IX. Graduate Programs

Integrative Biology

MSc Program

The Integrative Biology Graduate Program offers MSc degrees in each of three major fields of emphasis: 1) ecology; 2) evolutionary biology; and 3) comparative physiology. The three areas of interest focus on (but are not restricted to) experimental approaches in field and laboratory settings and a strong linkage between theoretical and applied investigations. The department encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary research and, where appropriate, utilize faculty expertise from across campus on their advisory committees.

Admissions Requirements

To be considered, applicants must meet the requirements of a four-year honours science degree with a minimum 'B' (75%) average during the final two years (4 semesters) of undergraduate study. Each applicant must obtain the support of a faculty member willing to serve as his/her thesis advisor.

Admission may be granted in September, January or May. Completed applications should be uploaded at least one full semester (four months) before the expected date of admission. Applications from international students should be uploaded at least eight months prior to the expected date of admission.

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" webpage on the ADR Future Student's site.

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

Degree Requirements

Students must complete and defend an acceptable thesis. In addition, they must successfully complete courses totaling not fewer than 1.5 credits. These credits must include the mandatory course IBIO*6630, Scientific Communication (0.50 credit)

An acceptable MSc thesis comprises a scientifically defensible account of the student's research on a particular, well-defined research problem or hypothesis. Such research should begin with the practical expectation that it could be completed and the thesis defended in not more than six semesters. Paramount to the notion of acceptability of the thesis is its quality with respect to the underlying rationale (problem identification), the approach used to address the problem, and the evaluation of the results. Final acceptance of the MSc thesis need not imply that the work is sufficiently meritorious to warrant publication in scholarly media, though the majority of MSc research in the department is published.

The Department endorses the idea that graduate students in the Integrative Biology program should benefit from exposure to recent developments both within and between the major areas of emphasis. To that end, students may enrol in any of the regularly offered courses entitled "Advances in ...". A selection of subjects is given in each of the course descriptions below. Details of course content, format and evaluation will be available in the Office of the Chair of the Department one semester prior to the semester in which the course is offered.

In addition, the Department offers two "Topics in Advanced Integrative Biology" courses to provide students with the opportunity to study with individual faculty on specific topics in the faculty member's area of expertise. These courses may be taken by groups as either reading/seminar courses, or on an individual research-project basis. Students should approach individual faculty members to request supervision on individual research project courses. In addition, faculty members may be petitioned by students to offer, or may advertise, "Topics in Advanced Integrative Biology" courses at least one semester prior to the semester in which the course is to be offered.

The Department also offers Special Topics courses that combine a senior-level undergraduate course in ecology, evolutionary biology, or comparative physiology with an additional component – typically a major paper or research project. These courses are coordinated by a single faculty member who should be consulted for more information.

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