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Applied Bioscience (Doctoral program)

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty Faculty of Science
Location North Oshawa campus location
Start dates September, January or May
Length Approximately 48 months, based on full-time study
Program load Full-time
Program format Courses with PhD thesis
Photo for Applied Bioscience (PhD)
The primary objective of the PhD in Applied Bioscience program is to train students to become high-quality researchers at the interface between chemistry and biology.

General information

The primary objective of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Applied Bioscience is to train students to become high-quality researchers at the interface between chemistry and biology. The Faculty of Science, with no traditional departments, exposes students to interdisciplinary research, allowing them to gain experience working successfully within collaborative networks. The graduate programs equip students with a wide array of both practical and conceptual scientific skills that prepare them for leadership roles in the life sciences. These goals are achieved through independent research and rigorous course work. The programs bring together students and faculty from a variety of scientific backgrounds, which further enriches the student learning experience. In addition, in keeping with the university's strategic plan, research is aimed at creating innovations that will improve the lives of Canadians.

Graduates are expected to have a breadth of knowledge in the life sciences, a depth of knowledge in their chosen field, and the scientific and technical skills that are essential for a career in research. It is also expected that graduates will continue to make significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their field and become lifelong scholars with an appreciation of the impact of science on society.



The program capitalizes on the faculty's current research expertise which is reflected in the four fields:

  • biomolecular science
  • ecosystem health
  • forensic bioscience
  • human health biology

These fields are interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature and require students to rely on both chemistry and biology research methods in order to answer specific research questions.

Biomolecular Science

Biomolecular science focuses on the use of molecular and cellular tools to investigate mechanisms of cell function; new approaches for combating infectious organisms and disease; biomaterials and bio-based products; drug discovery, drug formulation and site-specific drug delivery; the mechanisms of action of pharmaceuticals at the cellular and molecular level; and the molecular and cellular aspects of the immune system in response to pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms. Research in this field occurs at the interface of biology and chemistry.

Ecosystem Health

The field of ecosystem health focuses on determining the implications of external toxicants on the health of ecosystems, discovering indicators for environmental problems and developing methods to lessen human exposure to toxicants. In addition, researchers in the program investigate related areas such as environmental microbiology, the pathophysiology of environmental disorders and the micro and macro environmental factors causing cancer. Finally, research in the field focuses on specific environmental problems and the development of solutions that benefit Canadians.

Forensic Bioscience

Forensic bioscience is a distinct field that combines special content areas of biological and chemical sciences with training in legal and forensic investigations. National security, bioterrorism and global pandemics are just three examples of areas in which skilled forensic bioscience workers will be in high demand in the future. For many scientists, the field of forensic bioscience crystallizes an area of research at the interface between biology, chemistry, forensic science and legal science.

Human Health Biology

Human health biology is a field that addresses the basic understanding of human health with a particular emphasis on common human diseases, human movement science, applied physiology and respiratory illnesses. Efforts in this field concentrate on laboratory-based research that will translate into disease prevention and management, health promotion and novel therapeutic interventions. The four main areas of investigation are cancer, neuro-musculoskeletal function, exercise physiology and respiratory health. This field is further characterized by interdisciplinary research at the interface of several complementary core disciplines.

Admission requirements

  • Completion of a Master of Science (MSc) level degree in biology, chemistry or related area from a Canadian university, or its equivalent from a recognized institution.
  • A minimum B+ average (GPA: 3.3 on a 4.3 scale or 77 to 79 per cent).

Additional requirements:

Prior to being accepted into the program, PhD applicants must be accepted by a professor who specializes in their desired area of research and who is willing to act as a supervisor.

In addition, graduates must successfully complete the PhD Graduate Seminar in Applied Bioscience, Doctoral Exit seminar and PhD Thesis Proposal and Candidacy Exam. The latter is to be completed within 18 months of entry into the PhD program and consists of a written research proposal and an oral exam. 

Required supporting documents:

Please see the checklist of required documents for a list of supporting documentation that must be submitted with your application.

Required test scores for English language proficiency:

See English language proficiency for the minimum required test scores for this program.

Application deadlines

Please see application deadlines for specific dates. Note that the application deadlines listed are for both the online application and all supporting documentation.

How to apply

Applications for admission to all graduate studies programs are submitted online. There are five steps you must go through to complete the application process. See application process and requirements for step-by-step instructions.

Many of our graduate programs are extremely competitive; the number of qualified applicants normally exceeds the number of seats available for each intake. Satisfaction of minimum entry requirements does not ensure admission.


Sample research areas:

  • biochemistry
  • cell biology
  • chemical biology
  • ecology
  • environmental toxicology
  • forensic science
  • genomics
  • immunology
  • kinesiology
  • microbiology
  • molecular biology
  • organic chemistry
  • pharmaceutical chemistry
  • pharmacology
  • physiology

Learn more about the research areas within this program and find research experts by visiting the faculty's website and the university's Expert Centre.

Program curriculum

For program requirements, including required number of credits for completion, program maps and course descriptions, please see the Graduate Academic Calendar and Course Catalogue.


Internal awards and funding

Applicants to research-based graduate programs who are studying full-time are automatically considered for some types of funding at the time of admission.

Types of funding that do not require an application:

  • Entrance scholarships
  • Minimum funding packages
  • Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and graduate research assistantships

For more details on the above funding opportunities, see graduate student awards and funding.

Please note: Part-time students are not eligible for the above funding opportunities.

External awards and funding

Graduate program applicants are encouraged to apply for external awards to help finance their education. The application process differs for each competition, so review the information carefully to determine where and when you must apply. Please note: The majority of these awards are for domestic or permanent residents only.


Tuition fees for graduate programs are charged on a flat-fee or fee-per-credit basis and vary by program and student status.

For current, specific fees and details on flat-fee versus fee-per-credit programs, please see tuition and fees.


For more information:

Visit the program website

Contact the program:

Faculty of Science

Contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:

905.721.8668 ext. 6209 

Find your program