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Master's Program Requirements

Note: University regulations apply to all students at Laurier. If there is any discrepancy between the program or progression requirements outlined on this page and those in the university's academic calendars, the academic calendars are the official sources of information. The information below is from the latest calendar, and you may be following progression requirements from an earlier calendar. Students are responsible for checking the appropriate calendar. Contact your program coordinator should you notice any discrepancies.

The objective of the MSc program in Integrative Biology is to provide students with a transdisciplinary approach to biological research that allows them to explore the answers to complex questions from a perspective that bridges the traditional subdisciplines of biology, across diverse taxa, over time scales ranging from short (physiological) to long (evolutionary).

The program will require students to assemble the details of their research into a comprehensive explanation of biological phenomena. The purpose of the program is to prepare students for doctoral studies or employment in an environment requiring research skills.

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For information about our biology PhD program, see Biological and Chemical Sciences.

Program Requirements

The MSc program is normally completed in six consecutive terms. Students may begin the program in May, September or January.

A thesis based on original research and defended before an examining committee is required of all students in the program.

In addition to the thesis, students are required to complete BI601: Research in Integrative Biology and one elective course chosen in consultation with the supervisory committee. To obtain credit in a course students must achieve a minimum grade of B-. Students may include one 0.5-credit course in their program from another graduate department with the consent of the supervisory committee.

Students must complete additional program milestones, including regular committee meetings, oral defence of a written research proposal, attendance at departmental seminars, training workshops mandated by the department, and presentation of a seminar at a Biology research colloquium (second year).

Students must also attend four professional development workshops during their degree, two of which must be completed prior to the proposal defence. Laurier’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers numerous professional development workshops through the ASPIRE program. The suitability of other professional development workshops can be determined by your supervisor prior to your participation in the workshop.

In addition, all students in all stages of the program are expected to attend all Biology seminars and to participate in the associated discussion forum in MyLearningSpace.


  • You may include one 0.5-credit course in your program from another graduate department with the consent of the supervisory committee.
  • You must submit all written work to
  • You must register for BI699 in every term (fall, winter and spring) until you complete your program.
  • You may be able to take elective courses at the University of Waterloo. To apply, fill out an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student application form from Enrolment Services. To register an elective out of province, use the Canadian Visiting Graduate Student application form by contacting the Biology department at  
  • Students who are planning to be away from campus for an entire term while undertaking degree-related activities will need to fill out a Petition for Extended Absence form from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.