Requirements for an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience


1) A research thesis, which in the opinion of the Advisory Committee, would form a paper acceptable to a refereed journal. The thesis must also be successfully defended in an oral examination. The examining committee will consist of two faculty members from the Neuroscience Program who are not members of the student's Advisory Committee and an additional faculty member from outside the Program.

2) The equivalent of 2.5 full courses to be determined by the Advisory Committee including:

Principles of Neuroscience (Neuroscience 500): students will be required to enroll in this course at the beginning of their full-time enrolment

Perspectives in Neuroscience Seminar Series (Neuroscience 510y): students will be required to enroll in this course in each academic year of their full-time enrollment

Students without a strong background in Neuroscience will be required to broaden their background in specific areas related to their research interests. Courses in Neuroscience which are available in the University are listed under the heading "Recommended Graduate Courses".

3) In exceptional cases, when the research project has clearly developed beyond that of an MSc, students may be permitted to transfer directly to the PhD without completing a MSc research thesis.

Advisory Committee
The Program Committee, after consultation with the student and supervisor, appoint
an Advisory Committee for each student. The Advisory Committee will consist of the supervisor, a member of the Program Committee, and at least two faculty members each from different departments. The composition of the Advisory Committee must be approved by the Program Committee. The role of the Advisory Committee is to:
• tailor course selection to the student's background and academic interests
• provide advice on research and feedback on its progress
• determine when the thesis is ready for submission (using the regulations stated in the Faculty of Graduate Studies   "General Information" calendar as a guideline)

The Advisory Committee will meet at the request of the student or any member of the Advisory Committee. The committee will meet at least twice a year.

Residency Requirement
The median duration for finishing the M.Sc. degree is two years. The minimum residence requirement is 3 terms (one year).


The requirements for a PhD degree will include:

• Research thesis
• Comprehensive examination in Neuroscience

Course requirements
• Principles of Neuroscience (Neuroscience 500): students will be required to enroll in this course at the beginning of   their full-time enrolment
• Perspectives in Neuroscience (Neuroscience 510y): students will be required to enroll in this course in each academic   year of their full-time enrolment
• Research Proposals (Neuroscience 602y, 603y): one in thesis area; the second one an expanded and more    in- depth version of the first grant, based on an CIHR grant application
• Additional courses as required by the student's Advisory Committee to prepare the   student for the comprehensive   examination and/or to provide background for the student's particular area of research.

Comprehensive Examination
The comprehensive examination will consist of an oral and a written component and will cover four distinct areas of Neuroscience which encompass the interests and career goals of the student. One examiner will be assigned to each area by the program committee. The examiners will define the scope of the area to the student, assign readings in each area, and be available for discussion periods with the student. An oral examination of approximately two hours will be conducted. The student must receive a pass. In the event of a failure, the oral exam may be repeated once. In the event of two consecutive failures, the student may be required to withdraw from the Program. After successful completion of the oral component, the student will take the written component which will consist of a four-hour written examination based on questions submitted by the oral examiners. The examination will be graded on a pass/fail basis. To pass the written component of the examination, an overall grade of "B" (70%) is required.

A student is permitted two attempts at the oral examination but only one attempt at the written component. If unsuccessful the student will meet with the Advisory Committee to determine a course of action, which normally would involve withdrawal from the graduate program.

The program of study proposed for each student by his or her Advisory Committee will require the approval of the Program Committee to ensure common standards. The Program Committee will also monitor the progress of the student throughout the course of study using indicators such as the student's research presentations in the Perspectives in Neuroscience Seminar Series, the Research Proposals, the comprehensive examination, and reports of the student's Advisory Committee as to research progress.

Residency Requirement
The median duration of the PhD program if five years. The minimum residency requirement is 9 terms (three years).

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