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Master of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a diverse, entrepreneurial and fast-changing field.

The University of Guelph's Master of Biotechnology program gives you the hands-on science and business skills you need to succeed in a wide range of biotechnology careers. You’ll gain advanced scientific and technical expertise, combined with business training in the commercialization of biotechnology innovations. Plus, you’ll grow academically and personally by interacting with other graduate students, faculty, the wider research community, and private-sector companies.

The program deepens your scientific training and gives you business skills, preparing you for a fulfilling career in Canada or internationally. You’ll be qualified to work in sectors including agribusiness and food industries, plant biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health management and environmental management and research.

The full-spectrum training you receive in this course-based master's program draws on the expertise of two University of Guelph departments:

Summerlee Science Complex

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Our 40 faculty members direct multidisciplinary research programs that address novel biological questions on molecular and cellular scales. Part of the College of Biological Science, this department provides a stimulating, challenging environment for graduate students. Here are just a few examples of the groundbreaking research being led by our professors:

  • Using molecular genetic, biochemical, and genomic information to solve fundamental problems in plant biology and to improve crop performance
  • Delving deep into the array of compounds made by plants and their underlying molecular and biochemical biosynthetic bases
  • Taking a multidisciplinary approach to the study of bacterial processes
  • Using high-resolution imaging techniques alongside biochemical analysis to model, understand, and treat neurodegenerative diseases with stem-cell technology
Lang School

Department of Management

Our department, part of the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, develops leadership skills through engaging teaching and research, understanding that success requires a strategic outlook, entrepreneurial attitude, global perspective, and commitment to sustainability. Our faculty-led biotechnology-related research projects include:

  • Research into the ways new, university-developed technologies enter into commercial use
  • An examination of the creativity of interdisciplinary product development teams working on the technical, marketing, and financial viability of new ideas
  • Research on accountability, performance management, innovation, and entrepreneurship
Students walking outside SSC

What You'll Gain

  • The advanced education, knowledge, technical and business expertise required to qualify for a wide range of biotechnology jobs
  • Opportunities to do collaborative, real-world biotechnology research on campus with other graduate students and faculty
  • The skills to communicate scientific knowledge effectively and place it in a business context
  • Academic and intellectual growth through interactions with other graduate students, faculty, the university administration, the wider research community, and the private sector
  • Training to become a competent, independent and creative researcher/manager who can integrate science and business perspectives
  • Entrepreneurial skills crucial to launching companies that commercialize innovations
  • Biotechnology industry connections that reach far beyond Guelph
  • Skills that help address Canada’s shortage of researchers with biotechnology and business training

Strong Industry Connections

Our faculty members conduct research for a wide variety of biotechnology companies including those specialized in nutraceuticals and natural health products. Students in our program gain practical skills and exposure to the business challenges of commercializing biotechnology innovations. Many of our industry partners are companies founded and led by University of Guelph alumni. These companies cover a wide range of sectors. Here are just a few examples:

  • NuBiyota is developing and commercializing microbial ecosystems for therapeutic medical use
  • Escarpment Laboratories produces high-quality yeast cultures on an industrial scale for beer microbreweries
  • Mirexus Biotechnology has developed the world’s only safe and natural nanotechnology with applications including personal care and nutraceutical products
  • PlantForm Corporation has developed an innovative, low-cost manufacturing system for a wide range of plant-made pharmaceuticals

Research Projects

In the third semester, students carry out a four- or eight-month research project, guided by a faculty supervisor. The projects can involve laboratory research and/or business planning for the biotechnology industry. Projects are directly linked to industry and students will develop marketable skills that prepare them for a variety of biotech jobs.

Woman giving presentation

Biotechnology Business Management

Learn skills to translate academic ventures into business opoprtunities in several sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, the agricultural industry, and the food manufacturing industry.

Greenhouse

Agri-Food Biotechnology

The hands-on skills you will acquire working in the Agri-Food sector have broad-reaching applications, from industries such as crop utilization to biofuel production and environmental sustainability.

Woman working in lab

Biotechnology and Human Health

The hands-on skills you will acquire working in the agri-food sector have broad-reaching applications, from industries such as crop utilization to biofuel production and environmental sustainability.

Visit the Academic Calendar for a full listing of

Biotechnology Courses

Admission Information

Students entering the program will normally have completed an honours bachelor’s degree with a minimum admission average of B (75% and higher) in one of the following fields:

  • biology
  • molecular biology and genetics
  • biotechnology
  • microbiology
  • biochemistry
  • biophysics
  • food science
  • agriculture
  • food production systems

Anyone lacking the required background will be encouraged to complete them prior to commencing their studies in the new program (typically in the immediately preceding summer semester) or, if approved by the program counsellor, during their studies.

Other Requirements

  • Honours bachelor’s degree with a minimum admission average of B (75% and higher in the last two years of full-time study)
  • A strong science background (second-year molecular and cellular biology course or equivalent). Those applicants applying after having work experience will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee*.
  • If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit an acceptable result from one of the approved standardized English-language tests. Please make note of these departmental MINIMUM test scores: 
    • For TOEFL a minimum score of 93 with a minimum score of 22 in each of the four categories, 
    • For IELTS a minimum score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 in each component,
    • For Duolingo, a minimum overall score of 130, with a minimum score of 120 in each of the four categories.
    • We only grant exemptions if you have received a university degree completed in English from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and/or the United Kingdom. 
    • Please note that these test scores requirements are higher than the general university requirements because this is a fast-paced, course-based graduate program. We cannot accept applicants with test scores lower than the minimums stated above.
  • For international applicants, in order to assess whether your degree is equivalent to a four-year honours bachelor's degree, please review this information about international credential guidelines for specific countries. Post-graduate certificates and diplomas are not accepted as equivalents.
  • Graduate Record Examination (general) is not required.
  • You do not need to find a supervisor before applying to the program. Students are matched to supervisors during the first term based on the students' research interests. 

The next program intake is September 2024. Applications for 2024 opened Nov. 1, 2023. The application portal will close on Feb. 15, 2024, at 11:59 PM (EST). After the application deadline, there will be a grace period of 10 business days for applicants to ensure their applications are complete. The application document deadline is Feb. 29 at 11:59 pm (EST). After this date, applications that are incomplete will not be considered for admission.

  • Students will be admitted to the Master of Biotechnology program from a range of undergraduate programs in the biological and life sciences.
  • Students from other undergraduate programs, such as business or management programs, will be considered for admission if they have a  sufficient background in the biological sciences.
  • To be considered for admission, applicants should meet the minimum requirements of an honour's degree (usually four years) from a recognized post-secondary institution with a minimum 75% average over the last two years of full-time equivalent study. (Please note that this is a competitive program and incoming averages of successful applicants are typically above 80%.)
  • We only offer a fall admissions intake. 

Application FAQs:

  • You will be asked to upload your transcripts, a resume/CV, and the contact information of two academic references. In order to be considered for the first round of offers, have all of your supporting documents uploaded by Feb. 15, 2024.
  • For the application process, you can submit scanned copies of your most recent transcripts. Applicants who are accepted into the program will be required to submit official transcripts.
  • There is a very short statement of interest required on the application form. You do not need to write a separate statement of interest.
  • Your referees will be sent an electronic form to complete; you do not need to ask them to write a reference letter.
  • For applicants who have been out of school for several years, please contact us to discuss appropriate references.
  • Students do not need to find a faculty mentor before applying to the program. Students will be matched with a faculty supervisor during the first term of the program.
  • There are currently no entrance scholarships available for this program. Students must be able to fund the program themselves. 

Apply through the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Guelph.

International Applicants

If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit an acceptable result of one of the approved standardized English language tests. Please make note of these minimum test scores: 

  • For TOEFL, a minimum score of 93 with a minimum score of 22 in each of the four categories,
  • For IELTS, a minimum score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 in each component,
  • For Duolingo, a minimum overall score of 130, with a minimum score of 120 in each of the four categories.
  • We only grant exemptions if you have received a university degree completed in English from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and/or the United Kingdom.
  • Please note that these test scores requirements are higher than the general university requirements because this is a fast-paced, course-based graduate program. We cannot accept applicants with test scores lower than the minimums stated above.

For international applicants, to determine if your undergraduate degree is sufficient for application to our program, please review information about international credential guidelines for specific countries. Post-graduate certificates and diplomas are not accepted as equivalents.

There are currently no entrance scholarships available for this program. Students must be able to fund the program themselves. 

Apply through the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Guelph.

Viola Halder
"I chose the Master of Biotechnology program at U of G because I have always been interested in biotechnology and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in it. I didn’t know whether I would enjoy research or industry-based jobs and this program gave me the opportunity to explore each option. I am currently a PhD student in the Shapiro Lab at U of G, working with pathogenic fungi."

Viola Halder, Graduate Student
Master of Biotechnology

Nathaniel Hoffman
After working in industry for a couple of years, I started to see the benefit of a well-rounded skill set in both scientific and business disciplines. The Master of Biotechnology program allowed me to develop this valuable skill set through courses taught by professors who have developed their own industry relationships.

Nathaniel Hoffman, Graduate Student
Master of Biotechnology

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Contact Us

MBIOT Program Coordinator
mbiotech@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x56474

Dr. Ian Tetlow, Program Director
itetlow@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x52735

Dr. Jaideep Mathur, Graduate Program Coordinator
jmathur@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x56636