The graduate program in Biology is research-intensive, culminating in formal defence of an independent research thesis. Applications can be made to our Masters of Science (MSc) or Philosophy of Science (PhD) program. Additionally, Queen’s Undergraduate Honours Thesis students are eligible for a combined BScH/MSc program, as outlined below.

Combined BScH/MSc Biology

The Department of Biology offers a combined BScH/MSc (Biology) program. This program is an opportunity for students in the 4th year of their Honour’s program (Biology) to take up to 2 courses in Biology at the graduate level that would then allow these students to enter the graduate program with advanced standing. Research begun in the 4th year thesis project could be carried forward as a foundation for the graduate thesis, which would create an opportunity for exceptional students to complete the graduate degree within 4 terms.

Admission to the combined program is a two-step process.

Step 1

Students can apply for admission to the combined program (permission to take graduate level courses) in parallel with the process for admittance to the Honour’s year thesis research project (BIOL 537), and any time up to and including Dec. 15 of the fall term provided they are enrolled in BIOL 537. All applications will be reviewed by undergraduate and graduate administrators.

Once accepted into the combined program, in Year 4 of the BSc (Honour’s) program students will be permitted to take up to two 3.0 credit graduate level courses for a total of 3 or 6 credits towards the 12 credits required for the MSc degree. It is the student’s responsibility to gain admission to these graduate courses following acceptance into the program. These courses will be counted as electives or science options towards completion of the degree requirements in the BSc (Hons) program. Only 1 of these courses may be a combined undergraduate/graduate (400/800) level course. The second (and all subsequent) graduate courses must be graduate only (800 and/or 900 level).

Step 2

For admission to the MSc program in Biology with advanced standing, students will be expected to complete the standard SGS application process, have an overall A- (A minus) average in the previous 2 years of their undergraduate program, and have demonstrated significant research productivity in the 4th year thesis project. In order for the student to be granted advanced standing in the M.Sc. degree program, they must have received a final grade of at least B- (B minus) in the graduate course(s) taken during the 4th year and meet all other requirements for admission to the MSc program in Biology.


Students should apply in writing via email to Dr. Vicki Friesen, Graduate Coordinator ( with a copy to Kiki Snook, Graduate Program Advisor, ( and at that time should provide a copy of their transcript, a brief description (1 Paragraph) of their research project, the name of their Project Supervisor, and identify the graduate level courses they hope to enroll in during their 4th year.