Biology


Biology is the scientific study of living things — their form, function, origin, and behaviour. Disciplines include cell biology, ecology, genetics and evolution, and animal and plant diversity

Overview

Biology is the scientific study of living things — their form, function, origin, and behaviour.

Disciplines include cell biology, ecology, genetics and evolution, and animal and plant diversity.

Mount Allison's Biology program was named among the top 20 biology programs in Canada. — Maclean's 2020 University Rankings

At a Glance

Degree options
Bachelor of Science (BSc), major or honours
Minor

Curriculum

At Mount Allison, Biology provides students with opportunities for hands-on learning, including research and laboratory experience.

First-year courses include studies of introductory organismal and cell biology, as well as biochemistry. In second year, material divides into ecology, genetics and evolution, statistics, and a series of form and function courses.

Upper-year courses allow students to explore topics such as:

  • marine biology
  • aquaculture
  • developmental biology
  • applied genetics
  • environmental microbiology
  • ornithology
  • animal and human physiology
  • applied and theoretical ecology

Biology is available as:

  • BSc major (60 credits)
  • BSc honours (75 credits)
  • Minor in any degree (24 credits)

Not sure about the difference between a major, a minor, an honours, and a certificate?

Master of Science (MSc) in Biology — our Master of Science program offers the opportunity to pursue a Master's degree in a small, intimate environment.

Students at the Galápagos Islands Conservation Physiology Field School in Biology

Related programs:

Careers

Whether you're entering the job market or continuing your education, your Mount Allison degree will stand out.

Mount Allison has been recognized by Maclean's as the top primarily undergraduate university in Canada more times than any other university.

With experiential learning and career development opportunities available in every degree, you'll also graduate with hands-on learning and real-world experience.

Our graduates also boast extraordinarily high acceptance rates to top graduate programs and professional schools such as law and medicine.

Popular career paths for Biology graduates include:

  • medical professional
  • health policy analyst
  • medical researcher
  • zoologist/veterinarian
  • epidemiologist
  • wildlife/aquatic biologist
  • environmental biologist
  • microbiologist
  • government research scientist
  • education professional

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. William McIntyre (’06)
Bachelor of Science, honours Biology
Electrophysiologist

“Mount Allison was a place of opportunities and gave me the space to try new things. I think I brought that mindset with me as I advanced my career.”

» Dr. William McIntyre, 2022 Contemporary Alumni Achievement Award recipient

Testimonials

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I really liked the small class sizes and the approachable profs. You were able to get to know your professors and ask questions instead of being directed to a TA. I would recommend this program if you’re interested in the world around you and if you want to join a tight-knit biology community.


Brianna
Crosby
'22
Honours Biology
Central Onslow, NS
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Even in first year, research projects are part of the lab sections of courses and in the upper years it is possible to do independent research with professors through independent studies or the honours program. If you're passionate about biology, enjoy critical thinking and problem-solving, and like to be in a close-knit community, Mount Allison is a great choice!


Julia
Bland
'19
Honours Biology, minor in Biochemistry
Avonport, NS

Extras

Biology professor Dr. Karen Crosby in her research lab on campus

Research opportunities

Faculty are actively involved in research, and there are many opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research through faculty-supervised independent research projects during summers or during academic terms.

Students who are seriously interested in advanced studies are given the opportunity to explore the areas of interests to faculty who are primarily concerned with the fields of ecology and physiology.

Research opportunities in Biology include:

  • phytoplankton physiology and ecology
  • neurophysiology
  • environmental animal physiology
  • fish ecology
  • molecular genetics
  • marine botany
  • field ecology
  • ornithology

 

Harold Crabtree Aqualab: Centre for Aquatic Sciences

Facilities

The Harold Crabtree Aqualab: Centre for Aquatic Sciences

The Aqualab is a state-of-the art aquatic facility marrying field-based aquatic research with lab-based studies reflecting real-world environmental conditions. The Aqualab provides a fertile training facility for students, faculty, and visiting scientists.

Digital Microscopy Facility

The Digital Microscopy Facility (DMF) houses microscopy and microanalysis instrumentation which is available for use by faculty and students, and includes a scanning electron microscope, an energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) system, and a 3D printer, among other equipment.

Environmental Analysis and Stable Isotope Laboratory

The Environmental Analysis and Stable Isotope Laboratory (EASIL) hosts a growing suite of instrumentation for quantitative analyses of environmental processes. The facility personnel have expertise in compositional analyses of a wide range of biological and environmental samples, from bird feathers to mudflat sediment.

 

Students during the Galápagos Islands Conservation Physiology Field School in Biology

Field School in Biology

Students in the Galápagos Islands Conservation Physiology Field School in Biology learn how the physiology of animals can help in conservation management of threatened species in one of the most biodiverse and complex ecosystems on the planet — the Galápagos Islands.

Students learn about the climate/environmental challenges in both Canada and Ecuador, and work to understand animal physiology and use this knowledge to determine if/how animals will respond to climate change, and how we can use that information to help with conservation management.

/current-students/department-biology

Bachelor of Science
Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Our admissions decisions are based on your academic record, leadership skills, a high level of commitment, and the potential for personal growth. The drop down menu below will help you find information on what pre-requisites are recommended for a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science.

Academic Awards

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Mount A is #2 in student awards


Maclean’s ranks Mount Allison second in student and faculty awards in its latest University Rankings. To date, 56 Mount Allison students have become Rhodes Scholars — one of the best per capita records in Canada.

Next Steps

Be part of Canada's best undergraduate university