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Biology (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program overview

The PhD in Biology is a research-intensive program that will enhance your expertise while placing an emphasis on creativity and innovation. Our faculty members work in a wide variety of biological sciences, including (1) cell/molecular biology, genomic and synthetic biology; as well as (2) Ecology, evolution and conservation. Working closely with a faculty mentor, you will master modern research methods while enlarging your disciplinary knowledge, analytical skills and critical thinking. You will gain an in-depth understanding of current scientific literature and the training, knowledge and techniques needed to become an effective and engaged scientist. Montreal's status as a major centre for applied research means you'll benefit from an academic ecosystem that includes four major universities and their research centres, federal and provincial agencies and a thriving private sector that frequently seeks partnerships with academic researchers.

Program details

Admission Requirements

  • MSc degree in life sciences.
  • At least a B average overall during the applicant’s undergraduate and graduate studies.
  • A thesis supervisor chosen by mutual agreement among the student, the Graduate Studies Committee and the potential supervisor.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

Please see the Biology Courses page for course descriptions.

Biology PhD (90 credits)


credits chosen from the following courses, or from any of the Biology PhD Advanced Topics or Reading Courses. Other courses in the list may be chosen upon recommendation of the supervisory committee and the Graduate Program Director:

  BIOL 616 Current Advances in Ecological Research (3.00)
  BIOL 670 Scientific Communication (3.00)
  BIOL 671 Scanning Electron Microscopy (3.00)



  BIOL 801 Pedagogical training (3.00)
  BIOL 802 Research seminar (3.00)



  BIOL 850 Research proposal and qualifying exam (6.00)
  BIOL 890 Research and Thesis (75.00)

Biology PhD Advanced Topics or Reading Courses

  BIOL 601 Readings in Ecology and Behaviour I (3.00)
  BIOL 602 Readings in Cell and Molecular Biology I (3.00)
  BIOL 606 Readings in Organismal Biology I (3.00)
  BIOL 607 Readings in Ecology and Behaviour II (3.00)
  BIOL 608 Readings in Cell and Molecular Biology II (3.00)
  BIOL 609 Readings in Organismal Biology II (3.00)
  BIOL 612 Advanced Topics in Evolution (3.00)
  BIOL 613 Advanced Topics in Behavioural Ecology (3.00)
  BIOL 614 Advanced Topics in Ecology (3.00)
  BIOL 615 Advanced Topics in Animal Biology (3.00)
  BIOL 630 Advanced Topics in Bioinformatics (3.00)
  BIOL 631 Advanced Topics in Biotechnology (3.00)
  BIOL 632 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (3.00)
  BIOL 635 Advanced Topics in Molecular Genetics (3.00)
  BIOL 640 Advanced Topics in Plant Biology (3.00)
  BIOL 680 Advanced Topics in Biology (3.00)
  BIOL 685 Advanced Topics in Microbiology (3.00)
  CHEM 670 Selected Topics in Biochemistry and Biophysics (3.00)
  CHEM 677 Enzyme Kinetics and Mechanism (3.00)
  CHEM 678 Protein Engineering and Design (3.00)

1. Ensure that your completed application includes:

2. An admission offer will not be issued until a supervisor match has been made. Students are encouraged to review the list of faculty members' field of interests and directly contact those with whom you would like to work. When you are accepted by a supervisor, forward an email with your supervisors approval to, be sure to include your full name and student ID number as well as the email exchange with the approval of the supervisor.

Biology PhD Feb. 1 Sept. 1 n/a

Courses typically offered include:

  • Current Advances in Ecological Research
  • Advanced Techniques in Ecology
  • Advanced Applied Ecology and Conservation
  • Advances in Decomposer Communities and Nutrient Cycling

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of current courses

We’re committed to providing students the support they need to focus on their studies. Top students benefit from scholarships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, and research stipends, usually in the amount of at least $15,000 a year.

Our students have also received support from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec.  Additionally, internal awards and tuition remissions are available on a competitive basis for incoming students.

The departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the Faculty of Arts and Science are seeking graduate students for specific research areas. Please visit this page for new opportunities regularly.

You’ll benefit from access to a greenhouse, animal holding facilities, epifluorescent and confocal microscopes, darkrooms, instrument rooms with centrifuges, spectrophotometers, basic biochemical instrumentation, a sterile transfer laboratory, cold rooms, environment controlled rooms and radioisotope laboratories.

Concordia is home to the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, the Centre for Biological Applications of Mass Spectrometry and the Centre for Microscopy at Concordia (CMAC).

Choose your supervisor from amongst leading researchers.  

See what our students are working on. Review an inspiring list of thesis topics.

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