IX. Graduate Programs

Integrative Biology

PhD Program

The Integrative Biology Graduate Program offers PhD degrees for studies in each of the three major fields of emphasis: 1) ecology; 2) evolutionary biology; and 3) comparative physiology. The 3 three areas of emphasis 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

The admission and degree requirements of the PhD program are essentially those of the university. Most applicants will have a recognized Master's degree in a related field obtained with minimum academic standing of 'A-' (80%) in their postgraduate studies, and the endorsement of a potential thesis advisor. Under exceptional circumstances admission directly to a PhD program with an appropriate honours degree alone, or transfer from MSc to PhD program without completing the MSc thesis requirements, is also possible. Applications should be uploaded at least one full semester (four months) prior to the expected date of admission. Applications from international students should be uploaded at least eight months prior to the expected date of admission.

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

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.

Admissions 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" "Admission Process" webpage 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

The Integrative Biology program expects that the major part of the student's time will be devoted to research in fulfillment of the thesis requirement. For that reason, the Department does not require that PhD students with an MSc degree take any courses. Students entering directly into the PhD program are required to take 1.0 course credits, which must include IBIO*6630, Scientific Communication (0.50 credit) in their first or second semester. Furthermore, advisory committees may, from time to time, require that a student take some prescribed or additional courses. Regardless, PhD students are expected to contribute and participate actively in the full academic life of the department, including regular attendance at departmental and inter-departmental seminars, and to provide leadership and counseling to undergraduate and MSc students.

PhD students will become candidates for the PhD degree upon successful completion of a qualifying examination with oral and written components, which should be conducted not later than the third semester of the PhD program. The exam evaluates students' knowledge in the general area of the intended research.

Submission and defence of an acceptable thesis complete the requirements for a PhD. An acceptable thesis comprises a report of the candidate's research on a particular and well-defined research problem or hypothesis. It should represent a significant contribution to knowledge in that field. Emphasis is placed on the quality of the work as judged by the expression of mature scholarship, critical judgment, and satisfactory literary style in the thesis. Thesis approval implies that the research is judged sufficiently meritorious to warrant publication in reputable, refereed journals in its field.

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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1