PhD Program

On average students will take 5 years to complete a PhD degree.

First and Second Years

  • Register for your thesis course twice per year – Winter Session: September to April (BIOC 649, section 001) and Summer Session May to August (BIOC 649, section 941).
  • You do not need to register for the BIOC 530 seminar but you should attend each class and make a presentation in year 1 and year 2.
  • You will be eligible to compete for the Zbarsky Prize which is awarded to a doctoral student in their third year of graduate studies who gives the best 530 presentation.
  • You are not required to take any additional courses.
  • However you can take classes in consultation with your supervisor, committee and Graduate Advisor to fill in any deficiencies in your background, to enhance your knowledge base in selected areas of specialization, and in preparation for the comprehensive exam.
  • Take the appropriate lab safety courses and the FOM Responsible Conduct of Research Course, RCR, if you have not taken the course during your MSc, note offered 3 times per academic year.
  • By mid December of your first year you should have chosen your supervisory committee and scheduled your first meeting
  • Sit the Comprehensive Exam by the end of your second year.  These exams are usually scheduled in March and April.

Subsequent Years

  • Again register for your thesis course twice per year – Winter Session: September to April (BIOC 649, section 001) and Summer Session: May to August (BIOC 649, section 941). If you are in your final or graduating year, check with the Graduate Coordinator on registration in the appropriate section number.
  • You must maintain continuous registration and pay fees for each year as a graduate student.
  • Gaps in your registration and payment records may be interpreted by G+PS as interruptions in your program and they may alter your award payments accordingly.
  • Attend all BIOC 530 seminars and present one seminar as a PhD Exit Seminar, when you have your PhD doctoral exam scheduled.
  • Meet with your supervisory committee formally at least once a year and submit an annual progress report.