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Department of Biological Sciences

BI 186, BioSci Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5261

Current Student - FAQ

Specific course content, exams, evaluations, lecture and lab schedules, assignments, etc. Contact your instructor or the course coordinator as listed on the course outline.  The instructor and coordinator usually are the same person, but sometimes not.

For questions about the lab component of a course, contact either your TA, the course coordinator, or lab coordinator (if different than the course coordinator).

The course outline itself usually provides all of this information, including contact information.  If your instructor is using D2L ( for your course, the outline will usually be available there.  Course outlines for most courses are also posted via the green "Course Listings" button on the right hand side of this web page.

Planning your academic program

Information about program structure and courses offered can be found in the academic Calendar

For counselling on how to best design your program, contact your Academic Advisor or the Program Advisor for the specific program that you are in or are considering entering.  This is particularly important for students in the BioSci program where there is the most flexibility in program design. A list of program advisors can be found here or by asking at the main biosci office, room 186.

You may also speak with the Associate Head Undergraduate if you feel your circumstances are beyond straightforward interpretation of normal program guidelines (contact the main biosci office, room 186, 403-220-3140, to set up an appointment).

Application for Fall admission to the 5 specialty programs (BCEM, CMMB, ECOL, PLBI, ZOOL) is made through the student's MyUofC portal.  Applications MUST be entered before February 1st. Late applications will NOT be considered. BioSci cannot override this deadline. Applications will be accepted starting mid-October, but are normally made starting January when students have a better sense of what program they might want to pursue.  Applications are batch processed once per year after the February 1st deadline, and so early application does not provide an advantage.   

Students with aspirations to enter professional schools should refer to the admissions offices of those schooled for advice about required courses for admission, GPA requirements, etc.  For medicine at UofC you can find this information at

Waiving prerequisites Forms for requesting waivers of prerequisites under exceptional circumstances can be obtained here.  These should be completed and submitted to the office.  If you have questions about completing the forms, contact the main BioSci office.
Graduation requirements

Your primary source for this information is the official academic Calendar, available online through the University web site .  Using your ‘degree navigator’ will be of great assistance.  A summary of course requirements for graduation from each program in the Department, both major and honours, can also be obtained here.

If you wish to speak with someone personally, the same people who are listed under ‘planning your academic program’ may be contacted.

In addition, the Undergraduate Science Centre (formerly Student Success Centre) can provide you with good advice about where you stand regarding credits earned and what you still require to graduate; they are an excellent resource..

Help with disabilities that may interfere with your academic performance Many students require additional resources to help overcome physical and psychological challenges they face in pursuing coursework and exams. These can range from impairments in hearing or vision, to more subtle difficulties in concentrating during exams or experiencing unmanageable stress. Student Accessibility Services ( is your first line of contact when you want to talk with someone about potential difficulties and solutions. Please note that your professors/instructors and academic advisors may talk with you about such issues, but they are not trained to provide professional advice about disabilities, nor are they authorized to provide accommodations to assist with disabilities. For such issues and authorization for accommodations, you must contact Student Accessibility Services.
Appeals to grades Your first approach should be to contact the course instructor/coordinator, your TA or the lab coordinator, depending on circumstances. You have 15 days after receiving your grade to discuss this with them. If you do not feel that a satisfactory resolution has been reached then you should immediately submit a formal appeal to the Department (that offers the course). If still not satisfied, you must submit a formal appeal through the Dean’s office, Faculty of Science (5th floor of Biological Sciences) within 15 days of receiving the unfavourable decision from the Department.
Student Associations The Biology Students’ Association (BSA) is an undergraduate forum for students to help other students. They offer presentations about opportunities in various aspects of academic pursuits, social events, advice on applying to medical/graduate programs, opportunities for becoming involved in student governance, examination packages, field trips, outings, special speakers, etc. 
Student Counselling and Crisis Counselling The Student Counselling Center offers courses in exam preparation, avoiding burnout, effective study skills, time management, and offers counselling and advice for anxiety, depression, decision making, etc.

Staffed by Registered Psychologists, they are a valuable resource to help you cope with the busy and sometimes stressful life of study. Room 370 MacEwan Student Centre.

If you are in an emergency/crisis, they should be contacted immediately , 220-5893, Room 375 MacEwan Student Centre. If the office is closed then call Campus Security 220-5333, OR the UofC Health Clinic 220-5765 (psychiatrist on staff), OR the Calgary Distress Centre (403)266-1605 with a 24 hour help line. Also see the wellness guide

Student Health University Health Services is a confidential, student-friendly source of health information and treatment.

Room 370 MacEwan Student Centre

Health and Recreation Health and Recreation Center provides programs in stress management, physical activity, and how to remain in good shape to be a good student.
Chaplains Room 370 MacEwan Student Centre