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Physiology & Pharmacology

You can begin this program at an
off-campus site through a satellite campus or regional partner.

Investigate the functions and mechanisms of major systems of the human body. Study the effects and mode of action of drugs which modify major body systems. Prepare for further health sciences education and careers in professional health care or biomedical research.


Program Options

Bachelor of Science - Physiology & Pharmacology

  • B.Sc. Four-year
  • B.Sc. Three-year
  • B.Sc. Honours

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

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What is Physiology/Pharmacology?

The Physiology & Pharmacology program combines two key life science disciplines, giving students a comprehensive understanding of the functions and mechanisms of major systems in the human body, and how these functions are modified by chemical actions. Physiology plays a crucial role in integrating environmental influences and new molecular discoveries with the function of tissues and organs, and ultimately the whole body. Pharmacology is concerned with the properties of chemical compounds in relation to their interactions with living organisms. It provides the basis for the discovery and study of drug actions either as therapeutic agents or as tools in physiological research.

Intorduced in 2010 this degree program—leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Physiology & Pharmacology—provides the strongest foundation for those considering application to Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy and Nutrition, Nursing, Chiropractic, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Speech Language Pathology and other health care-related professional programs. Following a 4-year of Honours B.Sc. degree, students may also choose to pursue graduate work, leading to a Masters or Ph.D. in Physiology or Pharmacology and a career as a research scientist.

Physiology & Pharmacology: Is it for you?

  • The Physiology/Pharmacology Program is unique in Western North America; there is only one other similar program offered in Canada.
  • Students receive a comprehensive view of both physiology and pharmacology along with hands-on experience in experimental techniques.
  • In addition to a solid scientific foundation, students will acquire relevant and marketable skills such as data analysis, report writing, database mining and the communication of scientific knowledge.

Sample Classes

  • BIOL 224: Animal Body Systems
    Will study the problems all animals overcome in order to survive and reproduce, and the different body systems that must deal with both unique and common environmental challenges.
  • PHPY 302: Human Physiology Transport Systems
    Begins with an introduction to the physiology of the muscle types powering the respiratory pump (skeletal) and heart (cardiac) and controlling the distribution of blood (smooth), before moving to a study of the physiology of the respiratory, cardiovascular and renal systems.
  • PHPY 405: Advances in Cardio Respiratory Physiology and Pharmacology
    Will discuss advances in cardio-respiratory physiology and pharmacology. An integrated view of the neural, endocrine, paracrine and autocrine mechanisms that regulate cardiac, vascular, renal and pulmonary functions and the interrelationships between them will be presented. Examples of disorders such as airway diseases or hypertension will be used to illustrate alterations in signal transduction pathways and to identify current and future therapeutic interventions.

Career Opportunities

  • Cardiovascular Technician
  • Geneticist Assistant
  • Health Care Administrator
  • Home Care Worker
  • Lab Assistant
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Therapist Assistant
  • Pharmacologist
  • Pharmaceutical Representative
  • Drug Researcher

Skill Sets Gained

  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Computer skills
  • Communication skills: written and/or oral
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Interpreting research findings
  • Laboratory skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Research skills and methods
  • Technical skills