Undergraduate Program

Operation Changes to Biology Undergraduate Program Office due to COVID-19

As part of York University's efforts to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Biology Undergraduate Program Office team will, effective immediately, be working from home from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

We will still be able to provide the following key services remotely.  Please send all requests to biology@yorku.ca:

  • Assisting with your enrolment for Summer Courses*. When submitting your request, please include your name, student number, major, course and section or lab if applicable.
  • Handling of forms such as Course Performance Summary(CPS), Deferred Standing Agreement(DSA), Course Transaction Forms, Letters of Permission forms, etc.  - please refer to our temporary policy changes below for details.
  • Answering questions pertaining to course selections and/or prerequisites for courses.
  • Assisting with existing deferred exams and plans.
  • Responding to approved petitions or related questions.
  • Any request for individual advising (remotely).

Please note the following temporary changes to Departmental Policies:

  1. We will now be allowing students to submit forms like Course Performance Summary(CPS), Deferred Standing Agreement(DSA), Course Transaction Forms, Letters of Permission, etc. online. We will in turn return completed forms via email to students as needed. This means that if you submit a CPS form online we will ensure it is filled and signed and will then scan the signed copy back to you.
  2. The turnaround time may be longer than normal – up to 72 hours for responses, as we are receiving more than the usual number of email messages.  Rest assured we will respond, and ask that you refrain from emailing us a second or third time within 72hours, as this simply leads to more delays. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
  3. All communication must be via email. Please do not phone the office as it is closed.

We will continue to address as many of your concerns as quickly as possible. There may be slight glitches and possible delays, but we will work together to ensure we get through this successfully.

Stay Safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing!



Chair's Message

Biology, the science of life is concerned with the structure and function of organisms, their evolution and ecology. The Department of Biology offers undergraduate instruction in all the major fields of biology, with particular strength in Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While each specialized program in the Department of Biology centres on a prescribed core of courses, students have the opportunity to take a broad variety of elective courses so as to acquire an understanding of the multifaceted nature of biology today.

The Biology faculty includes accomplished and internationally renowned research scientists who are dedicated to helping students acquire critical learning, analytical and scientific skills. These skills provide students with a better understanding of the beauty, complexity and fragility of the natural world and facilitate engagement in informed discussions of scientific questions. Our goal is to provide students with an excellent well-rounded education in life sciences that can lead to fulfilling careers in industry, academia and government. We strive to inspire and engage our students through lectures, laboratory courses, field courses, and independent study programs. An important component of the undergraduate program in Biology for Honours students is the opportunity to do an Honours Thesis based on laboratory and/or field investigations under the supervision of a faculty member.

The Department of Biology is housed in three separate buildings on campus: Farquharson Building(FRQ) which is currently being renovated, Lumbers Building (LB), and Life Sciences Building (LSB). All first year and some second year laboratories are offered in the new LSB with state-of-the-art teaching, audio-visual and computing facilities.

This handbook provides information that will help you choose the right undergraduate program and courses to achieve your goals in Biology. Please pay special attention to the program requirements and course prerequisites for the various programs in Biology including the Specialized Honours Program, the Honours Major Program and the Honours Minor Program. Use the information on this website in combination with the Undergraduate Calendar for 2019-2020.

This website is primarily for current students. Prospective students should visit the Faculty of Science Future Students website.

For general questions and advice about your courses, please refer the menu on the left. For additional questions, email biology@yorku.ca, and for more substantive issues, please contact the Undergraduate Program Director, Professor Tamara Kelly (updbiol@yorku.ca). The Biology Undergraduate Office is located in the Life Sciences Building, Room 102.

I encourage you to explore the wide range of possibilities offered by Biology and I offer my best wishes for success.

Robert Tsushima, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Biology