Top Reasons to study Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba

1) You want to further our knowledge of living organisms and study all aspects of life in an inclusive environment that supports diversity.

We offer over 50 different courses exploring everything from the molecular processes and interactions inside cells to large scale ecological interactions between organisms in their environment, and how the changing environment shapes these interactions. No matter where your interests in the life sciences may lie, the Biological Sciences department provides exceptional opportunities for learning and mentorship to all students.

2) You want to collaborate locally, nationally, and internationally to address world problems today. 

Our faculty members offer great breadth in research expertise and teaching excellence in areas of biological sciences including gene regulation and development, microscopy, evolution, environmental physiology, animal behaviour, food web dynamics, invertebrate biology, and population ecology. Their research and teaching programs span the globe, from here in Manitoba, to the East, West and Arctic Coasts of Canada to international collaborations in locales like South Africa and Costa Rica.

3) You want to participate in cutting-edge research.

Our undergraduate honours program allows students to complete a self-directed research project and learn how research is done. Through this program, students develop unique problem-solving and collaboration skills in research by engaging in innovative and immersive training experiences. From studying capelin and cod on the east coast to the electrical activity of nerve cells, to enzymes in Arctic skates. Students in this program have presented (and won awards for) their research at national and international conferences, or have gone on to publish their research in scientific journals.

4) You want to open up a full range of opportunities.

From research and development, to health sciences, conservation, education and communications, a degree in the Biological Sciences is your launchpad to a wide variety of career and professional opportunities. The critical thinking, analysis, writing and communication skills developed over the course of your degree open up a world of endless possibilities.

In addition to the common core requirements in the Biological Sciences Program, we offer specialization as well as flexibility in Biology, Botany, Ecology, Genetics and Zoology. Students in these programs can follow one or more of several themes (credited on their transcripts):

Additionally, the Department of Biological Sciences also offers a Majors and Honours program in Genetics (both with Co-op option).

5) The Faculty of Science offers access to unique facilities.

The Buller Greenhouse, Stewart Hay Memorial Museum, and WIN Herbarium are three of the most unique facilities in the field of biological science, housing collections of thousands of biological specimens that offer students hands-on experience and transformational learning opportunities. Visit us today!

What will I learn?

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Program Options

  • 3-year General Degree
  • 3- year General Degree (Biological Sciences Focus)
  • 4-year Major
  • 4-year plus 1-year work term Honours (Co-op)
  • 4-year plus 1-year work term Major (Co-op)
Major and Honours programs in Biological Sciences are offered in the following theme areas:

Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology

Ecology and Environmental Biology

Environmental and Integrative Physiology

Evolution and Biodiversity

Integrative Biology

  • Gain a breadth of knowledge in this “general” biology program

Genetics (co-run with the Department of Microbiology)

  • Study how genes are inherited and interact to regulate growth and development, and how they contribute to health and disease

Honours Program

  • The Honours program (available in each theme) gives students hands-on experience in a real lab environment during a skills course (BIOL 3100) and to conduct an original research project (BIOL 4100)

Co-Op Option

  • Practical, paid, on the job experiences relevant to your field of study in biology are available in three work terms
  • Can be added to both Majors and Honours degrees

Courses of interest
  • BIOL 2380 – Toxicology
  • *NEW* BIOL 2600 – Computational Biology
  • BIOL 3290 – Vascular Flora of Manitoba
  • BIOL 4220 – Marine Biodiversity
  • BIOL 4554 and 4556 – Molecular techniques in DNA and RNA
  • BIOL 5452 – Genes and Development
  • BIOL 4650 – Biology and Society
  • Field courses that allow you to explore the natural world here in Manitoba and abroad.
  • And MANY MORE! Check out the full course listings for Fall, Winter, and Summer Terms

Minimum High School Prerequisites

Manitoba high school graduation with five full credits at the Grade 12 level in courses designated as S, G or U. A minimum 85 percent average over the following courses, with no less than 60 percent in each course:

  • English 40S
  • Pre-Calculus Math 40S 
  • Biology 40S
  • Chemistry 40S


If you don’t have the appropriate high school courses, or you would like to refresh your knowledge in a subject area, the University offers the following preparatory courses.

Biology BIOL 1000, Biology: Foundations of Life
Chemistry CSKL 100,  Chemistry Skills, Offered through Extended Education
Mathematics, Math Skills, Offered through Extended Education
Physics, PSKL 100, Physics Skills, Offered through Extended Education

What can I do with this degree?

Career Opportunities

Your degree in Biological Sciences opens doors to many exciting careers in fields such as:

Research and Development

  • Investigate how environmental change affects different organisms
  • Explore new communities and identify new species
  • Discover novel therapeutics by unveiling disease mechanisms
  • Develop safe new control methods for pests and disease
  • Study populations at risk
  • Discover how genes are controlled


  • From elementary school teacher to university professor, share knowledge with students at any level.

Conservation & Environment

  • Protect endangered species and threatened communities
  • Manage forestry and fisheries operations
  • Understand how pollutants such as pesticides move through the ecosystem
  • Create governmental policies and enforce environmental laws
  • Curate museum collections
  • Environmental assessment and restoration of damaged ecosystems

Professional Practice

    • All levels of health care from technicians, nurses and pharmacists, to dentists and medical doctors,
    • Therapies including Occupational, Respiratory, Radiation, Physio.
    • Veterinary Sciences including small and large animal veterinarians and Animal Health Technicians (AHTs)
    • Environmental Law 

Industry, Marketing & Communications

  • Bring commercial applications of biological discoveries to market
  • Consult with businesses in areas of environmental monitoring, habitat restoration, etc.
  • Translate research findings and scientific information for news sites or public display through writing, infographics, video, etc.

And many more—your career in the biological sciences may not even exist yet!

Opportunities for Future Studies

The University of Manitoba offers graduate programs in Biological Sciences for Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Biology is also the ideal stepping stone to a career in medicine and a variety of other health professions. You could also pursue further studies in dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, ophthalmology, physiotherapy, or veterinary science.

Below are a few options for further study with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology:

  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPharm)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Occupational Therapy (MScOT)
  • Physiotherapy (MScPT)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Juris Doctor (JD), or Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)


Alumni Profiles

Tom Sheldon [BSc/03, MSc/06] – Biological Sciences
Director of Policy Advancement for Inuit Taporiit Kanatami

Sheldon obtained an MBA from Queen’s University (where he was Valedictorian), his research in environmental science has contributed to knowledge in such areas as climate change and environmental contaminants.

Read more

Dr. Allyson Hindle, [BSc. (Hons)/00, MSc./02, Ph.D/07] – Biological Sciences
Comparative Animal Physiologist, Harvard Medical School, Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Nevada.

Hindle has battled simulated floods in astronaut training and tracked 350 kilogram Weddell seals in the Antarctic.

Read More

Dr. Murray Humphries, [BSc(Hons.)/93] – Biological Sciences (Zoology)
Environmental Physiologist. Professor. McGill Chair in Northern Research

His work holds exceptional promise in informing our future in the face of human-induced climate change.

Read more

Amanda Vermette [BSc. /20] –
Health Product Compliance Officer, Health Canada

Amanda is a recent graduate of the Biological Sciences Department and Science Co-op program. Read about her time at the Faculty of Science.

Read more

Ellyne Geurts [BSc./18] –
Master of Science Student at the University of Victoria.

Read about her time at the Faculty of Science.

Read more

Bailey Rankine [MSc./16] –

From saving endangered sea turtles off the coast of Australia to searching for vegetation on active volcanoes in Hawaii. Bailey Rankine explains the value of experiential learning.

Read more.