Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo


Have questions? Check out some of our frequently-asked questions.

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for please contact our Administrative Assistant, Tammy Feher

Expandable List

Our Chemical Biology graduate program provides students with training that is at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, with a primary emphasis on understanding how the chemical biology approach is used to solve complex biological problems, such as the mechanisms of disease, the regulation of biological pathways and the roles of different biomolecules in controlling cellular function (or dysfunction). Students graduate as highly qualified researchers possessing a diverse skill set and capable of operating within multidisciplinary teams speaking both the language of Chemistry and Biology. Please see the testimonials from our alumni here.

If you have a recognized undergraduate degree in the Life Sciences, Chemistry or Biophysics fields, we require for admission into our M.Sc. program a minimum B+ average in the final year for courses relevant to chemical biology.  Students holding a M.Sc. degree may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. Graduate from other disciplines will be assessed on case by case basis.

Typically, ~10-20% of applications we receive are ranked high enough for admission. Note however that we do not accept students according to application numbers, academic excellence is the primary criterion for admission. A good undergraduate transcript is important but will be carefully weighed with research experience, letters of reference, scholarship support, and publications (if any). Every application is read by all members of the graduate admissions committee.

While the application deadline for September admissions is typically February 1st in order to qualify for all departmental and university scholarships, applications will be considered throughout the year. Most commonly students start in September but it is possible to begin in January or May. Students are encouraged to start during the summer to gain research experience before course work commences in September.

Prior to submitting an application, students considering graduate school should review the research interests of the faculty members in the areas in which they are particularly interested. If you are unsure as to which group to join and would like more information, you should email individual faculty members or contact the Administrative Assistant to arrange a visit. We will cover reasonable travel expenses in relation to the visit, but you will need to submit the application online and pay the $110 application fee prior to the visit. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by credit card.

* Please refer to McMaster’s Graduate Studies website for more information about our application process and the required documents.

If English is not your native language and your previous degree is not from an institution with English as official language,  you must meet the following language requirements:
•    TOEFL: minimum score of 100 (internet-based), 247 (computer-based) or 600 (paper-based);
•    IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score of 6.5.
•    The McMaster Institution Code is 0936 and the Department code is 34.

Applications will not be considered until all documents (including transcript(s), reference letters, CV, and statement of interest), including the application fee, have been received. The application is submitted online but please send all original copies of your application material directly to the following mailing address:

Tammy Feher
Administrative Assistant
Chemical Biology Graduate Program
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8S 4M1

(905) 525-9140 ext. 20874

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming your application has been successfully submitted within the next few days. The email will contain important information about how to access Mosaic to follow the status of your application and your checklist of required documents.

The tuition fees for graduate study at McMaster University are currently ~$7,400.00 per year for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The tuition for visa M.Sc. students is ~$18,100.00 per year but bursaries are available to partially offset these costs. The tuition for visa Ph.D. students is the same as for domestic students.

Current minimum levels of support are around $24k for M.Sc. and $26k for Ph.D. students. Several of our students secure scholarships from Provincial or Federal granting agencies including in particular the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS). Full-time graduate students also receive financial support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (130h/year) and a Graduate Scholarship. M.Sc. visa students receive a Tuition Bursary of $5000 from the department to help offset the tuition fees.

Our Chemical Biology graduate program prepares students for a wide range of careers in diverse sectors, including academia, pharmaceutical or biotechnological industry as well as government jobs. Please see the testimonials from our alumni here for specific examples.

The Off-Campus Housing Office at McMaster (MUSC B112, Tel. (905) 525-9140, Ext. 24086) provides available listings to assist you in your quest. Suitable places for students to live may be found in the residential area called Westdale which surrounds the University. The Westdale Village also contains many amenities, including stores, banks, restaurants, and a movie theatre. A short bus or bicycle ride away are numerous apartment buildings in the central part of Hamilton and in the neighboring town of Dundas.

Please refer to our flow chart pathways for the degrees we offer: