Courses for your Biology degree

First-year courses and beyond*

Programs/majors in the Faculty of Science start right in first year. To select your program with confidence, here’s some handy info to get you started.

September to December

January to April


After first year

Most of the classes you’ll take will be Biology courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

BIOL 225 – Plants and Civilization
BIOL 310 – Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 346 – Microbial Ecology and Diversity
BIOL 472 – Cell Biology of Human Disease


Types of courses you'll take

52% biology, 10% chemistry, 5% math, 28% free electives, 5% other

This is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.

Skills you'll develop with this major

  • Technical writing
  • Organization and time management
  • Laboratory methodologies and data analysis
  • Teamwork
  • Logical thinking

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills a Biology major can provide.

Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.

*This is a sample schedule. Courses may be subject to change depending on availability each term.

Advisors are here to help

With so much flexibility, you might have a lot of questions. We're here to help! If you're applying for admission, contact our Faculty of Science recruitment co-ordinator.

Once you're a Waterloo student, you'll have access to academic advisors who can help you

  • choose your courses,
  • select minors and specializations,
  • ensure that you're meeting the requirements for your degree, and more.

Next steps