Biotech / Oil Seed Carleton’s graduate programs in Biology offer you an opportunity to work closely with internationally recognized scientists in an academically enriching environment. Our programs are research-intensive and students gain hands on experience working in the laboratory and the field with state-of-the-art facilities.

The Carleton Advantage

If you pursue a PhD program in Biology at Carleton you will belong to the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Biology (OCIB), one of the largest biology graduate programs in Canada. This Institute combines the resources, courses, equipment and expertise of over 70 faculty from the Departments of Biology of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

Ottawa is also home to several government departments and agencies that are involved in research in areas of interest to our students and research faculty. As well, over 100 companies in the Ottawa region are conducting research in medical, agricultural, and environmental biotechnology

Program Requirements

  • Completion of the graduate courses specified by the admissions and advisory committees. Students admitted with a MSc are usually required to take one full credit (two courses) and students without a MSc are required to take two full credits (four courses); additional courses may be required, depending on the background and research program of the student. Only graduate courses may form part of the candidate’s course requirements. The passing grade for all required courses is 70%, and the student is not allowed a supplemental examination.
  • Scheduling of an oral Qualifying Examination within approximately 12 months of entry into the program and completion normally within 18 months; this examination will cover the candidate’s area of research, and related topics. The format of the examination will be established by the departmental graduate committee. The examination committee generally will be composed of faculty members of both universities.
  • Presentation of at least one public seminar on the candidate’s thesis research.
  • A thesis incorporating the results of original research carried out under the direct supervision of an approved faculty member.
  • Completion of at least four terms as a full-time student resident at one of the two universities (or six terms if admitted without an M.Sc.) is normally required. Under exceptional conditions programs may be arranged for part-time students.
  • Successful oral defence of the thesis before an examination board of at least five faculty members, with representation from both universities, and including an external examiner from outside the two universities who is an authority on the thesis research area


For information regarding admissions to our PhD: Biology program and for details about program specializations, please visit our website.

More Information

For complete and detailed information about the PhD: Biology program, please consult the official Graduate Calendar.