Please also see the School of Graduate Studies Biology Calendar.

General Notes: M.Sc. students are required to take 12 credit units (generally four courses worth 3 credit units each). M.Sc. students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 824 (Gateway to Graduate Studies in Biology), as well as at least one data analysis course (e.g. BIOL 800; 812; 813; 847; 860 through 865;), the Seminar Course (BIOL 897) and one theory-type course in their research area (current offerings listed below).

Ph.D. students have no formal course requirements, but are strongly encouraged to audit BIOL 824 (Gateway).

M.Sc. and Ph.D. students may be advised to take additional courses by their supervisory committee.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to discuss course options with their supervisor(s). Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) Biology Calendar for further details on course offerings.

In addition to the listings below, students may take the following courses for graduate credit:

  • One 4XX or 5XX undergraduate course, on approval of the course organizer, with assignments up-graded to a graduate level and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).
  • An Advanced Studies course (BIOL 951 through 969). These courses are offered by special arrangement with a professor, often but not always the student’s supervisor. They may entail analysis of a pre-existing data set unrelated to the student’s thesis, or participation in a multi-lab journal discussion group. They require syllabus approval by the GSC, and usually require a second reader for the term paper.
  • Courses from other units, e.g. Geography, Psychology, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. See the SGSPA calendar for current offerings.

Course-specific notes: BIOL 860 through 865 are capped at 12 student each, and require written permission from the course coordinator. Only the Biology Graduate Program Advisor can register students into any of these courses, and only once permission has been received by the professor.

Most courses are half-courses (3.0 credit units), with the exception of BIOL 961 through BIOL 969, which are only worth 1.5 credit units.

Most courses are offered either in the fall or winter term. Exceptions include field courses (BIOL 848 – summer 2024), the seminar course (BIOL 897) and Advanced Studies courses (special arrangement).

In 2024/2025, BIOL 801, 830 and 831 are being delivered in conjunction with their undergraduate equivalents (BIOL 442, 439 and 409 respectively). Students who have taken the undergraduate courses are strongly discouraged from taking the graduate-level equivalent.

Please contact the Graduate Program Advisor with your course selections.