Program Overview

Biotechnology is defined as "the application of science and technology to living organisms as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services."[Conference Board of Canada].

The PhD in Biotechnology at Lakehead University is a research-based, interdisciplinary graduate program focused on the professional development of scientists in two areas of specialization - medical biotechnology and environmental biotechnology (focus on toxicology, waste and emissions).

The Biotechnology Research Program is the cornerstone of Lakehead’s expanding research capabilities and many program members also contribute to the PhD in Biotechnology. The Biotechnology Research Program effectively strengthens Lakehead’s involvement in regional biotechnology initiatives and has led to the creation of a broad range of industry partnerships. By successfully combining the focus and expertise of faculty in both science and engineering into two interdisciplinary areas of biotechnology: Environmental Biotechnology and Medical Biotechnology, the Biotechnology Research Program puts Lakehead at the forefront of cutting edge biotechnology research in Northwestern Ontario.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD program is governed by Lakehead University's general regulations for graduate programs (Faculty of Graduate Studies Doctoral Regulations). 

Normally, an applicant to the Biotechnology PhD Program would be expected to have completed a Master's Degree in science, engineering or an allied discipline. Admission to the Biotechnology PhD program requires a GPA of 75% or higher on the completed Master's degree from a recognized university.

Students in the first year of a Master's degree may apply for transfer into the PhD in Biotechnology provided that they have successfully completed one Full Course Equivalent (FCE) of course work and have had their research proposal approved by their thesis committee.

Choosing a Supervisor

Admission to the Biotechnology PhD Program will be subject to the availability of a supervisor who has openings for PhD students. We recommend that prospective students contact potential supervisors prior to submitting an application. Having a potential supervisor who supports your application can enhance the likelihood of admittance.

Program Requirements

Students are expected to complete the following program requirements in Year 1:

  • Biotechnology Research Proposal and Seminar (BIOT6010)
  • One half-course selected from : 
    • Topics in Environmental Biotechnology (BIOT6230) 
    • Topics in Medical Biotechnology (BIOT6210)
  • Pass Comprehensive Examination
  • Give a public Thesis Proposal Presentation and have it approved by their Supervisory Committee

Students are expected to complete the following program requirements in their final year:

  • Prepare and successfully defend a PhD dissertation (BIOT6901) 
Completion Period

Students are expected to complete all requirements within a minimum of 3 years (9 terms) and up to a maximum of 4 years (12 terms) of continuous full-time registration. Candidates must meet a minimum residency of three terms, two of which must be consecutive.

For more information: