Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences


Life Sciences

Major & Honours Programs with Specializations in:


Animal Biology  Animal Health & Disease

Life Sciences (Multidisciplinary)
Microbiology & Molecular Biotechnology

Plant Biology     Wildlife Biology


The Life Sciences (Biological and Agricultural) Major is a cross-disciplinary biology program offered exclusively by McGill's Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES) at the Macdonald Campus.  See the Program description page for more information and applying online, and the Prospective Students page for information about all of our programs or download our brochure.   If you have any questions, please contact our Academic Advisor Dr. Julie Major.

Program structure

The Life Sciences Major (electronic course calendar 2016-2017) consists of a core of 42 credits plus a 24-credit Specialization.  The 42-credit core consists of 11 required courses and 3 complementary courses that may be chosen from a list of relevant Life Sciences courses.  Elective credits may come from virtually any course offered by McGill.  Students interested in Honours Life Sciences (electronic course calendar 2016-2017) must apply to the Program Director in March or April of their U2 year, to begin the program in September of their final year.  Students must have a CPGA of 3.3 or higher and have a professor who has agreed to be their research supervisor.  Students in the Honours Program must complete 12 credits of Honours Research Project courses (FAES 401 and FAES 402).


Required courses:

U1 Fall

AEBI 210 Organisms 1

AEHM 205 Science Literacy
AEMA 310 Statistical Methods 1

LSCI 204 Genetics

LSCI 211 Biochemistry 1

FDSC 230 Organic Chemistry*

U1 Winter

AEBI 211 Organisms 2

AEBI 212 Evolution and Phylogeny

LSCI 202 Molecular Cell Biology

LSCI 230 Introductory Microbiology


U2 or U3 Fall

PARA 438 Immunology


U2 or U3 Winter

ANSC 400 Eukaryotic Cells & Viruses


*To register for LSCI 211 students must also be registered for FDSC 230 in the same or previous term unless an equivalent organic chemistry course was completed prior to coming to McGill.  Students that take FDSC 230 in the Fall may take AEHM 205 or AEMA 310 in the Winter semester.


Complementary courses:

ANSC 234 Biochemistry 2 (3 credits)

ANSC 250 Principles of Animal Science (3 credits)

ANSC 312 Animal Health and Disease (3 credits)

ANSC 323 Mammalian Physiology (3 credits)

ANSC 324 Developmental Biology and Reproduction (3 credits)

ANSC 326 Fundamentals of Population Genetics (3 credits)

ANSC 420 Animal Biotechnology (3 credits)

BINF 511 Bioinformatics for Genomics (3 credits)

BTEC 306 Experiments in Biotechnology (3 credits)

ENVB 210 The Biophysical Environment (3 credits)

ENVB 222 St. Lawrence Ecosystems (3 credits)

FAES 300 Internship 2 (3 credits)

LSCI 451 Research Project 1 (3 credits)

LSCI 452 Research Project 2 (3 credits)

MICR 331 Microbial Ecology (3 credits)

MICR 338 Bacterial Molecular Genetics (3 credits)

MICR 341 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity (3 credits)

MICR 450 Environmental Microbiology (3 credits)

NRSC 333 Pollution and Bioremediation (3 credits)

PARA 410 Environment and Infection (3 credits)

PLNT 304 Biology of Fungi (3 credits)

PLNT 353 Plant Structure and Function (3 credits)

PLNT 426 Plant Ecophysiology (3 credits)

PLNT 435 Plant Breeding (3 credits)

WILD 424 Parasitology (3 credits)



The Specializations most commonly taken by students in the Life Sciences programs are listed below.  These 24-credit course sets range from discipline-specific, to interdisciplinary (see below), with the Life Sciences (Multidisciplinary) Specialization offering the broadest choice of courses.  Students are advised to choose a Specialization by the end of their U1 year if they have not already (Specialization form).


Animal Biology - Specialization description

Animal Health & Disease - Specialization description

Life Sciences (Multidisciplinary) - Specialization description

Microbiology & Molecular Biotechnology - Specialization description

Plant Biology - Specialization description

Wildlife Biology - Specialization description


Research and Internships

There are three basic options for students to gain research experience via courses that are part of this programResearch Project courses (LSCI 451 and LSCI 452, for students in the Life Sciences Major) or Honours Research Project courses (FAES 401 and FAES 402, for students in Honours Life Life Sciences), are typically taken in the final two semesters of the U3 year.  Students can also choose one of the Internship courses (FAES 200, FAES 300) offered via the FAES Internship Office.


Life Sciences career paths

Careers in the life sciences require strong grounding in biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology.  A partial list of fields in which you can pursue a career can be found below, but individuals with imagination and ambition are not limited to these examples, the sky is the limit!  See also Career Planning Service (CaPS)


Health sciences and medical programs
Veterinary science and medicine
Microbiological and molecular biotechnology industries and research
Bioscience and pharmaceutical industries and research
Food, fermentation and agricultural biotechnology

Environmental and forensic sciences
Biological and environmental sciences teaching


Academic Advising


Life Sciences Academic Advisor: Dr. Julie Major

Phone: (514) 398-8380
Office: Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS2-082

To send an e-mail, click on Dr. J. Major's name (secure e-mail link) on the Academic Advisors web page

Life Sciences Program Director: Dr. B.T. Driscoll

Phone: (514) 398-7887

Student Affairs Office

Important dates

FAES course equivalencies
Basic Math-Science Equivalence Table

Program calendars
Registering for courses

Search Course Listings 2016-2017

Dynamic Schedule

Course Equivalency System
Program Change Application Form
Specialization Form


McGill University