X. Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)

Marine and Freshwater Biology (Co-op) (MFB:C)

Department of Integrative Biology, College of Biological Science

The Marine and Freshwater Biology major capitalizes on Guelph’s recognized excellence in aquatic research and provides a broad perspective on aquatic environments based on the physical as well as biological sciences. In this major, you will build upon core courses in ecology, evolution, genetics, and physiology of aquatic biota as you study freshwater and marine environments and work with aquatic organisms experimentally in the field and in the lab. You will have the opportunity to perform independent research projects under a variety of field and laboratory conditions to enhance your learning experience. Work placements enable students to gain knowledge, skills and values appropriate for work with individuals and groups in a variety of settings. The major prepares students for post-graduate work in the aquatic sciences, and provides a sound scientific background for students wishing to pursue careers in academia, government service, private sector (e.g., NGOs, fisheries, aquaculture, biotechnology, consulting), conservation, education and research.

Program Requirements

The Co-op program in Marine and Freshwater Biology is a five year program, including five work terms. Students must complete a Fall, Winter and Summer work term and must follow the academic work schedule as outlined below (also found on the Co-operative Education website: https://www.recruitguelph.ca/cecs/). Please refer to the Co-operative Education program policy with respect to adjusting this schedule.

Marine and Freshwater Biology Academic and Co-op Work Term Schedule
Year Fall Winter Summer
1 Academic Semester 1 Academic Semester 2 Off
2 Academic Semester 3


Academic Semester 4 COOP*1000 Work Term I
3 Academic Semester 5 COOP*2000 Work Term II COOP*3000 Work Term III
4 Academic Semester 6 Academic Semester 7 COOP*4000 Work Term IV
5 COOP*5000 Work Term V Academic Semester 8 N/A

To be eligible to continue in the Co-op program, students must meet a minimum 70% cumulative average requirement after second semester, as well as meet all work term requirements. Please refer to the Co-operative Education program policy with respect to work term performance grading, work term report grading and program completion requirements.

For additional program information students should consult with their Co-op Co-ordinator and Co-op Faculty Advisor, listed on the Co-operative Education web site.

Credit Summary (22.00 Total Credits)*

4.00 - First year science core

10.00 - Required science courses semesters 3 - 8

2.00 - Approved science electives

1.00 - Liberal Education electives

3.00 - Free electives - any approved elective for B.Sc. Students

2.00 - Co-op Work Terms

Of the total credits required, students are required to complete 16.00 credits in science of which a minimum of 2.00 credits must be at the 4000 level and an additional 4.00 credits must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.

Note: A minimum of four Co-op work terms including a Summer, Fall, and Winter are necessary to complete the Co-op requirement. *A fifth Co-op work term is optional and if completed, the total number of credits will equal 22.50

The recommended program sequence is outlined below.

Major (Honours Program)

Semester 1 - Fall
BIOL*1070 [0.50] Discovering Biodiversity
CHEM*1040 [0.50] General Chemistry I
MATH*1080 [0.50] Elements of Calculus I
PHYS*1080 [0.50] Physics for Life Sciences
0.50 Liberal Education electives

Students lacking Grade 12 or 4U Biology, Chemistry or Physics should follow the revised schedule of study for this major found at https://www.uoguelph.ca/bsc/revised_SS

Semester 2 - Winter
BIOL*1080 [0.50] Biological Concepts of Health
BIOL*1090 [0.50] Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
CHEM*1050 [0.50] General Chemistry II
PHYS*1070 [0.50] Physics for Life Sciences II
0.50 Liberal Education electives
Semester 3 - Fall
BIOL*2060 [0.50] Ecology
BIOL*2400 [0.50] Evolution
COOP*1100 [0.00] Introduction to Co-operative Education
ZOO*2090 [0.50] Vertebrate Structure and Function
1.00 electives or restricted electives*
Semester 4 - Winter
BIOC*2580 [0.50] Introduction to Biochemistry
MBG*2040 [0.50] Foundations in Molecular Biology and Genetics
STAT*2230 [0.50] Biostatistics for Integrative Biology
ZOO*2700 [0.50] Invertebrate Morphology & Evolution
0.50 electives or restricted electives*
Summer Semester
COOP*1000 [0.50] Co-op Work Term I
Semester 5 - Fall
BIOL*3450 [0.50] Introduction to Aquatic Environments
ZOO*3600 [0.50] Comparative Animal Physiology I
ZOO*3610 [0.25] Lab Studies in Animal Physiology I
ZOO*3700 [0.50] Integrative Biology of Invertebrates
Electives or restricted electives to a maximum of 2.75 total credits in this semester.
Winter Semester
COOP*2000 [0.50] Co-op Work Term II
Summer Semester
COOP*3000 [0.50] Co-op Work Term III
Semester 6 - Fall
BIOL*4350 [0.50] Limnology of Natural and Polluted Waters
IBIO*4600 [1.00] Integrative Marine and Freshwater Research
1.00 electives or restricted electives
Semester 7 - Winter
BIOL*3060 [0.50] Populations, Communities & Ecosystems
ZOO*3050 [0.50] Developmental Biology
ZOO*3620 [0.50] Comparative Animal Physiology II
ZOO*3630 [0.25] Lab Studies in Animal Physiology II
Electives or restricted electives to a maximum of 2.75 total credits in this semester.
Summer Semester
COOP*4000 [0.50] Co-op Work Term IV
Fall Semester
COOP*5000 [0.50] Co-op Work Term V
Semester 8 - Winter
BIOL*4010 [0.50] Adaptational Physiology
ZOO*4330 [0.50] Biology of Fishes
ZOO*4570 [0.50] Marine Ecological Processes
1.00 electives or restricted electives

* CIS*1200 is recommended for those needing to improve their computer skills


A minimum of 1.00 credits of Liberal Education electives is required. The list of Liberal Education electives for B.Sc. students can be found at: https://www.uoguelph.ca/bsc/

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1