Program Information

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The Master of Science (Environmental and Life Sciences) degree (MELS) is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the following:

  • Technical skills in applied and theoretical research, project design and reporting;
  • The ability to integrate and apply knowledge and techniques across a suite of disciplines to selected areas of interest within the environmental and life sciences;
  • Courses integrating knowledge and techniques drawn from the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, environmental science, geography, and geology;
  • An interdisciplinary thesis that investigates the interactions within and among organisms and/or the environment at scales from the molecular to planet-wide;
  • Training in the application of life and environmental science technologies.

Prior to applying to the Master of Science (Environmental and Life Sciences) degree program, students should consult with the Co-ordinator of Graduate Studies (MELS) and one of the faculty members in the core Departments (Biology, ChemistryGeography, and Geology) or the Environmental Science program for information about available projects and supervisors.

  • A list of current Faculty from these Departments available to supervise MELS students is provided here.
  • As the MELS program is dependent on successful completion of a research thesis, applicants without agreement from a potential thesis supervisor will not be accepted.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact and obtain agreement from a potential supervisor. The agreement needs to be mentioned in the statement of interest in their application to the program.

Graduates of the MELS program will combine a minimum 9 credit hours of graduate courses taught by faculty drawn from the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, environmental science, geography, and geology.

A thesis is required, describing the outcome of an interdisciplinary research project.

The focus of research projects and coursework will be on the interactions within and among organisms and the environment at scales from the molecular to planet-wide. The program will allow the application of cutting–edge life science technologies and expertise to the study of the environment. Program graduates will meet learning objectives in the areas of research methodology, scientific problem solving, project planning, scientific writing and expression, and data interpretation and analysis. Graduates will possess strong research skills and will receive the level of professional preparation required to undertake doctoral studies or gain employment in the growing Life Sciences and Environmental sectors.