How To Apply


May 15 (September admission) & November 1 (January admission)

International applicants are encouraged to apply early to account for the processing time required to have a study permit issued.

Step-by-Step Application Process:

Please read the following instructions closely as incomplete applications will not be reviewed. More details can be found in the Graduate Program Manual.

  1. Ensure you meet the minimum requirements

    • A four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited academic institution (a degree in Biochemistry or a closely related discipline is preferred, but outstanding applicants from more distantly related disciplines are encouraged to apply).
    • A Grade Point Average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (determined from the most recent two years of full-time course work). If you were awarded a degree by an institution that does not use a 4.0 scale, please check the minimum grade requirements for other countries.
    • A research supervisor is required in order to be admitted to our department. You must have previously corresponded with this faculty member and have agreed to a tentative supervisory arrangement. If you are not sure which research group you might be interested in, please consult our website. See below for tips on how to choose a supervisor.
    • Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Assets to an application would include: a GPA of 3.7 or higher, detailed and strongly supportive letters of recommendation, research experience, published papers, and conference presentations.
  2. Complete the online application form

    • Applications for graduate admission will only be accepted via the online portal. Documents submitted by email or post will not be reviewed.
  3. Upload the required supporting documents

    • Three letters of reference.
    • A current curriculum vitae.
    • Statement of Intent - one or two pages summarizing your background in Biochemistry, future career goals, and an explanation as to why you wish to pursue graduate studies with our department.
    • Copies of official transcripts and certificates/diplomas from all colleges or universities attended (and English translations as required).
    • If applicable, proof of English Language Proficiency.
    • A list and description of all biochemistry courses that you have taken outside of the University of Alberta.
    • Copies of any research papers or publications.
  4. Pay the application fee


Choosing a Supervisor

The responsibility for finding a supervisor rests with the student. Choosing a faculty member is one of the most critical decisions a graduate student will make. Several years will be spent working with the faculty member of choice and that choice will significantly affect the direction of the student’s career. Choosing a supervisor is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Selection of a Supervisor
• The selection of a supervisor is made by mutual agreement between the student and faculty member.
• The supervisor can be any faculty member with a primary appointment in Biochemistry or a cross-appointed faculty who is permitted to supervise Biochemistry graduate students.
• No faculty member is obligated to accept a student into their laboratory.
• A student must have a supervisor to remain in the program.
How to get started in choosing a supervisor
• Find and read information about potential supervisors on the department website.
• Download and read recent publications authored by potential supervisors.
• Attend a seminar or class given by a potential supervisor.
• Introduce yourself to graduate students currently working with a potential supervisor. They are an invaluable source of information.
• Make an appointment to meet with potential supervisors.
• Consider joint or co-supervision if it seems appropriate.
Questions to ask a potential supervisor
• How many graduate students have you supervised? How many do you currently have?
• How many hours of work per week do you expect from a graduate student? How much time do you expect students to take to complete their theses?
• Specifically, what research projects do you have available for me? How long have you been interested in these areas?
• Are funds available for a stipend and for conducting the research project?
• What level of independence do you expect of graduate students?
• Will I have the opportunity to attend conferences?
• What are your expectations in terms of productivity and research publications? Who will write the manuscripts?
• How often do you meet with your students? Do you have group meetings or meet individually with your students? Do you wish to communicate in person or by email? Do your students have regular supervisory committee meetings?
• How often do you travel? Are you planning a sabbatical soon?
• What qualities are you looking for in a graduate student?
• Do you have any other expectations of your students?
Questions you should be prepared to answer from a potential supervisor
• What do you expect from a supervisor?
• Are there any plans that may interfere with your completing your degree? Are you considering a doctoral degree?
• Do you have any disabilities or other concerns that may need to be accommodated?
• Why do you find this area of research interesting and promising?