Science: Think Like a Proton & Stay Positive!

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2015

With Science & Engineering Sunday quickly approaching, we thought it was necessary to give you a little insight into the University of Guelph’s science programs. Because… “Science is simply common sense at its best” – Thomas Huxley.  

Altogether, there are 28 Bachelor of Science majors; these are further divided into the Physical & Biological Sciences.

Physical Sciences

Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry*
Biological & Medical Physics*
Chemical Physics*
Environmental Geoscience & Geomatics
Physical Science
Theoretical Physics

To keep it simple and general, the physical science programs will expand your knowledge about the universe as a whole. The programs do not dive into living organisms, but rather the nature, substances, energy, and matter surrounding the living organisms. Essentially, it allows you to take a stroll through the unknown. Physical Science is the foundation for understanding the Biological Sciences.


Fun Fact Friday: If you’re interested in the Physics stream, a first-year physics teacher by the name of Jason Thomas (aka Burnaby Q. Orbax) just broke 22 Guinness World Records! In October, Orbax and his ‘Monsters of Schlock’ sideshow traveled to Vancouver to attend the Pacific National Exhibition. The most notable of the 22 record breaking stunts was when he laid on a bed of nails, while 50 motorcyclists took turns jumping over him! The previous record was 31 motorcyclists, so he ‘nailed’ that one (pun absolutely intended). Though he may live a ‘double life’, he suggests that physics principles are everywhere, and applies many of the theories to his stunts. In reverse, he also demonstrates many physics-based theories in the classroom by performing some (much tamer) stunts for his students. So, even if you think Physics is not the major for you – come to Guelph & you may rethink this! Cruise to the full article on the UofG homepage for more details on his record breaking stunts! 

Biological Sciences

Animal Biology
Biological Science
Bio-Medical Science
Biomedical Toxicology*
Environmental Biology
Food Science*
Human Kinetics
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Mathematical Science
Molecular Biology & Genetics
Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences
Plant Science
Psychology: Brain & Cognition
Wild Life Biology & Conservation

Do you love life? Yes? Yeah? Ya? The Biological Sciences (aka ‘Life Sciences’) takes you to the realm of every living thing on our planet.

These majors are then categorized into:

1. Biological Science

  • Biological Science

2. Molecular & Cellular

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology & Genetics

3. Environmental

  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental Biology
  • Plant Science

4. Animal

  • Animal Biology
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • Wildlife Biology & Conservation
  • Zoology

5. Human

  • Bio-Medical Science
  • Human Kinetics
  • Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences
  • Psychology: Brain & Cognition

So, as you can see, these programs study organisms smaller than what your naked eye can see, to those far beyond the size of your standard tape measure. If you’re looking into the ‘Human’ side of the Biological Sciences, check out the Bio-Medical Science or Human Kinetics program(s). U of G offers undergraduate students a very rare opportunity to take a human-cadaver dissection course in 3rd year (i.e. Human Anatomy). Throw away those mannequins, and get some hands-on experience with an actual human-body! U of G does it RIGHT.

OH and one more thing about the Biological Sciences. Do you want to help, play with and pet animals as a career? This stream is a very popular pre-requisite for Guelph’s reputable Veterinary program.

A key highlight of the entire Bachelor of Science stream is its flexibility. We understand selecting a major from this vast list, without much knowledge about what distinguishes each major within each area, can be a challenge. If you change your mind (which happens to the best of us!), the ability the switch your major after first year is SO EASY due to the common courses all first-year science students are required to take.  

Another component that we should mention is co-op! If you’re looking to gain some real-life insight into the world you’re studying, while building knowledge, networks and contacts for when you graduate, then co-op is for YOU. Those programs above with an asterisk(*) beside them are available in the co-op stream!

Visit the Programs of Study page to read up on each major individually and see which one suits what you’re looking for in your educational (and professional) career. OR, just come visit us at Science & Engineering Sunday. Here, you will find answers to all of your science-based questions, along with campus & building tours, residence tours, and the chance to meet faculty & students within your program(s) of interest.

See you there!

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