Students holding a B.Sc. Honours (4 year program) with a minimum B+ average in Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology or related fields are welcome to apply for graduate studies in Biology. Your on-line application will be automatically submitted to the Biology Graduate Assistant. All further documentation should be submitted directly to the Biology Graduate Assistant in the Department of Biology at the following address:
Biology Graduate Assistant
Department of Biology
Life Science Building – Room 215
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
1. Application Package:
The Associate Chair – Graduate Studies and Graduate Assistant deal with all inquiries about the graduate program. A completed on-line application consists of the application form for Graduate Studies at McMaster, a statement of interest, two recommendation letter forms, a Biology Department Summary sheet, $100.00 CDN application fee, (payable on-line) and a set of official academic transcripts. The transcripts should be sent directly to the Department of Biology. Foreign applicants must supply a TOEFL or an equivalent English proficiency test score if their language of instruction is not English. English Language Proficiency Certification Guidelines from the School of Graduate Studies include: a TOEFL score of 92 (iBT – Internet-based) or IELTS score of 6.5 min score overall, “academic” with 5.5 minimum score in each section. The test date must be within two years of application.
2. Application Procedure:
To ensure support from the Teaching Assistantship funding, students need to submit their full application before the March 31 application deadline. Documents are submitted directly to the Department and are kept on file until the application is complete. Students should apply on-line (see section 3. below) and forward their documents to the Department. Incoming documents are scanned and posted on “Red Folders” for faculty to review. Completed applications are sent to one of the members of the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee is divided into research areas. The area in which the student wishes to study determines which member of the committee will consider the application. If the student is academically acceptable, the student’s information (status, program, comments from the Admissions Committee Reviewer and location of file on Red Folders) is sent by electronic mail to all Biology Faculty and Associate Members. (The completed file with original documentation is kept in the Graduate Studies Office). If requested by faculty, an interview can be arranged or a potential supervisor can contact the student directly. All interviews are to be arranged and coordinated through the Graduate Assistant. The Graduate Chair may authorize funds to support the travel of a prospective student for an interview. The source of financial support is described in the letter of offer to the student from the Office of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
3. On-line Application:
For acceptance in a graduate program at McMaster University, prospective students should first enroll on-line using “SynApps” (https://gradapplication.mcmaster.ca/account/instructions.asp). In SynApps, you will be asked to create an account, using your email address as a username, and complete a 30-45 min application. Please keep in mind that all required documents (official transcripts, confidential letters of recommendation, statement of interest and, if applicable, official copy of your TOEFL score) should be forwarded directly to the Department of Biology.
Recommendation for admission of each student is handled by the Chair and the Graduate Studies Committee. Acceptance is recommended on the basis of: (i) academic ability (normally an upper second class degree or better, equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 GPA in the last year of an Honours undergraduate program), (ii) availability of an appropriate supervisor who is willing to take the student, and (iii) availability of both financing and space.
All three criteria must be met in order for acceptance to be recommended. Official acceptance is made by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies on the basis of the recommendation made by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.
Rejection. If the three criteria are not met, the application is rejected by the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. Notifications of rejection are sent by the Department of Biology.