Conservation and Biodiversity Major (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Life Sciences

students standing by a river

Program Overview

The Conservation and Biodiversity programs provide a foundation for understanding how ecology and evolution shape organismal features and the structure and function of communities and ecosystems. Topics covered range from the structure and function of ecosystems to the evolution of behaviour, morphology, and physiology. These programs will show how ecological and evolutionary perspectives can be used to understand and predict the outcome of dynamic interactions among organisms, populations, species, and communities. Students will be: well trained to take positions in government agencies, consulting firms or NGO’s; able to continue graduate studies in science for academic careers; able to pursue careers in business or law related to environmental issues, stewardship and sustainable development.

Complementary Programs:

Specialist: Not applicable.  Major: Environmental Science and International Development Studies programs.

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Explore how organisms interact with the environment
  • Conduct and design experiments
  • Observe and make measurements on organisms
  • Inspect specimens
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data
  • Utilize laboratory equipment
  • Make projections from data

Careers for Graduates

  • Conservation Officer in Government Services (TRCA, Parks Canada, Toronto Zoo, Oceans and Fisheries, ROM, etc.)
  • Careers in the Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Environmental Consultant in NGO’s (The Nature Conservancy, Ontario Nature, David Suzuki Foundation)
  • University Researcher
  • Lab Technician in Industry

Further Education

  • Graduate Studies
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Science
  • Sustainability
  • Law School
  • Teacher Education
  • Medical School
  • Project Management
  • Energy Management
  • Environmental Technology

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Volunteer with organizations to explore your interest in industries related to your program of study; check listings on CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • Attend the UTSC Get Experience Fair in September or register with Scarborough Campus Student Union’s (SCSU) Volunteer Network Program.

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Seek support from professors and TAs during office hours.                       
  • Check the Research Catalogue on CLNx for possible research opportunities. 
  • Consider doing a directed research course (BIOB98H3).

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Take part in BioSA's Conversation with Biologists, an event where students can interact with leading scientists and learn about their research and career trajectory.                
  • Consider Work Study (>Jobs & Recruitment>Work Study) for possible research opportunities.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • If you are considering grad school, speak to professors and program advisors early so you know what to keep in mind. 
  • Explore careers through AA&CC’s Job Shadowing and In The Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 1.0 credit of Ecology & Evolution Foundation courses from: BIOC16H3BIOC50H3BIOC59H3BIOC61H3.
  • 4.5 credits of C- and D-level Ecology and Evolution courses and Organismal Biology courses; at least 1.0 credit must be at the D-level (see UTSC Calendar for specific course lists).

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Speak with a staff member at the AA&CC to plan a potential career path. 
  • Check CLNx for networking events and employer information sessions.
  • Attend the Graduate & Professional School Fair in September. 
  • Join a conference like TEDxUTSC or International Development Conference to develop professional skills.

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for an Academic Travel Fund via DSL to research, present at a conference, or engage with the international academic community. 
  • Attend the weekly Biology Seminar Series (Fridays 12pm). 
  • Take upper-level directed research courses (BIOC99BIOD98BIOD95). 
  • Submit to UTSC’s Journal of Natural Sciences.

Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Participate in the AA&CC’s Partners in Leadership program to learn and network with an alumni mentor about transitioning to work or further education.                
  • Consider joining the executive team of the UTSC Parks Canada Club; volunteer for their events and get to know people in your industry of interest.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May. 
  • Attend the Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course”; find job opportunities on CLNx.  
  • If you are considering grad school, discuss your plans with staff at the AA&CC and your professors.
  • Get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • BioSA - Biology Students Association (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (
  • ECO - EnviroCare Organization (
  • ISC - International Student Centre (
  • NGO - Non-Governmental Organization (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (
  • TRCA - Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (


Course Co-ordinator

Jennifer Campbell

Location: SW421C
Phone: 416-287-7404

Biological Sciences Librarian

Sarah Guay

Location: ARC main floor
Phone: 416-287-7497

Academic Advising & Career Centre

Location: AC213
Phone: 416-287-7561

Department of Student Life

Location: SL157
Phone: 416-208-4760

Biology Students' Association

Did You Know?

Students walking on a path

ECO UTSC is an environmentalist group at UTSC which serves to increase local environmental sustainability at the UTSC.