Applied Animal Biology Major

During the final year of her BSc in Applied Animal Biology, Katelyn Mills spent four months conducting a literature review of unnecessary surgeries on companion animals, the results of which were published in The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. [read more]

Applied Animal Biology is intended for students who want to study and/or work with animals. It provides students with fundamentals of animal behaviour, animal physiology and related fields as applied to farm, companion and other animals. It also exposes students to the role of animals in human society and the ethical, environmental and other issues that arise. It offers training in research skills needed for graduate work, and (with appropriate selection of courses) prepares students for admission to veterinary and human medicine. Students have various options to gain practical experience on farms and in laboratories, animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres.

Potential career paths include veterinary medicine, human medicine, biomedical research, animal ecology, sustainable aquaculture, animal training, animal nutrition, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife conservation, agricultural extension and animal welfare.

Students planning to apply to vet school: Western College of Veterinary Medicine has changed entrance requirements from 6 undergraduate physics credits to 3. Visit the WCVM website for details.

Note to current LFS Students: To view your degree progress, please log in to Student Service Centre and click on Degree Navigator.

Applied Animal Biology is intended for students with a strong interest in animals and wanting to pursue careers working with animals (e.g., veterinary medicine). This major will provide students with fundamentals in the field of animal science and will provide considerable flexibility to students when selecting courses that meet their specific interests. Students are exposed to a challenging capstone research experience in the third and fourth years of the program.Admission to the Applied Animal Biology Major is to second year (with an option of third-year admission). Admission is based on a minimum academic standing of 70%, calculated as a cumulative average of grades from all prerequisite and program courses taken. Elective courses are not included in this calculation. Note that due to program demand, the academic standard required for admission may be higher than the published minimum.

Applied Animal Biology Major

  • APBI 260 Agroecology I (6 credits)
  • APBI 311 Animal Physiology I (3 credits)
  • APBI 312 Animal Physiology II (3 credits) *This course is credit excluded with BIOL 361*
  • APBI 314 Animals and society (3 credits)
  • APBI 315 Animal welfare and the ethics of animal use (3 credits)
  • APBI 316 Equine Biology, Health and Welfare (3 credits)
  • APBI 319 Aquaculture and the Environment (3 credits)
  • APBI 327 Introduction to Entomology (3 credits) (Equivalency: BIOL 327)
  • APBI 360 Agroecology II (3 credits)
  • APBI 361 Key Indicators of Agroecosystem sustainability (3 credits)
  • APBI 398 Research Methods in Applied Animal Biology
  • APBI 410 Applied Animal Health and Physiology (3 credits)
  • APBI 413 Stress and Coping in Animals (3 credits)
  • APBI 414 Animals and Global Issues (3 credits)
  • APBI 415 Applied Animal Behaviour (3 credits)
  • APBI 416 Animal Welfare and Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • APBI 418 Intensive fish production (3 credits)
  • APBI 419 Fish Diseases (3 credits)
  • APBI 428 Integrated Pest Management (3 credits)
  • APBI 444 Agroforestry (3 credits)
  • APBI 460 Advanced Agroecology (3 credits)
  • APBI 490 Topics in Applied Biology
  • APBI 495 Principles of Wildlife Management in Forests and Agricultural Environments (3 credits)
  • APBI 496 Applied Animal Biology Practicum (3/6 credits) Restricted enrollment.
  • APBI 497 Directed Studies (2 - 6 credits). Restricted Enrollment.
  • APBI 498 Undergraduate Essay
  • APBI 499 Undergraduate Thesis
  • BIOC 402 Proteins: Structure and Function
  • BIOC 403 Enzymology
  • BIOC 410 Nucleic Acids-Structure and Function
  • BIOC 420 Advanced Biochemical Techniques
  • BIOC 421 Recombinant DNA Techniques
  • BIOL 153 Human Biology (7)
  • BIOL 155 Human Biology (6)
  • BIOL 204 Vertebrate structure and function (4 credits)
  • BIOL 205 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 230 Fundamentals of Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 234 Fundamentals of Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 260 Fundamentals of Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 306 Advanced Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 310 Introduction to animal behaviour (3 credits)
  • BIOL 325 Introduction to animal mechanics and locomotion (3 credits)
  • BIOL 327 Introduction to Entomology (3 credits) (Equivalency: APBI 327)
  • BIOL 328 Introductory parasitology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 331 Developmental Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 335 Molecular genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 336 Fundamentals of Evolutionary Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 337 Introductory genetics laboratory (3 credits)
  • BIOL 338 Introduction to Genomics. An introduction to genome biology and application of genomics (4 credits)
  • BIOL 361 Physiology of Sensory, Nervous and Muscular Systems (Credits 3) *This course is credit excluded with APBI 312*
  • BIOL 363 Laboratory in Animal Physiology (2 credits)
  • BIOL 402 Aquatic Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 404 Ecological Methodology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 411 Insect Ecology
  • BIOL 413 Zoogeography (3 credits)
  • BIOL 416 Principles of Conservation Biology (3credits)
  • BIOL 425 Biomechanics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 427 Ornithology and Herpetology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 441 Cell Biology of Intracellular Trafficking (3 credits)
  • BIOL 445 Darwin's Fishes (3 credits)
  • BIOL 450 Molecular Adaptation of Animals to the Environment (3 credits)
  • BIOL 454 Comparative Animal Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 455 Comparative Neurobiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 457 Comparative Environmental Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 464 Animal Developmental Genetics. Role of genes in embryonic development. Emphasis on tissue specific expression patterns and the role of genetic networks in establishing cell types (3 credits)
  • CAPS 301 Human Physiology (6 credits)
  • CAPS 390 Introduction to Microscopic Human Anatomy (3 credits)
  • CAPS 391 Introduction to Gross Human Anatomy (3 credits)
  • CLST 301 The Technical Terms of Medicine and Biological Science
  • CONS 486 Fish Conservation and Management (3 credits)
  • CPSC 110 Computation, Programs, and Programming (4)
  • CPSC 301 Computing in the Life Sciences (3 credits)
  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 310 Principles of Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • EOSC 315 The Ocean Ecosystem (3 credits)
  • EOSC 470 Biological Oceanography (3 credits)
  • EOSC 475 Marine Microbiology (3 credits)
  • EOSC 478 Introduction to Fisheries Science (3 credits)
  • FNH 350 Fundamentals of Nutrition (3 credits)
  • FRE 295 Managerial Economics
  • FRST 308 Forest Entomology (2 credits)
  • FRST 386 Aquatic Ecosystems and Fish in Forested Watersheds (3 credits)
  • FRST 395 Forest wildlife ecology and management (3 credits)
  • FRST 430 Advanced Biometrics (3 credits)
  • FRST 546 Research Methods and Philosophies in Science (3 credits)
  • ISCI 433 Ethical Issues in Science (3)
  • KIN 151 Biomechanics I (3)
  • KIN 190 Anatomy and Physiology I (3)
  • KIN 191 Anatomy and Physiology II (3)
  • LFS 340 First Nations Health and the Traditional Role of Plants (3 credits)
  • LFS 350 Land, Food & Community II (3 credits)
  • LFS 450 Land, Food & Community III: Food System Sustainability (3 credits)
  • LFS 496B Career development internship (3 credits)
  • MATH 103 Integral Calculus with Applications to Life Sciences (3 credits)
  • MICB 202 Introductory Medical Microbiology and Immunology (3 Credits)
  • MICB 302 Immunology (3 credits) (Pre-reqs: MICB 202, and third-year standing)
  • MICB 306 Molecular Virology
  • MRNE 415 Structure and Function in Marine Animals (3 credits)
  • PHIL 332 (previously PHIL 435) Environmental Ethics (3 credits)
  • PHIL 333 (previously PHIL 433) Bio-Medical Ethics (3 credits)
  • PHYS 118 Electricity, Light and Radiation (3 credits).
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 306A Principles in Animal Behaviour (3 credits)
  • PSYC 363 Principles of Animal Learning (3 credits)

The Applied Animal Biology Honours program is intended for exceptional students with an interest in research. Students interested in careers in research-intensive areas including veterinary medicine, biomedical science, animal welfare, animal reproduction, and wildlife conservation may especially benefit from this opportunity.


This program will only accept students with both a strong academic record during their first and second years of study and an interest in research.

Successful applicants will have a cumulative average greater than 75%.


The applicant must write a letter explaining why they wish to enrol, their career goals, and any past or current research experience they may have. The applicant's request and Letter of Intent must be submitted to LFS Student Services by March 31 of their second year of study.

Successful applicants admitted into the Honours Program must complete a minimum of 132 credits rather than the 123 credits required to graduate with an Applied Animal Biology degree. Of these 132 credits, 48 must be chosen from the Applied Animal Biology Restricted Electives list. Students must complete their degree within a maximum of 5 calendar years. During the third and fourth years, Honours students must not fail any attempted courses, must complete a minimum of 30 credits per calendar year, and maintain a minimum of 70% in every 300- and 400-level course completed. Students who do not meet these requirements will move to the Applied Animal Biology Major and will no longer be eligible to stay in the Honours program.

Required Courses

  • APBI 398 (3 credits) - Research Methods in Applied Animal Biology
  • APBI 499 (6 credits) - Thesis

During the third year of study, students must contact a prospective supervisor for the APBI 499 thesis course to discuss possible thesis topics. A thesis application/proposal form must be filled out by the student and approved by the prospective supervisor before the end of the fall semester of the year prior to the year in which the thesis is to be completed. If the proposal is not satisfactory, the student may have to make modifications and re-submit it over the summer.

Completion of the 6-credit thesis course (APBI 499) will occur during the entire fourth year of study. Students will complete a research project and write up a thesis similar to a master’s thesis. At the end of the year, each student will present their work to other third and fourth year Honours students.

Benefits of a Thesis

The APBI 499 thesis course gives students an opportunity to work closely with a supervisor or faculty member and work with material at an advanced level. This experience will give students an idea of what it is like to work at the graduate level, working on a single topic over many months. The thesis will also provide experience in academic writing and communications.

Benefits of the Honours Program

Graduates of the program will have:

  1. demonstrated their ability to succeed in a challenging program of study
  2. gained exposure to a wide variety of topics in applied animal biology
  3. in-depth experience in one or more areas of research
  4. worked closely with faculty members and other researchers
  5. gained skills in independent research and oral and written communication useful for a wide range of professional careers in knowledge-intensive industries