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Department of Biology

The Laurentian Biology Advantage

By the time a Laurentian biology student earns their undergraduate degree, they have completed around 700 hours of laboratory training. Our small class sizes and hands-on learning opportunities give our students a distinct advantage when they enter the job market.

Information for 4th year students

**Please note, for students in their 4th year who are interested in taking BIOL4016 (Field Camp and Report) this summer, please contact Dr. Robitaille at for more information. 

A student with B+ average has the choice of doing either BIOL 4017E (Literature Review – 3 credits – Sept-Dec) OR BIOL 4035E (Research and Seminar – 6 credits – Sept-April)

A student with less than a B+ average can only do BIOL 4017E.


Difference and similarities between the  BIOL 4035E and BIOL 4017E:

  • Both courses require a supervisor that will coordinate your literature review topic (BIOL4017) or your research project (BIOL4035). Search faculty and affiliated researchers on our website.
  • BIOL 4017: The student picks a topic and will gather relevant existing literature from credible sources and write a detailed formal report (synthesis) to support or reject their hypothesis.  The student will have regular meetings with their chosen supervisor.  At the end of the course, the student will have to do a short formal presentation.
  • BIOL 4035: This course is a requirement for zoology/zoologie, restoration biology and ecology students. The only exception is if you have less than B+, then you have to take BIOL 4017 in addition to another 3 credit course from A or B lists. The student picks a topic and will conduct actual experiments, collect data and write up a detailed formal report as their thesis to support or reject their hypothesis. The students will have regular meetings with their chosen supervisor. The student has to do two formal presentations.
  • BIOL 4035: Student must submit a supervisor contract (provided by 4035 coordinator) to remain registered in the course.


How to pick a topic:

  • Your topic should fall under the expertise of the chosen supervisor.
  • Consult the faculty list for their areas of expertise
  • For both courses, the student must find a supervisor that is willing to work with them.
  • This is done by locating a professor that works with the student’s interest topic and having a meeting to discuss the potential of working together.
  • It is a good idea to approach potential supervisors early (summer after 3rd year), to avoid having to work in an area of ‘less’ interest.