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PhD in Biotechnology in Canada: Best Universities in Canada for PhD in Biotechnology

Yocket Editorial Team

Biotechnology is one of the fastest-growing fields in Canada with importance across various sectors including health, agriculture, environment, food sciences, etc. Canada has a pivotal position in the field of biotechnology which also significantly contributes to Canada’s economy. It is an intensive and specialized field involving human health which is why the educational qualifications required to work in this field are quite high and an increasing number of students are opting for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada. It has also been reported in a survey conducted by BIOTECanada that around 88% of the employees in this field hold a PhD.

Take a look at our comprehensive guide to find all essential details regarding PhD in Biotech in Canada, universities, fees, scholarships, salary prospects and more.

Table of Contents

Why Study PhD in Biotechnology in Canada?

Let us take a look at some reasons why you must study PhD in Biotechnology in Canada before diving into the details of this program:

  • Top quality of education: Canada is the 4th highest ranked country for offering research opportunities to international students supported by world-class facilities and infrastructure.
  • Financial aid opportunities: You will find institutions offering PhD in Biotechnology in Canada with scholarships to support your studies especially with outstanding academic records. Another major bonus is that you can combine financial aid with program stipend and eventually cover your costs easily.
  • Great future prospects: Over 30% of the employers in Canada have reported shortage of skilled employees in this field with almost 20% vacancy in top companies. This seems to be a great opportunity for freshers entering this field with a PhD degree.

What are the job opportunities after completing your studies in Canada?

Top 5 Universities in Canada for PhD in Biotechnology

There are around 20 universities in Canada for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada. Some of the top universities along with insights such as ranking, specializations and tuition fees can be seen below:

  1. University of British Columbia
  2. Brock University
  3. University of Calgary
  4. University of Guelph
  5. Lakehead University

Mentioned below are description of each of these universities:

1. University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia is a well-known Canadian university offering PhD in Medical Biotechnology. While the average program funding can go up to 28,000 CAD, every student is assured a program stipend of 18,000 CAD per year for 4 years which is a big relief for students in need of financial support.

Institution Type


QS World University Rankings 2022


Top PhD in Biotechnology Programs

PhD in Medical Biotechnology

Annual Tuition Fees

17,904 CAD

2. Brock University

The Phd in Biotechnology at Brock University offers 2 specializations: chemical biotechnology and gene biotechnology. The duration of this program is 4 years divided across 12 terms. There are 3 intakes for this program in January, May and September.

Institution Type


QS World University Rankings 2022


Top PhD in Biotechnology Programs

PhD in Biotechnology: Gene Biotechnology

PhD in Biotechnology: Chemical Biotechnology

Annual Tuition Fees

15,668 CAD

Universities in Canada for PhD

3. University of Calgary

The PhD in Biological Sciences at University of Calgary takes 4 to 5 years to complete while a student has a maximum 6 years to complete the program. There are a lot of funding sources for this program ranging from scholarships, teaching and research assistantships to research grants.

Institution Type


QS World University Rankings 2022


Top PhD in Biotechnology Programs

PhD in Biological Sciences

Annual Tuition Fees

16,162 CAD

4. University of Guelph

The College of Biological Science at University of Guelph provides PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Remarkably, students of Guelph University have a higher success rate receiving funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program.

Institution Type


QS World University Rankings 2022


Top PhD in Biotechnology Programs

PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Annual Tuition Fees

13,120 CAD

5. Lakehead University

The PhD in Biotechnology at Lakehead University can be completed within 3 to 4 years. The university is known for its innovative programs and cutting edge research. The specializations available for this program are Medical Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology having an interdisciplinary approach.

Institution Type


Top PhD in Biotechnology Programs

PhD in Biotechnology: Medical Biotechnology

PhD in Biotechnology: Environmental Biotechnology

Annual Tuition Fees

13,192 CAD

Eligibility Criteria and Admission Requirements for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada

Before looking at the top universities in Canada for PhD in Biotechnology, it is necessary to learn about the eligibility criteria and admission process for PhD in Biotechnology Canada. The entry requirements may differ from one institution to another, some common requirements are:

  1. Masters degree
  2. English language proficiency requirements
  3. Canada study permit

Let us take a look at the basic eligibility criteria for Canada that are to be met for admission to any university:

1. Master’s Degree

Applicants for PhD in Biotechnology must hold a master’s degree in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biophysics, Biological Sciences or related fields with average 80%.

2. English Language Proficiency Test Scores

As international applicants whose native language is not English, you will have to provide proof of English language proficiency. You are expected to meet one of the following requirements:

  • IELTS score of 6.5, with no band less than 5.5
  • TOEFL score of 80, with no band less than 19
  • PTE score of 60, no subtest below 60
  • CAEL score of 60, with 60 in writing and subtest below 5

3. Canadian Study Permit

You will have to apply for a Canadian study permit once you are accepted into your program. Since the process to get a study permit is lengthy, you are advised to apply for one as soon as you receive your confirmation of acceptance.

Documents Required to Pursue PhD in Biotechnology in Canada

Take a look at the list of documents necessary to apply for admission to PhD in Biotechnology in Canada:

  • Complete transcripts showing academic records from all current and previous post-secondary education.
  • Proof of entrance tests required to study in Canada
  • Minimum 3 references who can describe your academic abilities.
  • Description of research proposal also referred to as “Statement of Interest”.
  • Resume/ CV
  • Documents of criminal record check
  • Preference of research supervisor
  • Proof of citizenship

Admission Process for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada

The first step of your admission process starts by checking the available intakes for Biotech PhD in Canada. Some universities may have a single intake in September while others may offer multiple entry points in January, May and September. You must check the application deadlines and intakes in Canada and apply accordingly to complete the process in time.

Discussed below is the general admission process for PhD in Biotech in Canada:

  1. Check your eligibility for the program before applying.
  2. Select the suitable intake and look for the application deadlines for international students. Also check the application availability date and try to be an early applicant.
  3. If the university you are applying for PhD in Canada requires approval of the supervisor for the application form to be accepted, get the supervisor's approval.
  4. Complete the online application and submit it along with the non-refundable application fee which generally ranges between 100 CAD - 150 CAD.
  5. Gather your transcripts and all other program specific materials necessary for admission.
  6. After submitting the application and supporting documents, keep an eye on the university website for any updates on the application.
  7. If you are accepted, then go ahead to fulfill the newly admitted student checklist starting with the tuition fee deposit.
  8. Once you obtain your admission confirmation for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada, go ahead with the Canadian study permit application without wasting any time.

Now that we have learned about admission process for Biotech PhD in Canada, we shall discuss the cost of education for international students:

How Much Does It Cost to Study PhD in Biotechnology in Canada?

The cost of studying PhD in Biotech in Canada can be categorized into tuition fees and cost of living. Let us take a look at each of these components:

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada ranges between 13,000 CAD - 18,000 CAD per year for international students.

Cost of Living

While the PhD in Biotechnology in Canada fees varies for different institutions, the cost of living also varies depending on your location, accommodation type and lifestyle. Overall an international student incurs 800-1,000 CAD per month for living in Canada. This means the yearly cost of living in Canada for international students is 10,000-12,000 CAD per year. If you are bothered about the expenses of studying in Canada, you can combine PhD in Biotechnology in Canada with scholarship options available.

Complete breakdown of Cost of Living in Canada!

Here’s a quick overview of the various scholarships for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada:

Scholarships for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada

Research programs in Canada usually provide program funding which can be combined with scholarships, assistantships and other financial awards. Let us take a look at various scholarships for international doctoral candidates:


Eligibility Criteria

Amount Granted

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Awarded to doctoral program students with excellent academic records.

The award amount is 50,000 CAD for 3 years.

Ontario Graduate Scholarships

Awarded to excellent doctoral candidates who have scored A- or 80% in the last 2 years of study.

The amount of scholarship is 15,000 CAD.

President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award (University of British Columbia)

All PhD candidates are considered for this award to recognize contribution in their field.

Budget of 4.3 Million CAD per year

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Doctoral Scholarships

Awarded to UBC students who have undertaken research in any field.

The recipients are entitled to receive an annual stipend of 30,000 CAD and a travel allowance of 2,000 CAD.

Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowships

Awarded to female, international students undertaking research in any field of study.

The value of this award is 4,000 CAD for one year.

Career Opportunities in Canada after PhD in Biotechnology

An individual working in the field of biotechnology is expected to make around 161,000 CAD per year. Your highest salary can go up to 285,000 CAD per year. With a PhD in Biotechnology you may be working as a research scientist in the field of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals or food science industries, be appointed for an academic, government or industrial research position or other job titles such as bioinformatics technician, process development specialist, chemical manager, etc.

Take a look at the table below to learn about jobs and average salaries:

Job Title

Average Annual Salary


151,000 CAD

Bioinformatics Technician

106,000 CAD


167,000 CAD

Bioinformatics Scientist

244,000 CAD

Assistant Pharmacy Director

194,000 CAD

Clinical Research Manager

225,000 CAD

Pharmaceutical Research Scientist

223,000 CAD

Molecular and Cellular Biologist

265,000 CAD

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Lead

287,000 CAD

Chemical Process Technician

116,000 CAD

Know 10 High Paying Jobs in Canada for International Students!

Biotechnology universities in Canada are recognized for their cutting edge research and innovation which makes it an ideal location to pursue research. There is immense scope after PhD in Biotechnology especially because of the advancement in science and technology over the years. You can be employed in healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, technology fields.


Frequently Asked Questions about PhD in Biotechnology in Canada

What are some of the best universities for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada?

Which province in Canada is the best for PhD in Biotechnology?

What is the duration for PhD in Biotechnology in Canada?

Is funding available for students pursuing PhD in Canada?

Which province in Canada has the highest pay for biotechnology professionals?

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