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Study Masters (MS) in Biotechnology in Canada

Study Masters (MS) in Biotechnology in Canada
Alpina ChariMar 1, 2023

Masters in Biotechnology in Canada for International Students

With the advent of genome aids to fight infectious diseases, the role of biotechnology in the post-COVID era is coming to the forefront. It is one of the few sectors of the Canadian economy that has charted tremendous growth in the past few years, despite the recent stunting of the country’s GDP.  Thus, a Master’s in Biotechnology in Canada can be a valuable asset that exceeds your expected returns on investment. 

With the emergence of new specializations in this evolving discipline and breakthroughs being documented each day, Biotechnology is expected to advance by leaps and bounds in the near future. International students are seen flocking to Canada for its dominant service sector and student-friendly milieu.

As reputed universities open their doors to foreign students, you should remember how a graduate degree in this subject will fast-track your career in research and academia. With annual program fees as low as 18,000 CAD and multiple funding options, let us explore the scope of Masters in Biotechnology in Canada with its possible job prospects.

Highlights: Masters in Biotechnology in Canada 

Degree type Postgraduate degree
Duration  2 years
Number of institutes in Canada offering the course 7
Medium of instruction  English
Eligibility  Minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the final two years of undergraduate study.

Minimum TOEFL score of 93 and IELTS score of 6.5 

*University-specific eligibility criteria may vary. 

Application deadlines  Summer term: January-February 

Fall term: April 

Winter term: August-October

Average program costs  $18,000 – 22,000 annually (in CAD)
Scholarships  Most top universities provide merit-based scholarships to international students seeking admission. 
Career prospects  Biostatistician, researcher, or clinical laboratory roles with job titles such as Biomedical Engineer, Biotech Analyst, Process Development Scientist, Research Associate, Biotechnology Technician, etc. 
Median salary for international biotechnology graduates  62,000- 80,000 (in CAD)

Program Structure of Masters Degree in Biotechnology 

The MS Biotechnology course is 2 years long. It is considered a research-based program of paramount importance, offered only by some elite colleges in the country. Offered on a full-time, part-time, online, and fast-track basis, you can choose a degree course that is tailored to your convenience. 

Through the course of their curriculum, students will learn extensively about molecular biology, cell physiology, genetics, chemistry, drug ethics, and biodiversity. Although the curriculum at some of the best Biomedical Engineering universities in Canada seems to be conjoint with that of Biotechnology, the divergence is striking in the core subjects of the two programs. 

Some core subjects covered in MS Biotechnology include 

  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics and Gene Sequencing 
  • Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology
  • Agriculture Biotechnology
  • Biological Computing and Synthetic Biology
  • Protein Engineering and Design
  • Instrumentation
  • Drug Manufacturing and its Principles 
  • Management of Technological Innovation 

Top Universities for MS in Biotechnology in Canada

Canadian provinces occupy a prominent position in every study abroad aspirant’s list. Institutes offering graduate degrees in Biotechnology strive to ensure that the highest echelon of education is offered. Extensive care is taken to foster a diverse space that promotes professional and personal growth for both domestic and foreign applicants. 

Given below is a list of the 7 universities that offer a Master’s degree in Biotechnology for international students who wish to study in Canada– 

University Name  University Global Rank  (QS World University Ranking) Program Name 
University of Toronto, Toronto #34 MBiotech
University of Guelph, Ontario Top 600 Master of Biotechnology 
University of Windsor, Windsor Top 800 Master of Medical Biotechnology (MMB)
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Top 500 Msc in Biotechnology 
McGill University, Montreal #31 M.Sc.(Applied) degree in Biotechnology
University of Lethbridge, Alberta Top 1800 Agricultural Biotechnology (MSc)
Brock University, St. Catharines Top 1200 Msc in Biotechnology

Eligibility Criteria for Pursuing a Masters in Biotechnology in Canada  

For graduate biotechnology, the detailed admissions criterion for international applicants includes 

  • Holding a four-year honors undergraduate degree in a relevant field, such as a Bachelors in Science, Biotechnology, or Biochemistry. This may be from a Canadian university or its equivalent from a recognized institution.
  • A good academic standing consisting of a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  • Minimum test scores in standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and GRE. IELTS and TOEFL scores are mandatory for graduate admissions. Although university-specific requirements may vary, a TOEFL score of 93 and an IELTS score of 6.5 is considered safe. 
  • Although prior work experience in a related field is not necessary, it provides a consequential advantage in securing admission.

Documents required for international students 

Before confirmation of acceptance, international students will be asked to furnish the following records 

  • All past academic transcripts
  • 2-3 references from senior officials who can vouch for your academic ability and qualifications
  • A ‘statement of intent’ underscoring your interest, purpose, and basis behind selecting the course and the university  
  • Proof of the English Language Proficiency (ELP) exam results 
  • A Canadian Study Permit which will be provided after receiving an acceptance letter from the university of your choice. 

For the timely submission of documents, you can employ our admissions counseling services and get into any university of your picking. 

Please schedule a video conversation with one of our specialists for further information.

University Fees for MSc Biotechnology in Canada 

Home to some of the finest premier colleges offering Biotechnology courses, it comes as no surprise how the country is a prime destination for study-abroad applicants. 

Let us take a look at the annual fees of these institutions to help you assess your expenditure for a graduate degree in Biotechnology. 

Name of the College  Annual Tuition Fee for International Students (in CAD)
University of Toronto, Toronto $14,500
University of Guelph, Ontario $20,600
University of Windsor, Windsor $20,200
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon $9,396 
McGill University, Montreal $13,505
University of Lethbridge, Alberta $16,100
Brock University, St. Catharines $15,650

Cost of living 

According to information displayed on EduCanada, a government-monitored website, the country ranks in third place globally for its quality of life. 

Despite being the abode to the top-tier colleges in the world, even the best Canadian cities for international students are quite affordable compared to the US and the UK. 

However, individual living costs often depend on 

  • The city of residence, 
  • On-campus or off-campus accommodation, 
  • Subscription to meal plans
  • Personal expenses

The table provided below can help you get an average estimate of your cost of living as an international student in Canada 

Particulars Estimated Annual Expenses in CAD
Accommodation $4,200- 9,000
Food $3,000
Books and Supplies $750- 1,000
Transport $1,500
Personal Expenses $2,000

Funding Options for Masters in Biotechnology in Canada

With international student enrollment making a significant contribution to Canada’s economy, the government aims to make education more accessible to high-performing candidates regardless of their financial standing. 

It thus offers partial scholarships to committed prospective students in addition to other financing options. 

Some scholarships featured by EduCanada comprise 

Name of the scholarship  Scholarship amount in CAD
Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development $10,200 to $12,700
Study in Canada Scholarships $10,200 to $12,700

In addition to this, almost all universities provide university-specific scholarships and funding opportunities. For example, the University of Lethbridge offers

  • An admission award called the University of Lethbridge Graduate Research Award (ULGRA) 
  • Graduate Assistantship Awards 
  • Research Assistantship Awards 

Every student admitted to a full-time graduate program is considered to be eligible for the ULGRA. Similarly, the Graduate Assistantship Awards are assigned to new students with their offers of admission. The funding provided includes 

  • A Full assistantship of $3,600 for 112 hours of assigned work in a single semester
  • A Half assistantship of $1,800 for 56 hours of assigned work in a single semester

In contrast to this, Research Assistantships can only be offered to students by their supervisors.

Here, a graduate student is paid a stipend amount that comes from the supervisor’s grant. In exchange for this stipend, the supervisor assigns the duties that the student must perform. 

International students can also work side jobs to recompense their living expenses. For those looking to work part-time while studying, the Canadian government asks that you meet the following requirements 

  • Being a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI) with a study permit that includes work conditions 
  • Having a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Being enrolled in a study program that is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate. 

If you fulfill the above criteria, you will be allowed to work both on and off-campus for 20 hours a week, with a minimum wage ranging between $10-14 CAD per hour

Diplomas in Biotechnology in Canada 

For a more industry-oriented practical approach, international students are often seen opting for the shorter, less-intensive Post Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology. It can be done both on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on your preference. The program structure revolves around having an understanding of the cornerstones of this vast subject, comprising topics such as genomics, molecular genetics, protein biochemistry, and bioinformatics.

In addition to this, some colleges allow students to engage in co-ops while they are enrolled in their program, empowering them with the resources to become job-ready. 

Some of these universities offering Graduate Diplomas in Biotechnology include 

  • Concordia University (GrDip)
  • Centennial College (Advanced Diploma with Additional co-op)
  • Durham College (Advanced Diploma)
  • Georgian College (Advanced Diploma)
  • Algonquin College (Advanced Diploma with co-op and non-co-op options)

Career Prospects After Biotechnology Masters in Canada

Graduates of the MS Biotechnology program in Canada are qualified to hold both laboratory and project management positions. They can work in the disciplines of analysis, production, quality control, and research and development. 

With multiple roles opening up in major pharmaceutical companies, organizations usually hire MS Biotechnology graduates for positions such as 

  • Biotechnologist
  • Research Scientist 
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Environmental Health and Safety Officer
  • Biostatistician
  • Analyst
  • Biomedical Equipment Technician
  • Clinical Technologist 

Although job profiles can vary based on vacancies and your location, biotechnologists generally earn a handsome salary in the range of $62,000- 80,000 annually. Those who garner 3-4 years of experience and work in the corporate sector can expect a yearly remuneration that is not short of $100,000- 120,000 CAD

In addition to this, international students can take advantage of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. This allows them to stay in Canada and gain valuable work experience for a maximum period of 3 years, after which they can return to apply for entrepreneurial or managerial roles in their home country. 

Conclusion

Biotechnology is a reputed course that finds several real-world applications in the current economy. Through their graduate program, students are continuously introduced to independent research using co-ops, managerial initiatives, and seminars conducted by professors from various universities across the globe. 

With a multitude of job opportunities at your disposal, you can consider pursuing a Masters in Biotechnology in Canada. Contact us at Gyanberry for a seamless admissions process. 

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FAQ’s

Biotechnology makes use of several living organisms and processes to develop modern solutions to problems. Its applications extend to agricultural, medical, industrial, and marine practices. Biomedical engineering is a STEM branch that focuses solely on medical advancement using technology.

Although a PG diploma in Biotechnology prepares you for a job with an industry-oriented approach, a Master’s in Biotechnology is weighed to be an academically superior degree. 

Yes, the scope of Biotechnology in Canada is vast and ever-expanding. With pharmaceutical giants, research universities, and laboratories across the nation recruiting biotechnology graduates, the demand for skilled labor is increasing every day. 

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