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Study Biology in Canada

Study Biology in Canada

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Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Biology in Canada

Reasons to Study Biology in Canada

Employment Prospects Across Different Areas

According to the Canadian Job Bank, employment prospects for biologists in Canada are rather good across most Canadian provinces. In fact, it is estimated that labor demand and supply will be in line during a ten-year period (2018-2028). This is good news, especially for biology students who aim to find employment in Canada after graduation. As a biology graduate, you may find work in various employment areas, including scientific research and development companies, engineering firms, manufacturing and processing companies, educational institutions, and medical centers, to mention just a few.

High Quality of Life

Canada ranks as one of the top places to live in the world due to its quality of life, which includes economic stability, public safety, and a good job market, among other things. Canada also has a rich ethnic diversity, good health care system, and an excellent education system. What’s more, living in Canada will provide you with countless opportunities to explore the scenery and its uninhabited lands. Finally, Canada is welcoming to newcomers by providing translation services, immigration advice, and encouragement. All these make Canada one of the top destinations to live in and, especially, pursue a degree.

Extensive and Efficient Programs

The Canadian higher education system is committed to excellence. Canadian colleges and universities have a tremendous worldwide reputation, which means Canadian biology degrees are valued and recognized wherever you decide to pursue a career. Undergraduate and postgraduate programs in biology are comprehensive and efficient. Students learn anything from the basic foundations of biology to more complex and developed concepts. Practical experience, either through laboratory work or internships, is an integral part of Canadian biology education.

Diverse Study Environment

Pursuing your biology degree in a diverse environment such as Canada—home to over 600,000 international students—would provide you with a university experience like no other. Not only will you learn so much about your field of study, but you will also gain such a great insight into the world that surrounds you. You will befriend people from all over the world, learn about their cultures, traditions, points of view, and whatnot. At the end of the day, your Canadian biology degree will provide you professional growth, but your experience will broaden your horizons, unlike anything else.

Top Universities to Study Biology in Canada

Here are some of the best universities to study biology in Canada:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. University of Montreal
  5. McMaster University
  6. University of Alberta
  7. University of Calgary
  8. Dalhousie University


Some of the main admission requirements to study biology in Canada are:

  • Previous education academic transcripts.
  • Subject prerequisites, such as Biology, Chemistry, English, etc. Depending on the university, the subject-specific requirements may change.
  • Proof of language proficiency. Either English (TOELF, IELTS, or PTE) or French (TEF, DALF, or DELF), depending on the university and language of instruction.

As an international student, you will also need a study permit to be allowed to study biology in Canada. You can apply for this document at the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance.

Application Process

The application process to study biology in Canada begins with choosing a university/program and ends with applying for a study permit (if you’re an international student).

Here’s what is in-between:

  1. Check the university/program requirements. Each university has its list of requirements, which usually includes studying specific subjects, meeting a language requirement, or a certain GPA minimum. Make sure you are well aware of each before applying.
  2. Submit your application. The application process is usually done online, which means you will have to fill an application form, enter personal/academic information, and upload documents like personal identification, academic transcripts, language test scores, and proof of sufficient funds.
  3. Stay within the deadline. Applications sent after the deadline will usually not be accepted, which is why you must start the preparation process well ahead of time and have your documents ready when the time of application comes. Contact the university for deadline information.
  4. Apply for a study permit. If you’re an international student, you will need a study permit to engage in academic activity in Canada. As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, head over to the nearest Canadian embassy/consulate in your home country and submit your permit application.

Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Biology in Canada?

Your undergraduate degree in biology will take three to four years to complete in Canada, depending on the university and the type of degree. For example, honors degrees usually take four years to complete, but there are also bachelor’s degree programs that have a duration of four years. It generally depends on the institution offering the degree.

A graduate degree in biology in Canada takes one to two years to complete if you’re enrolled in a full-time program. Generally, you can expect part-time programs to take longer than two years to complete. During your undergraduate and graduate programs, you will be engaged in lectures, seminars, and practical/laboratory sessions to get the most out of your degree.

A doctoral degree in biology takes around three to six years to complete in Canada.

Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Biology in Canada?

The cost of studying biology in Canada is an average of CAD 6,160 (~USD 4,900) for Canadian undergraduate students to CAD 6,800 (~USD 5,400) per year for Canadian graduate students. On the other hand, international undergraduate students pay an average of CAD 34,700 (~USD 27,700) per year for biology programs, while international graduate students pay an average of CAD 16,000 (~USD 12,800) per year.

Tuition fees in Canada take up a significant part of your finances, which is why you must check whether you are financially stable and/or whether you meet any scholarship requirements. Although tuition fees in Canada are a lot lower than in many other popular destinations for international students, you will still have to pay thousands of dollars per year.

Biology Career Prospects in Canada

Canada is an economically developed country with an excellent job market for biology graduates. Your biology degree/s will enable you to find employment across diverse employment areas, from manufacturing and processing companies to boards of education. Apart from job prospects, salary rates are also satisfactory for occupations related to biology. For example, a biologist in Canada earns an average of CAD 77,000 (~USD 61,500) per year, increasing with professional experience.

Here are just some of the employment areas for biology professionals in Canada:

  • Engineering companies.
  • Scientific research and development companies.
  • Hospitals and medical centers.
  • Environment and pollution control.
  • Pharmaceutical companies.
  • Industrial inspection companies.
  • Manufacturing and processing industries.
  • Educational institutions, such as universities and colleges.
  • Academic laboratories.
  • Publishing companies.

Possible job titles for biology graduates include:

  • Biologist
  • Biological Technician
  • Environmental Educator
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Biochemist
  • Biostatistician
  • Medical Librarian
  • Herbarium Technician
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Marine Biologist
  • Etc.

Remember that some occupations may need further education/experience apart from an undergraduate degree in biology.

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