HONOURS: Biology & Marine Biology

The aim of Dalhousie’s Biology and Marine Biology Honours Program is to give undergraduate students a complete scientific research experience. Under the tutelage of a research supervisor, students coordinate all aspects of a full-year independent research project — from the identification of central research questions and hypotheses, to the design of experiments, to the collection and analysis of data, and finally to the interpretation of results, all of which culminates in a final written thesis. In short, students learn how to become scientists. Our Honours Program also involves science communication, and all students participate in our annual Cameron Conference, which is a formal, 1-day conference where students present their results to their peers, faculty from across the University, and other attendees and guests. 

Our students complete thesis projects that are as diverse as biology itself, ranging from cell and molecular studies, to animal behaviour and physiology, to behavioural ecology, as well as ecosystems ecology and oceanography. Past Cameron Conference Programs are available to show the range of supervisors, project topics, and student work from recent years.

This opportunity is available to 4th year students who meet specific GPA requirements.  Completing the Honours Program is an excellent choice for students who intend to continue their academic careers at the graduate level in Biology and other related fields, or for students who intend to pursue a career where research experience might be a valuable asset. Many students end up publishing their theses as articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, which is a terrific thing to list on a CV and graduate or professional school applications.

Interested in completing an Honours in Biology or Marine Biology?

  • In most cases, students start planning for their Honours thesis during third year.
  • Students can contact an Honours Advisor to make sure they meet the GPA requirements of the program and to ask any questions they have about course requirements of their planned degree.
  • Students must secure an Honours Supervisor to complete an Honours Degree.  Honours Supervisors are most often professors from the Biology Department. However, our students are often supervised by professors from other departments at Dalhousie or by researchers from outside Dalhousie. If an external supervisor is not currently listed under Approved External Supervisors, the student should contact the Chair of the Honours Committee to obtain approval.
  • Students should familiarize themselves with the criteria and deadlines associated with the scholarships and awards available through the Department of Biology.

More details about the program, including information about the academic requirements for admission to Honours, and other specifics about the Honours courses BIOL/MARI 4901 & 4902, can be found in the Guide for Students and Supervisors.

More Information

For details of the requirements for a degree in biology, see the Degree Checklists page or contact an academic advisor.