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Life Sciences

The following Life Science departments and programs are listed in this Calendar:

Many of the Life Science programs are collaborative programs given by the Faculty of Arts and Science and departments in the Faculty of Medicine. The Life Sciences all focus on the scientific study of life. The study of biological processes has enormous importance for:

  • Understanding one’s own body and those of other organisms sharing our planet, both in health and sickness;
  • Analysing the behaviour of humans and other organisms;
  • Understanding the interdependent web of living organisms on the planet, and their evolutionary relationships;
  • Preparing for ethical, social and political questions arising from our increasing ability to modify living systems;
  • Enhancing our ability to protect the delicate and complex ecological balance that sustains this world.

Today, the biological sciences are experiencing a revolution. Important discoveries occur almost weekly as scientists and students around the world develop and use techniques, theories and approaches. Increasingly, we need people with advanced knowledge and training who can contribute to these discoveries and their application. Equally, we need people who know enough about life sciences generally to make informed judgments about critical issues such as global warming, population growth, the emergence of drug resistance and new diseases, and the degradation of the environment.

On the St. George campus, undergraduate education, graduate education and research in the Life Sciences is carried out in departments within the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Medicine.

The programs offered in the Life Sciences are listed below. Admission to all programs occurs after completion of 4.0 credits. Admission to some programs is limited. Please see individual program listings for admission criteria and procedures. Also check the the Arts & Science Program Enrolment web site for details and application procedures.

For students with career goals in the health sciences, please see the “Admission to Other University Faculties/Programs” section under “Admission” in this Calendar.

Specialist Programs

Biochemistry, Biological Chemistry (Chemistry), Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (Biochemistry), Biology, Biophysics (Physics), Cell and Molecular Biology (Cell & Systems Biology), Developmental Biology (Cell & Systems Biology), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Environment and Health (School of the Environment), Genes Genetics and Biotechnology (Human Biology), Global Health (Human Biology), Health and Disease (Human Biology), Immunology, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Molecular Biophysics (Biochemistry), Neuroscience (Human Biology), Pathobiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology, Psychology Research, Toxicology.

Major Programs

Animal Physiology  (Cell & Systems Biology), Biochemistry, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology (Cell & Systems Biology), Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Environment and Health (School of the Environment), Genes Genetics & Biotechnology (Human Biology), Genome Biology (Biology), Global Health (Human Biology), Health & Disease (Human Biology), Health Care Ethics (Human Biology), Human Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience (Human Biology), Nutritional Sciences, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology, Toxicology.

Minor Programs

Biology, Environmental Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), NUS Environmental Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Immunology, Physiology, Psychology.

Animal Use in Laboratories

Laboratory investigations are part of life science programs at the University of Toronto. Programs in life sciences at the University of Toronto include courses that involve observation, handling, or experimentation on animals or on samples derived from animals. The use of animals in teaching and research is regulated by ethical and procedural guidelines and protocols. These are approved on an ongoing basis by the University Animal Care Committee, and follow provincial and federal government rules. We recognize, however, that some students may have strong reservations about personal exposure to any use of animal material in teaching. Students who want to avoid registration in programs or courses that include such labs are, therefore, encouraged to check in advance with the departments involved.