Undergraduate Admission, Queen's University, Canada

Life and Physical Sciences

[inside Chernoff Hall]

Life and Physical Sciences

Life and Physical Sciences

[field studies at QUBS]

Bachelor of Science, Honours (BScH)
OUAC code: QS or QIS (BISC)

Also available with Concurrent Education
OUAC code: QF

Whether your interest is biology or chemistry, environmental science or geology, physics or astronomy, math or statistics, studying Life and Physical Sciences at Queen’s will provide you with exciting opportunities to explore the world around us through careful observation, rigorous experimentation, and the application of lab-based skills. You’ll experience the thrill of scientific discovery in classes and labs under the guidance of world-class faculty and teaching assistants.

Why Study Life and Physical Sciences at Queen’s?

Queen’s boasts several top-flight laboratories, some of which you’ll become very familiar with as you pursue your studies in the Life and Physical Sciences. Whether it’s the state-of-the-art chemistry labs that utilize 5,000-square-feet of space or the Phytotron that includes six climate-controlled greenhouse zones, 26 environmental growth chambers, a prep room and a human anatomy lab, students will be immersed in living classrooms.

Celebrating the win of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015, Professor Emeritus Art McDonald and the faculty members working at SNOLAB provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in or learn about the ground-breaking research they are doing.

[poster presentation in Biosciences atrium]

Our Facilities

The Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) covers more than 3,000 hectares of land comprising multiple pristine and distributed habitats touching 19 lakes with 20 km of shoreline, and features a new library and herbarium, aquatic research laboratories along with year-round accommodations for both researchers and students.

Physics students can stay above ground, gazing at the sky in the Queen’s Observatory or participate in research that takes part deep below the surface at SNOLAB, a laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics situated 2 km underground.

Learn by Doing

One of many learning by doing examples in the Life and Physical Sciences at Queen’s is how School of Kinesiology and Health Studies third-year students can choose to participate in a research internship in which they work alongside graduate students in active research labs.

Internships are a great way to learn by doing at Queen’s in the Life and Physical Sciences. Students can complete a 12-16 month, paid, professional internship that tops up your degree with hands-on experience.

Life and Physical Sciences Programs

[Researcher in Chemistry lab]


Biochemistry in the 21st century will continue to uncover the biochemical basis for life and unravel the molecular origins of many diseases. It offers new strategies for the development of cures and to establish tools for the development of emerging nanotechnologies. It deals with a broad range of interesting topics that include molecular genetics, structure and function of biomolecules including nucleic acids and proteins and the specialized biochemistry of organs and tissues.

This is a comprehensive program that provides students with hands-on, in-depth training in modern experimental Biochemistry working with professors in their research labs.

More about the Biochemistry program…


Biology is the science of life. It covers subjects ranging from the origin and evolution of life to the form and function of organisms, from the effects of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity to the ongoing revolution in “omics” – the exploding field that includes genomics and a host of other disciplines dedicated to studying the makeup and behaviour of cells at the molecular level.

Biology at Queen’s emphasizes interactive learning with hands-on laboratories, small senior seminar modules and field courses at the internationally recognized Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). Our department also offers opportunities for field study around the globe – from Argentina to Africa. We offer students the flexibility to sample areas of interest within the broad scope of Biology or specialize in fields such as Biotechnology, Biology and Math or Biology and Psychology.

More about the Biology program…


Biotechnology works with living organisms and other biological systems to help us improve our lives by discovering new drugs, improving crop production, and helping to develop novel forms of sustainable energy. First-year students at Queen’s will have the chance to focus their studies on this exciting and important discipline in a Biotechnology specialization.

Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of Biotechnology, the program encourages students to take courses from several departments at Queen’s, everything from law to civil engineering to chemistry to biomechanical and molecular sciences. There is also an option to combine this degree with a diploma in Biotechnology from St. Lawrence College. The program has a strong emphasis on laboratory based learning during both the diploma and the degree portions of the program. Combined with the technical training of a college diploma, these students will graduate with a unique set of skills.


Frequently called the central science because it provides the basis for studies in many other disciplines ranging from biology to materials science, Chemistry explores the composition, structure, and transformation of matter.

Located in Chernoff Hall, Queen’s Department of Chemistry is regarded as one of the best in Canada for both teaching and research. Our aim is to offer a stimulating learning environment for undergraduate students, primarily through participating in engaging, practical laboratory work. In upper years, depending on their interests, undergraduate students can specialize in one of the more fundamental branches of the discipline, such as analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, or theoretical chemistry. Others may choose to explore newer applications, such as environmental, materials, biological, computational, or polymer chemistry.

More about the Chemistry program…

Environmental Science

Society has become more aware of the seriousness of the environmental problems we face. Yet, at the same time, we have realized that the solutions are not simple. To work towards environmental sustainability, people need to understand the scientific basis of environmental problems. They also need to have expertise in planning, policy and other fields to deal with the social, economic and cultural complexities that surround them.

Environmental Science at Queen’s takes an innovative approach to environmental education. Our faculty are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds – biology, chemistry, geography, geological sciences, economics, history, and policy studies, to name but a few – and they can offer students a truly multidisciplinary perspective on the challenging environmental problems facing humanity today.

More about Environmental Studies…

Geography and Planning

Geography can be defined as the integrated study of the earth’s places, societies, environments and landscapes. Among academic disciplines, geography is unique in combining the social sciences and humanities with the physical sciences.

In physical geography, or earth system science, we study natural processes, their interactions, as well as natural and human-generated environmental issues, such as climate change.

In addition to a science concentration in geography, the department offers students the option of earning a certificate in Geographic Information Science. Undergraduate students can also pursue a fast-track professional master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus on Environmental Planning.

More about Geography and Planning…

[Student research at Queen's University Biological Station]

Geological Sciences

What is Geological Sciences? The discovery and development of water, mineral and energy resources – and their sustainability – are a key part of it. But so is coping with climate change, the human impact on our world and the natural hazards facing a growing global population. These all depend on a deep understanding of natural processes.

We are one of the largest, dedicated geology departments in Canada. Study Geological Sciences at Queen’s and you’ll be working with the top professors in their field in small group settings, using state-of-the-art facilities – an X-ray Diffraction and Clay Mineral Lab, a Computational Geomechanics Lab, and a Stable Isotope and ICP/MS Lab, to name a few.

You will also have many opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in real-world settings. Most students in the department complete more than 240 hours on field trips, and second- and upper-year courses including several extended trips to Quebec, Sudbury and Bermuda. The experience you gain will help you secure employment during the summer months and after graduation.

More about the Geology program…


Bachelor of Science, Honours (BScH)
OUAC code: QK

Simply put, Kinesiology is the science of the human body in motion. But it is much more than that. From the structure of the cell to the structure of society, your studies in Kinesiology will expose you to the complex factors that influence health and wellness. Through lab courses in exercise physiology, biomechanics and ergonomics, physical activity counselling, and clinical fitness assessment, you will learn about the physiological and biomechanical factors that influence human movement, exercise and sport performance, and health.

You will think critically about the sociology of sport and physical activity and the positive and negative ways that these cultural, political and social phenomena impact our daily lives. Kinesiology also offers its students multi-year ‘mini-stream’ internships – in athletic therapy, strength and conditioning, exercise, disability and aging – as well as community-based and research-based internships in third year.

More about Kinesiology and Health Studies

Life Sciences

The unique group of scientists and faculty involved with Life Sciences at Queen’s share a common goal: to lessen the impact of disease and trauma by training the next generation of health care scientists and professionals.

One of the largest Bachelor of Science degree programs at Queen’s, Life Sciences is in high demand by students who wish to pursue careers in biomedical research and health care.

The program works closely with the Cancer Research Institute, Centre for Neuroscience Studies and Cardiac Circulation and Respiratory Group at Queen’s offering third- and fourth-year students the opportunity to specialize in trans-disciplinary topics. These specializations include: Cardiorespiratory Science, Drug Development and Toxicology, Cancer Research, Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Discovery.

More about the Life Sciences program…

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and Statistics open new ways of looking at the world. Mathematicians discover and study structures that are fascinating in themselves and that have a surprising ability to help us make sense of many facets of the world: the physical, the biological, the economic, the artistic, the psychological, and the philosophical. By designing and analyzing mathematical models we increase our understanding of natural processes and human events.

Statistics is the science of designing informative experiments, of displaying and analyzing data, and of drawing valid conclusions from data. There is great demand for those who understand and can apply statistics effectively. Knowledge of statistical methods is useful to scientists and engineers, and to others working in government, research, industry, and medicine. Statistics can also be studied as a subject in its own right.

Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s is a multi-faceted discipline, boasting many areas of study and taught by a faculty that includes leading researchers and many winners of national and university teaching awards.

More about Math and Statistics…

Physics and Astronomy

Physics deals with matter and energy and how they are related, starting with such everyday aspects of our world as force, heat and electricity and progressing to ever-more abstract concepts like relativity, quantum mechanics and beyond. We are one of Canada’s leading departments for teaching and research in physics, engineering physics and astronomy, as celebrated in our many recent awards such as the Nobel Prize in Physics, won by Dr. Arthur McDonald.

We boast state-of-the-art laboratories, and a faculty that includes high-profile, world-class physicists doing cutting-edge work in theoretical, computational, applied and experimental physics. Our students undertake inter-disciplinary research with other departments at Queen’s, as well as collaborating on international projects. Study Physics with us at Queen’s, and you will be trained in observation and experimentation, in mathematics and model building. You will develop the confidence to tackle new and intellectually demanding problems, placing you at the leading edge of research and development in science and technology.

The Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy also offers a Specialization in Astrophysics.

More about Physics and Astronomy…


Psychology is the study of mental processes and behaviour. It covers a wide range of topics including cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, social influence, health, development and abnormal behaviour. Studying Psychology helps you answer questions like how our early experiences affect us, what we can do to better manage stress and how our brains process information about the world.

In the natural science stream of Psychology, you will learn about basic processes of cognition and behavioural neuroscience, including the effects of brain damage or drug-induced changes on behaviour, how various neurochemicals affect normal and abnormal behaviour, mechanisms of memory, motor control, and how we solve problems.

Home to 26 labs, our undergraduate students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty researchers and graduate students to gain valuable research training.

More about the Psychology program…

Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS)

[Anatomy lab]Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) is a unique opportunity to enter medical school after only two years of undergraduate study in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

This reduces the time frame for receiving an MD from one of Canada’s premier medical schools. QuARMS is the only admission track of its kind for high school students in Canada.

VIDEO: Life and Physical Sciences - Queen's Faculty of Arts and Science

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