Graduate Student Resources

Graduate Handbook

The handbook is updated regularly, with the most recent update in August 2023.  (Note:  The grad committee was updated in August 2023, and is reflected in this version.) A copy of the handbook is available as a PDF attachment.

Should you require clarification on any topics covered (or not covered) in the handbook, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Jaideep Mathur ( or the Graduate Program Assistant, Laura Faris (  For a printed copy of the handbook, please email Laura.

Mental Health Supports for Students

A wide variety of mental health and counselling resources are available to students via the Student Wellness Centre. The Student Wellness Centre also offers resources for staff so that they may better assist students.

Download the Guide to Student Mental Wellness - Mental Health Supports for Students.

Graduate Student Support Circle (GSSC)

The GSSC is a group of graduate student participants and graduate student facilitators, who come together weekly to provide social and emotional support for each other. The GSSC is a project under the umbrella of the Student Support Network, serving specifically the graduate students at the University of Guelph. If you are interested in joining our weekly circle, please email us ( to learn more! Circles operate on a semesterly basis, typically starting on the 3rd-4th week of the academic session. 

Information for New Students

Graduate Orientation 

  • Each semester the university holds a Graduate Student Orientation.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.  A helpful resource is the New Student Guide.
  • The department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) hosts an annual Graduate Student Orientation session, each September.  This is open to all graduate students, but especially those who started their programs that Winter, Summer or Fall.
  • A Departmental Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) seminar, created by Dr. Annette Nassuth, is presented each Fall with all new students encouraged to attend.  For more information, or a copy of the presentation, you may contact the Graduate Program Assistant at


  • All students must register for UNIV*7510 (full-time) each semester
  • All new graduate students will be automatically enrolled in the university-wide Academic Integrity course UNIV*7100
  • M.Sc. students:
    • register for MCB*6500 (in both your first and second semesters)
    • register for any additional courses after discussion with your advisor
    • in semester 3 and beyond, register for UNIV*7500 (Research and Writing), which serves as a course placeholder when you are no longer taking courses
  • Ph.D. students:
    • register for MCB*7500 (in both your first and second semesters)
    • register for any additional courses, after discussion with your advisor
    • in semester 3 and beyond, register for UNIV*7500 (Research and Writing), which serves as a course placeholder when you are no longer taking courses

Health and Safety Training

  • All College of Biological Science personnel must complete four online safety modules in advance of working in the lab (please refer to your admission offer). 
  • Centrifuge training is also required and our Department Support Technician, Jamie Jones, will contact you by email to set this up. 

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training

  • All College of Biological Science graduate students must complete the "Principles of Belonging" module available by self-registration through CourseLink. Please submit certificate of completion to Katelyn Gilmore ( along with your Healthy and Safety certificates.

GRA and GTA Pay

  • Cari Bish is our Administrative Officer and handles all payroll-related matters.  Please ensure that you provide her with your direct deposit information, for your first pay, and follow up with her if you have any questions.  Her office is located in SSC 4479.

Expectations : Graduate Student - Faculty

Office Space and Electronic Building Access

  • Once your safety training documentation has been verified, you will may pick up an office key from Laura Faris. Laura will also set up electronic card access, within the Summerlee Science Complex (SSC), including hallways, research lab, and affiliated support rooms.   Laura is located in SSC 4481. 
  • Your ID card, which is used for electronic access, can be picked up at the Campus Card Office, located in the University Centre, Level 0.

Tuition Payments

Academic and Proffessional Skills Development

You have probably heard that the development of professional and career skills (PCS) is essential to the formation of well-rounded graduate students, but why is that? PCS training that complements academic growth and disciplinary expertise has multiple benefits. PCS are not only important to increasing your career mobility and employability after grad school, but also to enhancing your overall student experience and achieving your personal and professional goals. Graduate students who work on developing and strengthening their PCS are more confident when they apply for jobs and are better equipped to transition from academia to other sectors. Finally, developing PCS also sets you on a path of self-motivated learning that can last a lifetime. A plethora of career opportunities await you!  We would love to help you navigate the world of PCS and help you achieve your career goals. We invite you to explore the resource options found on the CBS website.

Helpful Links for Students Preparing to Graduate