IX. Graduate Programs

Molecular and Cellular Biology

PhD Program

The objective of the MCB PhD program is to develop independent and creative scientists specializing in molecular and cellular biology. Graduates will be prepared for positions as scholars in academic institutions, as leaders in the research and development sector of the biomedical and other industries or government agencies, and in social institutions.

Admission Requirements

To be considered, applicants must have completed a recognized Masters degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum academic standing of “A-minus” (80%). Students may transfer from the MSc program to the PhD program with the approval of Graduate Program Services. Transfers must be initiated with a request to the MCB Graduate Program Coordinator no earlier than the end of the second semester and no later than the end of the fourth semester. The transfer must be supported by the student’s Advisory Committee and requires a minimum academic standing of “A-minus” (80%) in the graduate program, as well as strong supporting evidence of research aptitude and potential. Direct entry into the PhD program from a four-year honours BSc program (or its equivalent) will be considered for students of exceptional promise. Normally, such students will have achieved an “A-minus” (80%) average or higher during the last two years of full-time study and there must be strong supporting evidence of research aptitude and potential.

Applicants must obtain the support of a faculty member willing to serve as their thesis advisor.

Applications for the program will be considered at any time and admission may be granted for entry in January, May or September.

Admission Process

Graduate student applications to programs in the College of Biological Science are handled by the Office of the Associate Dean, Research (ADR). Before submitting an application, you are strongly encouraged to view the "Before you Apply" webpage on the ADR Future Student's site. NOTE: The name of a potential advisor(s) is required in order to complete the submission summary.

On-line applications, required documents and instructions can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies webpage or in the Graduate Calendar.

Completed applications should be submitted to the CBS Graduate Admissions Secretary.

Degree Requirements

Students in the PhD program must complete two mandatory graduate level courses MCB*6100 Research Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology (0.50 credit) and MCB*6200 Scientific Communication in Molecular & Cellular Biology (0.50 credit). Normally, these two courses must be completed in the first year of study. Other courses may be taken on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee. An average of “B-minus” (70%) must be achieved in the prescribed courses. To be a candidate for the PhD degree, each student must pass a PhD Qualifying Exam. The Qualifying Examination is completed before the end of the fifth semester (for students with an MSc) or the end of the seventh semester (for students without an MSc).

The PhD thesis research must involve original enquiry into a well-defined question in the molecular biosciences. It is expected to result in the publication of one or more papers in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. The research must represent a significant contribution to the relevant research field.

All students beyond year 1 in the program are required to participate annually in the CBS Graduate Student Symposium by presenting a poster or giving a short talk describing their research progress.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1