Field Courses

Details regarding our field courses vary from year to year and course to course, so you should contact the course instructor listed on the course outline well in advance of the start of the course. For most of the field courses an organizational meeting is held a semester or two in advance of the course offering, i.e. in late fall or early winter prior to the Summer semester when the course takes place. Students must be pre-registered for the course before going on the trip. All three Guelph field courses (ZOO*4300, BIOL*4410 and BIOL*4610) MUST be registered for in the Fall semester. Please check on WebAdvisor that you have been registered before leaving for the course. To ensure this, you must bring a completed Course Waiver Request Form with your application, and then we will register you in the appropriate course and semester. If you are unclear as to the experiential learning opportunities, please see the Experiential Learning Course Decision Tree. If you are clear you want to take a field course but are unsure as to which category of field to take, please see this Field Course Decision Tree

Please note: All field courses have the same application deadline (usually the last Friday in January). However, ONLY OUPFB (Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology) field course applications are ranked on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Guelph courses are not - all applications are looked over by the course instructor and he or she selects the successful applicants. You CANNOT obtain a reserved spot in the Guelph courses, only (potentially) in the OUPFB courses.

ZOO*4300 Marine Biology & Oceanography (0.75 credit)

BIOL*4410 Field Ecology (0.75 credit)

BIOL*4610 Arctic Ecology (0.75 credit)

BIOL*4700, 4800 and/or 4900 The Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology (OUPFB)


OUPFB logoThe Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology (OUPFB) is the brain child of the Biology Departments of Ontario Universities and provides a method to pool field course resources. Since field courses are expensive to offer and are very faculty and staff intensive, the Ontario Universities Biology Departments decided to pool resources in this area. The net outcome is that students can take Field Courses offered by other member institutions. This provides a tremendous array of choices that no one department would ever be able to offer. A list of the available courses is posted at For registration Guelph students would be registered in BIOL*4700, BIOL*4800 and/or BIOL*4900 Field Biology for two-week or longer courses which are worth 0.50 credit. Again, you must be pre-registered for the course before you leave, so please check and confirm. Students taking field courses outside of Canada must also take a pre-departure orientation session through the Centre for International Programs, called Depart Smart. More details and instructions can be found in the OUPFB Course Outline and frequently asked questions may be answered in the Step by step instructions for applying for an OUPFB field course.