College of Biological Science Dean's Office Undergraduate Courses

The College of Biological Science Dean's Office supports a number of college wide undergraduate courses. These courses are unique courses that have a rotating topic or have been specifically designed for students within the biological science major. More details regarding each of these courses can be found below. 

The current courses include:

  1. Applications in Biology, BIOL*3650 - restricted to specific majors within CBS and varies from year-to-year
  2. Internship in BIological Science, BIOL*3660 - open to all majors within CBS
  3. Integrative Problems in Biology, BIOL*4020 - restricted to Biological Science majors

Applications in Biology BIOL*3650

Applications in Biology was created in 2015 with the goal to enrich our undergraduate programs by welcoming and supporting a practicing biologist from the public or private sectors to spend time on campus interacting with students.  This is seen as an opportunity to develop a ‘biologist-in-residence’ within the college, who would interact, inspire and teach students from the perspective of applications of biology and alternate career paths. This course was thus developed to be flexible in topics from year to year and is only offered when an external ‘resident’ is available. 

Winter 2019 Offerings

Joe Grabowski - Founder of Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, Science and Math Teacher, 2017 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow 
Course Topic: Applications in Biology: Communicating Science for Public Education

In this 0.5 course, students will explore the diversity of high profile international research in biological science and develop skills for communicating and profiling these dynamic fields through written, oral, video, and various digital tools.  This course is restricted to students in the Biological Science (BIOS) major who have completed a minimum of 9.0 credits (including 2 of Biol*1070, Biol*1080, and Biol*1090).

Please continue to watch the CBS course outline page for a detailed course outline to follow.  

Janet MacKinnon - MSc (PT), MSc (Bio Med), BSc Hon, Registered Physiotherapist, Clinical Director of GWHA
Course Topic: Applications in Biology: Fundamentals of Physiotherapy
In this 0.5 course, students will learn the scientific and professional bases of the physiotherapy profession. Students will learn about the scope of practice and roles of physiotherapy in society. Working from client profiles, students will learn basic anatomy and pathophysiology of major joint and body injuries or dysfunctions as well as the processes and information used to lead to diagnosis and resolution.   This course is restricted to students in the Human Kinetics (HK) major who have completed a minimum of 9.0 credits (including 2 of Biol*1070, Biol*1080, and Biol*1090).

Please continue to check the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Science course outline website for the detailed course description. 

Past offerings and 'biologist-in-residence' for this course have included:

Dr. Sherri Cox - Executive Director, Research Innovation & Knowledge Mobilization and Veterinarian
Course Topic - Wildlife Rehabilitation

Valerie Blackmore, founder and CEO of Wyndham Forensic Group 
Course Topic - Applications in Biology - Forensic Science

Internship in Biological Science, BIOL*3660

Internship in BIological Science Course Outline

Internship Application Form

The College of Biological Science (CBS) is excited to announce a new course available to CBS undergraduate students, Internship in Biological Science (BIOL*3660), for the Winter 19 semester. Over the past couple of years there has been an increased interest, from the institution and provincial government, to support and increase work-integrated learning opportunities for undergraduate students.  We have also seen a growing amount of literature to support the benefits of work-integrated learning on student learning and career preparation.

In the last year CBS conducted a survey of it's students to gather information about the various types of opportunities that our students were already engaging in outside of the classroom. Based on the feedback we received it was obvious that our students are involved in a large number of meaningful experiences through both paid employment and volunteer opportunities. Based on this information CBS felt that there was great value in creating a mechanism to incorporate these already-established and meaningful learning opportunities into a formally recognized experiential learning experience. We wanted students to continue to be able to access these partnerships, but also reflect on the experiences in a meaningful and structured way. Our hope is that, with some guided instruction and real-world connection, this would allow them to advance personal goals, develop professional skills and networks and recognize the application of classroom knowledge within an authentic, work-related environment.   The course that was created to foster these goals was the Internship in Biological Science, BIOL*3660.

What is a CBS Internship?

The Internship in Biological Science course provides an opportunity for independent learning in the biological sciences within a work-related environment (volunteer or paid). Students can work with an external organization or an academic or non-academic unit, on campus. Students will be expected to set personal and professional goals for themselves related to the development of employability skills. They will be required to critically reflect upon their development throughout the experience by reflective writing. Using the knowledge of the organization that they gain through the experience; the student will be required to propose a subsequent plan to address to a ‘problem’ that is generated from the work the student completes.

Internship in BIological Science Course Outline

College of Biological Science Internship Criteria

The Internship is initiated when a student establishes a position with an organization, or unit within an organization (e.g. summer position, part-time job, volunteer opportunity). The organization will set the deliverables and requirements of the position, as well as hours and wages (if applicable). The student engages in the position, as outlined by the organization, and is expected to meet all requirements of the position. The student will simultaneously enrol in the Internship in Biological Science course to receive academic credit for their position with the organization. The College of Biological Science establishes the course requirements, which are guided by the work or volunteer experience, and are to be completed outside of work hours.

For the ‘work’ experience to qualify for this course, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The activity must comprise no less than 100 h and span from 3 to 14 weeks in duration
  2. The experience must involve a sustained activity in a workplace (volunteer or paid), with clear responsibilities that are related to an application of biological science knowledge or methods, and development of select employability skills
  3. A workplace Supervisor must be identified, who is a professional staff member with expertise in the field to which the experience relates
  4. The workplace Supervisor must be committed to provide regular feedback to the student.
  5. The workplace activity/project must be outlined on the workplace agreement form
  6. The workplace Supervisor must sign the workplace agreement form indicating they are committed to provide the necessary resources, facilities and training to complete the experience and to meet the defined goals/project
  7. The student must sign the workplace agreement form indicating they are committed to performing the outlined activities to the best of their abilities and in a professional manner

Opportunities that would not qualify for an internship:

  • Co-op placements
  • Peer Helper placement
  • USRA positions
  • Work Study Positions recognized on the co-curricular transcript
  • Positions that have already been completed

How to enroll in the course

The Internship in Biological Science is restricted to students who are enrolled in any CBS major. Students must have completed at least 7.50 credits and have a cumulative average of 60% or higher. Meeting these minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the course. Students must find a Faculty Supervisor to supervise them prior to submitting the application form to the Course Coordinator.

To be considered for the course each student must complete the Internship Application Form. This form is to be completed by the applicant and the external organization supervisor. Please note that the supervisor from within the organization must be a professional/full-time staff member.

Once the application form is completed, it should be submitted to the Course Coordinator, along with a University of Guelph Undergraduate Course Waiver form. An accurate and up-to-date description of the position must be submitted with the application form to ensure that the position meets the criteria of the internship requirements. This could be the job posting or, if that is not available, a statement from the supervisor. If the application is approved, the Course Coordinator will sign the course waiver form which will allow the student to enroll in the course.

Please note that a majority of the course is completed independently and outside of the scheduled class time. Students will be required to attend the first class meeting during the first week of the semester. Students will also be required to give presentations at the end of the semester. 

More Information

An internship guide is available and includes more information around the requirements of the course, roles of the various individuals involved in the course and a FAQ section.

A short handout is available for student to share with prospective external organizations and the external supervisor

Integrative Problems in Biology BIOL*4020 

Based on a number of factors including the the recommendations from our Quality Assurance review, our curriculum mapping exercise that illustrated a need to assess our major specific learning outcomes and the highly variable student population within the Biological Science majors, the College of Biological Science has created a fourth year course specifically geared towards Biological Science majors. The goal of creating this course is to create a culminating, independent, and integrative learning experience that contributes to the identity of the biological science major and ensures students can reflect on and demonstrate achievement of the major’s learning outcomes. 

In this 1.0 credit capstone course, students work in teams to explore and address an authentic biological problem using an integrative and interdisciplinary approach. Topics are proposed by an external client or source and will focus on a problem-related to societal needs (e.g, food, health, environment), advanced technologies (e.g., genetic modification), or aspirations (e.g., sustainability). Students will develop skills in problem identification and research, stakeholder analysis, ideation of solutions, and communication to address the client’s needs. This course is restricted to students in the Biological Science (BIOS) major who have completed a minimum of 14 credits.

The College of Biological Science will be offering this course on a trial basis for the winter 2019 semester. Please continue to watch the College's course outline webpage for a draft course outline to be posted in the near future.