Master of Science

The MSc program provides advanced training in physiology, with an emphasis on gaining experience in conducting research using modern experimental methods under the direct supervision of a member of the Department’s Graduate Faculty. Students will complete course work, attend and give presentations of scientific work, submit a written thesis based on original research, and defend the thesis at an oral examination. It is not required that the thesis work be published or represent a finished research project, but it must show the student’s mastery of specific techniques, their application to a specific problem, and a scholarly understanding of the research subject. Through this program, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of physiology and its current scientific literature, and they will learn and practise scientific skills of critical thinking, devising research questions, and communicating scientific ideas orally and in writing.

Program Requirements

All students are required to take:

  • A total of 1.5 full-credit equivalents (FCEs) in Physiology courses, with the following guidelines:
    • 0.5 FCE in PSL1000H MSc Seminars in Physiology, mandatory for all MSc students in Physiology
    • 0.5 FCE in Physiology graduate-only courses
    • 0.5 FCE with a choice of (i) a Physiology graduate-only course or Physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option), or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice)**

      ** Courses taken in other departments may be counted towards a degree, but only upon approval of the Graduate Coordinator and with no other appropriate courses available in the Department of Physiology. A Course Permission Form  with full explanation must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Studies Office before enrolling.
  • Select courses in consultation with the supervisor and/or supervisory committee.
  • Attend and contribute to the departmental seminar program, which is an important part of graduate education and a requirement of the program.
  • Complete and defend a research thesis acceptable to the graduate department. 
  • Do one of the following with 12 to 18 months in the MSc program:
    1. write and defend a MSc thesis and graduate 
    2. write and defend a thesis and go on to the PhD program 
    3. transfer from the MSc into the PhD program. Transfer is encouraged for students who have made substantial progress in their research and have demonstrated the desire and potential to meet the requirements of a rigorous research training program. Such students will have fulfilled all course requirements for the MSc with at least an A- average and have demonstrated potential for publication of their work. There must be a clearly identified program for future research that continues, or is consistent with, work already underway. Too large a project for the MSc is not a reason for transfer to the PhD.

General Requirements for a Completed Master's Degree
Supervisory Committee Meetings & Annual Reports
Mandatory Seminar Attendance
Thesis Organization
Composition of the Examination Committee
Deadlines and Thesis Submission
Finishing Up
Transfer from MSc to PhD
Summary of What You Must Do