Woman in lab holding beaker of fluid

MSc Molecular and Cellular Biology

Students in the Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology program work with faculty engaged in the pursuit of fundamental and applied research questions involving diverse biological systems (plants, humans and other animals, prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes) at the molecular and cellular level.

Students graduate with a high level of knowledge and expertise in contemporary molecular and cellular biology, including experimental techniques, library research, writing and communication skills.

Degree Details

MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology students complete coursework and prepare and defend a research-based thesis (approximately six semesters). The program is offered in five fields:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Plant Biology
Collaborative Specialization

Collaborative Specializations

MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology students may also add a collaborative specialization in Toxicology, Neuroscience or One Health. A collaborative specialization is an intra-university graduate field of study that provides an additional multidisciplinary experience for students enrolled in and completing the degree requirements for MCB graduate program. 

Student using microscope

Research Strengths

Many faculty members in the program are nationally or internationally recognized as leaders in their research fields. They include Canada Research Chairs and University Research Chairs, as well as recipients of other national career development awards, and have received many high-profile awards for research and teaching. They carry out well-funded, leading-edge research in fundamental aspects of molecular and cellular biology and address major emerging issues in the areas of cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, and neuroscience.

Some of the research strengths within the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology include:

  • Molecular basis of disease
  • Molecular biology and gene expression
  • Cell signaling and trafficking
  • Host-pathogen/commensal interactions
  • Plant metabolism and biotechnology
  • Protein structure and function

Career Opportunities:

Graduates of the MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology program will have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out high-quality scientific research and will be prepared for employment in positions with some responsibility in the research and teaching enterprises of academic institutions (as instructors and technical staff), in science-related positions in the broad biotechnology sector (e.g. food and beverage industries, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, and agriculture-related industries), or in government-sector institutes and laboratories. They will be well-prepared to continue their graduate education at the PhD level. Alternatively, they may opt to complete a professional degree (such as law, medicine, or business) or teaching certificate. 

This degree may lead to careers in: 

  • Molecular Bioscience Research 
  • Medicine 
  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Public Health 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Science Outreaching and Teaching 
  • Food Safety and Regulation 
Matiyo Ojehomon
My research is about developing a model for cardiomyopathy, which is caused by mutations in sarcomeric proteins. If I can develop it, my research will help the field to know how these mutations that lead to cardiomyopathy bring about the disease state. I chose to do my graduate studies at U of G because I did a research project and co-op at the university, and I really like the project and wanted to continue.

Matiyo Ojehomon, Graduate Student
MSc Molecular and Cellular Biology 2020

Sierra Rosiana
I did my undergrad within the same department and decided it would be best for me to stay where I knew both staff and students would be helpful, supportive and generally knowledgeable about the department and research. My advisor is an amazingly intelligent and supportive person. She is always willing to help troubleshoot our experiments and always has time to meet with us, even when she is busy. She reminds us all that experiments may fail many times, but that we should never let that get in our way.

Sierra Rosiana, Graduate Student
MSc Molecular and Cellular Biology 2020

Choosing an Advisor

Check out Before You Apply for helpful advice on identifying and reaching out to faculty members.

Image of student working in lab

Visit Us

Contact individual faculty members by email and/or telephone to arrange a visit. Be prepared to discuss your specific interest in their research program. To assist our faculty in making a selection from the pool of interested students, we suggest you include in your correspondence the following: 

  • Courses completed (plus the mark received) 
  • Relevant research and/or work experience you have, and with whom 
  • Whether you have a scholarship 
  • Two or three academic or research references 
  • Reason for contacting our particular faculty 

Once you’ve submitted your application, contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Dr. Jaideep Mathur, jmathur@uoguelph.ca) to be considered for an expenses-paid visit to our department.     

Contact Us

Dr. Jaideep Mathur
Graduate Program Coordinator 
Email: jmathur@uoguelph.ca 
Phone number: 519-824-4120 ext 56636

Laura Faris
Graduate Program Assistant
Email: cbsmcb@uoguelph.ca 
Phone number: 519-824-4120 ext. 56246

Karen White
Graduate Admissions Assistant
Email: cbsgrad@uoguelph.ca
Phone number: 519-824-4120 Ext. 52730