Study life. It’s in your DNA.

A butterfly specimin in the Biology program at the University of Waterloo.

Explore all aspects of life and living creatures – from cells and genes to species and diversity.

Some of the greatest scientific discoveries have occurred within the field of biology, including the mapping of the human genome, identifying the structure of DNA, and how photosynthesis works. All of these revelations happened because dedicated scientists looked at the world a little differently.

At Waterloo, you’ll dive into your Biology major right from day one. And with more than 80 biology courses available, you’ve got plenty of options. From microbes and genes to plants and zoology, we've got something for anyone who's passionate about living systems.

You’ll graduate ready for a career in laboratory or field research, environmental assessment, education, health professions, or industry. If you enrol in co-op, you'll also have up to two years of paid work experience to add to your resume.

TrophyRanked among the world's top universities for biological sciences
Breifcase Available as a co-op and regular program
book iconAvailable as a major and minor

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Two of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, Physics

Admission averages: Low 80s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply to Life Sciences and select Biology as your major.

Two students in the Biology degree program at University of Waterloo dissect a crayfish.

By choosing an area of specialization within the Biology program, you can focus your studies and prepare for rewarding career opportunities.

What will you learn?

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.

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.

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.


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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, and more.

Questions? Ask a student!

Contact a Science student ambassador to learn about their experience.

Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


BEAKEROffered by the Faculty of Science

ClickApply to Life Sciences and select Biology as your major

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Biology



Ready to learn more?

Get career-relevant skills

Looking for practical skills? Take advantage of hands-on field courses to study terrestrial, aquatic, or marine biology in places like Algonquin Park and Jamaica.

Meet other bio-nerds

Make some time in your schedule for the Biology Undergraduate Society (BUGS), which organizes student-professor nights, tutoring sessions, and a full calendar of social events.