COVID-19 Update Page - Department of Biology


Most Biology courses will be offered remotely in the Summer and Fall 2021 terms. Details of how each course will be organized will be posted on the specific course Moodle website by the first day of class.

Courses for Winter 2022 will be offered in person if government and university regulations permit it. We will continue to post updated information here as we receive it, so please check back. Below we list exceptions to these general rules.


SUMMER TERM Courses with in person components: SC/BIOL 3150 4.0 will hold labs on campus. Students enrolling must be able to come to campus for labs.

FALL TERM  Courses with in-person components:


SC/BIOL 2040 A, B Tutorial 2 only*

SC/BIOL 2060 Lab 2 only*

SC/BIOL 3030 labs

SC/BIOL 3060 labs

SC/BIOL 3150 labs

SC/BIOL 3171 lecture and labs

SC/BIOL 3140 labs

SC/BIOL 4010

SC/BIOL 4020

SC/BIOL 4141

SC/BIOL 4270*

SC/BIOL 4290 lectures and labs

* Courses with an asterisk can be completed entirely remotely. For other courses on the list, in person elements are required.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Changes to courses and to prerequisites for Summer 2021 and Fall/Winter 2021-2022:

SC/BIOL 2030 4.0 Animals
BIOL 2030 will run as scheduled, but will run as a 3 credit version with no labs, rather than the usual 4 credit version with labs. BIOL 2030 3.0 will be accepted as a prerequisite and degree requirement wherever BIOL 2030 4.0 is required, in all cases.

SC/BIOL 2070 3.0 Research Methods in Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL 2070 is a practical lab course, and we are not able to offer it remotely. However, in order to ensure you are not prevented from progressing normally through your degree, we have created a substitute course, BIOL 2071 3.0. BIOL 2071 will be accepted as a prerequisite and degree requirement wherever BIOL 2070 3.0 is required, in all cases.  The new course will cover all of the learning outcomes covered in BIOL 2070, except for in-person labs, so you will still learn about current methods in biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology, and you will be prepared for third year courses.

SC/BIOL 4000 Honour Thesis
At the moment we are planning to offer BIOL4000 8.0 as usual. Thesis students will be allowed to come on to campus to conduct their honours thesis research.

The ability to offer BIOL 4000 also will depend on the status of research labs.  Updates will be provided as we receive them, and in the meantime we encourage you to continue to plan for BIOL 4000 (and seek potential supervisors) as you normally would. If you require BIOL 4000 for your degree (it is only required if you are in a Specialized Honours Program), and have any concerns or questions, please email For questions related directly to the thesis course, please email

Research Practicum Courses
Students who are interested in completing a Research Practicum course in the fall/winter should contact potential supervisors now to identify a supervisor and discuss possible projects. For projects that can be completed remotely, requests for enrollment can be submitted any time after your enrollment window opens. For projects that require work on campus, please consult with your supervisor.

 Enrolling Into Courses

We recognize enrollment time is stressful. We will try our best to ensure you are able to enroll but we ask you to be patient as it is also a very busy time in the department as we  prepare for the new term. The following are scenarios when you should contact the Department and ask for assistance one week prior to your enrollment window:

  • If you have a prerequisite course that is a repeated course, transfer credit, pass/fail, deferred, or PDG or if you are currently enrolled in a prerequisite course for a course you wish to take in summer.

In all other cases you should be able to enroll into your courses without assistance.

Please keep in mind we strictly enforce all prerequisite courses in the department of biology. Please do not email us requesting courses for which you do not meet the prerequisites.

Best of luck and take care you yourself. Please check back here before emailing us as you will likely find the answer to your questions. We encourage you to listen to the Public Health Guidelines for your area and adhere strictly to these to encourage a quick return to campus. We look forward to seeing you all as soon as is safely possible.

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

Updated April 2020

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

  • Assisting with your enrollment 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), 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. CPS FORM for Biology 1000 & 1001: Please complete your portion of the form, and email it to or Once signed by the course instructor, it will be emailed back to you.
  2. CPS FORM for Upper Year Biology Courses: Please complete your portion of the form, and email it to the course email address (if there is one) or to the course director directly (please do not copy The course director will email it back to you once signed.
  3. DEFERRED STANDING AGREEMENT:  After filling out your portion of the DSA, please email the DSA & Supporting documents to the course email address or to the course director (please do not send it to biology).
  4. For enrollment issues or questions regarding your program, please email  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 72 hours, as this simply leads to more delays. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
  5. 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!

The Department of Biology