Graduate Programs

The Department of Biology offers thesis-based MSc and PhD programs.

Master's Degree (MSc)

Time for completion of a Master's degree in the Department of Biology is approximately two years. The Master's program requires a total of 30 credit hours, 10-16 credit hours of which are course work, and 14-20 credit hours are research (BIOL 901). One potential program scenario consists of:

1) Elective (3 credit hours)
2) Elective (3 credit hours)
3) BIOL887 (2 credit hours)
4) BIOL888** (2 credit hours)
5) BIOL 901 (Biology Research; 20 credit hours)

**Students register in BIOL 888 at least twice for a total of 2 credit hours; however students are required to attend all BIOL 888 seminars that are offered when they are in residence. BIOL 888 is offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.

The Biology MSc program requires a minimum of two 3 credit hour courses (for 6 credit hours in total) in addition to the various seminar requirements (which officially count towards the "coursework"). The two traditional-type courses are a minimum requirement, and depending on the background preparation of the student additional courses may be needed. Additional graduate-level courses (BIOL 8XX) would decrease the credit hour requirements for BIOL 901 (total credit hours remain at 30).

Doctoral Degree (PhD)

Typically, the PhD program is entered following the completion of a Master's program, and requires approximately 5 years for completion. The PhD program consists of a minimum of 10 credit hours of course work and 50 credit hours of BIOL 901 (total of 60 credit hours). One potential program scenario consists of:

1) BIOL 801 (3 credit hours)
2) BIOL 802 (3 credit hours)
3) BIOL 887 (2 credit hours)
4) BIOL 888** (2 credit hours)
5) BIOL 901 (Biology Research; 50 credit hours)

**Students register in BIOL 888 at least twice for a total of 2 credit hours; however students are required to attend all BIOL 888 seminars that are offered when they are in residence. BIOL 888 is offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.

Additional graduate-level courses (BIOL 8XX) would decrease the credit hour requirements for BIOL 901 (total credit hours remain at 60). For PhD students, BIOL 801 must be completed within three semesters of the start of the program and BIOL 802 must be completed within four semesters.

MSc to PhD Transfer

In exceptional circumstances, a candidate may transfer into the PhD program without completion of a Master's degree. In these cases, the PhD program consists of a minimum of 16 hours of course work and 74 hours of BIOL 901 (total of 90 credit hours). One potential program scenario consists of:

1) Elective (3 credit hours)
2) Elective (3 credit hours)
3) BIOL 801 (3 credit hours)
4) BIOL 802 (3 credit hours)
5) BIOL 887 (2 credit hours)
6) BIOL 888** (2 credit hours)
7) BIOL 901 (Biology Research; 74 credit hours)

**Students register in BIOL 888 at least twice for a total of 2 credit hours; however students are required to attend all BIOL 888 seminars that are offered when they are in residence. BIOL 888 is offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.

Additional graduate-level courses (BIOL 8XX) would decrease the credit hour requirements for BIOL 901 (total credit hours remain at 90). For students who transfer from the MSc to the PhD programs, BIOL 801 must be completed within two semesters of the transfer, and BIOL 802 must be completed within three semesters.

The Abridged Guide to Graduate Studies in Biology contains a summary of the Biology Dept. MSc and PhD programs. However, the definitive version of all graduate-related regulations is at the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research website.