Cell and Systems Biology

The molecular biology revolution has given us the unprecedented ability to explore fundamental mechanisms that govern life. Research in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology seeks to understand the underlying molecular processes that control cell behaviour in a developmental and physiological context at all levels of biological organization. We strive to identify, characterize, and quantify interrelations and interactions among the components of a system by using a wide array of state-of-the-art molecular, genomic, proteomic, cell biological, imaging, physiological and computational tools and methods. Cell and Systems Biology research is one the most stimulating fields in science, requiring the integration of multiple subject areas, experimental skill and creative thinking. Our course offerings emphasize the interactions among components of biological systems and how these interactions lead to the coordinated function and integrated behaviour of that system. The Department offers laboratory courses in all years of study and provides independent research opportunities for students in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th years.

Within the Faculty of Arts & Science, there is no single biology department. For more information, please see the Biology information page.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Life Sciences admission category on the St. George campus

  • Senior high school credits in Biology and Chemistry are required preparation for first-year courses
  • Chemistry is not required for the Biology Minor option
  • Senior high school Physics is recommended for Animal Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology Major and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Physics is required for the Cell and Molecular Biology Specialist option
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits


Honours Bachelor of Science Programs

CSB Administered

  • Animal Physiology (major)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (specialist and major options)

  • Genome Biology (major) - see biology

CSB Affiliated

  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (specialist) - see bioinformatics

  • Biology (specialist, major and minor options) - see biology


First-Year Courses

  • BIO 130H1 – Molecular and Cell Biology


Advice for First Year

Students who are interested in studying cell and systems biology must take:

  • BIO 120H1 – Adaptation and Biodiversity and BIO130H1 – Molecular and Cell Biology
  • All CSB programs also require first year chemistry (CHM 135H1 and 136H1), math (JMB 170Y1 or MAT 135H1 and 136H1) and/or physics (PHY131H1 and 132H1)


A BSc degree in Cell and Systems Biology will form a strong foundation for individuals who choose to pursue a professional degree in areas such as: medicine; dentistry; nursing and other health sciences; veterinary medicine; forensic sciences; business administration; teaching; and law.  

Students who go on to complete graduate degrees may find employment as professors and/or lead researchers in universities, government, research institutes and industry.

Occupations also include those associated with bioinformatics; high-throughput technologies; pharmaceutical discovery, testing, and regulation; and patent law.


Direct career options include:

Basic, applied and clinical research
Information technology
Biotechnology Publishing
Consulting Sales



Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year