IX. Graduate Programs

Molecular and Cellular Biology

MSc Program

The MCB MSc program is offered in five fields: 1) biochemistry; 2) cell biology; 3) microbiology; 4) molecular biology and genetics; and 5) plant biology. The objective of the program is to provide graduate students with a high level of relevant knowledge and expertise in contemporary molecular and cellular biology, including experimental techniques, library research, writing and communication skills. Graduates 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 a teaching certificate.

Admission Requirements

To be considered, applicants must have completed a four-year honours undergraduate science degree (or its equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Normally, the applicant must have achieved a “B” (75%) average or higher during the last two years of full-time study. In exceptional circumstances, students with a “B-minus” average (70%) will be considered provided there is strong supporting evidence of research aptitude and potential.

Each applicant must obtain the support of a faculty member willing to serve as his/her thesis advisor.

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

All components of the application, including transcript(s), graduate certificate(s), grading scale(s), language test results, assessment forms, a statement of interest, and the name of the faculty advisor must be uploaded no later than two months after an application is submitted through the OUAC portal. Applications that are incomplete after this time period will be closed.

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, applicants are strongly encouraged to view the "Before you Apply" and "Admission Process" webpages on the ADR Future Student's site.

Complete application instructions may also be found on the Office of Graduate Studies webpage or in the Graduate Calendar

Degree Requirements

Students in the MSc program must complete a minimum of 3 courses (1.5 credits) at the graduate level. The course MCB*6500 MSc Research Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology (1.0) is mandatory. This two-semester should be completed in the first year of study and normally in the first two semesters. Senior undergraduate courses may be taken on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee but these will not count towards the 1.5 credit requirement. An average of “B-minus” (70%) must be achieved in the prescribed courses.

The MSc thesis research must involve original enquiry into a well-defined question in the molecular biosciences. It is expected that the research will not have been previously reported in the literature and, wherever possible, the research should yield publishable data.

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