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Having the right tutor can make a big difference in your learning! Source: Unsplash

Teachers can completely transform your attitude toward a subject. A Biology teacher passionate about the life sciences not only educates, but inspires the future doctors, marine biologists, conservationists, and lab technicians of the world. Having educators that encourage students to excel in the sciences is necessary for a healthy society and planet. 

If you are in Montreal, you are in one of the best cities in Canada to study biology. This diverse, multilingual city is home to some of the top universities and institutions in the country. Montreal also boasts a major pharmaceutical and biotech industry, giving extra incentive for Montrealers to study the sciences. And let’s not forget that Montrealers have a long-standing tradition of environmental and climate activism.

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Thinking about studying biology in Montreal? You are in the right place. In this post, we list some of the best places to learn biology or find a tutor to help you in your studies, whatever stage of life you are in. Whether you are a parent looking for a tutor for your child, a CEGEP student, or a mature student looking for a career change, we will help you find what you need in Montreal.

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Why Take a Biology Class?

plant life is fascinating to study
Study topics in Botany through a Biology program. Source: Unsplash

Biology is in action all around us, and it doesn’t take much to see how learning the subject can have a positive impact on how you understand your own body and surrounding environment. Feeling like you might have a cold, flu, or some sort of virus? You’ll study these important topics in courses on human biology and epidemiology. Montrealers, in fact, have been at the forefront of developing vaccines that save lives.

Even the study of food touches on the area of biology: a slice of cheese is the direct product of microbial activity. Fascinated by nature or concerned by the changes humans have made to the environment? Start a learning path in the areas of zoology, botany, evolution, ecology, or biodiversity to take your inquiry to the next level.

Learn more about taking biology classes in Toronto!

To study Biology is to study life that is happening around you at all times. The discipline illuminates the building blocks of life and makes sense of the world around you from a scientific lens. You can understand how changes in an ecosystem can change its balance, and how life evolves in response to a dynamic environment. More than cell diagrams and food chains, it seeks to explain how living organisms - including humans - behave the way they do.

With a Biology credit or course under your belt, you can start exploring learning pathways and careers that are intellectually stimulating and rewarding. An academic background in Biology can set you up as a doctor, nutritionist, biologist, lab researcher, or teacher - a degree or certification in the field proves to the world you are committed to scientific work.

Where to Study Biology in Montreal?

Montrealers live in a city filled with opportunities to learn in English and French, and when it comes to Science the options are diverse. Whether you are looking for a broad base of knowledge in Biology, require a tutor, need CEGEP credits, or want certification to work in the health industry, you can pretty much find whatever you want in Montreal. 

Quebec’s education system has four different levels: preschool/elementary, secondary school, CEGEP, and University. Different options for learning Biology and Science exist at every level, with a variety of professional outcomes you can explore at the postsecondary level. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options for learning biology in Montreal.

Interested in learning biology in Vancouver? Read our article.

Get a Secondary School Biology Credit

Canadian students with goals of studying the sciences at post-secondary institutions usually start planning with secondary, or high school credits. Getting a secondary school credit is an early step toward a long term career, as they are prerequisites for programs at higher institutions. In Montreal, students work to complete the Diploma of Secondary Studies (DES), which gives access to Quebec’s unique CEGEP program.

While we often think of secondary students as teens experiencing the excitement of high school life, there are hundreds of students that don’t fit that typical mold. Perhaps you are an adult student looking to get a Biology credit to graduate secondary school or get into a CEGEP program. Maybe you are an international student looking to get a Canadian secondary school diploma so you can apply to a broader range of universities. Or, maybe you are a competitive athlete looking for an online credit that will accommodate a busy training schedule.

Learn more about taking biology classes in Calgary.

No matter what kind of student you are, Montreal has academic and vocational distance and in-class options for students to choose from. The English Montreal School Board offers Science and Technology specialist programs at many of its high schools, as well as Distance Learning options for adult and mature students. 

If you prefer a private school or institution for yourself or your child, Montreal has many options that cater to the city’s diverse religious and ethnic communities. Quebec leads Canada in terms of private school enrolment, with a third of secondary students taking their DES at a private or independent school. A quick search will lead you to some of the most popular options in the city - and there are lots - so establish your criteria and find the school that’s right for you.

Attend a Science Program at Vanier or Dawson College

Quebec has a unique CEGEP program that bridges secondary students into university programs or vocational careers. To get into any CEGEP program, students must have their DES; many colleges also offer additional summer credits you can take in case you need a prerequisite course to get into a specific program. If you are still completing your DES, it’s a good time to do some backward planning to determine exactly what course you need to apply for your dream program.

Thinking about taking classes in Edmonton? Read our article for more information.

Vanier and Dawson Colleges are just two of Montreal’s top public English CEGEPs, and they are some of the city’s most popular. The Biology program at Vanier boasts award winning teachers and a range of courses that tackle topics like policy, environmental inheritance, and genetics. Located in the St. Laurent neighbourhood, Vanier is easy to get to with lots of great amenities for students.

learning more about biology
Study genetics as part of your biology major. Source: Pixabay

Dawson College is a top option for students looking for a practical career in Biology or a diploma for pursuing further studies at the University level. Here, you’ll find programs in lab technology, nursing, or physiotherapy, just to name a few. You can’t beat the location, nestled in downtown Montreal on 12 acres of green space with some beautiful, historic buildings.

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Pursue a Bachelor of Science in University

Montreal hosts university options that are known across the country for churning out exceptional graduates in the life sciences. Attending university in Montreal can be an exhilarating experience if you are new to the city: its downtown bustles with cafes, bars, and parks where students congregate to share ideas and have fun. While Montreal is not known as being a “university town,” it is extremely popular among Canadian and international students who crave it’s laid back European vibe and exciting nightlife.

In addition to being a fun place to learn, Montreal universities like McGill and Concordia have some of the best biology programs in Canada. Studying Biology as your major in University leads to the completion of a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Thousands of graduates of Montreal Science programs go on to pursue careers in nursing, medicine, laboratory research, or find work in the city’s pharmaceutical hub.  

Let’s take a look at McGill. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, McGill is an English speaking university that attracts students from all over Canada. At McGill, prospective students will find a broad selection of Biology and Life Sciences courses that can ultimately lead to masters or PhD degrees. Their department offers undergraduate courses in molecular biology, cell biology, animal diversity, biometry, and basic genetics. 

Concordia University, by contrast, offers BSc programs and courses geared toward workforce preparation. The school offers a co-op program that puts students in paid positions where they can apply their knowledge of biology in practical ways, like running drug tests or gene cloning. 

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Learn The Life Sciences for Fun

Maybe you don’t want all the pressure of learning in an institution and simply love biology, or perhaps you want to enrich your kids’ education with extra exposure to the discipline. Montreal is a great city to learn life science for fun thanks to its fantastic science centre and green spaces.

The Montreal Biosphere in Parc Jean-Drapeau is a museum of the environment that was originally built for the 1967 Expo. Composed of a huge geodesic dome, the museum is dedicated to showcasing the ecosystems of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River regions. The site hosts regular exhibitions about topics like water, sustainable development, and climate change. A visit to the Biosphere is sure to remind visitors that Montreal is not simply a city but part of a larger, rich ecosystem.

Families and science fans should also check out the Montreal Science Centre. Located in the Old Port of Montreal, the building hosts regular exhibits and installations on ecosystems, space, and technology. Kids will love interacting with its makerspace and parents can even throw a birthday party if they have a serious scientist on their hands.

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Montreal is also home to the Biodome in Olympic Park, another site dedicated to the study of the environment and life sciences. Here visitors can experience nature through a Botanical Garden, an Insectarium, and a Planetarium. A visit to the Biodome will teach kids about the importance of sustainability and the importance of preserving Canada’s natural habitats.

Of course, Montreal is home to numerous parks where you can catch fresh air and some beautiful views of the city. Most recognizable is the city’s Mont Royal, where you can catch some unforgettable pictures of the skyline while being surrounded by nature.

Professional Development for Adults

If you’re already through school and looking to enhance your academic background check out options in Continuing Education. Montreal’s major colleges, universities, and school boards offer workshops and courses in topics like Environment and Sustainability or Laboratory Testing that can give you the background to take your career to the next level.

Find a Private Biology Tutor at Superprof

If you are looking for some extra support in the sciences as you progress through your Secondary School Cycles or even in CEGEP or University, you may find that a private tutor is the perfect option. Private biology tutors can offer bespoke tutoring in any area. You can find tutors that specialize in anything from biochemistry to microbiology and genomics, at a pace that suits you or your program in a one-to-one context.

With a private tutor supporting your learning, you can get more information and attention than simply relying on large group instruction. Having a tutor can make the difference between dropping out of a course and excelling, and gives you a competitive edge if you need top grades to get into a program at the next level. You’ll feel more confident when that next big exam comes up, and have a skilled set of eyes to read through essays and reports. 

Simply check out the options at Superprof and find a tutor that fits your needs and schedule.

Study Biology Like a Montrealer

Montreal is an incredible city to study in whatever course you choose. If you happen to be interested in Biology, you are sure to find plenty of options in both English and French. The city attracts conferences and events dedicated to the life and health sciences thanks to its booming pharmaceutical industry and vast research ecosystem. Schools and institutions offer programs that attract the country’s top scholars, and its science museums and parks are fun to explore. 

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Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.