Program requirements for an MSc degree in chemistry
- Course requirements
- Supervisory committee
- Assessment of progress
- Transfer from MSc to PhD
- Thesis and oral defense
- Program length
- Program requirements for a PhD degree in Chemistry
Candidates for the MSc degree are required to complete at least 6 units of graduate courses in Chemistry. Substitution of appropriate courses from other departments may be made with the permission of the chair, supervisor, graduate advisor and Faculty of Graduate Studies. In addition to graduate coursework, candidates are required to complete an MSc Thesis (Chem 599).
The normal course structure for a MSc program is:
|Summary of course requirements1||Units|
|Seminar (Chem 509)2||1|
|Discussion (Chem 670 or 680)3||3|
|Graduate lecture courses4||3|
|Thesis (Chem 599)2||12|
1. B- is the minimum passing grade in a graduate course.
2. Students are required to register in Chem 509 and 599 throughout their degree. The requirements for Chem 509 are regular attendance at departmental seminars and presentation of a research seminar in the final year of the degree.
3. A graduate lecture course may be substituted for Chem 670 or 680 when the latter are not offered.
4. Substitution of an equivalent unit value course from another department or institution may be permitted with the permission of the chair, supervisor, graduate advisor and Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Students who have made prior arrangements may start a program of research immediately upon arrival at the university. The program must be established in consultation with their supervisor.
If prior arrangements have not been made, you should interview all interested faculty members with sufficient space and funding as soon as possible after your arrival. During these interviews, each faculty member will let you know about their available projects. Consider these project proposals thoroughly before making a choice, and let the graduate advisor and faculty member concerned know your decision.
The research supervisor must name a supervisory committee and complete a program audit and degree review (PADRE) form for the student as soon as a choice of project has been made. An MSc supervisory committee consists of three members including the supervisor. It is recommended that one member should be from outside the department.
Graduate students are required to present a poster summarizing their research progress to their supervisory committee during the second week of November each year. All posters are displayed in a common area for two days for general viewing.
You'll formally present the poster to your committee in a brief meeting before the end of November, and submit a hard copy of the presentation in handout format to them.
This report forms the basis for an annual review of your progress towards the degree. In the event that your research or coursework are judged unsatisfactory, you'll need to pass oral or written examinations as specified by the department before proceeding further towards your degree.
If you're in a Master's program and want to transfer into the PhD program, discuss this with your supervisor after your first year's grades are available. Students who do not transfer within 16 months of first registering will be expected to complete a Master's degree.
You'll need to prepare a short transfer report which describes your research so far and presents what is expected to be achieved in the PhD program. The report is due to your supervisory committee two weeks before the scheduled date of the exam.
Format of the exam
You'll be invited to make an oral presentation (approximately 20 minutes) on the transfer report. There will be a 20 to 40 minute question period to be sure you reasonably understand what is to be done in the program. The transfer examination is open only to faculty members and the supervisory committee.
The supervisory committee will discuss your academic and research progress and reach an immediate decision regarding transfer. If they decide that this is successfully completed, they will advise the department's graduate adviser who will recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that the transfer take place.
The transfer exam is a document presented to your committee in the 4th semester of the program for transfer from the Master's to PhD level of the program. It is meant to inform your supervisory committee on the level of progress so far in your research, and to convince them of your capability of succeeding in completing sufficient research for a PhD thesis if transferred into the doctoral program. It should be 10-15 pages including figures and text; references can be included in additional pages.
Success is evaluated based on:
- Are you capable of performing the necessary research to complete a degree (primarily based on research accomplished thus far)?
- Is the thesis project of the proper scope for a PhD thesis?
- Have you thought through the plan of your future research in enough detail to predict what studies will need to be conducted, why, and to foresee any challenges that may arise?
As the information being conveyed has more emphasis on what you are planning on doing, rather than what you have already accomplished, a proposal format is the most appropriate.
The MSc thesis represents the most important requirement for obtaining the degree. It is a permanent record of the work that has been carried out and must be prepared with great care and diligence.
Since the thesis represents a university publication that is available to other scientists, it must meet the same literary and scientific standards required for publication in a scientific journal. It should meet all the requirements set out in Guidelines for the Preparation of Graduate Theses and Dissertations.
Normally, completion of a MSc degree in chemistry requires 24 to 30 months.