Cell and Systems Biology: Cell and Systems Biology PhD

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program in Cell and Systems Biology trains scientists who will form part of the next generation of independent researchers in cell, molecular, and systems biology. Graduates will be the future high-level teachers, frontier expanders, and decision-makers in these fields of inquiry. 

PhD graduates are expected to emerge from the program as independent and autonomous scientists, producing a written thesis that describes original research that stands as a testimony to their ability to generate publishable, stand-alone contributions to the peer-reviewed scientific literature. As part of their training, PhD students acquire skills in the communication of scientific research (including teaching skills), and acquire broad-based knowledge of the theory and practice underpinning their chosen field.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an MSc degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program; or 3) direct entry following completion of an honours bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Cell and Systems Biology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Students will be admitted only when they have made arrangements to secure a research supervisor by contacting professors in the department.

  • Applicants may be accepted who already hold an MSc degree from a recognized university, with a grade average equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– during the MSc.

Program Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete: 

    • 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) of approved graduate coursework.

    • CSB 1011Y PhD Seminar Series (1.0 FCE, minimum 24 seminars per year).

    • A PhD proposal, which involves three components:

      1. preparation of a written research proposal

      2. presentation to the department and questioning by the public

      3. in-camera questioning by a PhD proposal examination committee immediately following the public presentation.

    • Their proposal examination between 13 and 20 months after the start date of enrolment in their graduate program.

  • Students must submit a thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination conducted by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Applicants may be accepted first into the University of Toronto MSc program and, conditional upon approval by the thesis supervisory committee, may transfer into the PhD program.

Program Requirements

Students must:

  • Be in good academic standing at the end of Year 1.

  • Successfully complete 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) of approved graduate coursework. Those who transfer into the PhD program from the MSc may apply 0.5 graduate FCE towards the PhD course requirements. 

  • Successfully complete CSB 1011Y PhD Seminar Series (1.0 FCE, minimum 24 seminars per year).

  • Successfully complete a PhD transfer examination between 13 and 20 months after the start date of enrolment in their graduate program. The transfer examination involves three components:

    1. preparation of a written research proposal

    2. presentation to the department and questioning by the public

    3. in-camera questioning by a PhD proposal examination committee immediately following the public presentation.

  • Deliver two public seminars in the department based on their thesis research.

  • Submit a thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination conducted by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Cell and Systems Biology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants will be admitted only when they have made arrangements to secure a research supervisor by contacting professors in the department.

  • Exceptional applicants with a BSc degree may be accepted by direct entry into the PhD program, with a grade point average equivalent to a University of Toronto A– or better in the final year of the BSc. Direct-entry PhD candidates should also display evidence of research potential. 

Program Requirements

Students must:

  • Be in good academic standing at the end of Year 1.

  • Successfully complete 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) of approved graduate coursework.

  • Successfully complete CSB 1011Y PhD Seminar Series (1.0 FCE, minimum 24 seminars per year).

  • Complete additional courses if their undergraduate preparation does not include the study of subjects deemed to be necessary for research in the chosen area. The courses will be chosen in consultation with the supervisory committee.

  • Successfully complete a PhD proposal, which involves three components:

    1. preparation of a written research proposal

    2. presentation to the department and questioning by the public

    3. in-camera questioning by a PhD proposal examination committee immediately following the public presentation.

  • Students must successfully complete their proposal examination between 13 and 20 months after the start date of enrolment in their graduate program.

  • Deliver two public seminars in the department based on their thesis research. 

  • Submit a thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination conducted by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years