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Biochemistry and Microbiology

In our biochemistry and microbiology graduate programs, you will learn the foundations of molecular biology and biotechnology. Your research can involve molecular and microbial pathogenesis; gene expression and cell signalling; immunology; or diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. We offer both MSc and PhD programs, with a focus on the mechanisms of improving health and the environment.

As a grad student, you will have access to our research facilities. These include the UVic Genome BC Proteomics Centre, as well as an in-house X-ray Crystallography suite, flow cytometry and cell sorting facilities, and Next-Generation sequencing platforms.

Degree programs offered

Our MSc in biochemistry or microbiology focuses on fundamental questions and problems about health and the environment. In this degree, you’ll take courses while you work on an original research thesis under the direct supervision of a faculty researcher. You will receive theoretical and hands-on training in advanced molecular techniques. During your time with us, you will publish your research in scientific journals and present your results at conferences.

Our PhD in biochemistry or microbiology is an intensive research-based program. The cutting-edge training and scientific mentorship obtained under the supervision of our expert faculty will prepare you for leadership roles in research-oriented careers. To enter the program, you will complete coursework and pass a candidacy examination. You will publish your research in scientific journals and present your results at conferences.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MSc 2 years Yes No
PhD 4-5 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:

Areas of focus

  • Structural biology
  • Pathogenesis
  • Proteomics
  • Mucosal immunology
  • Regulation of gene expression
  • Epigenetics
  • Cellular signalling
  • Environmental contaminants
  • Immune system responses to cancer

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

See our complete faculty listing for a full list of contacts for Biochemistry and Microbiology. We always recommend communication with potential supervisors before application.  An applicant who meets the minimum requirements must still find a supervisor willing to sponsor them before they can be formally admitted.

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also work as a teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: apply by February 15 to be guaranteed consideration for University of Victoria Fellowships.

We offer entry in January, September and May. While there is no deadline for admission, applications are due at least a month before your proposed entry term.

International students are encouraged to apply earlier due to visa processing times.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must also include a letter of intent, outlining your specific reasons for wanting to pursue graduate studies in our Department. 

Preference for admission will be given to students who have a GPA of at least 77% (B+ average, 3.65 on a 4 point scale, high Second Class in Britain) in the last two undergraduate years of study. However, the department will consider students with a minimum GPA of 73% for the last two years of study (B average) who have a demonstrated record of research ability.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-8861.

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