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Department of Biology


University Catalogue


Graduate Chair: Ken Wilson

General Contact:

Phone: (306) 966-4399

Department of Biology

University of Saskatchewan
112 Science Place
Saskatoon SK CAN   S7N 5E2

collecting aquatic insects
single cell green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
wild horse research on Sable Island
“My multidisciplinary research on the ecophysiology of stress in birds has required expertise in a number of fields, and the Biology Department at the U of S has provided me with invaluable resources to meet those needs. There is amazing support for students in our department, from academic and professional knowledge to multimedia and financial assistance. Importantly, faculty members and department staff are approachable and friendly, so getting information and advice is that much easier. But students in our program benefit from more than just the strengths within the Biology Department. The U of S has excellent resources in veterinary and medical sciences, agriculture and plant sciences, and even a Synchrotron, and that broad range of research interests is really felt in the Biology Department. With such diversity comes opportunity for forging collaborations and this is where our department really excels. Its unique placement at the center of numerous cross-discipline projects makes the Biology Department at the U of S a thriving and encouraging environment for graduate students.”

Graham D. Fairhurst
Ph.D. candidate


The Department of Biology offers programs leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in molecular, cellular, organismic, population, ecosystem, and evolutionary biology. The faculty, which includes associate members and adjunct professors from other departments, schools and institutes on campus, has particular strengths in ecology and behaviour, environmental sciences, cell biology, and molecular biology. Joint graduate research programs can be arranged with other colleges of the university: Western College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medicine, and College of Agriculture and Bioresources. Joint research programs can also be arranged with several government institutions on the campus: Prairie and Northern Wildlife Centre; Plant Biotechnology Institute.

The Department of Biology offers thesis-based programs that can be completed in two to three years for a M.Sc. and three to five years for a Ph.D., based on full-time study. Students are required to complete a thesis based on original research and to participate in BIOL 990: Seminar in Biology. Students meet the requirements for BIOL 990 by participating in the seminars and by presenting results of their own research. Completion of the research requirement is met when a student’s thesis is successfully defended and approved. In order to continue in their program, students need to maintain 70% in each course required specifically for their degree, and must obtain a cumulative weighted average of 70% for all their courses.


Your acceptance is dependent upon a supervisor being available. Explore the research expertise within the Department of Biology and contact faculty members to inquire about their willingness to act a potential supervisor. Your application will not be processed until someone has agreed to supervise your program.

Complete the online application and send the following to the Graduate Secretary in the Department of Biology:

  • A letter outlining your research interests and explaining why you wish to apply to this Department
  • Copies of your academic transcript(s): photocopies are fine at the time of initial application
  • A curriculum vitae or resume

International students must provide proof of English proficiency. 


Applications are accepted throughout the year. Scholarship competitions are held in April of each year.


To be eligible for scholarship funding, students must have obtained at least 80% in the last two years of study. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and are not guaranteed.


The Biology program prepares graduate students for exciting research or management careers with government, consulting firms, academic institutions, industry and non-governmental organizations. Students completing a PhD may also choose the academic career path.


For admission and degree requirements, please see  the University Catalogue.

M.Sc. +


  • A four-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university.
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (e.g. 60 credit units).
  • Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and research.
  • International applicants must meet the English proficiency requirements set forth by the college

Ph.D. +


  • A Master of Science in Biology, or equivalent, from a recognized university
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (e.g. 60 credit units).
  • Demonstrated ability for independent thought, advanced study, and research
  • International applicants must meet the English proficiency requirements set forth by the college