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Master of Science in Biology

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  • Academic Title
    Master of Science in Biology
  • Course description

    We separate the students into three streams based upon the principal area of their research:

    The Population Biology Stream, which includes students working in the areas of population biology, behavioural ecology, and communities and ecosystems; currently 63 students are in this stream.
    The Cell and Molecular Biology Stream; currently 31 students are in this stream.
    The Organismal Biology Stream which includes the areas of development, physiology and anatomy; currently 23 students are in this stream.

    Our programmes are largely thesis-based. They have the following components:

    Courses. MSc students must take a minimum of 4 half-credit (one term) graduate-level classes, while PhD students, with an MSc, must take 2 half-credit classes. These include two compulsory classes: BIOL5700, "Communications skills for scientists", and BIOL5705, a class in which the student takes three 1-month-long modules out of a list of about 15-20 offered by faculty and adjuncts.


    Teaching Assistant (TA) experience. Graduate students must serve as a TA in at least two undergraduate classes, for which they are paid extra above their scholarship.


    Admission to Candidacy (ATC) Examination. For this examination, usually taken between 4-8 months from the start of the program, the student prepares a written research proposal for the thesis and defends it orally before her/his supervisory committee and other examiners.


    Thesis Defense. MSc students defend their theses in public before their supervisory committee and an external (external to Dalhousie University) examiner.

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