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Want to understand the importance of diversity to all life?

Biodiversity impacts every aspect of our planet and is extremely important in the functioning of ecosystems. This major will explore the meaning and significance of biodiversity and current issues surrounding the possible abundance or loss of it.

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What's Unique?


Discover the exciting field of biodiversity science through U of G's Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario is at the forefront of what is now a global effort to barcode every organism on our planet. BIO has developed some of the tools (including most importantly, DNA barcoding) that are being used to describe the staggering diversity of life on Earth. Understanding patterns of diversity requires knowledge of the function, evolution, and ecology of organisms, from the microscopic to whole populations. This breadth of perspectives makes the major in Biodiversity an interdisciplinary endeavour that is especially well suited to the Department of Integrative Biology.

Hear About Exciting Research Our Students Are Working On:


Program Details 

This program will benefit Ontario, Canada, and the world by training graduates who can enter the growing field of biodiversity science, associated industries and government agencies, and contribute to global efforts to understand and protect life on Earth. Explore natural selection, evolution, genetic variation, life cycles, ecosystem structure, population dynamics and more. Complete field experiences and consider an international exchange or internship to expand your understanding of biodiversity.

  • Vertebrate Structure and Function
  • Insect Diversity and Biology
  • Interpreting Biodiversity I and II
  • Microbiology

Admission Requirements

~80-83%* average 

  • English 12U
  • Advanced Functions
  • 2 courses from12U: 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. Admissions average is calculated using the six required courses. 

You can expect to learn how to:

  • Evaluate the origin, distribution and challenges of biodiversity at various spatial and temporal scales.  

  • Quantify variation within and among taxa and implement sampling methods and analyses utilizing data from real collections or surveys in biodiversity research, including expertise in specific taxonomic groups of interest.  

  • Summarize examples of how changes in biodiversity have economic and social impacts through the provision of ecosystem goods and services.  

Career Options

Prepare for related post-graduate work, and pursue careers in biology, management and conservation, aquaculture, biotechnology, education, and research either in government or the private sector.


What our Alumni are working as:

Program Analyst | Canadian Museum of Nature 

Science Interpreter | Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association 

Editorial Director 


College of Biological Science

Biodiversity is supported by the College of Biological Science.

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Research & Faculty

Find out more about the research and faculty involved in the Biodiversity 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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General Inquiries 

Phone: (+1) 519-821-2130 
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

B.Sc. Specific Questions 
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (closed over lunch)