Overall Objectives for the MSc and PhD graduate degree programs
- to provide a research environment that encourages the contribution of independent, original thought and the application of rigorous methods to the creation of new scholarly research;
- to encourage each individual’s commitment to the objective and honest re-examination of beliefs through a spirit of inquiry, through the appropriate conduct and reporting of one’s research;
- to develop a working knowledge and understanding of the general principles of research methodology, as well as knowledge relevant to the specific area of research chosen by the trainee;
- to develop competence in the clinical and laboratory techniques specific to the chosen area of research; and the development of the appropriate analytical and experimental design skills appropriate to the area;
- to provide in-depth knowledge of ethical issues relevant to one’s chosen area of research;
- to develop the ability to present and convey information and to discuss and defend such a presentation in oral and written form (including the presentation of seminars, the writing of reports suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and the writing of grant proposals for research funding);
- to foster the trainee’s commitment to life-long learning and continuing self-education;
- to prepare the individual for a future career as a scientist or clinician-scientist.
Master of Science (MSc)
The M.Sc. program usually requires two years and includes both course work and research. To qualify for this degree, one full graduate course in addition to MSC 1010Y “MSc Student Seminars” is required. Candidates lacking adequate background in biological, natural, or social sciences may be required to take undergraduate or graduate courses considered necessary to provide a proper basis for their research. Each candidate must submit a thesis on their research and pass an oral thesis examination.
A Master’s thesis is generally considered to be the equivalent of one full peer-reviewed research paper, with a historical introduction.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The PhD graduate program emphasizes research work. The minimum course requirement for the PhD degree in the IMS is the equivalent of one full graduate course (with a previous Masters), in addition to MSC 1011Y “PhD Student Seminars.” PhD Direct entry students are required to complete 2 full graduate courses in addition to MSC 1011Y. Depending on the student’s background preparation, and in consultation with the supervisor and Program Advisory Committee members, additional courses may be recommended. Students are expected to be on-campus and participating full-time until all program requirements are completed. It is expected that courses will be completed in the first year, and that the research, written thesis and defense will be completed by the end of year 3 or 4. To qualify for the PhD degree, a thesis must be submitted and the student must pass an internal examination before proceeding to the final PhD oral examination conducted by the School of Graduate Studies.
Generally speaking, a PhD thesis is considered to be a body of work roughly equivalent to three peer-reviewed research papers, with an appropriate scholarly introduction.
Ultimately, the expectation is that the thesis work will reflect an original contribution to knowledge and that the candidate should have demonstrated an appropriate level of scholarship in his/her chosen field.