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Timelines for Degree Completion

MSc Program TimelinePhD Program Timeline

Initial Registration

  • Research project identified
  • Engagement in research initiated
  • Complete GRADSIS Online Statement of Agreement
  • Student and supervisor agree on courses to be completed

3 months

  • PAC membership is finalized and PAC Approval Form submitted to IMS for review

6 months

  • First PAC meeting is held and PAC Report Form is submitted to IMS

12 months

  • Courses (except for MSC1010Y) completed
  • Second PAC Meeting

18 months

  • Third PAC meeting is held and documentation is submitted to IMS – by 18 months PAC decides whether the student should complete the MSc or recommends a transfer to the PhD program

18-21 months

20-22 months

22-24 months

  • Defense is completed, any required corrections/modifications to the thesis are completed, and thesis is submitted to SGS electronically

Initial registration

  • Supervisor selected and GRADSIS Online Statement of Agreement completed
  • Engagement in research initiated
  • Student and supervisor discuss courses to be completed

3 months

6 months

  • First PAC meeting held and PAC report submitted to IMS

12 months

  • Courses (except for MSC1011Y) completed (see Program Requirements)
  • Second PAC is held and report is submitted to IMS

18 months – 21 months

24 months (2 years)

  • Fourth PAC meeting held and report submitted to IMS
  • Publish first-authored peer-reviewed paper (recommended)

30 months

  • Fifth PAC meeting held and report submitted to IMS

36 months (3 years)

  • PhD Candidacy achieved or extension to candidacy requested
  • Sixth PAC meeting held and report submitted to IMS
  • Publish first-authored peer-reviewed paper (recommended)
  • Start writing thesis

42 months

  • Research completed
  • Finish writing thesis and start setting up PhD Thesis Defense
  • Seventh or Final PAC meeting held, thesis approved, and report and defense documentation package submitted to IMS with Thesis Submission Checklist

45-48 months
(4 years)

Transfer to PhDExtensions

MSc students who display a high level of scholarly achievement and research productivity may be recommended by their supervisor and PAC for a transfer directly into the PhD program, without defending (or receiving) the MSc degree and thesis. This process must be completed no later than 21 months after initial registration.  Course work for the MSc must be completed with a minimum of an A average. Evidence of productivity such as presentations, abstracts and manuscripts is essential. See the Qualifying and Transfer Examination Guidelines for information on the examination process.Once the transfer is granted, the student must complete the PhD requirements for the degree. The student must obtain a credit for a total of two full graduate course equivalents from the beginning of the program, as well as for MSC 1011Y PhD Student Seminars. Students who transfer from the MSc. program will be given credit for courses already taken towards the PhD degree requirements. Time spent in the MSc program will be counted towards time to PhD degree completion.

Not all students can complete their degree in the recommended time.  Students who have reached the maximum time limit allowed in their program*, without completing all degree requirements, may be considered for a one-year extension.  Students request such an extension through IMS.  The extension request is forwarded to and approved by SGS.  A program extension form is available through the SGS website.  It should be submitted to the attention of Ms. Hazel Pollard in the IMS office (416-978-5012).

*MSc – 3 years, PhD – 7 years/6 years for students who join IMS with a defended Masters see https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/programs/medical-science