Application Process

Policies and Procedures

Graduate policies and procedures are standardized throughout the College of Biological Sciences. The admissions process is overseen by the Office of the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. If you have any questions about the application process in CBS, please contact the CBS Graduate Admissions Assistant.

Please note that prospective students (except for those applying to the Master of Biotechnology program or the Master of Bioinformatics - coursework) must identify a faculty advisor prior to submitting an application.

You can search for an advisor through our CSB ReSearch database or departmental websites, or you may explore the current opportunities for graduate students and postdocs. If you have not done so yet, visit our Before You Apply webpage, which contains important information to help you prepare for the application process.

The University of Guelph uses an online application system (known as the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre or OUAC), and your application for grad school in CBS will be processed through this channel. Please visit Applying to Guelph and these Frequently Asked Questions to learn more the online application process.

Below we have summarized the required documents for each program, but please make sure to also review Before You Apply before you begin. 

Required Documents

Prospective students have up to two months after they have submitted their application to OUAC to provide all required documents. These documents must be uploaded to the University of Guelph WebAdvisor system (you will receive an email with your WebAdvisor log in information within five days of submitting your application). Please note that applications that are incomplete after two months will be closed, so make sure you keep track of your submitted paperwork.

The table below summarizes the documents you are required to provide when applying for CBS grad programs.

Required Documents

Masters Bioinformatics (coursework)

Masters Biotechnology (coursework)

HHNS MSc (coursework)

All other MSc (thesis-based)

All PhD

Statement of interest  
Name of faculty advisor    
Grading scale(s)
Graduate certificate(s)
Standardized English language proficiency test
Referee assessment forms (2)


About Required Documents

Statement of Interest

Please provide a one-page statement outlining your major research interests and your objectives in undertaking graduate studies. This statement is in addition to the 1000-character statement in your OUAC application. Remember that by now you should have secured an advisor, so your one-page statement of interest can make mention of your advisor’s research program.


At the application stage, you can provide unofficial transcripts for each of your previous undergraduate and graduate degrees. However, official transcripts will be due to the OGPS by the first day of class. If you are an international student and your transcript is not in English, please provide both the original transcript and a translation (from either the school issuing the transcript or a professional certified translation service). All transcripts should include the date the degree was conferred, as well as a grading scale, grades obtained, and courses taken.

Referee Assessment Forms

Referee assessment forms are completed online by two or three individuals you identified as referees in your application form. When selecting referees, please invite people who can provide comments on your capabilities and evaluate your academic performance and abilities. Academic referees are preferred, but former employers are also acceptable as referees. After you submit your application, your referees will be sent a request to complete the assessment form online. These forms are considered confidential, and you will not be able to view a copy. Once a referee has completed their assessment form, WebAdvisor will indicate that it has been 'received'. 

English Proficiency Test

If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized English language proficiency test. The tests are considered valid for a period of two years. The University of Guelph English as a Second Language Test Code is 0892.

The University of Guelph offers two English language programs: The English Language Certificate Program  and the Graduate Preparation Program. While these programs can help prospective students achieve language requirement, the completion of these programs do NOT guarantee admission. Submitting a standardized language test or certificate is only part of the documentation requested in order to be considered for admission.

Completed Applications

Once we have received your complete application and deemed it academically acceptable, the application is forwarded on to the program Graduate Committee for their recommendation. If recommended, the application is given to your potential advisor for review. This process takes approximately 6-8 weeks and we therefore recommend that you submit your application at least 2 months prior to the desired entry semester. Applicants who are applying from outside Canada should apply at least 6–9 months in advance to allow for the submission and processing of application material.

Admission Offers

If you receive an offer of admission, congratulations and welcome to CBS! Please read your official offer letter carefully, as it contains important information.

If your acceptance is conditional upon meeting certain requirements, the letter will include details about these requirements and explain how to proceed. If your offer is conditional upon receipt of official transcripts or other required documents, these items must be received by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the first day of class of the semester in which you start your program at the University of Guelph. If you fail to submit your required documents by the first day of class, you will not likely be allowed to register for classes for the semester for which you applied. In this case, your offer of admission will be rescinded, and you will be encouraged to apply to a future semester. If you are in the process of completing (or have completed) a degree at the University of Guelph, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will obtain your final official transcript on your behalf.

If you have questions we did not address here, please contact our CBS Graduate Admissions Assistant

CBS Associate Dean of Research Office - Room 3479
Summerlee Science Complex
College of Biological Science
University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1