Animal Biology

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What Do Animals Need?

Animal Biology will explore the genetics, physiology, behaviour, welfare and nutrition of domesticated animals specifically those used in animal production systems. Aspects of companion animal and wildlife species applications also brought into the program.

What's Unique?


The Honours B.Sc. major in Animal Biology (ABIO) is offered by the Department of Animal Biosciences, home to many distinguished animal physiologist, nutritionist, geneticists, and behavioural science specialists. The variety of courses will cover everything from the biology and genetics of animals we use for food production to the care and welfare of these animals. In your upper years, you will also have the opportunity to access some of the University of Guelph’s outstanding research labs and facilities and work with faculty one-on-one to conduct independent research in an area of nutrition, genetics, behaviour or physiology. Our animal biology program provides you with a degree that is truly interdisciplinary, ensuring that upon graduation you have acquired an expertise and proficiency to enter into relevant industries.

Meet One of Our Students in Animal Biology:

Program Details 

Students will start with the same core courses as other majors in the B.Sc. degree, including biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. These first-year courses build a solid foundation for all students and sets the stage for upper year courses in the major. Also included in first year is an introduction to concepts and importance of animal care and welfare. Second and third-year courses will dive deeper into fundamental fields of science including biochemistry, molecular biology, statistics, and cell biology and start to explore the animal production industry and structure and function of farm animals. Also included are key introductory and specialized courses in animal physiology, animal nutrition and animal reproduction. These courses allow students to explore these issues holistically so that students can decide which areas they may want to explore in more depth in their fourth year.

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Disorders
  • Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare
  • Applied Endocrinology

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Admission Requirements

82-85%* average 

  • English
  • Advanced Functions
  • 2 courses from: 12U Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • 2 additional 12U or M courses

All three sciences are recommended

*Please note that admission cut-offs stated above is an approximate based on previous years applicant pool. This cut-off range will vary from year-to-year and can be higher or lower based on the applicant pool. Meeting the minimum average does not guarantee an offer of admission. Admission average is calculated using the six required courses listed above.

You can expect to learn how to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of animal welfare issues in relation to the management of animals.
  • Acquire and develop relevant practical and theoretical skills to support continued studies (e.g. graduate studies, veterinary medicine, etc.) and/or potential employment (e.g. veterinary care, animal industry, zoological institutions, etc.)
  • Demonstrate knowledge encompassing the key disciplines of animal biosciences (genetics, nutrition, physiology and behavior) and their interactions for the management of agricultural, companion and wildlife animal species.
  • Apply an integrated and broad foundation of animal biosciences (from molecules to populations).
  • Analyze physiological, behavioural, genetic and/or metabolic processes to evaluate and regulate body functions/systems of animals.
  • Apply biotechnology to better understand gene function and generate novel products
  • Apply knowledge of physiology, welfare, behaviour, genetics [genomics], and/or nutrition [metabolism] to improve animal wellness and performance

Career Options

Enjoy challenging careers in veterinary sciences, academic research, governmental regulatory work, non-and-for-profit organizations, or in related for-profit business fields. Our animal biology program provides you with a degree that is truly interdisciplinary, ensuring that upon graduation you have acquired an expertise and proficiency in great demand by employers.

What our Alumni are working as:

Animal Bioscience Specialist   |  GoFetch

Pet Nutrition Consultant or Sales Representative  | Trouw Nutrition

Veterinarian  | Ontario Veterinary College

Ontario Agriculture College

Animal Biology is supported by the Ontario Agricultural College

Explore OAC

Research & Faculty

Find out more about the research and faculty involved in the Animal Biology major.

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Course List

A complete listing of all courses required for this major can be found in the Schedule of Studies located in the undergraduate calendar.

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Questions about Admissions?  

General Inquiries 

Phone: (+1) 519-821-2130 
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30am to 4:15pm 

B.Sc. Specific Questions 
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 – 4:00pm