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
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.
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
• 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.
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
• Principles of Neuroscience (Neuroscience 500): students
will be required to enroll in this course at the beginning of their
• 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.
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.
The median duration of the PhD program if five years. The minimum
residency requirement is 9 terms (three years).