Graduate study in Biological Sciences puts students on the front lines of discovery. Doctoral students design, conduct and analyze original research; they develop rigorous expertise in everything from foundational theory and the study of evolution to cutting-edge research methodologies as they investigate a broad range of biological problems ranging from the molecular level to the biosphere. Degrees are offered in four integrated areas: biochemistry; ecology and evolutionary biology; integrative cell biology; and microbiology. The program takes four to five years, with funding available through sources such as scholarships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and supervisor's research grants.
Energy and Environmental Systems
Outcomes and next steps
Professor, biologist, teacher, consultant, scientist (agricultural/forestry breeding, process development, environmental), data analyst, biotechnologist, genetic counsellor, manager (lab, project, clinic, territory, resource), science writer, research technician, bioscience/biotechnology business.
A PhD in biological sciences is usually considered a final degree.
Related to supervisor interest, and may include biochemistry, cell biology, ecology and evolutionary biology or microbiology.
Students will prepare a research proposal or essay, followed by an oral exam in their field of research expertise.
Topics may cover biology of laboratory animals, theory and lab methods, statistical methods, recent advances and Darwin.
Students will propose, write and successfully defend a research thesis.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the Biological Sciences Program
A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
Completion of a Master of Science program recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Exceptional students may apply to a PhD program without a Master of Science recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
A concise statement outlining the applicant's research interests and reasons for wishing to attend the University of Calgary
Three academic reference letters along with the required reference form.
English language proficiency
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
TOEFL score of at least 105 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper-based). Our institution code is 0813
All graduate students must pay general fees each year, as well as program fees.
Estimate for full-time students
Canadian and permanent resident
12 months of study
First 12 months of study
For first year of studies
General fees and program fees
General fees are annual and per-term fees. Annual fees are paid once per year, while per-term are paid each term (3 terms per year).
Program fees cover standard academic costs. Textbooks and other course material costs are not included.
What are annual continuing fees?
Domestic Continuing Fees: $1,627 CAD
International Continuing Fees: $3,693 CAD
Continuing fees apply in the first term following completion of candidacy requirments.
All students admitted to the Department of Biological Sciences, who do not hold a major scholarship, will be funded to a minimum of $23,000 per year.
Fees listed here are estimates only, and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. These amounts should not be considered accurate. All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
Fees are subject to change.
For more details and the most accurate information go to the Academic Calendar
For more general information, see our Fees and Funding Guide
Have you made your final decision and you’re ready to apply?