Study life. It’s in your DNA.

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. Keep your Biology degree broad, or go deeper with one of six possible specializations.

You’ll graduate ready for a career in laboratory or field research, environmental assessment, education, the 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.

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.


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.

TrophyRanked among the world's top universities for biological sciences
Breifcase Available as a co-op and regular program
CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Biology

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 (Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics are recommended)

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.

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First-year courses

September to December

  • BIOL 110 - Introductory Zoology
  • BIOL 130/130L - Introductory Cell Biology/Lab
  • BIOL 150 - Organismal and Evolutionary Ecology
  • CHEM 120/120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Lab
  • One elective

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 (refer to Honours Biology or one of the specializations in Biology).

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


BEAKEROffered by the Faculty of Science

ClickApply to Life Sciences and select Biology as your major

book iconAvailable as a major and minor


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore different careers and types of employers.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Genetic counselling assistant
  • Field and lab technician
  • Plant pathology research assistant
  • Bioinformatics assistant
  • Animal care & research assistant

Sample co-op employers

  • University Health Network
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment
  • Harvard Medical School

Customize your Bachelor of Science in Biology degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the areas of focus.

  • Animal biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Plant biology

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Biology students include Medical Physiology, Human Nutrition, Microbiology, Environmental Biology, and Biotechnology.

What can you do with a biology degree?

Graduates often work in health care, microbiology and genetics for agricultural companies, hospitals and health science centres, medical research centres, labs, pharmaceutical companies, energy companies, and in education as teachers, lecturers, researchers, and more.

  • Cellular Therapy Production Manager - Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Chiropodist/Foot Specialist - LifeSource Medical Centre
  • Clinical Research Assistant - Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
  • Co-Founder - Feeband Lab Inc.
  • Fishery Research Program Associate - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
  • Genetic Counsellor, Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic - McMaster University
  • Researcher - Hospital for Sick Children
  • Microbiologist - Septodont, Novocol Pharmaceutical Division
  • Dietitian - Bridgepoint Health

Learn about the future of careers in science. Or thinking about a career in pharmacy? Learn how to become a pharmacist.

Ready to learn more?