Cell and Systems Biology

Program Overview

The Department of Cell and Systems Biology (CSB) offers a master’s program leading to the degree of Master of Science (MSc) and a doctoral program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). CSB is strongly committed to providing excellent graduate programs that train and mentor students in the fields of Cell, Molecular, and Systems Biology. The department fulfils this commitment by maintaining and enhancing a world-class research, learning, and training environment to ensure successful, rigorous, and internationally recognized graduate education and research. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the fields in the CSB graduate programs, exposure to a breadth of research areas and approaches are a key component of the graduate programs.

Graduate students in CSB use state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge approaches throughout their program. This includes participating in the best of functional genomics, genetics, metabolomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, computational biology, cell biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, and physiology research.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MSc, PhD:

11-Feb-2020

MSc, PhD:

4-Feb-2020

Supporting documents deadline MSc, PhD:

13-Feb-2020

MSc, PhD:

6-Feb-2020

Minimum admission average MSc:

B+

PhD:

A-minus

MSc:

B+

PhD:

A-minus

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes (A-minus average required)

PhD:

Yes (A-minus average required)

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MSc, PhD:

Before

MSc, PhD:

Before

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MSc, PhD:

Applicant

MSc, PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MSc:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s

MSc:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s


Master of Science​

Program Description

The MSc program in Cell and Systems Biology provides ideal training for career paths in education, business, and policy where science-based decision-making and the interpretation and transmission of scientific information are becoming increasingly important, particularly in many of the “knowledge-based” economies that are emerging the world over.

The MSc program trains scientists who are well suited to fill this demand. The program’s objective is to provide students with skills in the generation, critical evaluation, assessment, and communication of data so that they are equipped to proceed with further post-graduate degrees, or other career opportunities where such skills are desired.

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.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, with a B+ (or equivalent) average in the final year of the bachelor's program, and a mid-B overall average in the previous year of study.

Program Requirements

  • Complete 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) of approved graduate coursework.

  • Complete the CSB 1010Y MSc Seminar Series (1.0 FCE, minimum 24 seminars per year).

  • Complete a thesis based on a research project.

  • Give a public presentation of thesis research and defend the thesis at an oral examination.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time



​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