Molecular Genetics

Program Overview

The Department of Molecular Genetics is administered from the Medical Sciences Building and has nearly 100 faculty members whose labs are located within the Medical Science Building, the Best Institute, the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, the FitzGerald Building, the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in Molecular Genetics offer research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.

Students may also be interested in the combined degree program in Medicine, Doctor of / Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD).

See video: Explore Graduate Programs at the Faculty of Medicine.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MSc, PhD:

TBA

MSc, PhD:

TBA

Supporting documents deadline MSc, PhD:

TBA

MSc, PhD:

TBA

Minimum admission average MSc:

B+, both cumulatively and in the final year

PhD:

B+

MSc:

B+, both cumulatively and in the final year

PhD:

B+

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

Yes

MSc, PhD:

Yes

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

After

MSc:

Before

PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MSc, PhD:

Yes

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:

5 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry

MSc:

5 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry


Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program offers research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, a BSc or MD degree or equivalent with excellent academic credentials in molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H, and MMG 1021H.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Defence of the thesis at an oral examination.

  • Students are required to spend 12 months in full-time attendance.

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program offers research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.

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 a BSc, MD, or equivalent 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 Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An MSc degree in Molecular Genetics, or equivalent, from the University of Toronto or another recognized university. As a condition of admission, applicants who have completed their MSc outside of the Department of Molecular Genetics may be required to complete additional course requirements.

  • Normally, an MSc degree or equivalent with wet or dry lab experience related to molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry is required. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Attainment of minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance into the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1031Y0 and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who enter the doctoral program after completing a master's program must spend a minimum of two sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.
 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Transfer applicants must be enrolled in the Department of Molecular Genetics MSc program.

  • Students must have successfully completed MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H0, and must have completed or be enrolled in MMG 1021H0 in order to qualify to transfer to the PhD program.

  • Transfer applicants must successfully complete a reclassification transfer exam within 24 months of being initially enrolled in the MSc program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1031Y0 and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who transfer to the doctoral program from a master's program must spend a minimum of two sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.
 

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 Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Students with a BSc degree, an MD degree, or equivalent may be accepted directly into the PhD program.

  • Normally, a BSc degree or equivalent with academic credentials and wet or dry lab experience related to molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry is required. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Attainment of minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance into the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H0, MMG 1021H0, MMG 1031Y0, and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who enter the doctoral program from a bachelor's program must spend a minimum of three sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

Joseph Bondy-Denomy

“I am interested in viruses existing in nature that specifically infect bacteria.”

Joseph Bondy-Denomy
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Alumnus, PhD (2014), Molecular Genetics​​
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