The Master of Science program (Biological Sciences major) offers students the opportunity to receive focused, advanced training in a wide range of biology disciplines. This is a research-oriented program that culminates in students earning their master’s degree by completing a minimum of two courses and writing a thesis.
One of the courses is the Graduate Seminar Series, which focuses on recent developments in the biology literature, as well as on building professional skills related to the practice and communication of modern biological sciences. The precise number and details of the other courses are determined within the first semester of the student's program.
The thesis forms the central requirement of the program and calls for dedicated training leading to the development of a range of skills that are central to the liberal education tradition, including examination and synthesis of ideas, empirical investigations and data analysis, the construction and articulation of arguments, and writing skills. This process involves close collaboration between supervisor and student; consequently, it is necessary for a candidate to establish contact with potential supervisors prior to application for admission. Candidates seeking potential supervisors should visit Search Supervisors page.
Areas in which students can conduct research include cell and molecular biology, microbiology, ecology and evolution, organismal biology, genetics and epigenetics, environmental science, toxicology, physiology, development, and various aspects of applied biology (e.g., agriculture and conservation).
In addition to the core facilities composed of numerous modern research laboratories directed by individual faculty, the Department of Biological Sciences also has access to the Westcastle Field Station and the University of Lethbridge Herbarium. The Department is also affiliated with a number of Centres and Institutes, such as the Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute and the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments. Moreover, many graduate student researchers in the Department engage in collaborations with government scientists located at nearby facilities of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in biology or a closely related discipline.