Frequently Asked Questions

I am missing a prerequisite or co-requisite for a course. Can I still enroll?
Only under exceptional circumstances. Prerequisites and/or co-requisites are carefully considered for each course and reflect the minimum academic background needed for the course material. The Undergraduate Chair will only waive course prerequisites in the following circumstances: 

  1. The student has an equivalent course from a different university.
  2. The student is in their upper year (minimum 3rd year standing), has demonstrated very good academic performance in previous courses (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 (B+)) and has permission of the instructor. Permission to waive prerequisites/co-requisites will only be given after the start of open enrolment so as to give priority to students who have the proper requirements.

    Note that only one prerequisite can be waived per course.

    Application for Pre/corequisite Waiver

Can I use PSYC 202 in lieu of BIOL 243? 
No. Biology 243 is a core course in our major. We only grant the substitution under exceptional circumstances, such as a degree plan change where the student already had the PSYC course. 

Can I use MATH 126 in a BIOL plan? 
Yes, students may take MATH 126 in lieu of MATH 121 or 122 providing they can secure a place in the course.

Can I load courses into shopping cart when the prerequisite is In Progress (IP)? 
Yes, students can load anything into their shopping carts. Once a student clicks validate, the system will check the prerequisite. If the prerequisite is IP, the validate will fail because the shopping cart does not recognize courses in progress. The student can ernol once the course has been completed.

Where are post-degree students in the SOLUS course registration line-up? 
Post-degree students are considered year 3 so they can register on July 18/19.  As far as access to courses they would not be able to enrol in courses reserved for concentrators.

I have an AP transfer credit for STATS 263. Do I still need to take BIOL 243?
Yes. A student who brings in AP transfer credit for STATS 263 must take BIOL 243 in 2nd year.  

I want to apply for an honours Biology plan, but I received a C- in BIOL 103.  Will I be accepted?    
The recent minimum requirement for consideration for admission into any of the Honours BIOL plans is C- in BIOL 103 and a cumulative GPA of 1.6. This is the recent minimum requirement for the pending list and does not guarantee you acceptance into an honours biology plan. If your final grade in BIOL 103 is below C-, or your cumulative GPA is below 1.6, then you are not eligible for admission into a BIOL honours program.

What should I do if I don’t get in to a Biology plan? 
You could retake BIOL 103 over the summer term and reapply in late August once the final grades for BIOL 103 become available. A second option is to retake BIOL 103 the follwoing winter and register in BIOL 2nd year courses during the add/drop period  They then reapply to the honours plan after 2nd year. Please be aware that even if you are successful at getting into all of the required 2nd year BIOL honours courses, this does not imply that you will be offered a place in the plan the following year.

How many units do I need to have completed in order to be considered 2nd year? 
You need 24.0 units or more to be considered 2nd year.

I have IP credits for BIOL 102 and 103. Will I be accepted into 2nd year BIOL plans? 
Yes, students with IP transfer credits are considered an auto accept into 2nd year, providing they have a minimum 1.9 cumulative GPA.

I am taking BIOL 102 & 103 over the summer. Can I be admitted to a BIOL plan in the following fall term?
Yes, but conditionally. Students must achieve the required grade in BIOL 102/103 and must have a cumulative GPA of 1.9 at the end of the summer.

Am I eligible to take a Research Mentorship course?
The Research Mentorships are open to students from all walks of life and degree persuasions as long as they are able to secure a supervisor. Students are typically in 3rd or 4th year when they pursue Research Mentorships. Students who have graduated may come back and take these courses if a place is available with a faculty member.


Still need more help?

If you need more information, or want to arrange a meeting with an Academic Advisor, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant at ug.biology@queensu.ca.



I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley