About BIOL 1020/21

BIOL 1020.03
Introductory Biology I: Cells, Genetics & Evolution

(equivalent to BIOL 1010.03)
BIOL 1021.03
Introductory Biology II: Organismal Biology and Ecology

(equivalent to BIOL 1011.03)
See the course listings in the Academic Timetable for upcoming course dates. Choose the term of interest, select ‘Halifax and Distance’, and click Submit. Then choose Biology from the subjects listed for that term. (These course dates do not include the final exam period.)

Update (10 May 2020):

BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 will be offered in Summer 2020. Both courses start on June 4th and run concurrently until August 28th. 
All assessments (quizzes, labs, exams) will be conducted online.

Exam dates for each course are:

BIOL 1020 Exam I: 9 Jul 2020
BIOL 1020 Exam II: 6 Aug 2020
BIOL 1020 Exam III: 27 Aug 2020

BIOL 1021 Exam I: 10 Jul 2020
BIOL 1021 Exam II: 7 Aug 2020
BIOL 1021 Exam III: 28 Aug 2020

Take Dalhousie’s introductory biology courses online

Dalhousie’s Department of Biology offers online versions of its two introductory biology courses.

BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 may be taken by on-campus students to facilitate their work and study schedules, or by students at any location where regular access to the Web is assured

Students may take a combination of the online and classroom-based courses (BIOL 1010 and BIOL 1011). BIOL 1020 is not a prerequisite for BIOL 1021, so the courses may be taken in any order.


BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 are offered concurrently in all three terms (Fall, Winter, and Summer). Each course is offered over approximately 13 weeks, during the regular Dalhousie term schedule. Each course starts with an Orientation period, followed by 11 weeks of course content.


While these courses meet the prerequisites for further courses in biology at Dalhousie, they are not restricted to biology students or even to current Dalhousie students. Dalhousie arts students may wish to take the courses to fulfill their science requirement, and persons who are not currently registered at Dalhousie University can apply to Dalhousie as a visiting student. (For more information, see Undergraduate Admissions.) Once your application to Dalhousie has been processed, you can register for either or both courses (see Dalhousie’s Online Learning website). Students from other universities are reminded to obtain a letter of permission from their home institution in order to obtain credit for BIOL 1020/21 towards their degree program.

If you have never taken an online course before, you may wish to try the Are You Ready to be an Online Student? self-assessment quiz.


BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 are fully interactive, web-delivered courses. For each weekly lesson there is a reading assignment, a recorded lecture, a set of related activities or exercises, and an online quiz. The courses also include exams and labs. There are ample opportunities for students to communicate with their peers, teaching assistants, and instructor, via discussion boards, e-mail, and web conferencing. Instruction is primarily asynchronous, meaning that there are no set times that students are required to be online.

Unlike some distance education courses which are self-directed or “learn at your own pace”, BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 are highly structured. Their flexibility lay in the fact that students do not have to attend a lecture or lab on campus. Students should bear in mind that they are required to meet weekly deadlines, and to write the exams on their scheduled dates. For more information about BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021, please view the other pages on this site.

Updated 10 May 2020 (jvd)