VIII. Graduate Programs
The MSc program has five areas of specialization: entomology, environmental microbiology and biotechnology, environmental toxicology, plant and forest systems and plant pathology.
Normally, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with high second-class honours standing or better in a field appropriate to their proposed area of study. Interested students from other disciplines may also be acceptable, subject to the decision of the department graduate admissions committee.
A candidate for the MSc degree is expected to have a general knowledge of fundamental aspects of biology and detailed knowledge of the specialty area. The specialty area will normally be one of the areas in which the Department of Environmental Biology is prepared to offer a graduate degree. In addition, students are encouraged to obtain a knowledge of both theoretical and applied aspects of their specialty area.
Before the end of the student's first semester, the advisory committee will meet informally with the student to discuss the student's background, interests and knowledge in the proposed research area. The advisory committee will then establish a program of prescribed courses (at least 1.5 credits of graduate level courses) and, if required, additional courses. All MSc candidates must complete a thesis. A statement of the objectives of the thesis research program should be prepared as early as possible.
A normal MSc program requires six semesters. Programs involving field work may require seven or eight semesters. The number of courses per semester should not normally exceed four. Among these would be courses that are core requirements of the undergraduate specialty and represent the candidate's deficiencies.