Biochemistry

Program Overview

Biochemistry is the study of the molecular events underlying biological processes. Consequently, it makes fundamental contributions to all disciplines concerned with living systems. The graduate program in Biochemistry enables students to conduct research in modern facilities, leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in a wide variety of areas including the relationship between structure and biological function in proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids as well as complex multi-component systems such as membranes and sub-cellular organelles.

Students may also be interested in the combined degree program in Medicine, Doctor of / Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD).

See video: Explore Graduate Programs at the Faculty of Medicine.

Please note: the Department of Biochemistry will not be able to consider international applicants to the MSc BCH program during the 2021-22 application cycle for admission in September 2021 and January 2022. 

Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MSc, PhD:

Fall Session (September start) early deadline: 15-Jan-2021

Fall Session (September start) regular deadline: 30-Apr-2021

Winter Session (January start) deadline: 1-Oct-2021

 

PhD:

Fall Session (September start) early deadline: 15-Jan-2021

Fall Session (September start) regular deadline: 30-Apr-2021

Winter Session (January start) deadline: 1-Oct-2021

 

Supporting documents deadline MSc, PhD:

Fall Session (September start) early deadline: 15-Jan-2021

Fall Session (September start) regular deadline: 30-Apr-2021

Winter Session (January start) deadline: 1-Oct-2021

 

PhD:

Fall Session (September start) early deadline: 15-Jan-2021

Fall Session (September start) regular deadline: 30-Apr-2021

Winter Session (January start) deadline: 1-Oct-2021

Minimum admission average MSc:

B+ average in last year of bachelor’s

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

A- average in the final two years of study (for direct entry PhD)

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

A- average in the final two years of study (for directly entry PhD)

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD: PhD:
Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MSc, PhD:

After

PhD:

International applicants who are accepted will need to secure a sponsor as a condition of admission

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MSc, PhD:

Yes – after rotation period

PhD:

Yes – after rotation period

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MSc, PhD:

Applicant

PhD:

Applicant


​Master of Science​

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Biochemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, a minimum B+ average in the last two years of study in an honours/specialist BSc program in biochemistry/molecular biology. Applicants with strong academic credentials in honours/specialist programs in disciplines related to biochemistry/molecular biology are also considered.

  • Applicants arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area and must arrange for general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Test of Written English) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding,​​ and Design.

  • Participate in BCH 2020Y0 Master's Seminar Course in Biochemistry.

  • Thesis and successful completion of an oral examination on his or her research and related aspects of biochemistry.

  • Normally, MSc students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)**

Time Limit

3 years full-time

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

** Students may begin the program in the Fall or Winter.

Doctor of Philosophy​

Students are accepted into the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an MSc degree in biochemistry or a cognate discipline; 2) transfer (reclassification) from the University of Toronto MSc program; or 3) following completion of a BSc degree (direct entry) if, in the opinion of the Biochemistry Graduate Committee, the student has an outstanding academic record.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants to the four-year and transfer options are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Biochemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing and must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Essay Writing) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Students who have completed an MSc degree must successfully complete of a qualifying examination within the first 18 months of the program.

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from Biochemistry or cognate departments in graduate-level courses; at least 0.5 FCE must be from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding, and Design.

    ​Students may fulfil the 1.5-FCE course requirement entirely from this list.

  • ​​Participate in BCH 2022Y0 Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry (Credit/No Credit).

  • Submit a thesis and defend it at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Normally, PhD students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's

0 Course that may continue over a program. Credit is given when the course is completed.

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Biochemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing and must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Essay Writing) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

  • The latter two categories require the student to successfully complete a qualifying examination within the first 18 months.

Program Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete a qualifying examination within the first 18 months of the program.

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from Biochemistry or cognate departments in graduate-level courses at least 0.5 FCE must be from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding, and Design.

    ​Students may fulfil the 1.5-FCE course requirement entirely from this list.

  • ​​Participate in BCH 2022Y0 Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry (Credit/No Credit).

  • Submit a thesis and defend it at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Normally, PhD students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. Credit is given when the course is completed.

Seshu Iyengar

“Beyond the financial stability, being nominated for and receiving this award was an honour which gave me the confidence in my ability to be a graduate students; the Naylor Fellowship demonstrates a strong belief in the contributions Atlantic Canadians can make in academic research.”

Seshu Iyengar
PhD Student, Physics, David Naylor Fellow
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