Common Course Substitutions

BISC Major and Honours students may count a limited number of non-BISC courses toward their upper division requirements. The following courses are pre-approved. Students should consult the course calendar to ensure they meet the pre-requisites and/or should contact the course instructor to discuss pre-requisite exemptions. Once the student has completed a substitute course with a minimum grade of C-, they need to notify the Academic Advisor (Emelia Kirkwood) so their Progress Report can be updated. Students who wish to substitute courses not on this list should obtain permission of the undergraduate program advisor prior to enrolling in them. Students who are completing a second program (e.g., MBB Major or Minor) in addition to their BISC Major may not count the same course toward both programs.

Cells, Molecules and Physiology

In addition to their program requirements, CMP students must complete an additional 2 upper division electives from BISC, BPK, HSCI, MBB, PHYS, or STAT. Students may choose any upper division BISC courses, except BISC 371 (Special Topics in Biology for Non-Majors) or BISC 373 (Brewing Science). In addition, the following non-BISC courses are pre-approved:

  • BPK 431 Integrative Cancer Biology
  • CHEM 380 Chemical and Instrumental Methods of Identification of Organic Compounds
  • CHEM 371 Chemistry of the Aqueous Environment
  • CHEM 372 Chemistry of the Atmospheric Environment
  • HSCI 321 Human Pathophysiology
  • HSCI 323 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • HSCI 338 Animal Virology
  • MBB 321 Intermediary Metabolism
  • MBB 322 Molecular Physiology
  • MBB 326 Introduction to Immune System
  • MBB 331 Molecular Biology
  • PHYS 347 Biological Physics


The Open concentration program requirements include 8 upper division BISC courses. Open concentration students may substitute up to 2 upper division courses from other units (e.g., BPK, FENV, HSCI, MASC, MBB, PHYS, or STAT).

Open concentration students may select courses from both the CMP and EEC lists.

Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

The EEC program requirements include 5 stream electives. EEC students may substitute up to 2 upper division stream electives from the Faculty of the Environment, Bamfield (MASC courses), or other relevant unit. The following non-BISC courses are pre-approved:

  • ARCH 344 Primate Behaviour
  • MATH 360 Modelling with Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MATH 468 Topics in Biomathematics
  • REM 412 Environmental Modeling
  • REM 471 Forest Ecosystem Management
  • STAT 360 Advanced R for Data Science
  • Field Based courses:
    • MASC (Marine Sciences) courses offered at Bamfield Marine Science Centre ( e.g. Marine Behavioural Ecology, Terrestrial & Freshwater Conservation, Coastal Community Ecology, Coastal Biodiversity and Conservation
    • Field courses offered by other institutions, e.g. Hakai Institute - Letter of permission approval is required.