Biological Sciences

Degree Programs and Requirements

Graduate students are admitted to an MSc or PhD program, and in consultation with their supervisor and the Associate Chair, choose a specialization, which will be indicated on their degree diploma and transcript. Many MSc students transition into a PhD program in the same area.

Program Requirements

In general, Biological Sciences graduate students must complete the following program requirements, which vary slightly depending on the specialization chosen:

• *6 credits (MSc & PhD) or *9 credits (some PhDs) of graded, approved graduate level course work in first one (MSc) or two (PhD) years
• research leading to a thesis
• completion of a written & oral candidacy exam by the end of the 3rd year (PhD)
• 8 hours of ethics training (by end of 3rd year)
• 8 hours of professional development training
• mandatory teaching requirement (0.5 teaching assistantship or 6 hrs/week for a single term) (by end of 3rd year)

Program Timelines

Areas of Specialization

Biological Sciences

MSc
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work, of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion-oriented course. Attendance/participation in an appropriate seminar series is required as determined by the supervisor/supervisory committee.

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work, of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion-oriented course. Attendance/participation in an appropriate seminar series is required as determined by the supervisor/supervisory committee.

 

Ecology

MSc
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum ★6 graded course work, of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion-oriented course. Enrolment in BIOL 603 is recommended. Students are encouraged to complete these requirements in their first year. Students are encouraged to register in BIOL 631 in their first year and to register and/or participate in BIOL 631 in subsequent years.

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work, of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion-oriented course. Enrolment in BIOL 603 is recommended. Students are encouraged to complete these requirements in their first two years. Students are encouraged to register in BIOL 631 in their first two years and to register and/or participate in BIOL 631 in subsequent years

 

Microbiology & Biotechnology

MSc
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis and a minimum of ★6 in graded courses, which include MICRB 514 in the first or second year and MICRB 607 in the second year. In addition to registration in MICRB 607, all students must register and/or participate in MICRB 606 in the first and third year.

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★9 in graded course work, which includes MICRB 514 in the first or second year, MICRB 607 in the second year, and a ★3 graded course selected from the graduate course list (found in Course Listings) and approved by the student’s supervisor/supervisory committee. In addition to registration in MICRB 607, students must also register and/or participate in MICRB 606 in all other terms, to a maximum of nine terms.

 

Molecular Biology & Genetics

MSc
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. In their first year, students typically register in GENET 500 (Term I) and GENET 510 (Term II). In special cases, students may opt out of one of these courses on recommendation of their supervisory committee, however, the substituted course must be at the 400-level or higher. All students must register in at least ★3 graded courses in their first year. All students will register in GENET 601 and GENET 605 each term these courses are offered during the student’s guaranteed funding.

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. In their first year, students typically register in GENET 500 (Term I) and GENET 510 (Term II). In special cases, student may opt out of one of these courses on the recommendation of their supervisory committee, however, the substituted course must be at the 400-level or higher. All students must register in at least ★3 graded courses in their first year. All students will register in GENET 601 and GENET 605 each term these courses are offered during the student’s guaranteed funding.

 

Plant Biology

MSc
The MSc consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. Students will register in BOT 600 during the first year of their program. Students are encouraged to complete these requirements in their first year. Continued participation in BOT 600 in subsequent years is recommended.

PhD
The PhD consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. Students will register in BOT 600 during each of the first two years of their program. Students are encouraged to complete these requirements in their first two years. Continued participation in BOT 600 in subsequent years is recommended.

 

Physiology, Development & Cell Biology

MSc 
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion oriented course. Students will register in BIOL 642 during each Fall/Winter term of their program. Students are required to present one seminar in the BIOL 642 seminar course. Normally this would be in the second year of their thesis work. Presentation in BIOL 642 is not to be used as the pre-thesis or any other seminar course, as determined by the supervisory committee.

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work, of which ★3 must be in a graded seminar or discussion oriented course. Students will register in BIOL 642 during each Fall/Winter term of their program. Students are required to present two seminars in the BIOL 642 seminar course during their PhD program. Normally this would be once in the second and again in subsequent years of their thesis work. Presentation in BIOL 642 is not to be used as the pre-thesis public seminar.

 

Systematics & Evolution

MSc
The MSc program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. In addition, students must register in the seminar courses BIOL 506 and 507 at least once during their program (resulting in a total of ★9). Continued participation in BIOL 507 in subsequent years is recommended. Students are encouraged, but not required, to select graded courses from the following list after consultation with their supervisor or supervisory committee: BIOL 221, 335, 380, 430, 521 or 592 (521 strongly recommended).

PhD
The PhD program consists of research leading to a thesis, and a minimum of ★6 graded course work. In addition, students must register in the seminar courses in BIOL 506 and 507 at least once during the program (resulting in a total of ★9). Continued participation in BIOL 507 in subsequent years is recommended. Students are encouraged to select graded courses from the following list after consultation with their supervisor or supervisory committee: BIOL 221, 335, 380, 430, 521 or 592 (521 strongly recommended).