Biology (BA)

Explore life’s common principles and processes at the many levels of biological organization. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology prepares you to communicate biological processes and concepts to others, which can lead to careers in law, education, teaching or public policy. Choose an optional concentration in Physiology and Toxicology; Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity; or Cell, Molecular and Microbial Biology, and Genetics.

Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll have access to in the Biology program:

  • Participate in hands-on lab sessions, tutorials and seminars as part of your coursework.
  • Choose to complete one or more field courses as part of your program; approximately 30 are offered each year through the Ontario Universities’ Program in Field Biology.
  • Get a job as a research assistant to help faculty in the lab and field.
  • Build a capstone experience through an honours thesis or directed studies based on research by a faculty mentor.
  • Test out technical and analytical methods in the lab and field - approximately half of the courses we offer include labs that explore these!
  • Be hired as an instructional assistant to work in a teaching lab in your third and/or fourth year.

Check out the Biology Experience Guide.

 

2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies

 

Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*

 

students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Admissions

Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UBA
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: mid 70s.
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: mid 80s.
  • English at 60%.
  • Biology at 70%.
  • All prerequisite courses calculated in admissions average.
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Completed the first year of a college program:

  • Minimum admission average of 70% for part-time studies in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program.
  • Minimum admission average of 75% for full-time studies in a BA program.

Completed a two-year diploma or two years of a three-year advanced diploma:

  • Minimum admission average of 70% for part-time studies in a BA program.
  • Minimum admission average of 75% for full-time studies in a BA program

Completed a two to three-year advanced diploma:

  • Minimum admission average of 75% for full-time studies in a BA program.
Note: Possession of the minimum admission average does not guarantee admission. Unless otherwise noted, you are considered for admission into full-time studies.
Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

Program Details

About the BA in Biology

Our Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology program is intended for those who want to have a role in communicating biology and biological concepts to others.

This program will prepare you for careers such as law, education/teaching, public policy or science journalism.

This is a flexible program that you can combine with other subject areas through minors, options or even as a dual major with another BA program.

We also offer a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology, which provides a firm foundation not only in Biology, but also in Chemistry and Math. The BSc program is ideal for those looking to move on to graduate work in Biology or to professional postgraduate programs in environmental or health sciences.

Research Areas of Focus

In this program, you’ll study molecular processes and cell structures, signalling mechanisms, metabolic pathways, patterns of inheritance, physiological responses, life histories, biodiversity and conservation and strategies for survival across the three domains of life.

As a senior undergraduate student, you’ll have the opportunity to become part of ongoing research programs at the cutting edge of our discipline.

Some examples of recent student research include:

  • "Effects of water-borne pollutants on the health of fish"
  • "Mechanisms of biofilm formation by bacteria"
  • "Evolution of mating behaviour in fruit flies"
  • "Interactions of plants with soil microbial communities"
  • "Structure and function of proteins"
  • "Effects of climate change on northern ecosystems"

Program Options and Courses

Concentrations

Beginning in third year, single-major Biology students (i.e. students who do not combine this program with another BA program) have the option to specialize in one of three concentrations:

  • Cell, Molecular and Microbial Biology and Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity
  • Physiology and Toxicology

Options and Minors

In addition to your concentration these are a few popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Chemistry Minor
  • Environmental Studies Minor
  • Environmental Science Option
  • Geography Minor
  • Management Option
  • Psychology Minor
  • Research Specialization
  • Sustainability Option

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

Sample First-Year Courses

  • Biological Diversity and Evolution
  • Practical Skills for Biologists
  • Unifying Life Processes
  • 3.5 elective credits

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Film and the Image
  • Human Rights and Human Diversity
  • Love and Its Myths

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Fundamentals of Chemistry II
  • Life on Earth: Plants
  • Science in the Modern World, From 1800 to the Present

Similar Programs

Co-op

Co-op is a way to integrate what you are learning in the classroom with practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, earn money, develop your network, and graduate with work experience.

You can apply for admission to co-op in your first year and may be eligible for an admission interview early in your second year. As a student in this program, you will be eligible to complete paid work terms lasting 12 to 16 weeks.

Interested? Learn more about co-op.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

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"The journey was incredible and gave me a breadth of knowledge, skills and experience that is invaluable! This program has allowed many doors to open for me within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry."

Emily Tran, Biology graduate

"The background and knowledge I gained during my time at Laurier allowed me to bring intellectual input to my current career as an instructor of biology. This in turned helped me advance the biology teaching laboratories and challenge my undergraduate students to utilize their critical thinking skills in becoming advanced, mature young scientists."

Ibrahim Chehade, Biology graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • bioinformatics specialist
  • biotechnologist
  • environmental consultant
  • environmental policy advisor
  • microbiologist
  • public health professional
  • quality assurance manager
  • teacher/professor

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

"I fell in love with the Laurier campus. School did not feel like a chore because it was my second home. From studying in the concourse or atrium to hanging out on Alumni Field during down time I always felt comfortable. The experience helped define who I am today. It’s a safe place to learn and grow. Laurier will forever be rooted in me and I am proud of where I went to school."

Steven Siman, Biology graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.