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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the difference between a Master’s (Applied) and a thesis based Master’s degree?
    The Master’s (Applied) is a non-thesis program and is usually course-based. Thesis Master’s programs are research oriented. Although the Master’s (Applied) has a small research project component, it is mainly course and laboratory based. Both types lead to PhD programs.
  • I have heard that entrance to these programs is competitive?
    Both programs have limited enrolment and best candidates are selected first. The level of competition varies from year to year depending on the quality and quantity of applications received. It is recommended to apply early and not wait until the guaranteed date for consideration.
  • How can I get more information about the Certificate and Master of Science (Applied) programs in biotechnology beside the web site?
    An information/admission package is provided to all potential applicants that communicate by email with our office. Feel free to communicate by gradstudies [dot] macdonald [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) or by phone (514 398-7725) for any questions you may have, it will be our pleasure to help you.
  • How do I know if I am eligible to the biotech programs?
    Information is available at the Admissions section of the web site. Please note that pre-screening of admission eligibility will not be done. The best way to know if you are eligible is to apply.
  • How do I apply?
    Applications are done online at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.
  • What is the admission deadline?
    A complete online application with supporting documents should be submitted for September admissions into both programs by March 15th for international applicants, and May 31st for Canadians and Permanent Residents.
  • Can I apply to both the Certificate and Master’s (Applied) programs?
    Yes, you can apply to both on the same online application.
  • Do I still have a chance if I don’t have the necessary prerequisites?
    It would be unlikely. The prerequisites in biochemistry and molecular biology and cell biology are essential to the understanding of the program contents and this is true for both Certificate and Master’s (Applied). Since both programs are non-thesis, a sufficient level of knowledge in the above-mentioned areas is necessary to avoid any failures in the program. It is also understood that knowledge in molecular biology should have been obtained recently within the last 5 years.
  • My cumulative grade point average is not calculated according to a 4.0 system. How do I know if I meet the minimum required?
    The Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office (GPSO) has provided an International Degree Equivalency Document for some countries. The typical grading scale shown will give you an idea of the equivalency when using the overall standing of a degree, but the conversion using the formula may show a different result since both grade and course credit weight or hours are variables of the formula.
  • Who needs to provide an English proficiency certification?
    Anyone who did not attend a Canadian university or who has obtained a degree from a university outside of Canada where the medium of instruction was not English. The main recognized exams are TOEFL and IELTS. For detailed inforamtion on this requirement,list of countries that are exempt from providing proof of English proficiency, and the type of exams recognized by McGill and minimum scores, please click here. The University code is 0935 (McGill University, Montreal) and the Department code is 31 (graduate schools, Biological Sciences – Agriculture).
  • Is a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) required as part of the admission requirements?
    GRE is not an entrance requirement but can still be submitted as part of your application file for the benefit of the Admissions Committee.
  • What is the tuition fee for the programs?
    Information is available at on our web site and with student accounting.
  • What type of funding is available?
    Information is found at the section on Sholarships.
  • Do you offer a graduate program at the doctorate level?
    No Ph.D. program is offered in the discipline of biotechnology. However, most of the departments in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Medicine or Science are offering Ph.D. programs in a research domain related to biotechnology.
  • What kind of job opportunities are there after completing the Certificate program?
    Typical research assistant or laboratory technician jobs in the biotech industry, pharmaceutical company, and university/hospital/governmental research labs.
  • What kind of job opportunities are there after completing the Master’s (Applied)?
    Employment consists of technical, scientific or junior management positions primarily in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sector in the private and public sectors, and other related fields such as the agri-food and environmental sectors.