Degree Completion Timeline
Master of Science Degree Completion
The recommended duration of the MSc program is 2 years including time for thesis preparation and defense.
Timeline: Engagement in research should be initiated as soon as possible and be well underway within 6 months of enrolment. Within the first 15 months of registration, the Supervisor and PAC must meet to decide whether the student should complete an MSc or be recommended for transfer to PhD. If the intention is to write the Masters thesis, a proposed schedule for completion should be determined.
|Year 1||Year 2|
|Start courses & research||Complete courses||First author paper
|Write &defend thesis|
Transfer to the PhD Program
MSc students who display a high level of scholarly achievement and research productivity may be recommended by their supervisor and PAC for transfer into the PhD program.
This process must be initiated within 18 months from the time of initial enrolment and completed no later than 21 months after initial registration.
It requires a written recommendation from the Supervisor and PAC members followed by a formal examination. Course work for the MSc must be completed with a minimum of an A- average. See PhD Transfer Examination for information on how to arrange for this examination.
The recommended duration for students who have transferred from a MSc to a PhD is six years including time in MSc, thesis preparation and defense.
Doctoral Degree Completion
PhD: Students are normally admitted with a defended MSc from UofT or equivalent from another university.
- The recommended duration for a PhD is five years including time to prepare thesis and defence.
Direct-entry PhD: Students are normally admitted without a defended MSc from UofT or equivalent from another university.
- The recommended duration for a Direct-entry PhD is six years including time to prepare thesis and defense.
Timeline: The student's PAC should be identified and the first meeting held within the first six months. At this meeting a broad proposal should be presented, and proposed course work discussed. Engagement in research should be initiated as soon as possible and be well underway within 6 months of enrolment. A second meeting should be held during the first year to review the student’s progress. Course work is usually completed by this time, with the exception of MSC 1011H Student Seminars. By year 3, all course work and 4 PAC meetings (excluding the Transfer/Qualifying Exam) must be completed after which the designate PhD© (Candidacy) will appear on ROSI and your transcript to indicate (read more here).
PAC meetings should continue to take place at intervals of 6 months, to assess progress and provide direction. By 24 to 30 months, a plan should be in place for completion of the degree.
Degree Program Extensions
On occasion, students are unable to complete their degree during the program time limit (3years for Master's students, and 6 years for PhD students). When this occurs, students may be considered for an extension.
Master's students are allowed a maximum of three one-year extensions.
PhD students are allowed a maximum of four one-year extensions.
Program Extensions require support from the supervisor and approval from both IMS and SGS. Program Extension forms can be found on the SGS website