Masters in Biotechnology in Canada: Universities, Cost & Tuition Fees, Eligibility & Admissions, Scope

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Master’s in Biotechnology in Canada is 1.5 to a 2-year program offered by some of the top-ranking universities. This research-oriented program is available as a full-time, part-time, online, and fast-track course. The cost of studying (including tuition and living expenses) while pursuing Masters (MSc/MS) in Biotechnology from Canadian Universities can cost you around 30,000 to 57,200 USD.

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    Graduates in biology, chemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and related fields are eligible for the graduate programs in biotechnology. On completion of the master's degree, students are required to submit a thesis. Some of the top universities in Canada also offer training and internships as a part of their curriculum.

    While an MS in biotechnology from the USA seems to be popular among study abroad aspirants, Canada offers you other options for pursuing biotechnology after graduating. These include short term courses like postgraduate diplomas and certificates in biotechnology. Various specializations are also available for international graduates. Known for its immigration friendly-policies makes Canada a perfect study destination over USA for international students looking to settle abroad. 

    Why Study Masters in Biotechnology from Canada?

    As per BioTalent Canada:

    • Around 5000 companies in Canada make-up the Canadian bioeconomy, hence, making it a world leader in this sector.
    • Employers report skill shortage in around 33% of their employees in the biotechnology and life science sector.
    • British Columbia has one of the largest biotechnology and life science sectors in Canada with around 310 organizations.
    • Canada offers a BioTalent student work-integrated learning program.

    As per a BIOTECanada, 75% of the employees in biotech industry held a masters or a bachelors degree in the field. It was also recorded that an individual with a masters degree was offered 29% more salaries in comparison with a bachelors holding indivdual. 

    Top Universities Offering Masters in Biotechnology in Canada

    Masters in biotechnology degree program available at a limited number of universities in Canada. Some of the Canadian colleges and universities also offer postgraduate diploma and certificate programs. The details of the colleges/universities, the programs offered and tuition are tabulated below:

    Ranking (Country Rank) University Degree Offered/Course Duration Application Deadlines Program Fees (USD)
    Masters in Biotechnology
    #1 University of Toronto (Mississauga) MBiotech (24 months) January 10 34,120
    #3 McGill University MScA Biotech Applied Masters (16 months) March 31 12,300
    #16 University of Guelph MBiotech (24 months) Currently Closed 20,800
    #29 Brock University MSc Biotech (24 months) Rolling 35,690
    Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Biotechnology
    #3 McGill University Graduate Certificate (6-8 months) March 31 15,030
    #top 50 research institute in Canada Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology (12 months) Rolling 11,700-23,400
    #top 50 research institute in Canada Durham College Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology (12 months) Rolling 10,100
    #22 Concordia University Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology and Genomics (12 months) February 1 15321
    Specialization in Biotechnology
    #22 University of Windsor Masters of Medical Biotechnology (16 months) March 1 (Fall)
    July 1 (winter)
    #30 University of Lethbridge Masters in Agricultural Biotechnology (24 months) February 1 15,250
    #29 Brock University Masters in Gene Biotechnology Masters in Chemical Biotechnology (24 months) Rolling 35,690

    Masters in Biotechnology in Canada: Course Curriculum

    The use of products and processes that are based on biological resources for invention and development broadly defines biotechnology. The course curriculum majorly comprises of the following core subjects:

    • Molecular biotechnology
    • Innovation and management
    • Communication in science and business
    • Biodiversity and biotechnology

    Depending upon the departments offering the degree, other subjects that are offered as a part of the course. Some of these subjects are drug development, microbiology, data science, bio-fuels/energy, DNA technologies, etc.

    How to Get Admissions in MS Biotechnology in Canada?

    Graduates of biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology/genetics, agriculture, and related fields can apply for masters in biotechnology in Canada. The admission prerequisites vary slightly among the universities offering the program. Given below are the details of university-specific eligibility, admission, and application requirements

    University of Toronto (UofT), Mississauga Campus

    UToronto, Mississauga offers a 24 months Masters in Biotechnology program having two major fields of study- Biopharmaceutical and Digital Health Technology. The offers 13 graduate courses in both business and science. The degree also includes 8-12 months of paid work experience. Admission requirements for international students applying for this program are listed below:


    • The minimum grade required in bachelors is B, which means that the GPA should be 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and the percentage must be around 78-81%.
    • GRE scores
    • The interview is conducted by both science and business departments.

    Language Proficiency: International applicants from non-native English speaking nations are required to submit proof of English language proficiency (ELP). ELP test scores can be submitted as proof of proficiency. The minimum test score requirements for admission in UofT are as follows:

    • TOEFL: 93 (iBT), 22 (speaking and writing)
    • IELTS: 7.0

    Supporting Documents: Letter of Intent, CV (updated), and three letters of recommendation

    McGill University

    McGill University offers a 16-month long applied masters program in biotechnology. This 45-credit program has a course-based curriculum with in-house molecular biology training and a six to eight-month research internship. The admission in McGill’s biotechnology program requires applicants to fulfill the following criteria.


    • GPA requirement for McGill is higher than UofT. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.2 on a scale of 4.0. This means that the grade required is B+ and the percentage required is 82-84%.
    • GRE score, optional

    Language Proficiency: You are required to fulfill following minimum score requirement if submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score:

    • TOEFL: 86
    • IELTS: 6.5

    Supporting Documents: Two letters of recommendation

    University of Guelph

    Masters in biotechnology at the University of Guelph are offered under the department of molecular & cellular biology and department of management. With 4 semesters, the course duration is of around 2 years. The last two semesters are dedicated to the research project. You are required to fulfill the following requirements for securing admissions with the University of Guelph:


    • GPA in the undergraduate degree must be 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. For applicants with grading scores- B is the minimum requirement. This is equivalent to 75%.
    • GRE scores are not required.

    Language Proficiency: Minimum test score requirements are as follows:

    Supporting Documents: Resume/CV (You must submit an updated resume/CV along with the application package), and two letters of recommendation.

    Brock University

    Under the faculty of mathematics and science of the Brock University is offered MS Biotechnology program. The program comprises of 6 terms. There are two specializations available within the program: Chemical Biotechnology and Gene Biotechnology. International applicants are required to fulfill the following minimum requirements for admission:


    • Applicants must have a minimum of 78% in their bachelor’s degree. Honors undergraduate degree is required. This means that the applicant must have 4 years of UG with a higher degree of specialization.

    Language Proficiency: You must submit the following minimum test scores:

    Supporting Documents: Three letters of recommendation, statement of research interest, and resume (updated).

    University-specific Eligibility and Admissions Requirements

    Given below is a table briefly summarizing the eligibility, document requirements, and language scores required for admissions in Masters in Biotechnology in Canada:

    University/Requirements UToronto McGill University University of Guelph Brock University
    GPA 3.0/4.0 3.2/4.0 3.0/4.0 3.0/4.0
    GRE Yes No (optional) No No
    Resume Yes No Yes Yes
    LOR 3 2 2 3
    TOEFL 93 86 89 80
    IELTS 7.0 6.5 6.5 6.5

    The admissions with UofT and McGill are highly competitive due to the stringent admissions policy and a large number of applicants. The University of Guelph has a higher ELP requirement than McGill. If you have less score on the ELP tests, it is suggested to apply for Brock University.

    Masters in Biotechnology in Canada: Cost of Study

    Studying in Canada for international applicants means a lot of expenses like application fees, test fees, health insurance, travel, stay, tuition, etc. These expenses can be broadly divided into three categories- Pre-arrival, tuition, cost of living post-arrival in Canada. The details of the expenses are as follows:

    Pre-Arrival Costs

    Pursuing a master’s degree abroad requires an applicant to spend a specific amount of cost on tests, visa applications, insurance, travel, etc. An approximation of these costs is tabulated below:

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    Program Application Fees 113-150*
    Canadian Study Permit Application Fees 235**
    Health Insurance 10,000
    IELTS Fees 185-190
    TOEFL Fees 160-250
    GRE Fees 205-230
    Airfare 450-1400

    *Depends on the university

    **150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fees.

    Tuition Fees

    The tuition comparison among the universities offering masters in biotechnology is given in the image below:

    Tuition Fees V/S University

    Cost of Living in Canada

    The cost of living in Canada includes accommodation, food, transport, beverage, etc. The description of expenses are tabulated below:

    Type of Expense Cost in USD/year
    Books and Material 756-1510
    Food and Beverage  3000-4000
    Accommodations  4,500-15,000

    Scholarships for Pursuing Masters in Biotechnology in Canada

    UofT offers some program-specific scholarships, however, other universities do not have any specific scholarships for international students studying masters in biotechnology. The details of the scholarships available at UofT and other universities are as follows:

    • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS): Offered by UToronto and University of Guelph, OGS, offers international graduate applicants with an amount of 11,300 USD per session. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievements.
    • Merck Graduate Scholarship in Biosciences: Available to international graduate students applying to UofT. The scholarship offers an amount of 1500-2200 USD/year.
    • MBiotech Impact Award: Continuing students (second year) of UofT MBiotech course can avail of this scholarship offering an amount of 1100 USD/year.
    • School of Graduate Studies University-Wide Scholarships: Around 15 awards are available to international students applying to the school of graduate studies of UToronto.
    • Vanier Graduate Scholarship: Available to international graduate applicants, the Vanier Graduate Scholarship offers an amount of 37,800 for up to three years.
    • Brock Scholars Award: Based on the grades of the applicants, the award is available to international graduate applicants for Brock University. The amount varies from 3000-12000 USD.

    Masters in Biotechnology: Scope in Canada

    Canada is a world leader in the bio-economy (biotechnology) with a number of companies, universities, and hospitals working in the four major sectors of bio-economy. These are:

    • Bio-health
    • Bio-energy
    • Bio-industrial technology
    • Agricultural biotech

    A skill shortage in the biotechnology and life science industry has been reported in 33% of the employers. This results in a rising demand for skilled labor within the industry. Postgraduates in biotechnology can apply for various sectors. Some of the popular jobs available to a fresher with masters in biotechnology are listed below with the median salaries offered in Canada.

    Job Title Salary/Annum (USD) Job Title Salary/Annum (USD)
    Quality Control Analyst 67,500 Pharmaceutical Sales 50,930
    Quality Assurance Analyst 72,500 Chemical Engineer  80,000
    Product Development Engineer  92,352 Business Development  77,955
    Research Scientist 80,000 Clinical Research  55,926
    Technical Writer 92,352 Laboratory Analyst 42,000

    As a world leader in bioeconomy Canada offers international students with a variety of postgraduate courses in biotechnology apart from a master's degree. MS Biotechnology from Canada can last up to 2 years which will include research/thesis and internship. The degree can cost conclusively anywhere around 30,000-50,000 USD for international students. A postgraduate can land into high paying jobs available in the bioeconomy sectors.


    Ques. What are the top universities to pursue MS Biotechnology in Canada?

    Ans. University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Guelph, and Brock University are the top universities offering MS Biotechnology in Canada.

    Ques.What is the eligibility to pursue MS Biotechnology in Canada?

    Ans. Graduates from biology, chemistry, genetics, molecular biology or related fields with a percentage score of above 75% or a minimum grade score of B are eligible for an MS in Biotechnology in Canada.

    Ques. What is the estimated cost of MS Biotechnology in Canada?

    Ans. International applicants can incur an expense ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 USD. The approximate cost of study at popular universities are:

    University of Toronto: 34,000 USD

    McGill University: 12,300 USD

    University of Guelph: 20,800 USD

    Brock University: 36,000 USD

    Ques. What is the scope of biotechnology in Canada?

    Ans. With high paying jobs in the sectors like R&D, pharmaceuticals, marketing, etc students can secure positions in top-notch companies like Ag-West Bio, Bioconnect, Bio Alliance, PGL Environmental Consultants, and Siemens Healthineers.