Biology was the pioneer science at York, offering the first undergraduate and graduate programs in the 1960s.

Biology studies living things and the discipline defines a living creature, technically called a living "organism", as one that has a metabolism and reproduces. Biologists study living organisms from many different angles, including behaviour, evolution and ecology as well as cell and molecular biology and genetics. They study all different kinds of species from plants to insects, viruses to humans. Biology can also be combined with other fields. For example, biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology and biopsychology are all important fields related to biology.

Biologists can be found working everywhere — on and off the planet:

  • in a variety of environments to investigate ecosystems;
  • in the laboratory to examine how organisms work;
  • in the microscopic world to explore cells and the submicroscopic to explore molecules in cells;
  • in space to study the effect of space travel on organisms;
  • back in time to investigate the history of life.

The Biology program, York’s longest-established scientific program, is home to internationally recognized teaching and research faculty. It offers you a diversity of courses from across the discipline, providing you with the flexibility to choose courses from many different areas or to specialize in a particular field of life science. In your upper years, you can choose to specialize in such areas as:

This program is offered on York's Glendon Campus.

York's Glendon Campus is the only fully integrated bilingual Faculty of its kind in Canada and one of the only university campuses in Canada to specialize in liberal arts education. Students take courses in English and French and often learn a third language. Study this program at Glendon.

Ce programme est offert sur le campus Glendon de York.

Glendon est la seule faculté entièrement bilingue /au Canada et l'un des seuls campus universitaires canadiens spécialisés dans l'étude des arts libéraux. Les étudiants suivent des cours en anglais et en français et apprennent souvent une troisième langue. Suivez ce programme à Glendon.

Internationalize Your Degree

Offered through Glendon, the iBSc degree program reflects York's commitment to internationalization and requires you to acquire an international language and to gain international experience on exchange at one of York University's partner institutions abroad. You will benefit from enhanced interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge, which are important components of the department's academic focus. Visit the International program page for more information.

Possible Career Paths: 
  • marine biologist
  • research associate
  • cardiac scientist
  • botanist
  • physician

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.
You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.