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Marine and Freshwater Biology Major

Marine and Freshwater Biology

Admission Requirements

How Do We Protect Aquatic Life?

 Fostering Healthy Aquatic Environments

Explore the vertebrates and invertebrates of aquatic systems, as well as the aquatic plants and microorganisms key to the health and functioning of aquatic environments.

 Access the Hagen Aqualab

The University of Guelph Hagen Aqualab, located on campus, allows researchers and students to simulate global aquatic environments and maintain a wide variety of marine and freshwater flora and fauna.

 Gain Technical Skills

Learn techniques used to examine the ecology of aquatic systems from both biological and physical science perspectives, and strategies used to address conservation and management issues.

Why Marine and Freshwater Biology?

In this major, you will build upon core courses in ecology, evolution, genetics, physiology and zoology as you study freshwater and marine environments and work with aquatic organisms experimentally in the field and the lab.

Students in the Marine and Freshwater Biology (MFB) major at the University of Guelph might also be interested in studying Animal Biology, Biodiversity, Ecology, Environmental Biology, Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Zoology, or other majors.

What You Will Learn

Semester 1
  • Discovering Biodiversity
  • General Chemistry I
  • Elements of Calculus I
  • Physics for Life Sciences
Semester 2
  • Biological Concepts of Health
  • Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • General Chemistry II
  • Physics for Life Sciences II

Semester 3
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Vertebrate Structure and Function
Semester 4
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Foundations in Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Biostatistics for Integrative Biology
  • Invertebrate Morphology & Evolution

Semester 5
  • Introduction to Aquatic Environments
  • Comparative Animal Physiology I
  • Lab Studies in Animal Physiology I
  • Integrative Biology of Invertebrates
Semester 6
  • Populations, Communities and Ecosystems
  • Developmental Biology
  • Comparative Animal Physiology II
  • Lab Studies in Animal Physiology II

Semester 7
  • Limnology of Natural and Polluted Waters
  • Integrative Marine and Freshwater Research
Semester 8
  • Adaptational Physiology
  • Biology of Fishes
  • Marine Ecological Processes

Explore All Courses

Gain Valuable Experience Through Co-op

Marine and Freshwater Biology co-op is a five-year program, which includes five work terms, and helps to provide invaluable experience in hands-on aquatic settings, providing skills and experience to boost your resume and fast-track your career.

Learn more about the Marine and Freshwater Biology co-op


In 2021, more than $42.7 million in scholarships was awarded to U of G students. Learn more about applications, requirements and available Scholarships.

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