Admission Requirements

MSc: Biology

  • 4-year (honours) Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with thesis work or equivalent
  • B+ (77%) average in the last 10 credits of the honours subject

NOTE: We normally DO NOT ACCEPT INTERNATIONAL MSc students. Only in very rare cases do we make an exception. Please email the graduate administrator BEFORE applying.

PhD: Biology

  • Master of Science degree or equivalent
  • B+ (77%) average in graduate courses only

For all graduate programs in Biology, you are required to have a faculty member at Carleton willing to supervise your research before submitting an application for admission. If you would like to work with an Adjunct Research Professor you must also have a Biology faculty member as a co-supervisor. View the listing of research areas to find a faculty member working in your area of interest.

Qualifying Year

ButterglyIf you have acceptable standing in a non-honours bachelor’s degree, you may be admitted to a qualifying-year program which will be determined in each case by the admissions committee. The Qualifying Year is intended for those students who require further experience in a given area; it is not intended as a means for students to raise their grades to gain admission into a graduate program.


A student already registered for the MSc may be permitted to transfer to the PhD program following a recommendation by the departmental graduate committee and successful completion of the Qualifying Examination required of PhD candidates.

Applicants with International Transcripts (except from USA)

If you have received an Offer of Admission, you will be required to submit a Course-by-Course evaluation (WES ICAP) from World Education Services (WES Canada).  You will be notified at that time, if this is the case.

Please review your Country specific document requirements for the WES ICAP prior to starting your application.

If you already have a WES evaluation (USA or Canada), you can add Carleton University, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs as a document recipient.  Note that the evaluation must be a Course-by-Course evaluation (WES ICAP)

Applicants are encouraged to submit all post-secondary transcripts to WES for verification and evaluation upon initial application, regardless of the specific degree that is being requested from FGPA.

Note:  Carleton University reserves the right to verify any documentation for accuracy. Verification may include contacting the institution that issued the document, contacting the Ministry of Education in the country concerned, contacting the appropriate Embassy or Consulate, consulting a certified government translator and/or requesting third party verification by an authorized educational service agency.


Specialization Requirements


In order to enroll in the Biochemistry specialization, you must first be admitted into the base program (Biology) and then you may request to be considered for the specialization.

Apply online (Master’s and PhD)


In order to enroll in the collaborative program in Bioinformatics, you must first be admitted into one of the participating programs (Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics and Statistics). Once admitted, your supervisor will sponsor you into this program.

Apply online (Master’s)

Chemical and Environmental Toxicology

In order to enroll in the collaborative program in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology (MSc or PhD), you must first be admitted into one of the participating programs (Chemistry, Biology, or Earth Sciences).Once admitted, your supervisor will sponsor you into this program.

You will also need to complete a relevant introductory course in toxicology, either prior to admission to the Collaborative Program in Chemical and Environmental toxicology; or by taking one of the two introductory courses, ‘Principles of Toxicology’ or ‘Ecotoxicology’, while registered in the Collaborative Program.

If you wish to be exempted from any introductory toxicology courses, it is your responsibility to provide justification. The suitability of any introductory toxicology courses as a prerequisite for the Collaborative Program will be decided by the Program Committee.

Apply online (Master’s)

Apply online (PhD)

Data Science

Admission to the collaborative master’s program in Data Science is available to master’s students who are admitted in one of the participating master’s programs (Biology, Business (Business Analytics), Cognitive, Computer Science, Communications, Economics, Engineering, Electronics, Geography).

Apply online (Master’s)


Required Documents

After you have submitted your online application and your application fee has been processed, you will be instructed on how to upload your required documents in Carleton Central. For complete information regarding required documents, please visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Document/Forms Details
Transcript(s) All post-secondary transcripts are required
Letters of Reference Two (2) are required and should be submitted by former professors (preferably your project/thesis supervisors), or qualified persons at your place of employment.
Statement of Intent One (1) is required. This should outline your background and experience in biology in one page.
Preference Form One (1) is required. This form is available in the online application under “Supplementary Forms”
CV/Resumé One (1) is required. Your CV/Resumé should include a list of publications, if applicable.
Language Proficiency (ESL Test Scores) Required, if applicable. For Carleton’s ESL requirements and policies, please visit the ESL Requirements website.


Application Deadlines

Students are encouraged to submit their applications on or before the following dates to be considered for full funding packages. 

Fall Term (September):

  • March 1

Winter Term (January):

  • November 1

Summer Term (May):

  • March 15


How to Apply

The application process to graduate studies at Carleton for all prospective students is the same and must be completed online. For complete information regarding the application process please visit the Graduate Admissions website.

As the Biology graduate program is research intensive, all applicants must have a supervisor for their graduate research program. Therefore, prior to making a formal application to our program, it is essential  that you contact individual faculty members and determine if they will be willing to act as a supervisor for your graduate program.


Financial Support

Consideration for funding and financial support including teaching and research assistantships is made at the time of admission. A separate application is not required. In order to be considered for funding, you must submit a completed application (including all required documents).

Current and prospective graduate students are encouraged to apply for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) scholarships and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), which are awarded annually to outstanding students by the federal and provincial governments.

Please note that funding from Carleton (including teaching and research assistantships) for international students is limited and is only available to a few outstanding international applicants.

For more information on awards and funding, visit the Graduate Admissions website.


More Information

For complete and detailed information about the graduate programs in Biology please consult the official Graduate Calendar.