20.0: Introduction - Biology

This bee and Echinacea flower could not look more different, yet they are related, as are all living organisms on Earth. By following pathways of similarities and changes—both visible and genetic—scientists seek to map the evolutionary past of how life developed from single-celled organisms to the tremendous collection of creatures that have germinated, crawled, floated, swam, flown, and walked on this planet.


This section presents the requirements for programs in:

Program Requirements

Biochemistry and Biotechnology B.Sc. Honours (20.0 credits)

Biology and Biotechnology B.Sc. Honours (20.0 credits)

B.Sc. Regulations

The regulations presented in this section apply to all Bachelor of Science programs. In addition to the requirements presented here, students must satisfy the University regulations common to all undergraduate students including the process of Academic Performance Evaluation (see the Academic Regulations of the University section of this Calendar).

Breadth Requirement for the B.Sc.

Students in a Bachelor of Science program must present the following credits at graduation:

  1. 2.0 credits in Science Continuation courses not in the major discipline students completing a double major are considered to have completed this requirement providing they have 2.0 credits in science continuation courses in each of the two majors
  2. 2.0 credits in courses outside of the faculties of Science and Engineering and Design (but may include NSCI 1000)

In most cases, the requirements for individual B.Sc. programs, as stated in this Calendar, contain these requirements, explicitly or implicitly.

Students admitted to B.Sc. programs by transfer from another institution must present at graduation (whether taken at Carleton or elsewhere):

  1. 2.0 credits in courses outside of the faculties of Science and Engineering and Design (but may include NSCI 1000) if, on transfer, the student received credit for fewer than 10.0 credits.
  2. 1.0 credit in courses outside of the faculties of Science and Engineering and Design (but may include NSCI 1000) if, on transfer, the student received credit for 10.0 or more credits.

Declared and Undeclared Students

Students who are registered in a program within the degree are called Declared students. Most students designate a program of study when they first apply for admission and so begin their studies as Declared students. Students may also choose to begin their studies within the B.Sc. degree without being registered in a program. These students are referred to as Undeclared students. The recommended course pattern for Undeclared students is provided in the Undeclared entry of the Programs section of this Calendar. Undeclared students normally must apply to enter a program before beginning their second year of study. The Science Student Success Centre (SSSC) provides Undeclared students guidance to the appropriate support services in making this decision.

Change of Program within the B.Sc. Degree

Students may transfer to a program within the B.Sc. degree if upon entry to the new program they would be in good academic standing.

Other applications for change of program will be considered on their merits students may be accepted in the new program in Good Standing or on Academic Warning.

Applications to declare or change their program within the B.Sc. Degree must be made online through Carleton Central by completing a Change of Program Elements (COPE) application form within the published deadlines. Acceptance into a program or into a program element or option is subject to any enrolment, and/or specific program, program element or option requirements as published in the relevant Calendar entry.

Minors, Concentrations and Specializations

Students may add a minor, concentration or specialization by completing a Change of Program Elements (COPE) application form online through Carleton Central. Acceptance into a minor, concentration or specialization requires that the student be in Good Standing and is subject to any specific requirements of the intended Minor, Concentration or Specialization as published in the relevant Calendar entry.

Experimental Science Requirement

Students in a B.Sc. degree program must present at graduation at least two full credits of experimental science chosen from two different departments or institutes from the list below:

Course Categories for B.Sc. Programs

Co-operative Education

For more information about how to apply for the Co-op program and how the Co-op program works please visit the Co-op website.

All students participating in the Co-op program are governed by the Undergraduate Co-operative Education Policy.

Undergraduate Co-operative Education Policy

Admission Requirements

Students can apply to co-op in one of two ways directly from high school or after beginning a degree program at Carleton.

If a student is admitted to co-op from high school, their grades will be reviewed two terms to one year prior to their first work term to ensure they continue to meet the academic requirements after their 1st or 2nd year of study. The time at which evaluation takes place depends on the program of study. Students will automatically be notified via their Carleton email account if they are permitted to continue.

Students not admitted to Carleton University with the co-op option on their degree can apply for admission via the co-operative education program website. To view application deadlines, visit

Admission to the co-op option is based on the completion of 5.0 or more credits at Carleton University, the CGPA requirement for the students' academic program as well as any course prerequisites. The articulated CGPA for each program is the normal standard for assessment. Please see the specific degree program sections for the unique admission and continuation requirements for each academic program.

Participation Requirements

COOP 1000

Once a student has been given admission or continuation confirmation to the co-op option s/he must complete and pass COOP 1000 (a mandatory online 0.0 credit course). Students will have access to this course a minimum of two terms prior to their first work term and will be notified when to register.

Communication with the Co-op Office

Students must maintain contact with the co-op office during their job search and while on a work term. All email communication will be conducted via the students' Carleton email account.


Although every effort is made to ensure a sufficient number of job postings for all students enrolled in the co-op option of their degree program, no guarantee of employment can be made. Carleton's co-op program operates a competitive job search process and is dependent upon current market conditions. Academic performance, skills, motivation, maturity, attitude and potential will determine whether a student is offered a job. It is the student's responsibility to actively conduct a job search in addition to participation in the job search process operated by the co-op office. Once a student accepts a co-op job offer (verbally or written), his/her job search will end and access to co-op jobs will be removed for that term. Students that do not successfully obtain a co-op work term are expected to continue with their academic studies. The summer term is the exception to this rule. Students should also note that hiring priority is given to Canadian citizens for co-op positions in the Federal Government of Canada.

Registering in Co-op Courses

Students will be registered in a Co-op Work Term course while at work. The number of Co-op Work Term courses that a student is registered in is dependent upon the number of four-month work terms that a student accepts.

While on a co-op work term students may take a maximum of 0.5 credit throughout each four-month co-op work term. Courses must be scheduled outside of regular working hours.

Students must be registered as full-time before they begin their co-op job search (2.0 credits). All co-op work terms must be completed before the beginning of the final academic term. Students may not finish their degree on a co-op work term.

Work Term Assessment and Evaluation

To obtain a Satisfactory grade for the co-op work term students must have:

  1. A satisfactory work term evaluation by the co-op employer
  2. A satisfactory grade on the work term report.

Students must submit a work term report at the completion of each four-month work term. Reports are due on the 16th of April, August, and December and students are notified of due dates through their Carleton email account.

Workplace performance will be assessed by the workplace supervisor. Should a student receive an unsatisfactory rating from their co-op employer, an investigation by the co-op program manager will be undertaken. An unsatisfactory employer evaluation does not preclude a student from achieving an overall satisfactory rating for the work term.

Graduation with the Co-op Designation

In order to graduate with the co-op designation, students must satisfy all requirements for their degree program in addition to the requirements according to each co-op program (i.e. successful completion of three or four work terms).

Note: Participation in the co-op option will add up to one additional year for a student to complete their degree program.

Voluntary Withdrawal from the Co-op Option

Students may withdraw from the co-op option of their degree program during a study term ONLY. Students at work may not withdraw from the work term or the co-op option until s/he has completed the requirements of the work term.

Students are eligible to continue in their regular academic program provided that they meet the academic standards required for continuation.

Involuntary or Required Withdrawal from the Co-op Option

Students may be required to withdraw from the co-op option of their degree program for one or any of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to achieve a grade of SAT in COOP 1000
  2. Failure to pay all co-op related fees
  3. Failure to actively participate in the job search process
  4. Failure to attend all interviews for positions to which the student has applied
  5. Declining more than one job offer during the job search process
  6. Continuing a job search after accepting a co-op position
  7. Dismissal from a work term by the co-op employer
  8. Leaving a work term without approval by the Co-op manager
  9. Receipt of an unsatisfactory work term evaluation
  10. Submission of an unsatisfactory work term report

Standing and Appeals

The Co-op and Career Services office administers the regulations and procedures that are applicable to all co-op program options. All instances of a student's failure during a work term or other issues directly related to their participation in the co-op option will be reported to the academic department.

Any decision made by the Co-op and Career Services office can be appealed via the normal appeal process within the University.

International Students

All International Students are required to possess a Co-op Work Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before they can begin working. It is illegal to work in Canada without the proper authorization. Students will be provided with a letter of support to accompany their application. Students must submit their application for their permit before being permitted to view and apply for jobs on the Co-op Services database. Confirmation of a position will not be approved until a student can confirm they have received their permit. Students are advised to discuss the application process and requirements with the International Student Services Office.

B.Sc. Honours Biotechnology: Co-op Admission and Continuation Requirements

  • Maintain full-time status in each study term (2.0 credits)
  • Be eligible to work in Canada (for off-campus work)
  • Have successfully completed COOP 1000 [0.0]

Co-operative Education - Bachelor of Science

The following programs in the Bachelor of Science Honours offer a co-operative education option:

Applied Physics, Biochemistry (including computational), Bioinformatics, Biology (including computational), Biotechnology, Chemistry (including computational), Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Food Science and Nutrition, Geomatics, Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Mental Health, Physical Geography and Physics.

Students in all streams of the Bachelor of Science must successfully complete three (3) work terms to obtain the co-op designation.

Co-op Admission and Continuation Requirements for Students in the Bachelor of Science

For admission to and continuation in the co-op option, all students must:

  • Maintain full-time status in each study term (2.0 credits)
  • Be eligible to work in Canada (for off-campus work)
  • Have successfully completed COOP 1000

Program-Specific Admission and Continuation Requirements:

Applied Physics, Biochemistry (including computational), Bioinformatics, Biology (including computational), Biotechnology, Chemistry (including computational), Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Mental Health and Physics:


Welcome to the first and most popular blog about biology olympiads. We hope here you will find many useful study resources, tips and tricks that will help you prepare for science olympiads and competitions.

Let's be honest! The very first steps towards the biology olympiad are very hard. We often are unsure what to read or what to do to qualify for the olympiad. Below you'll find our step-by-step guide that will help you get started!


In the official website of your national biology olympiad, you may be able to find a document that outlines the aims and objectives of the olympiad as well as topics covered in the exam. Moreover, there might be a syllabus what lab techniques you must know. If you cannot find anything, take a look at the International Biology Olympiad syllabus here .


There is no secret that biology is a theory-dense subject. Thus, the more you read, the more knowledge you'll acquire. Try reading different textbooks about the same topic because in that way you'll be able to consolidate information quicker. To find our suggested reading list for the biology olympiad, go here.


Use the tips and tricks suggested on to facilitate and accelerate your learning process. Use notes, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and don't just sit and read, expecting the knowledge to diffuse into your brain. The more sensory systems (vision, hearing, olfaction, and yes tasting to name a few) you involve in the learning process, the better your hippocampus and the motor cortex will work. For guidance, read the Tips&Tricks section.


Here we uploaded some amazing revision notes. Just print them off and keep them safe so that you can use them for revision any time. Also check out this page where we share many more topic-specific notes.


After you equip yourself with basic knowledge about biology, find past papers from previous biology olympiad exams. Here we uploaded some of the past papers that we managed to gather, including USABO, IBO, BBO, NZIBO, INBO, South African and Australian Biology olympiads, and Toronto Biology Contest.

We also prepared fully worked solutions for both Open and Semifinal USABO past papers. They include step-by-step solutions to all problems as well as informative images and illustrations to help you better understand scientific concepts. You can find more details about worked USABO solutions here .


First, it's boring. Second, it's less effective than studying in a group. Join science clubs at school or forums online where you can find other students interested in biology. Talk about and share with them what you learned in the classroom. The more you speak the information out load, the more likely it is that you retain it. Also check our Biology Olympiad Study Group on Google Groups.

Watch the video: Introduction to Biology HD (January 2022).