Program Overview:

About Master of Science in Biology

StFX offers a limited-enrolment, thesis-based MSc program in Biology.

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Why complete an MSc at StFX? 

While StFX is best known for its strong tradition as a primarily undergraduate university, graduate students are a vital part of the StFX academic community. MSc students at StFX benefit from highly personalized programs and a collegial environment where they are able to play a significant role in their supervisor's research program. Graduate students are also mentors to undergraduate students as TAs in undergraduate classes, and when they work with undergraduate research assistants in labs. StFX MSc graduates have a strong track record of publishing their research and giving conference presentations, and many have gone on to successful careers in research and in a variety of organizations.    

Program details

Admission Requirements
  • BSc degree with minimum 70% average. 
  • Language requirement: IELTS 6.5 with no band below 6. Note that graduate programs demand very strong English language skills.  While IELTS 6.5 (no bands less than 6.0) is the minimum requirement, a higher IELTS score may strengthen the application. Language issues are dealt with on an individual basis with the supervisor.

Recognized English Language Proficiency Tests

MSc programs are for exceptional students who have demonstrated scholarly potential.  Meeting the minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance. 

Available funding

Most students accepted into the MSc program will be offered a funding package that covers the cost of tuition and some portion of living expenses.  

Students who apply prior to February 15 may be eligible for the following: 

  • StFX Graduate Scholarships.  No separate application. 
  • StFX Teaching Assistantship. No separate application. 
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (Masters). Deadline to apply December 1. More information
  • MITACS Awards 

For more information about Graduate Funding click here.

For more information about MA and MSc tuition and fees, see Student Accounts.

Before Applying
  • Step 1:  Review the website of the department to which you are applying to see faculty member research interests.  Identify the faculty members who share your research interests and background. 
  • Step 2:  Email prospective supervisors directly to ask whether they are willing and able to take on more graduate students with your background.  You should explain your research interests and experience and highlight how their research aligns with your background.  You could potentially include an unofficial transcript, a CV and other documents.  Ensure your email is clear, concise, and easy to read.  Note: Not every faculty member will be accepting students in any given year.  Each of them receives many emails from potential students, and some will only respond to emails when they are interested in taking students.  If you do not hear back, you should email another potential supervisor.

Note: Applications that are submitted without identifying a verifiable potential supervisor will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Contact the Department: 

Department of Biology
Biology Graduate Coordinator:  Dr. Ricardo Scrosati 


For students who want to be considered for StFX scholarships, the application deadline is February 15 for a September start. Some external scholarships have earlier deadlines. 

  1. Identify a potential supervisor (described above). 
  2. Apply to StFX  and pay the application fee. 
  3. Complete the Master of Science Supplemental Form . Include the StFX ID number that will be emailed to you after you apply to StFX. 
  4. Gather the supporting documents: 
    1. Statement of intent (See Supplemental Form for details) 
    2. ​Two reference letters  (See Supplemental Form for details) 
    3. Original transcripts:  No students will be accepted to the university until original transcripts have been received and verified.  Arrange to have sealed transcripts sent from each college or university you have attended. 
    4. ​​​Evidence of language proficiency​ 
  5. Submit documents: 
    1. The supporting documents should be attached to one email and sent to the StFX Admissions Office: @email
    2. Reference letters must be emailed to @email by your referees. 
    3. Official transcripts must be sent by the institutions you have attended. 
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