Modules in BMSc

The Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) Program is the combination of all the modules that lead to graduation with BMSc degrees. Admission to the BMSc Program occurs in Year 3 and only students admitted to Year 3 BMSc can pursue modules that lead to graduation with BMSc degrees.

Which Modules lead to BMSc degrees?

Honours Specialization modules in BMSc

There are 21 Honours Specialization modules which lead to graduation with BMSc (Honours) degrees and only students in Years 3 and 4 BMSc can register in these modules.

Enrollment in Year 3 and 4 of each Honours Specialization module is limited due to the capstone course required in Year 4:

  • 20 Honours Specialization modules contain a 4000-level Research Project as the capstone course
  • The Honours Specialization in IMS requires a 4000-level advanced lab half course and a selected topics half course as the capstone courses (see Medical Sciences 4990E and 4930F.)

If more students apply for admission to a particular Honours Specialization module than there are spaces available, then admission to the Honours Specialization becomes competitive:

  • see Admission to Year 3 BMSc for information about admission to Honours Specialization modules in Year 3 (e.g. maximum capacity and competitive averages for admission to each module, etc.)
  • see Admission to Year 4 BMSc for information about admission to Year 4 of the Honours Specialization modules (e.g. maximum capacity and competitive Weighted Averages for admission to each module, etc.)

See the Academic Calendar for the complete listing of modules offered by the basic medical science departments.

Double Majors in BMSc

Double Majors can be completed in both BMSc (Honours) and BMSc (non-honours) degrees, provided both Major modules are selected from the 10 Major modules offered by the basic medical science departments. The only difference between Double Majors in a BMSc (Honours) degree and Double Majors in a BMSc (non-honours) degree is the level of marks achieved in the modular courses. See the Graduation Requirements for Honours Bachelor Degrees and the Graduation Requirements for Bachelor Degrees (Four-Year).

Only students in Year 3 and 4 BMSc can register in Double Majors that lead to graduation with BMSc (Honours) and BMSc (non-honours) degrees:

  • a BMSc (non-honours) degree is granted if the average on the 6.0 courses required for one or both Majors is less than 70% and/or a mark less than 60% is achieved in a modular course in one or both of the Major modules and/or or if a failing grade is achieved in any course

Enrollment in Double Majors is not limited as none of the Majors contain a capstone course in Year 4:

  • the 4000-level capstone courses (Research Projects and Medical Sciences 4990E + 4930F) can only be taken by students in the Honours Specialization modules

Most BMSc students completing Double Majors will find that the same courses appear in both Major modules (e.g. Biochemistry 2280A shows up in both Majors):

See the Academic Calendar for the complete listing of modules offered by the basic medical science departments.

Specialization in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (IMS)

There is only 1 Specialization module available in the BMSc Program - Specialization in IMS - and only students registered in Years 3 and 4 BMSc may register in this module.

Very few students pursue a Specialization in IMS since this module leads to graduation with a non-honours BMSc degree. Since most students in the BMSc Program meet and/or exceed the marks/averages required to register in Honours degrees, students are strongly encouraged to pursue either Honours Specialization modules or Double Majors.

Enrollment in the Specialization in IMS is not limited as this module does not contain a capstone course in Year 4

See the Academic Calendar for the complete listing of modules offered by the basic medical science departments

Discipline-specific or interdisciplinary modules?

The decision to pursue a discipline-specific module or an IMS module is a personal decision for each student. Students seeking admission to graduate and/or professional programs after their BMSc degrees are encouraged to investigate whether their choice of discipline-specific or interdisciplinary modules will influence their eligibility.

Discipline-specific modules

Modules that focus on one or two specific basic medical science disciplines in Years 3 and 4 are referred to as "discipline-specific" modules. Examples of how the discipline-specific modules differ from the IMS modules are as follows:

  • discipline-specific modules are more structured than IMS modules
  • a Research Project is undertaken in Year 4 by students in discipline-specific Honors Specialization modules

Interdisciplinary modules in BMSc

In Years 3 and 4 of the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (IMS) modules, at least two basic medical science disciplines must be studied and each student chooses the disciplines to be studied.

Which to pursue: Honours Specialization or Double Majors? or Specialization?

Students are encouraged to pursue either an Honours Specialization module or Double Majors within the BMSc Program since these lead to graduation with a BMSc Honours degree. Students completing a Specialization module will complete a BMSc degree (non-honours).

Students often ask if an Honours Specialization module will benefit them more than Double Majors upon graduation with a BMSc degree. An Honours Specialization module will benefit you if the program/career to which you wish to apply after graduation either prefers or requires an Honours Specialization module. You will need to check with the programs to which you may be applying after your BMSc degree to find out if those programs give any preference to students who complete Honours Specialization modules vs. Double Majors.

Why consider an Honours Specialization module?

You might wish to consider an Honours Specialization module if:

  • you want to graduate with an Honours degree (might be required or preferred for your career path)
  • you would like to take a capstone course in Year 4: either (i) a Research Project in discipline-specific Honours Specialization modules, or (ii) Medical Sciences 4990E and 4930F for the Honours Specialization in IMS

Some graduate programs (Masters, PhD) at various universities may prefer students who have completed a research project in their undergraduate degree, while other graduate programs may simply want students to possess an Honours degree.

You'll need to contact the specific programs to which you wish to apply for answers to questions like:

  • is an honours degree required (or preferred) for admission?
  • am I at an advantage for admission if I complete an Honours Specialization module vs. Double Majors?
  • am I a more competitive candidate if I complete a Research Project (only available in discipline-specific Honours Specialization modules)
The majority of students who graduate from the BMSc Program graduate with BMSc (Honours) degrees that contain an Honours Specialization module.

Why consider Double Majors?

Double Majors lead to graduation with either a BMSc Honours degree or a BMSc degree (non-honours). The Majors are the same in the two degree types (i.e. the required courses are exactly the same) but students need higher marks to graduate with the Honours degree (e.g. at least 60% in each modular course and an average of 70% on all courses in each Major - see details here).

You might wish to consider Double Majors if:

Registration in Double Majors in Year 4 is not limited to a particular number of students in Year 4 and you will be admitted to Year 4 Double Majors from Year 3 BMSc as long as you have the prerequisites to take the required 4000-level courses.

Keep in mind that Double Majors in the BMSc Program almost always have "common courses" - modular courses that show up in both modules - and that there is a policy that specifies that a maximum of 1.0 common course can be used toward both modules (see details of the Common Course Policy).

Why (or why not) consider a Specialization in IMS?

A Specialization in IMS leads only to a non-honours BMSc degree and you need to determine if any program/career in which you might be interested after your degree either requires or prefers an Honours degree.

You might wish to consider a Specialization in IMS if:

  • your career path does not require or prefer an Honours degree

  • you are not interested in completing a module with a capstone course (either a Research Project or Medical Sciences 4990E and 4930F)

  • you do not have a sufficiently high Weighted Average to be admitted to an Honours Specialization module in Year 4

We do not encourage you to complete the Specialization in IMS since you cannot graduate with an Honours degree. Very few BMSc students graduate with the Specialization in IMS for this reason.