Program

ProgramExpected LengthProject and/or thesisCourse based
M.Sc.2 years
Ph.D.4 years

The Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology offers graduate programs leading to MSc and PhD degrees. The Department has the expertise necessary for the instruction and training of advanced students in areas that include cellular and molecular biology of eukaryotes, microbial genetics and physiology, virology, immunology, vaccinology, enzymes, metabolic pathways, and the synthesis structure, and function of proteins and nucleic acids.

Key research areas include:

  • Analytical biochemistry
  • Cell biochemistry
  • Cell biology and cancer
  • Enzymes and metabolism
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Genetics/Microbial Physiology
  • Molecular Virology
  • Nucleic acids and gene expression
  • Plant biochemistry
  • Protein structure and molecular mechanism
  • Tumor Biology/Immunology

While at the University of Saskatchewan, you will have access to state of the art facilities and research centers including:

  • Canadian Light Source, Canada's only synchrotron
  • Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences (SCCS)
  • Saskatchewan Cancer agency
  • Core Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre
  • National Research Council Plant Biotechnology Institute
  • Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac)
  • Western College of Veterinary Medicine

The Department selects graduate students from among a wide pool of applicants, including honours students in biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as Canadian and foreign students with degrees in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology and related disciplines. Typically, new students enter into a MSc program and are transferred in their second year to a PhD program, upon demonstrated performance in graduate coursework, satisfactory laboratory research progress, and the successful completion of a PhD qualifying examination.

Research supervisors

We recommend that you contact the faculty that are doing research in an area that interests you before beginning a formal application.

Name Research areas
Peter BretscherImmune responses in autoimmunity, to tumours, and in chronic infectious diseases, and strategies of vaccination
Harold BullTrypanosome Major Surface Proteases , DNA damage dependent stress responses in E. coli
Debby Burshtyn
Linda ChelicoHIV restriction factors, DNA deaminases, mutagenesis, enzyme mechanisms
Jeffrey ChenMycobacterial virulence factors, TB host-pathogen interactions and aerobiology, Anti-TB vaccines and therapies, Animal models of TB
Miroslaw CyglerHost-Pathogen Interactions, Synthesis and degradation of glycosaminoglycans
Jo-Anne DillonAntimicrobial resistance, cell division, sexually transmitted infections, international health, molecular technologies for microbial diagnostics
Oleg DmitrievInteractions between proteins and small molecules, mapping contacts of drugs and their protein targets, regulating enzymes for therapeutic use
Christopher EskiwNutrigenomics, Molecular Geontology, Genome Organization
Andrew FreywaldMolecular mechanisms that determine cancer invasiveness and metastasis
Clarence GeyerCancer-associated proteins, antibody production, synthetic antibodies
Troy HarknessRegulation of replication-independent chromatin assembly in yeast
Calliopi HaveleQuantitative and qualitative analysis of the cellular and molecular interactions leading to the activation and differentiation of distinct T cells
Sidney HayesMolecular Genetics, Microbial Physiology
Ramji KhandelwalDiabetes, Kinases/phosphatases, Glycogen metabolism, Insulin, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Kerri KobrynBiochemistry and Molecular Biological studies of the Lyme Disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
Kerry LavenderViral Immunology, HIV-1, Humanized mice, Interferon-alpha
Scot LearyMolecular genetic regulation of cellular copper homeostasis
Jeremy LeeIntrinsically disordered proteins. Alpha-synuclein. Parkinson's Disease.
Erique LukongBreast tumor kinase (BRK) and two other BRK family members, FRK and SRMS
Yu LuoStructure, function and inhibitory studies on key proteins involved in DNA repair and in D-alanylation of teichoic acids in Gram-positive bacteria
Vikram MisraVirology and molecular biology
Stanley MooreFlagellum secretion system in Helicobacter pylori, and chromatin modifying systems in higher eukaryotes
Scott NapperVaccine Development, Prion Diseases, Kinome Analysis, Infectious Disease
Silvana Papagerakis
William RoeslerTranscription, nuclear speckles, TCERG1, C/EBPalpha, gene expression, nuclear compartmentation
Tony RuzziniMicrobe-host interactions: molecules in symbiosis and pathogenesis, Plasmid-encoded biosynthetic gene clusters, bacterially produced small molecules
Scot StoneAcyltransferase, triglyceride, lipid droplet, obesity, diabetes
Jenny-Lee Thomassin
Sylvia van den HurkMolecular pathogenesis of herpesviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV)
Anil Kumar Victoria Ansalem
Hong WangPlant cell cycle regulation
Aaron White
Aaron WhiteSalmonella transmission and virulence, gene expression associated with Salmonella biofilm information, Salmonella vaccine development
Joyce WilsonHCV interaction with the host miRNA machinery
Yuliang WuCancer, genome stability, DNA repair, helicase
Wei XiaoMechanisms of action of genotoxic chemicals and cellular responses to DNA damage.

Tuition and funding

Funding

Admission is restricted to students for which there is available funding. Funding is generally through scholarships, grant funds, and departmental teaching assistantships.

In addition to potential funding from your department, there are scholarships and awards available to all eligible students. There are also special programs for international students from China and Mexico.

Tuition

Thesis or project-based program

Graduate students in a thesis or project-based program pay tuition three times a year for as long as they are enrolled in their program. (Tuition assessment and payment for Spring/Summer terms is split; however, students are required to pay for the full term.)

Term Canadian International
September 1 - December 31, 2021 $1,491.00 CAD $2,698.71 CAD
January 1 - April 30, 2022 $1,491.00 CAD $2,698.71 CAD
May 1 - August 31, 2022 $1,491.00 CAD $2,698.71 CAD
Total per academic year $4,473.00 CAD $8,096.13 CAD

Student fees

In addition to tuition above, students also pay fees for programs like health and dental insurance, a bus pass, and other campus services. The amount you need to pay depends on if you are taking classes full time or part time, and if you are on campus or not. The table below assumes you are on campus full-time.

Fall 2021 Winter 2022Spring 2022 Summer 2022
Student fees$759.62 CAD $300.59 CAD$27.50 CAD $27.50 CAD

Tuition information is accurate for the current academic year and does not include student fees. For detailed tuition and fees information, visit the official tuition website.

Admission requirements

  • Language Proficiency Requirements: Proof of English proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English.
    • A minimum overall TOEFL score of 90 is required with a minimum score of 20 in each area, or a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each area, or another approved test as outlined in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Academic Policies.
  • Acumulative weighted average of at least a 75% (USask grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. 60 credit units). (Students with a lower average may be accepted under exceptional circumstances).
  • A four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study.
  • Language Proficiency Requirements: Proof of English proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English.
    • A minimum overall TOEFL score of 90 is required with a minimum score of 20 in each area, or a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each area, or another approved test as outlined in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Academic Policies.
  • A Master's degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in a relevant academic discipline
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least a 80% (USask grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. coursework required in Master's program).

Application process

Find a supervisor

Using the list above, find a potential supervisor, read about the work they are currently doing and their past publications. If you think you'd like to work with them, contact them and describe your research interests and past academic experience. If they are accepting students, they will instruct you to begin a formal application.

Submit an online application

Before beginning your online application, be sure that you have carefully reviewed all program information and admission requirements on this page.

During the application, you'll be asked for:

  • Personal information such as your name, address, etc.
  • Contact information of your three referees
    • For your letters of recommendation, two of your referees must be academic contacts, and the third may be academic or professional
  • Your complete academic history from all previous post-secondary institutions

The application takes about 30 minutes to complete. You may save your application and return to it later.

At the end of the application, you will need to pay a non-refundable $120 application fee. Your application will not be processed until payment is received.

Submit required documents

Once you've submitted your online application, you will have access to upload your required documents, and provide the contact information for your references. To do this, go to the "Supplemental Items & Documents" tab in your application, and upload the documents outlined below.

Preliminary Statement of Marks

  • Once you have submitted your application for admission and paid the application fee, you will be required to upload unofficial PDF copies of your academic transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended. This requirement will appear as Preliminary Statement of Marks or Additional Prelim. Statement under admission requirements on your Application Summary when you check your application status.
  • The uploaded transcript can be an unofficial copy of the transcript issued by the university or college, and must include a grading key/legend.
  • All pages of a transcript must be uploaded as a single PDF document.
  • Uploaded transcripts will be considered unofficial or preliminary. Official copies of your transcripts will be required only for applicants offered admission. This requirement will appear as Post-secondary Transcript under admission requirements on your Application Summary when you check your application status.

Uploading documents

Post-secondary Transcripts

If you receive an offer of admission, you will then be required to have your official post-secondary transcripts sent (by mail in a sealed envelope directly from the institution) to the address below. Please do not send official documents until we request them.

College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Room 116 Thorvaldson Building, 110 Science Place 
Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7N 5C9

  • Transcripts usually indicate the institution’s name, grading scheme (typically on back of transcript), your name, course names, numbers, credits, and the grades you have received. Depending on the country or institution, some features may not be available.
  • Transcripts in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  • If you are a current University of Saskatchewan student completing your undergraduate program then a letter of completion of degree requirements will be required from your college.

Proof of English language proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English.

For students who are required to provide proof of English proficiency:

  • It is your responsibility to have completed an official and approved test with the appropriate score before the application deadline.
  • Tests are valid for 24 months after the testing date and must be valid at the beginning of the student's first term of registration in the graduate program.
  • Applicants will be required to upload a PDF copy of any required language test score. Uploaded test scores will be considered unofficial or preliminary.

Uploading documents

If you receive an Offer of Admission you may be required to have your official language test scores sent to the address below. Please do not send official documents until we request them.

College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Room 116 Thorvaldson Building - 110 Science Place
Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7N 5C9

Contact

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
107 Wiggins Road
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5

Graduate Co-chair
Dr. Jeremy Lee
Email: jeremy.lee@usask.ca

Graduate Co-chair
Dr. Sylvia VandenHurk
Email: sylvia.vandenhurk@usask.ca

Graduate Administrator
Barb Stuckless
Email: bmi.grad@usask.ca