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Bachelor of Science – Biology

4 Year Degree

The St Mary’s Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology is unique in Alberta, being embedded in a liberal arts context with a strong focus on experiential learning. Our students acquire deep biological knowledge and develop transferable skills needed for tomorrow’s economy.

This program offers students opportunities not found at larger institutions. Its small class size and intimate environment increases a sense of community and allows students and faculty to get to know each other. Through the many real-world, hands-on experiences, students learn about their world and develop the skills needed to take on its challenges. Our location adjacent to Fish Creek Provincial Park, and partnerships with a variety of organizations, allows students to engage in projects which have real world impact and significance.

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The 4-year Bachelor of Science in Biology program at St. Mary’s is designed for you: Someone who wants to be engaged in their education, challenged to improve and expand their thinking, and who wants to become a well-rounded person. In many ways that’s why we’re here too. Your professors enjoy teaching, challenging and helping students grow and learn, and engaging in intellectual discussions with you. We care about your success.
You’ll learn a breadth and depth of biology to give you a solid grounding in the discipline, and preparation to use that knowledge directly in “the real world”, or to carry it forward to further studies in graduate school or professional programs. You’ll be able to communicate your ideas and knowledge to diverse audiences, and apply what you’ve learned solving problems and answering questions in your community. More importantly, your education and experiences at St. Mary’s will help you grow into a complete, well-educated individual. This is what employers want: well-rounded individuals with an ability to think critically and communicate clearly about a variety of issues. We’ve designed our degree to ensure that you’re exposed to more than just biology so that no matter what you encounter in your life and career you’ll be well prepared to excel at it.
A lot. A biology degree from St. Mary’s prepares you for careers from anthropology to zoology, and many in between. You’ll also be well prepared to continue your studies in graduate programs in biology or enter into professional programs such as education, medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, or optometry. Our students have been successful in all of these options.
The small class sizes at St. Mary’s University enable our science professors to use a wide variety of teaching approaches and styles to make your learning effective, exciting, and enjoyable. Many of our biology classes incorporate real-world laboratories that take place in nearby Fish Creek Park, students are challenged to consider problems from multiple angles, and are regularly encouraged to share their own ideas. Many of our courses are taught using innovative methods that do not rely on a traditional lecture as the primary teaching method, but rather involve significant professor-assisted work and group discussion. In courses where a more traditional lecture discussion is most appropriate, students are regularly engaged in discussions, but unlike those in large lecture-theatres elsewhere, our smaller classes allow all students to participate and ask questions of the professor. It’s a wonderfully dynamic environment!

Learn more about our teaching approach by clicking here.

Most courses offered at Alberta institutions are transferable to other institutions in Alberta, and many transfer interprovincially as well. We regularly have students transfer from other institutions into our biology program. Similarly, if you are interested in a degree which is not offered at St. Mary’s such as chemistry or physics, it is often possible to complete your first year of study here and then transfer to an institution that offers that degree. Talk to one of our advisors to find out more.
Students in introductory biology, ecology, and mycology regularly have laboratory excursions to Fish Creek Provincial Park, while those in upper-level ecology, and vertebrate and invertebrate zoology travel to Kananaskis, the Royal Tyrell Museum, Brown-Lowry Provincial Park, and the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area. Service learning is also a component of some courses. For example, in conservation biology students volunteer with environmental/conservation organizations to experience hands-on conservation efforts and program development. We currently also have two extremely popular travel study courses: Tropical Ecology in Belize and Marine Biology on Vancouver Island. Register early for those courses!

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St. Mary’s University is a dynamic, welcoming teaching and research institution. We offer fully accredited, affordable and rigorous degrees that are recognized the world over. As we move into our 30th year, we invite you to take this journey with us. We hope that your adventure will be an amazing one, and that you will remain connected to St. Mary’s for a lifetime.

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