Course Requirements

Coursework requirements vary depending on the way in which you entered your specific degree program.

Students with a B.Sc. who enter the M.Sc. program

If you enter the M.Sc. program with a B.Sc., you are required to successfully complete both of the Program’s 3 credit Process courses (BIOL 530 and CELL 501) at least two of the Program’s 1.5 credit Content courses (CELL 502 – 512) in the first year of your program. You must consult with your Research Supervisor about the choice of Content courses.

In addition to the required coursework, you will need to select, again with advice from your Research Supervisor, at least 3 additional credits of elective course(s). Most students select additional courses from the Program’s roster of Content courses for their electives. However, given the great diversity of research conducted by cell and developmental biologists, some students elect to take specialized course(s) of immediate importance to their specific field of research. For courses offered by Departments or Graduate Programs outside the CELL Program, you will need approval in advance from your Research Supervisor, the Course Instructor, and the CELL Program Graduate Advisor. The grades you receive in your elective courses will count toward your overall average, so be sure to choose them wisely. You must complete all your elective course work within 24 months from the date of initial registration in the M.Sc. program.

If you enter the M.Sc. program with a B.Sc. but plan to transfer to the Ph.D. program, when planning your coursework you need to remember that in order to transfer you must have completed one year of study in the M.Sc. program and at least 9 credits of coursework at the 500-level or above; all 9 required credits must be of first-class standing (i.e. ≥80%).  To maintain registration in the doctoral program after partial completion of the master’s degree, students must, during the first two years of study at the graduate level, complete a total of 12 credits with a first-class average (of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing).

Students with a B.Sc. who enter the Ph.D. program directly

If you enter the Ph.D. program directly from a bachelor’s degree you must complete a total of 12 credits of coursework with a first-class average within the first two years of study. The coursework must include both of the Program’s 3 credit Process courses (BIOL 530 and CELL 501) and at least two of the Program’s 1.5 credit Content courses (CELL 502 – 512). The remaining 3 credits of elective coursework should be chosen in consultation with your Research Supervisor. You will need to achieve first class standing in at least 9 of the required 12 credits.

Students with a M.Sc. who enter the Ph.D. Program

If you enter the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree in Cell Biology or a closely related discipline, you are not required to take any coursework unless this is recommended by your Research Supervisor in consultation with your Research Advisory Committee. Any recommended course work must be completed within 24 months from the date of initial registration.

If you enter the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline, you are required to successfully complete, in your first year, both of the Program’s 3 credit Process courses (BIOL 530 and CELL 501). You are not required to take additional coursework unless this is recommended by your Research Supervisor in consultation with your Advisory Committee. Any additional course work must be completed within 24 months from the date of initial registration.