Top Universities for Masters (MS) in Biotechnology in Canada

Biotechnology needs no introduction. If you have been following the other articles on biotechnology, you must be aware that a Master’s degree is kind of mandatory for career progression in the core biotechnology & biosciences sector. Going abroad is one of the best options. We have earlier discussed the best biotechnology and bioscience programs in the USA and Europe. In this article, we will discuss the top universities for Masters (MS) in biotechnology in Canada.

Before proceeding to the best biotechnology programs in Canada, we will first look at the biotechnology and bioscience sector and job outlook in Canada.

Biotechnology and Life Sciences Job Outlook in Canada

The Canadian biotechnology and life sciences sector is a significant contributor to Canada’s innovation economy, and one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. The Canadian biotechnology sector comprises occupations within research, development, and manufacturing. Industry players include small and medium-sized companies that develop diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, as well as global companies with research, development and manufacturing operations in Canada, serving both domestic and international markets. Read top courses to study in Canada for jobs and immigration.

33% of biotechnology and life sciences employers report skills shortages, and 20% have job vacancies in their companies. Over half (56.8%) of skilled immigrants worked in biotechnology prior to immigrating to Canada, with two-thirds (67.6%) holding at least a master’s degree. The major employment sectors and sub-domains are as follows:

Biotechnology and Life Sciences Job Outlook in Canada

An average salary range of $38,000 to $75,000 per year for the biotechnology sector is reported by For the first five to ten years in this position, salary increases may apply, and most professionals move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience in this career.

Recommended Article: Best Biotech Hubs in Canada and Other Countries

All the graduates who aspire to pursue a career in biotechnology have several areas of specialization as options, a few of them includes epidemiologist, microbiologist, agricultural engineer, botany specialist, soil and plants scientist, biochemist, agricultural, food scientist or biomedical engineer. Irrespective of the career path you choose, it requires focus, study and most importantly, earning the biotechnology degree. To enter into this desired field, you could start with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, but to blossom well in your career, holding a master’s or a doctorate degree gives you an edge and increases the earning potential.

If you are seeking a career in this leading-edge domain, you should opt for studies in Canada, one of the world’s leaders in biotechnology, with over 400 core biotechnology companies, research universities and laboratories across the nation, next to the United States.

The academia (universities) contribute a lot to the biotechnology research and development. The majority of Masters in Biotechnology programs in Canada are research-oriented. Although the majority of jobs are in the research sector, there are opportunities for industrial and commercial roles as well.

Important Note if you are looking at to study Masters in Biotechnology/Biomedical subjects in Canada:

At the Master’s level in Canada, students work closely with a supervisor and their research is supported by that supervisor.

Thus, no student is accepted into the program unless a faculty member agrees to supervise that student.

So, you must contact the potential supervisors according to your areas of interest, before submitting the formal applications to the Universities. 

Applicants who apply without a supervisor in place may sometimes have their application accepted if a supervisor can be found, but more frequently their application is rejected for lack of a position.

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Now, we will move on to our primary focus – the best universities for Masters in biotechnology in Canada.

Top Universities for Masters (MS) in Biotechnology in Canada

Co-authored by Parinita Gupta

1. University of British Columbia (UBC)


  • Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Energy
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Advanced Topics in Lipid Biology
  • Nucleic Acids: DNA/RNA Structure and Function
  • Epigenetics
  • Signalling
  • Computational Approaches in Biochemistry
  • Chemical Biotechnology
  • Gene Biotechnology
  • Chemical Biotechnology
  • Gene Biotechnology

Fee Structure: Approx. $8,270 per year. (Tuition Fees)

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • GRE Report (School code = 0965 and Dept. code = 0202)
  • TOEFL Scores (Min. 106) /IELTS Scores (7.5 or higher)

Top Programs:

MS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

MS Genome Science and Technology

MS Bioinformatics

UBC offers generous scholarships and a monthly stipend to deserving students. So, if you are looking for quality and affordable education, UBC is one of the best in Canada.

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2. University of Toronto (UoT)

UoT Offers a 24-month program incorporating both science and business courses with 8-12 months of work experience in the industry, by the Institute for Management & Innovation at the University of Toronto Mississauga. It’s a great program if you want to combine biotechnology with business.


  • Business courses – Effective Management Practices
  • Biotechnology and Drug Manufacturing
  • Protein Chemistry Theory
  • Molecular Biology Lab; Protein Chemistry Lab
  • Biotechnology in Medicine.
  • Business – Fundamentals of Managerial Concepts; Society, Organizations and Technology.
  • Seminar – Bio partnering I & II
  • Work Term – Co-op placement in industry or university-based biotechnology laboratory, and continue initial placement or begin a new
  • Biotechnology in Agriculture & Natural Products.
  • Business – Management of Technological Innovation.
  • Elective course(s) – Either a Work Term or two science/business graduate courses.

Fees: Approximate Annual Fees – Program fees ($44,940.00) + Incidental, system access and ancillary fees ($1,965.95) + University Health Insurance Plan fees ($204.00) = Total $47,109.95. Read more about fees and financial assistance.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as evaluated by the U of T.
  • GRE Scores
  • *English Proficiency: If your primary language is not English, should submit scores for one of these- [TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS, COPE, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Academic Preparation course]

3. McGill University

McGill offers a non-thesis program – an exciting alternative to traditional Thesis programs, which is both courses- and laboratory-based, and also includes an internship in a research laboratory.


  • Topics in Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology Management
  • Biotechnology Laboratory 1 & 2
  • Genetics and Bioethics
  • Research Projects (1-4) – To provide the first-hand experience in a research laboratory of the university or the private and public sectors.
  • Complimentary Courses – Can be taken from the Faculty of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Medicine, Science, Engineering or Management in consultation with the academic advisor and according to the student interests.

Fees: The fees per fall or winter term indicated represent a full-time registration equivalent to 15 credits per semester – the Master’s Applied is 45 credits.

Approximate Annual Fees for International Students- Fall ($2,904) + Winter ($1,552) = $4456 +   Additional Lab fees ($1026). Read more.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or equivalent.
  • CGPA of minimum 3.2 out of 4.0 or its equivalent
  • Introductory courses in biochemistry & cellular biology & advanced courses in molecular biology
  • English Proficiency and GRE Scores: If primary language is not English, and did not graduate from Canadian Institute.

Recommended Article: MS Biotechnology in USA without GRE

4. McMaster University

The Masters in Biomedical Engineering at McMasters is a hardcore research-based and thesis-based program where students are required to complete courses in addition to writing and defending a thesis.


  • Special Topics in Proteins
  • Special Topics in Bacterial Cell Surfaces
  • Special Topics in Microscopy and Photonics
  • Colloquium – Scientific Communication
  • Topics in Molecular Biology
  • Computational Biochemistry

Fees- Approximate Course fee structure- $46,143.73

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum of a B.Sc. with B+ average (8.5/12) in Biochemistry
  • TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (580 on the paper-based TOEFL test or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) or IELTS “Academic Version” with an overall score of 6.5
  • Minimum score in each section).

5. Saskatchewan University

Saskatchewan offers Masters programs in Anatomy & Cell BiologyBiomedical Engineering, Biology, Applied Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biostatistics, and Biological Engineering. The University offers postgraduate programs leading to the P.G.D. and the M.Eng., M.Sc. and PhD degrees.

This program includes the application of engineering principles and design conceptions to the solution of specific complications in medicine, veterinary medicine, and other related fields. The prevailing areas of research interest include:

  • Bio-Medical Science (biomechanics, bioinformatics, injury)
  • Bio-Engineering (tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug delivery)
  • Medical Imaging & Diagnosis or Intervention (MRI, synchrotron imaging, imaging process)


Total Tuition fees per academic year – $6536.46 (International)

Course Based Program- – $1056 (International)

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A graduate degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in a field relevant to Biomedical Engineering
  • A cumulative weighted average of minimum 70% (University of Saskatchewan grade system comparable) in the last two years of education
  • *Proof of English language proficiency.

6. University of Calgary

The University of Calgary offers Masters around research track and a business track. The MBT program (Master of Biomedical Technology) exposes students to a broad range of recent concepts and cutting-edge technologies, providing them with both the skills, knowledge, and experience that they need for successful careers in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries.

The MBT track offers a comprehensive course, which guarantees the attainment of a wide range of practical aptitudes, widespread knowledge of concepts in a range of biomedical disciplines.

MBT Courses:

  • Business Fundamentals
  • Intellectual Property and Licensing
  • Project Management and Corporate Leadership
  • Finances in Biomedical Technology
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Clinical Trials
  • Communication, Marketing, and Sales
  • Business Case Studies
  • Business Integration
  • Careers in Biotechnology
  • Integrated Systems Courses (Physiological and Pharmacological Aspects of Therapeutics Development and Molecular Cellular and Immunological Biotechnology)
  • Project & Practicum in Biomedical Technology

The Biological Sciences track is a thesis-based Masters program that offers specializations in the following areas:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Physiology
  • Structural Biology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Energy and Environmental Systems (Interdisciplinary Specialization


Total fees for program completion in 12 months. International fees is CAD $24,538

 Eligibility Criteria;

  • At lease 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the last two years of full-time education.
  • BSc degree in Biological Science or equivalent
  • English Proficiency Test

Read: Best Masters Biotechnology Programs in Europe with focus on Commercialization, IP/Patents, Product Development, Bio-Business, and Bio-Entrepreneurship

7. University of Alberta

Alberta offers Masters programs in Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Cell Biology, and Agricultural, Food, & Nutritional Science.

Fees: Approx. $9,019 per year – Tuition Fees.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • GRE Report
  • TOEFL Scores
Masters Biomedical Engineering in Canada

8. University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge offers a 24-month Masters program in Agricultural Biotechnology program.

Course – Course details of the courses on Agricultural Biotechnology are determined within the first semester of the student’s program which comprises coursework and thesis.

Fees: Annual course fees are approx. $20,106.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Graduate degree in a related discipline
  • Minimum grade point average – 3.00 (based on uLethbridge 4.00 scale) on the last 20 graded university-level term courses.
  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency

9. Lakehead University

Course: The course is a research-based, interdisciplinary graduate program concentrated on the professional development of scientists in two areas of specialization:

  • Medical Biotechnology
  • Environmental biotechnology focused on toxicology, waste, & emissions

Read more about the graduate programs at Lakehead University.

Fees: Approx. $8,000 Per Term (minimum nine terms)- Tuition Fees.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Official English Test Results
  • Official proof of degree completion

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1o. University of Manitoba

The Department of Biological Sciences offers M.Sc. thesis-based program consists of a combination of coursework and a research component.

Courses: Biotechnology is the use of the principles of chemistry, biochemistry & microbiology to the development of new technologies. The course offers both Microbiology and Chemistry teachings along with administration of the program, The Honors & cooperative work-study (co-op) programs deliver an experience in government, the private sector, and research laboratories. Manitoba is also one of the best if you are looking at to specialize in Plant Science.

Fees: Approx. $ 22,000.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Demonstrate English language proficiency
  • Meet the general entrance prerequisites as per country/curriculum of study
  • Meet program-specific prerequisites based on the choice of program(s).

11. University of Guelph

The University of Guelph Master of Biotechnology program gives you the hands-on science and business skills you need to succeed in a wide range of biotechnology careers.


  • Molecular Biotechnology
  • Innovation Management
  • Communication in Science and Business
  • Biodiversity and Biotechnology
  • Cases in Biotechnology Management
  • Research Project in Biotechnology

Fees: Domestic- $10,472. (Tuition Fees) / International (No Applications in 2019)

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Honors Bachelor’s degree with a minimum admission average of B (75% and higher)
  • *English Proficiency Test Scores

12. York University

The Master’s program at York is a hardcore research degree program. You could specialize in Molecular and Cell Biology, Physiology and Neuroscience, or Ecology and Evolution. Full-time candidates should normally complete all requirements for the MSc degree within two years of full-time study.

Eligibility Criteria:

Graduates with a four-year bachelor’s degree in biological science, or its equivalent, with at least a B+ average (75 – 78%) in the last two years of study, maybe admitted as candidates for the Master of Science degree.

Financial Support: 

All students receive a minimum guaranteed stipend of CAD $22,722.00  per year. The stipend is composed primarily of Teaching Assistantships, for which the student must instruct in undergraduate laboratories, and Research Assistantships usually provided from the research supervisor’s grants and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Non-scholarship students are guaranteed a full 1.0 teaching assistant load.

Masters / MS Biotechnology in Canada

13. University of Windsor

The Master of Medical Biotechnology at Windsor is a professional program that provides students with both a solid foundation of the theoretical concepts and practical industrially applicable laboratory technique experiences used in medical biotechnology industries. In addition, students will also receive training in business plan development and product commercialization.

The 16-month program will prepare you for careers in biotech entrepreneurship, medical and pharmaceutical materials characterization, medical diagnostics or biotechnology product development/monitoring. In addition, the Master of Medical Biotechnology program can be a route for career advancement if you are currently employed in biotechnology and/or related medical and pharmaceutical industries.


  • Proteomics and Biological Mass Spectrometry
  • Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease
  • Biochemistry & Cell Biology – Lipids & Membranes
  • Drugs: From Discovery to Market
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology Entrepreneurship
  • Biotechnology Laboratory

Fees: Base Tuition Charge – $7,175.00 (Assessed Each Term)

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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Masters programs: Minimum 70%
  • English Proficiency Test Scores

14. University of Brock

The MS Biotechnology program at Brock encompasses the broad field of chemical and gene biotechnology.

Course: Specializations available in

  • Chemical Biotechnology
  • Gene Biotechnology

Fees: Approx. $7,835 per term. – Tuition Fees.

Eligibility Criteria:

Successful completion of Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, normally with an average and not less than 78%, or the equivalent grade point average in major courses in an undergraduate program in biotechnology, chemistry or the biological sciences (comprised of but not restricted to biochemistry, biology, genetics, or microbiology).

15. Dalhousie University

The Department of Biology at Dalhousie University offers a two-year MSc program. Specializations are available in the following areas:

  • Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Genetics & Genomics
  • Marine Biology

For fees and eligibility requirements, please visit the official site.

16. University of Waterloo

The Department of Biology at Waterloo offers Masters (in Research) program with the following specializations (areas of research):

  • Bioinformatics, Systematics and Evolution
  • Ecology and Environmental Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology


  • A 75% overall standing in the last two years, or equivalent, in an Honours Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent.
  • Students holding degrees from institutions outside Canada may be required to submit Graduate Record Examination scores (GRE, Analytical and Quantitative) with their application.
  • Before applying to the program, students are strongly advised to establish contact with potential supervisors. It is a good strategy to identify whether the potential supervisors that students would like to undertake research with have available positions and funding.

17. Carleton University

The MSc programs in biology are heavily weighted towards research as graduate students work closely with faculty supervisors to produce research that makes a difference in people’s lives. You can pursue an MSc in biology or also specialize in the following areas:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Chemical and Environmental Toxicology
  • Data Science

Other Specializations and Research Highlights include:

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