Master of Science (Thesis-based)


StFX offers limited-enrolment,  thesis-based MSc programs in Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry and Earth Science. Each program accepts about 1-4 students annually.  

Why complete an MSc at StFX?
While StFX is best known for its strong tradition as a primarily undergraduate university, graduate students are a vital part of the StFX academic community. MSc students at StFX benefit from highly personalized programs and a collegial environment where they are able to play a significant role in their supervisor's research program.   Graduate students  are also mentors to undergraduate students as TA's in undergraduate classes  and when they work with undergraduate research assistants in labs. StFX MSc graduates have a strong track-record of publishing their research and giving conference presentations,  and many have gone on to stellar research careers or careers in a variety of organizations.   

Admission Requirements 

  • Normally undergraduate Honours degree or equivalent concentration in the subject area (typically about 20 undergraduate courses in the subject area)
  • Minimum 70% average.
  • Language requirement: IELTS 6.5 with no band below 6. Note that graduate programs demand very strong English language skills.  While IELTS 6.5 (no bands less than 6.0) is the minimum requirement, a higher IELTS score may strengthen the application.   
    Admission is competitive. 

    MSc programs are for exceptional students who have demonstrated scholarly potential.  Meeting the minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance.

Available funding

Most students accepted into the MSc program will be offered a funding package that covers the cost of tuition and some portion of living expenses. 
Students who apply prior to February 15 may be eligible for the following:

  • StFX Graduate Scholarships
  • StFX Teaching Assistantship
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships 
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (Masters) (add Deadline)
  • MITACS Awards

Available funding for thesis-based students

Before Applying

  • Step 1:  Review  the website of the department to which you are applying to see faculty member research interests.  Identify the faculty members who share your research interests and background.
  • Step 2:  Email prospective supervisors directly to ask whether they willing and able to take on more graduate students with your background.  You will be asked to include the name of your potential supervisor in your application.

    Contact the Department:

    Department of Biology
    Biology Graduate Coordinator:  Dr. Ricardo Scrosati 

    Department of Chemistry
    Chemistry Graduate Coordinator:  Dr Shah Razul 

    Department of Earth Sciences
    Earth Science Graduate Coordinator: Dr. James Braid 

    Department of Computer Science
    Computer Science Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Laurence Yang

Application Deadline

  • February 15, 2021 for September, 2021 start for students who want to be considered for StFX scholarships. Some external scholarships have earlier deadlines. 

Submit an application

Once you have a potential supervisor, you may submit an application.

1. Download and fill-in the Application Form - Master of Science
2. Gather the supporting documents:

  • Complete application form 
  • Statement of intent (See the Application Form for details)
  • Two reference letters (See the Application Form for details)
  • Original transcripts:  No students will be accepted to the university until original transcripts have been received and verified.  Arrange to have sealed transcripts sent from each college or university you have attended.
  • ​​​Evidence of language proficiency​

3.  Pay the application fee
 You can pay the application fee one of the following three ways:

  • Write your credit card information in the section of the application form called “Checklist for Applicants” (You will find this on the signature page)
  • Call the Admissions Office during business hours (8:30am-4:30pm AST) and pay by credit card over the phone.  Toll free number: 1-844-299-2527.
  • Send a money order by post or courier to the Admissions Office:

 StFX Admissions Office
2329 Notre Dame Avenue 
2nd Floor Nicholson Tower
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada B2G 2W5

 4.  Submit documents

  • Documents can be mailed or emailed to the StFX Admissions Office
  • Reference letters must be emailed or mailed by the referees.
  • Official transcripts must be sent by the institutions you have attended.