Skip to main content

Biology: Bachelor of Science Major


The B.Sc. Major in Biology is a foundational degree program strongly grounded in scientific methodology and practical skills. The structure and breadth of courses offered is designed to equip graduates with a high level of competency in the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for competitive entry into the workforce in a wide range of fields. Graduates will also be well prepared for entry into a professional school or graduate studies program.

Central to this program is the provision of a lab intensive experience where students learn first-hand, the appropriate use of equipment and techniques to investigate living organisms and how they function. Upper level courses build upon the core knowledge and skills developed in 1st and 2nd Year, allowing the exploration of more advanced biological concepts and practical techniques. This culminates in a community focused research or directed studies project which requires students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned.

Important Notes:

First and second year courses required in the program are normally available on both Richmond and Surrey campuses.

Elective courses are not offered every year.  Students are encouraged to plan their courses carefully and to see a degree advisor for guidance.

Student Profile

This degree program will appeal to individuals with a passionate interest in living organisms and how they function. Whether entering from high school, other post-secondary institutions or returning from the workforce to study, this program will appeal to anyone who shares a concern for the future of humanity and the welfare of our planet and who is seeking a career that can make a difference.

Students who are successful in this program are likely to be self-motivated, have a strong work ethic and have well developed oral and written communication skills.

Admission Requirements

The Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, apply to this program.

Declaration Requirements

Students intending to graduate with this Faculty of Science and Horticulture degree must declare the credential by the time they complete 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. At the time of declaration, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • In good academic standing with the University
  • Completion of a minimum of 24 credits of undergraduate coursework, including the following:
    • 3 credits of ENGL at the 1100 level or higher
    • BIOL 1110 with a minimum grade of “C”
    • BIOL 1210 with a minimum grade of “C”
    • CHEM 1110 with a minimum grade of “B” or CHEM 1210 with a minimum grade of “C”
    • MATH 1120 with a minimum grade of “C” or MATH 1130 with a minimum grade of “C”
    • PHYS 1101 with a minimum grade of “C” or PHYS 1120 with a minimum grade of “C”

Curricular Requirements

General Requirements

All students must meet the following minimum requirements for a Bachelor of Science at KPU:

  • 120 credits from a minimum of 40 courses (at least 3 credits each) at the 1100 level or higher. 
  • 45 credits from a minimum of 15 courses at the 3000 level or higher, including 9 credits at the 4000 level.
  • 18 credits of breadth electives (see Electives below) including:
    • at least 12 credits from courses that are offered outside the Faculty of Science & Horticulture; and
    • up to 6 credits from fields of science not prescribed in the Major requirements; and
    • 3 credits from a course at the 3000 level or higher.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • At least 50% of all courses for the BSc, and at least 66% of upper-level courses for the BSc, must be completed at KPU.

Biology Major

In addition to meeting the General Requirements, students must complete the following courses.

Note: Some courses are only offered once per year. Please refer to the course timetable and speak with an Academic Advisor when planning.

Year 1

All of:
  BIOL 1110 Introductory Biology I 4 credits
  BIOL 1210 Introductory Biology II 4 credits
  CHEM 1110 The Structure of Matter 4 credits
  CHEM 1210 Chemical Energetics and Dynamics 4 credits
  ENGL 1100 Introduction to University Writing 3 credits
  MATH 1130* Calculus for Life Sciences I 3 credits
  MATH 1230 Calculus for Life Sciences II 3 credits
  PHYS 1101 Physics for Life Sciences I 4 credits
  PHYS 1102 Physics for Life Sciences II 4 credits
  3 credits of ENGL at the undergraduate level 3 credits

* MATH 1120 may be used as a substitute for MATH 1130

Year 2

All of:
  BIOL 2320 Genetics 4 credits
  BIOL 2321 Cell Biology 4 credits
  BIOL 2322 Ecology  4 credits
  BIOL 2421 Cellular Biochemistry  3 credits
  CHEM 2320 Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
  CHEM 2420 Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
  MATH 2335 Statistics for Life Sciences 3 credits
  9 credits of electives (see Electives below) 9 credits

Year 3

All of:
  BIOL 3110 Animal Behaviour 4 credits
  BIOL 3215 Zoology 4 credits
  BIOL 3165 Conservation Biology 3 credits
  BIOL 3180 Life Science Research Methods 3 credits
  BIOL 3225 Botany 4 credits
  BIOL 3320 Molecular Genetics 4 credits
  BIOL 3321 Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
  3 credits of BIOL at the undergraduate level 3 credits
  6 credits of electives (see Electives below) 6 credits

Year 4

All of:
  BIOL 4140 Animal Physiology 4 credits
  BIOL 4150 Evolutionary Biology 3 credits
  BIOL 4235 Marine Biology 3 credits
  BIOL 4245 Developmental Biology 4 credits
  12 credits of electives (see Electives below) 12 credits
Plus all of Group A or Group B:
  Group A
  BIOL 4900 Special Topics 3 credits
  3 credits of BIOL at the 3000 level or higher 3 credits
  Group B
  BIOL 4199 Research Project I 3 credits
  BIOL 4299 Research Project II 3 credits


As part of this program, students are required to complete 27 credits of electives. These must satisfy the General Requirements for 18 credits of breadth as stated above. The following courses are recommended as electives:

  • ANTH 3242
  • ASTR 1100
  • ASTR 1105
  • ASTR 3110
  • ASTR 3111
  • BIOL 2330
  • BIOL 3160
  • BIOL 3330
  • BIOL 4160
  • BIOL 4260
  • BIOL 4320
  • BIOL 4360
  • CHEM 2315
  • CHEM 3310
  • CPSC 1100
  • EDUC 4100
  • ENVI 2305
  • ENVI 2405
  • ENVI 3112
  • HSCI 3225
  • HORT 3310
  • PHYS 3202

Courses with considerable content overlap may only be counted once towards degree completion. These include:

  • BIOL 1112 or BIOL 1210
  • ENGL 1100 or ENGL 1104
  • ENVI 1106 or CHEM 1110
  • ENVI 1206 or CHEM 1154 or CHEM 1210
  • CHEM 2311 or CHEM 3310
  • MATH 1120 or MATH 1130 or MATH 1140
  • MATH 1220 or MATH 1230
  • MATH 2335 or MATH 2341
  • PHYS 1101 or PHYS 1120
  • PHYS 1102 or PHYS 1220

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology.

At a Glance

Faculty of Science and Horticulture


Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Baccalaureate Degree

Offered At:

  • KPU Richmond  Richmond
  • KPU Surrey  Surrey

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September
  • Spring Intake (January)  January
  • Summer Intake (May)  May

Intake Type:

  • Open Intake  Open intake


  • Full-time  Full-time
  • Part-time  Part-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 138

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2016

How to Declare:

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 14-Jun-2016

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email