MSc Programs

  • Degree Deadlines and Time Limits
  • Overview of MSc (full and part-time) Program Requirements
  • Hospital Pharmacy Residency/MSc Combined Program Requirements
  • Seminars
  • Graduate Supervision and the Advisory Committee
  • Thesis Preparation and Thesis Oral Defense
  • Guidelines for Transfer from the MSc to the PhD program
     

Degree Deadlines and Time Limits

  MSc-PhD Transfer Examination PhD Qualifying Examination Time to Achieve Candidacy[1] Time Limit[2] Maximum Extension
MSc (full-time) 15-18 months n/a n/a 3 years +3 years
MSc (part-time) 15-18 months n/a n/a 6 years +3 years
PhD (full-time) after completing a MSc n/a 24  months By end of 3rd year 6 years +4 years
Direct-Entry PhD or PhD transfer from MSc (full-time) n/a

Direct Entry: 24 months   

  Transfer: n/a

By end of 4th year 7 years +4 years
PhD (flex-time) n/a 32 months By end of 4th year 8 years + 4 years

[1] Doctoral students are subject to the School’s policy on “Timely Completion of Graduate Program Requirements”. To achieve candidacy, a PhD student is expected to have completed all program requirements exclusive of thesis and seminar courses.

[2] Students must submit an annual request for program extension beyond this time limit.
 


Overview of Program Requirements

To qualify for the MSc degree (full- or part-time), all degree requirements listed below must be successfully completed. Students in a collaborative program must meet the degree requirements for their specific program in addition to the requirements listed below.

1. Courses: a minimum of one full course equivalent (1 FCE).

2. Research Ethics Workshop: Attendance and participation in at least one session for Graduate Students.

3. Seminar attendance and participation (see the guidelines here):
a. Graduate Departmental Seminars: students must attend a minimum of eight (8) seminars each academic year for two years. Part-time students may negotiate each year with the Graduate Program Chair for a reduction in the number of required seminars (to a minimum of four (4) per year) based on their professional experience and other factors related to their ongoing work.
b. Attend Student Group Seminars each academic year for two (2) years.
c. Give a 20-30 minute oral presentation in the Student Group Seminars in Year 2 of the program. 

4. Graduate Research in Progress Symposium (GRIP):
a. Present one (1) poster at GRIP during their program.
b. Attend every year.

5. The annual Advisory Committee Meeting must be completed on or before August 29 of each academic year.

6. Write a thesis based on original research in an area related to Pharmaceutical Sciences and successfully complete the final Thesis Oral Defense.

Completion of the Program:
The full-time program should be completed within three years.
The part-time program should be completed within six years.
 


Hospital Pharmacy Residency/MSc Combined Program
Students accepted into an accredited Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program may register simultaneously with the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) as an MSc student. During the period of residency in the hospital, students will register in the part-time program for the first year of the MSc. With approval from the MSc supervisor and the Hospital Residency Director, students can choose to register full-time in the second year of the program or continue with part-time registration until the completion of their MSc requirements. The full-time and part-time requirements of the Hospital Pharmacy Residency/MSc Combined Program are the same as the MSc program requirements listed above.
 


Seminars

1. Graduate Departmental Seminars:
The aim of the Graduate Departmental Seminars is to provide students with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with different areas of research in pharmaceutical sciences and related fields, and to assist them in communicating with professionals in these areas. Students are encouraged to attend the Graduate Departmental Seminars on a regular basis.

Requirements: Students must attend a minimum of eight Graduate Departmental Seminars per academic year for two years (or less if all other program requirements are completed). Part-time students may negotiate with the Graduate Office for a reduction in the number of required seminars (to a minimum of four per year) based on their professional experience and other factors related to their ongoing work.

Note: Students in the Clinical, Social, and Administrative group will attend either Graduate Departmental Seminars or "Blue Star" seminars in the Clinical, Social, and Administrative Seminar Series to fulfill their requirement.
 

2. Student Group Seminars
The aim of the Student Group Seminars is to give graduate students in specific areas of research an opportunity to meet regularly with their peers for presentations and discussions.

Requirements:
a. Students are required to attend all Student Group Seminars each academic year for two years (or less if all other program requirements are completed). If a student cannot attend a seminar, he/she must let the seminar coordinator and the Graduate Office know. Make-up work may be assigned.

b. Students must give a 20-30 minute oral presentation of their own research work as part of the Student Group Seminars during the second academic year of the program.

To assist in preparing for presentations, students are advised to seek the counsel of their supervisor.
 


Graduate Supervision
SGS has published a document titled Guidelines for Students, Faculty, and Administrators that students are encouraged to read.
 

Advisory Committee
The supervisor directs the student’s program with the advice of the Advisory Committee, which enables the student to draw on a range of expertise. For full-time students, the student and supervisor must select the Advisory Committee within the first three months of the program. For part-time students, the student and supervisor must select the Advisory Committee within the first nine months of the program. The names of the committee members must be recorded on the Advisory Committee Members Form and forwarded to the Graduate Office for the Graduate Chair’s approval.
 

Composition and Responsibilities of the Advisory Committee

Composition

  • Thesis Supervisor/Co-Supervisor.
  • At least two Graduate Faculty members other than the supervisor and co-supervisor: one should be from the Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the other from another graduate department in the University of Toronto. All members must have a full or associate graduate faculty appointment with the School of Graduate Studies.

If the composition of a committee changes, a new Advisory Committee Members Form must be submitted to the Graduate Office for the Graduate Chair’s approval.

Responsibilities

The student can seek advice from the Advisory Committee members at any time.

The Advisory Committee provides the student with advice and guidance; however, the ultimate decision of the research paths to be pursued rests with the student and supervisor.

The Committee also ensures that the student is taking appropriate courses, is receiving training to carry out the research, is familiar with the research literature and is preparing for the oral defense.

Annual Advisory Committee meetings must be held by August 29 each year. Exemption: a) Students who start in January must hold their first meeting before December 31. All subsequent meetings must be held by August 29.

The Graduate Chair reserves the right to require the Advisory Committee to meet more frequently.

For an outline of the expected format and content of these meetings, please refer to Guidelines for Student Advisory Committee Meetings.


Thesis Preparation

There are two formats for the preparation of theses: 1) Traditional and 2) Alternative. Please see the document titled Guidelines for Thesis Format for more information.

Writing the thesis generally requires a few months of intense effort. The student and supervisor must make time to shape the results of the research into a document that will be carefully evaluated. This critical period demands that the student set aside enough time for the task. It is best to be liberal in the time allotted for thesis writing, completing the examination and revising the thesis as needed.

Students must acquaint themselves with the section on Code of Behaviour in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar and be fully aware of the consequences of plagiarism before submitting the thesis to Committee members for the final defense.
 

Thesis Oral Defense

When the Supervisor and Advisory Committee have approved the written thesis, a final committee meeting should be held to prepare the student for the defense. The student should practice the 20-minute presentation and answer questions posed by the supervisor and Committee members that will be typical of questions asked during the final defense.

Students must submit a completed Nomination FormThesis Assurance Form, and a CV to the Graduate Office SIX (6) WEEKS prior to the exam. The Graduate Office will assign a Chair, schedule the exam, and book a room. The exam will NOT be scheduled if the Nomination Form is handed in later than six weeks prior to the exam.

The Examination Committee consists of four to five voting members. Although quorum is FOUR voting members, it is recommended that the examination committee include FIVE voting members to ensure the examination proceeds as scheduled.

The Committee must include the following:

  • Supervisor/Co-Supervisor;
  • Appraiser (must have an appointment with the School of Graduate Studies, expertise in the field of research, and cannot be a member of the student's Advisory Committee);
  • At least two other voting members (normally from the Advisory Committee);
  • External Examiner (the Appraiser can serve as the External Examiner).

The Graduate Office will contact the Appraiser and request a written report to be submitted one week prior to the exam. The student must distribute a copy of the thesis to each voting member of the Examination Committee three to four weeks before the exam.

The exam lasts from one to two hours. The student will give a 20-minute presentation, which is followed by questions from the Committee.

Following the exam, the Committee will recommend that the thesis be accepted with no revision, minor revisions or minor corrections, or major modifications. If minor revisions or corrections are required, the student's supervisor and one other Advisory Committee member must sign the Thesis Approval Form (available at the exam) and submit it to the Graduate Office once all changes have been made and approved.

If major modifications are required, a second oral exam may be necessary. There will be no more than two oral exams for the MSc degree.
 

Final Responsibilities for the Thesis

Before submitting the final thesis to SGS, students should read the information on Producing Your Thesis.

It is the student's responsibility to submit the completed Post-Thesis Defense Graduate Student Follow-up Form.
 


Guidelines for Transfer from the MSc to PhD Program

Students in the MSc program may transfer to the PhD program by successfully completing the MSc-PhD Transfer Examination. The exam takes place within 15-18 months of the student's initial registration. The student must have completed at least one graduate full course equivalent with a final grade of A-.

Students must submit a completed Nomination Form to the Graduate Office SIX (6) WEEKS prior to the exam. The Graduate Office will assign a Chair, schedule the exam, and book a room. The exam will NOT be scheduled if the Nomination Form is handed in later than six weeks prior to the exam.

The Examination Committee consists of four to five voting members. Although quorum is FOUR voting members, it is recommended that the examination committee include FIVE voting members to ensure the examination proceeds as scheduled.

The Committee must include the following:

  • Supervisor(s)/Co-supervisor;
  • Two Advisory Committee members;
  • External member (external to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and NOT a member of the student's Advisory Committee; must have an SGS appointment);
  • Internal member (cannot be a member of the Advisory committee and must be a Graduate Faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences).

One to two weeks before the exam, the student must distribute a progress report, the PhD program proposal, and a CV including any publications, to all Examination Committee members.

The procedure for the exam is as follows:

  • The student will give a 20-minute presentation summarizing the research and PhD proposal. The working hypothesis to guide the research at the PhD level should be stated.
  • After the summary, the student will be asked questions by the Committee.
  • When there are no further questions, the Chair will ask the student to leave the room.
  • The Committee will discuss the student’s performance, complete the MSc-PhD Transfer Examination Report Form (prepared by the Graduate Office) and vote to recommend transfer to the PhD program. The vote must be unanimous, as one negative vote or abstention constitutes failure.
  • Once the vote is complete, the student will be readmitted to the room and the results discussed.

If successful, the student is transferred to the PhD program and will be given transfer credit for graduate course work completed during the MSc program.

If unsuccessful, the student may repeat the exam before the end of the twenty-first month of registration in the program. If it is the student’s second attempt or there is not enough time in which to complete a retake, the student will not be transferred to the PhD program.