Nov 27, 2022  
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Degree of MSc with Specialization in Ecology (Biological Sciences) [Graduate]

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete research leading to a thesis, a minimum of ★6 in graded coursework, a seminar component, one term of graduate teaching, 8 hours of ethics activities, and 8 hours of professional development activities.


  • Registration in 900-level THES. Students must present their thesis research to the Department in the form of a public seminar within two weeks prior to the date of the thesis defence. In addition, students are strongly  encouraged to present annual progress reports to their supervisory committee.

Coursework and Seminar Component

Individual programs will be developed by agreement between the student and the supervisor/supervisory committee.

  • Two ★3 graded courses.
    • At least one ★3 course must be a graded seminar or discussion-oriented course.
    • Enrolment in BIOL 603  is recommended.
  • Students are encouraged to register in BIOL 631  in their first year. Registration/participation in BIOL 631  in subsequent years is encouraged.
  • Project courses or individual study courses may not be included in the minimum requirements, but may be taken for credit in addition to the minimal graded requirement on the recommendation of the supervisory committee with approval of the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies).
  • Generally, coursework should be completed in the first year of the program.


  • Hold a 0.5 (6 hour per week) graduate teaching assistantship for one semester.


  • Complete 8 hours of approved ethics activities.
  • Ethics hours are approved by the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies).

Professional Development

  • Complete 8 hours of approved professional development (PD) activities.
  • PD hours are approved by the Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) but cannot include any activity for which the student has previously received credit, cannot be required for the student’s thesis research, cannot be required training, and cannot reasonably be an expected part of the students graduate program.

Residence Requirement

Candidates for the master’s degree must complete a minimum of two (four-month) terms in full-time residence at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

The time required to complete the MSc degree will vary according to the previous training of the applicant and the nature of the research undertaken; however, a minimum of two years is normally required.

The maximum time to complete the thesis-based MSc program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is four years.