Helpful Information for Current Animal Biology Students

This is meant to guide you through the potential pitfalls you face when registering for your next semester. Always be aware that when you choose to deviate from the program of studies outlined in the calendar you started on, there may be ramifications later on in your program you haven't considered. This may restrict your choice of courses or even delay your graduation date. If we are forced to or choose to make changes to the courses offered or schedule of studies that pertain to your degree, then it becomes our responsibility to ensure that you complete your degree in a satisfactory and timely manner.

General Principles

  1. Use the calendar of studies you started on to guide you through your entire degree program. Changes made subsequent to your arrival usually do not affect your ability to follow the prescribed studies you began with, and in those circumstances where they do, we will be sure to inform you of your options so you can graduate in a straightforward and timely manner.
  2. Don't rely on hearsay information from other students when planning your courses - what is relevant to them is not automatically relevant to you. Although numerous students will be in the same class with you, they may be in a different year or even a different degree program. Your options as to the number of courses to take in a semester will be affected by whether or not you plan to use your grades to apply to the veterinary program. Some students may have transferred from other programs or other institutions, which might affect which courses they need.
  3. The computer information and other aids available to help you select courses should be correct. However, errors do occur. If you think you are getting conflicting information, check out the story by e-mailing or visiting a Program Counsellor at B.Sc. Academic Advising in the Science Complex or contacting the Animal Biology Faculty Advisor, Dr. Ira Mandell ( rather than guessing what might be the right story.
  4. The most straightforward way to approach course selection is to prioritize: CORE courses for your program must be addressed first, RESTRICTED ELECTIVES second and FREE ELECTIVES last of all. This means you may have to compromise on which restricted and free electives you get to take in some cases. In the Animal Biology program, the core courses are clearly indicated by semester in your calendar of studies. Failing to take them in the specified order and semester may result in timetable conflicts which cannot be resolved without further restricting your elective options or even delaying your graduation.
  5. Restricted electives belong in two categories:
  6. ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCE RESTRICTED ELECTIVES: B.Sc. Animal Biology students must take a minimum of 2.0 credits in these areas. Students entering the B.Sc. ABIO Program in the Fall of 2012 onwards can count the core course ANSC*1210 Principles of Animal Care and Welfare as 1.0 credit towards this 2.0 credit minimum. The maximum is 4.0 credits of the 20 needed for your degree since you must also complete a minimum of 16 science credits. A list of acceptable courses is available on-line at the BSc home page or from Ira Mandell, who is also happy to advise on which courses can be selected to meet your interests. Typically the minimum of 2 credits should be completed no later than semester 5.
  7. SCIENCE RESTRICTED ELECTIVES: At least 4.5 credits must come from courses listed as restricted electives following the program of studies by semester in the calendar. Many are taught by faculty in Animal Biosciences while some are taught by faculty in the Ontario Veterinary College. Since these courses usually have a prerequisite requirement, you won't be eligible to take them usually until semester 4 at the earliest, with most being taken in semesters 5 through 8. In some cases, it is possible to take a restricted elective in this category concurrently with the prerequisite. However, you are strongly advised to have completed at least 1.0 credits in this area by the end of semester 6, since trying to take 2.5 or 3 credits in your final year may lead to scheduling problems.
  8. It is a surprise to some students to find that after they have met the core science, arts & social science restricted electives, and departmental restricted elective requirements, that still only adds up to 18.0 of the minimum of 20.0 credits needed to graduate, depending on which specific Animal Biology calendar you are following. The remaining FREE electives are just that - other than a few minor restrictions these can come from across the entire calendar. The minor restrictions are that you must do enough science courses to bring you up to the minimum of 16 science credits noted earlier (again a list of approved science courses for B.Sc. students is available online or from Dr. Ira Mandell) and no more than 7 credits of your final 20 can be from 100 level courses. To meet this free elective requirement you might just take a mixture of more arts & social science courses and departmental restricted elective courses, or strike out in new directions with other science or business courses.
  9. You will always be able to track your progress towards meeting the requirements for your degree by running a personalized Program/Academic Evaluation using Webadvisor.  This program is available on line and is the easiest and most comprehensive way to see the courses you have taken, the marks you have received in each course, and the credits and credit categories you need to complete the requirements for the Animal Biology degree.  

If you have any questions, which need to be addressed concerning course options, Dr. Ira Mandell, the Animal Biology degree Faculty Advisor, is available for consultation. E-mail him at and he will be glad to answer your questions or set up an appointment to meet with you.