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:

Possible Career Paths Include: 

Our Biology program has more lab hours than most other programs in Ontario. Graduates go on to successful careers in medicine, dentistry, research, teaching, industry. Biology at York will prepare you for careers in medical and biological research, environmental assessment and restoration and management or policy development at all levels of government.