MSc to PhD transfer policy

Transfer from MSc to PhD

A graduate student in an MSc program may request to transfer to a PhD program, following discussions with the supervisor. Normally, to be eligible for a transfer, the student must have completed at least all but 3.0 units of the MSc program courses, have a graduate GPA of at least 7.0, submit a Transfer Report, and pass a Transfer Exam. Students who do not transfer within 16 months of their entry in the MSc program are normally expected to complete an MSc degree.

Students who have completed more than 16 months in the MSc program at the time of their transfer exam must submit a letter, signed by the student and supervisor(s) to the Graduate Program Assistant and Graduate Advisor, justifying the late transfer.

A student proceeding to transfer should prepare for distribution to the Supervisory Committee a short, typed Transfer Report (10-15 pages including figures and text; references can be included in additional pages) which describes the research thus far, and presents what is expected to be achieved in the PhD program. The report is due to the Supervisory Committee two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam.

Content of the transfer report

The Transfer Report is meant to inform the Supervisory Committee on the level of progress thus far in the student's research, and to convince the Supervisory Committee of the student's capability of completing sufficient research for a PhD dissertation, and that the proposed PhD program is of the right scope and has been appropriately thought through. As the information being conveyed by the Transfer Report has more emphasis on the PhD plans than on what has been achieved so far, a proposal format is the most appropriate.

Format of the exam

The student will be invited to make an oral presentation (about 20 minutes) on the Transfer Report. The Supervisory Committee will question the student (typically 20 to 40 minutes) to ensure the student reasonably understands the research material, has a satisfactory view of the project's doctoral scope, and has sufficiently developed research skills commensurate with entry level PhD expectations. The transfer examination is open only to faculty members and the Supervisory Committee. The Supervisory Committee will discuss the student's academic and research progress and reach a decision regarding transfer.

If the Supervisory Committee unanimously decides that this is successfully completed, it will advise the Graduate Adviser who will recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that the transfer take place. The student must apply to re-register via the online application system (under type of study, select As a current student transferring to a different degree). The transfer takes effect from the start of the next academic term.

Please speak with the Graduate Program Assistant for more details.