first and second-year requirements, BIOL 300, and 9 credits of upper-level life science courses (i.e. BIOL 336, Biology Labs, or Life Science Selections).  If a student has been granted permission to use STAT 200 to satisfy the BIOL 300 requirement they are required to have 12 credits of upper-level life science courses instead.

Students intending to apply to a Combined Majors or Combined Honours program (i.e. Chemical Biology, Computer Science & Biology, or Oceanography & Biology) need to be promotable to 3rd year by completing 60% of the listed 2nd-year degree requirements of their desired program to be eligible to apply to the 3rd year biology program.

Honours Admissions:

The Honours specialization provides students with intense exposure to a single field or a combination of fields in the biological sciences and is the traditional route to take if you want to pursue graduate studies.  An honours degree requires a minimum of 132 credits, rather than the required 120 credits for the major’s options.  They will gain experience in research in the form of an honours thesis and specially designed honours courses (i.e. BIOL 347 & 447).   Honors students are required to complete all courses attempted (no failed courses), complete a minimum of 27 credits per winter session, and maintain a minimum 75% average per academic session.

Second-year students wishing to apply to the Honours program just need to submit an application during the 3rd year admission period. If you are interested in an honors specialization but do not meet these requirements (for instance, completed only 26 credits in your first winter session) please still submit an application.  As the Associate Head of Biology will review all applications and consider them on a case-by-case basis for admission into the honours program.

Applications for admissions to honours are open in May and August and will be posted on the front page of the biology website.

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