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 Barb Reuter, Academic Program Assistant (Graduate) in the Department of Biology at the following address:

Academic Program Assistant (Graduate)
Department of Biology
Life Science Building – Room 223
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1

1.    Application Package:

The Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) and Academic Program Assistant (Graduate) 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 CV, $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 preferred application deadlines (September admission:  the last Monday in February; January admission:  the last Monday in September; May admission:  the last Monday in January).  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” (our departmental application database) for faculty to review. 

Completed applications are sent to the Biology Graduate Studies Admissions Committee.  The Admissions Committee's expertise is divided into research areas.  The Committee meets to finalize and agree on the eligibility status.  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 Academic Program Assistant (Graduate). The Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) 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 by visiting the following URL: http://graduate.mcmaster.ca/graduate-students/future-students/how-to-apply

Upon beginning the application process, please inform Barb Reuter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of your application.   Attachments are to be submitted in PDF format.

4.    Acceptance:

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.

.  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. 


Updated:  May 2015