MSc Programs

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) 24 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:

a. Graduate Departmental Seminars: Full-time students attend a minimum of eight (8) seminars each academic year for two (2) years. Part-time students may attend a minimum of four (4) per year.

b. Graduate Student Group Seminars: attend each academic year for two (2) years, and give a 20-30 minute oral presentation in Year 2 of the program.

See the guidelines here

4. Graduate Research in Progress Symposium (GRIP):

a. Present one (1) poster at GRIP during their program.

b. Attend every year.

5. Annual Advisory Committee Meetingmust be completed on or before June 30 of each academic year.

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


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 8 Graduate Departmental Seminars per academic year for two years. Part-time students must attend a minimum of four Graduate Departmental Seminars per year while they are enrolled in the program.

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.

a. Students are required to attend at least 75% of Student Group Seminars each academic year for two years. 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 resources for students and faculty members.

For students:

For supervisors:

Advisory Committee Members
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. The names of the committee members must be recorded on the Advisory Committee Assessment Form and forwarded to the Graduate Office for the Graduate Chair’s approval.

  • 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.

Composition of the Advisory Committee

  • Thesis Supervisor/Co-Supervisor.
  • At least two (2) 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 Assessment Form  must be submitted to the Graduate Office for the Graduate Chair’s approval.

Responsibilities of the Advisory Committee

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 June 30 each year. Exemption: Students who start in January must hold their first meeting before December 31. All subsequent meetings must be held by June 30.

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 and Oral Examination

For more information, please see Thesis and Oral Examination.

Guidelines for Transfer from the MSc to PhD Program

For more information, please see Thesis and Oral Examination.