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Biology (M.Sc.)

From the big picture to the microscopic, set your sights on understanding the natural world around you.

Research areas include molecular and cell biology, animal and plant biology, and ecology and evolution.

All thesis topics and courses are selected in consultation with your Supervisor and the Research Advisory Committee.

This departmentally led program is designed to help you succeed. Get help selecting courses, check in on your progress, and obtain guidance with your thesis preparation and final drafts, and guidance through the thesis examination process.

Academic Advisor

Coordinator, Mery Martinez Garcia

Telephone: 705-675-1151 ext.2293


Office: Department of Biology. Science, Engineering and Architecture. F-609B, Science Building.

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Delivery Method: On campus
Program Language: English

Students entering the Biology M.Sc. program normally have a 4-year degree or equivalent in Biology; however, in special circumstances, students from chemistry, biochemistry, earth sciences, neuroscience, and psychology have been accepted provided that their thesis topic fits their past academic experience. A minimum cumulative average of 70% in their undergraduate degree is required for admission.


Application Process

Step 1. Contact the Graduate Coordinator and/or individual faculty member about the possibility of becoming a student.  Students are encouraged to consult the faculty list on the Faculty Members tab as well as The Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada (AMRIC) in order to identify a potential supervisor (i.e. a faculty member they would like to work with). 


Step 2. Click here to submit the online application. Once students have applied, they will receive instructions (typically within 48 hours) from the Office of Admissions leading them to the MyLaurentian portal. Students can access the portal at; sign in credentials will be provided in the correspondence received from the Office of Admissions upon successful completion of an application. The following documents will be required in order to complete an application.


  • Three Reference Forms (to begin the process at click on "Reference Submission" on the left-hand navigation menu).
  • Statement of Interest and any other pertinent information i.e. publications (to be uploaded via MyLaurentian).
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume (to be uploaded via MyLaurentian).
  • Official Academic Transcript(s) from all post secondary studies* (Please note that current or prior Laurentian University students do not need to request transcripts)

*Please note that official transcripts or WES course-by-course (for institutions attended outside of North America) must come directly to the Office of Admissions from the previous post secondary institution by requesting at the time of your application or by contacting the institution's Registrar's Office.


Step 3. Once the Admissions Office receives all information and the application is deemed complete, the application will be forwarded to the department.  An Admissions Committee meets to review the applications.


Step 4. The Admissions Committee will review all applications on file and make a decision regarding the suitability of each applicant.  The Admissions Committee will then make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Laurentian University. The Graduate Studies office will verify the dossier and if satisfactory, the Dean of Graduate Studies will forward the recommendation to the Office of Admissions at Laurentian University for admission. 


Step 5: If approved for admission, the Office of Admissions will send the student an Offer of Admission via MyLaurentian.  Applicants wishing to accept the offer of admission must indicate their response on MyLaurentian within 3 weeks of receiving the offer. Once the student has accepted the offer, a transition to the registration process occurs.


1. Check your program requirements

You can find your program requirements on this page, under admission requirements. For some Graduate programs you will need to secure a supervisor as part of your application process. You can find if you need to contact a supervisor on the how to apply to graduate programs page.

2. Complete your Application

Once you have reviewed your program requirements you can apply through the graduate application portal. This will take you to an external site, hosted by OUAC. Within 48 business hours of submitting your application you will receive an email with further instructions.

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3. Setup your myLaurentian account and upload your documentation

Once your application has been received by Laurentian University, you will receive an email that contains information on accessing your myLaurentian Portal where you will continue the application process. To activate your account, visit the myLaurentian Portal and click the yellow bar "New to Laurentian".

Please note that the submission of items on the “My Checklist” is solely the obligation of the applicant. Please review this list carefully in order to complete your application.

Learn more on our how to apply to graduate programs page.

Detailed How To Apply
Note for Current Students

The degree options listed below are for the upcoming academic year, not the current academic year. If you are a current student looking for which courses to take in order to complete your degree options from a previous academic year's curriculum, please consult with an academic advisor.

Students must follow these regulations while in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Approved fields of study

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Animal and Plant Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution

M.Sc. in Biology

A research thesis is a major component of the program. Research can be conducted within the areas of Molecular and Cell Biology, Animal and Plant Biology, and Ecology and Evolution. The student is encouraged to visit the Research Areas page to find out more about the research interests of the professors.

All students in the M.Sc. Program are required to demonstrate proficiency in biological research (BIOL 5000E/F - Thesis, culminating in the submission of a quality thesis and its oral defense - 6 credits) and oral presentation (BIOL 5056E - Biology Seminars - 3 credits). These two courses (9 credits) are compulsory.

In addition, students must take another 3-credit course at the 5XXX level, and an additional 3-credit course at the 4XXX or 5XXX level to complete the degree (a total of 15 credits). All thesis topics and courses are to be selected in consultation with the Supervisor and Research Advisory Committee. Additional courses may be required if the student's background is considered inadequate. Graduate courses are listed here.

To provide guidance to the student, an Advisory Committee, consisting of the supervisor as chair and at least two faculty members, usually chosen from within the Department, is established jointly by the supervisor and the student at the beginning of the academic program. The primary responsibility for planning the student's academic program rests with the supervisor. The Advisory Committee assists the student in course selection, monitors the student's progress in research on a regular basis, provides counsel on the preparation of the resulting thesis, and ultimately serves as part of the thesis examination committee.

All graduate courses are one semester in duration and consist of three to five hours of lectures/tutorials/readings/seminars/laboratory work per week. In most cases, the courses are designed in relation to the students' needs and interests. All students are required to take BIOL 5056 (Biological Seminars), as the Department places a strong emphasis on the importance of developing oral presentation skills. Course selections must be approved by the student's Advisory Committee.

Program Regulations

To successfully complete the program, the student must maintain at least a B standing (70%) in courses in the area of specialization; such courses will be indicated by the student's Advisory Committee. The student must not have any grade lower than a "C" (60%) in any course.
There are no foreign language requirements for the M.Sc. degree in Biology.

A student is normally expected to fulfill all the requirements of the M.Sc. degree in Biology in two years or less. The minimum residency period is one year. Full-time students must complete all requirements within 48 months whereas part-time students may be allowed up to 72 months.

BIOL-5000EL - Thesis BIOL-5017EL - Population Genetics BIOL-5026EL - Advanced Microbiology I BIOL-5056EL - Biology Seminars BIOL-5066EL - Selected Topics in Evolutionary Biology I BIOL-5086EL - Topics in Community Ecology BIOL-5106EL - Experimental Design and Methods of Analysis BIOL-5176EL - Complex Systems BIOL-5316EL - Ecophysiology of Plant Stress BIOL-5376EL - Ecological Aspects of Land Reclamation Practice
BIOL-5387EL - Selected Topics in Soil Biology and Soil-Plant Relationships BIOL-5396EL - Ecology of Ecosystems Disturbed by Humans BIOL-5727EL - Advanced Entomology BIOL-5747EL - Topics in Behavioural Ecology BIOL-5767EL - Graduate Limmology BIOL-5786EL - Topics in Animal Physiology BIOL-5797EL - Advanced Environmental Physiology - - -