Physiology

Program Overview

The Department of Physiology offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Research ranges from the gene level to the organism level in areas including endocrinology and diabetes; reproduction endocrinology; fetal physiology, pregnancy, and parturition; neuroendocrinology; cardiorespiratory regulation; gastrointestinal motility; sensory physiology; motor control; brain development and aging; ionic channels and synaptic transmission; excitability, ultrastructure, and plasticity of the brain.

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:

1-Jun-2020

MSc, PhD:

15-Feb-2020

Supporting documents deadline MSc, PhD:

15-Jun-2020

MSc, PhD:

28-Feb-2020

Minimum admission average MSc:

A– in the last two years

PhD:

A-

MSc:

A– in the last two years

PhD:

A-

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? :

Yes

:

Yes

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

After

MSc, PhD:

After

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

Yes

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:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years full-time; 5 years direct-entry

MSc:

6 sessions

PhD:

4 years full-time; 5 years direct-entry


Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program provides advanced training in physiology, with an emphasis on gaining experience in conducting research using modern experimental methods under the direct supervision of a member of the department’s graduate faculty. Students will complete coursework, attend and give presentations of scientific work, submit a written thesis based on original research, and defend the thesis at an oral examination. It is not required that the thesis work be published or represent a finished research project, but it must show the student’s mastery of specific techniques, their application to a specific problem, and a scholarly understanding of the research subject. Through this program, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of physiology and its current scientific literature. They will learn and practise scientific skills of critical thinking, devising research questions, and communicating scientific ideas orally and in writing.

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Admission is based on academic record, an essay summarizing background strengths and scientific aims, a curriculum vitae (CV), and at least two confidential letters of reference.

  • Applicants must have an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with an average of at least A– in the last two years of study and with courses such as biology, biochemistry, calculus, organic and physical chemistry, general physics, and physiology.

  • Physical-science-stream students from undergraduate programs in physics, mathematics, engineering, and other sciences are encouraged to apply to the MSc program.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • Internet-based TOEFL: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Other English proficiency tests are acceptable. Please consult the Physiology website for departmental standards.

Program Requirements

All students are required to:

  • Take 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​​0.5 FCE in PSL 1000H0 MSc Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 0.5 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

  • Select courses in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details.

  • Complete and defend a research thesis acceptable to the graduate department.

  • Do one of the following within 12 to 18 months in the MSc program:

    • ​​​Write and defend an MSc thesis and graduate.

    • Write and defend a thesis and go on to the PhD program.

    • Transfer from the MSc into the PhD program. Transfer is encouraged for students who have made substantial progress in their research and have demonstrated the desire and potential to meet the requirements of a rigorous research training program. Such students will have fulfilled all course requirements for the MSc with at least an A- average and have demonstrated potential for publication of their work. There must be a clearly identified program for future research that continues, or is consistent with, work already underway. Too large a project for the MSc is not a reason for transfer to the PhD.

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years full-time

** Students may begin in Fall, Winter, or Summer.



Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD degree is an advanced research degree. Upon its completion, graduates are expected to function as independent research scientists. Students will complete coursework, attend and give multiple presentations of scientific work, and demonstrate the ability to carry out research of publishable quality as evidenced by a written thesis based on original research and an oral defence of the work. Through this program, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of physiology and its current scientific literature. They will develop and practise scientific skills of critical thinking, devising research questions, understanding experimental design, techniques, and analysis, and communicating scientific ideas orally and in writing.

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

 

PhD Program (Following Completion of an MSc)

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Admission is based on academic record, a statement summarizing background strengths and scientific aims, a curriculum vitae (CV), and at least two confidential letters of reference.

  • Students may be admitted into the PhD program after completion of an appropriate MSc degree program with an average of at least A– from a recognized university. Students with excellent research experience are encouraged to apply.

  • Applicants should have taken courses such as biology, biochemistry, calculus, organic and physical chemistry, general physics, and physiology.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • ​​​Internet-based TOEFL: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Other English proficiency tests are acceptable. Please consult the Physiology website for departmental standards.

Program Requirements

  • Students must take 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses in which an average standing of at least A– is maintained, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​0.5 FCE in PSL 2000H0 PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 0.5 FCE in PSL 1066H0 Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all PhD students in physiology

    • 1.0 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

  • Up to 1.0 FCE can be claimed from the student's MSc program completed in another department or university, subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details.

  • The recommended completion time for the doctoral program is approximately four years, by which time the candidate will write and defend a research thesis, first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years**

Time Limit

6 years

** Students may begin in Fall, Winter, or Summer.

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

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Students may be admitted via transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program in Physiology. Transfer from the MSc into the PhD program is encouraged for students who have made substantial progress in their research and have demonstrated the desire and potential to meet the requirements of a rigorous research training program. Such students will have fulfilled all course requirements for the MSc with at least an A– average and have demonstrated potential for publication of their work. Students with excellent research experience are encouraged to apply. There must be a clearly identified program for future research that continues, or is consistent with, work already underway. Too large a project for the MSc is not a reason for transfer to the PhD.

Program Requirements

  • Students must take 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses in which an average standing of at least A- is maintained, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​0.5 FCE in PSL 2000H0 PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in PSL 1066H0 Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all PhD students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 1.0 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

    • Students who transfer from the MSc program in Physiology may claim up to 1.0 FCE from the MSc program in Physiology.

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details of course requirements.

  • The recommended completion time for the doctoral program is approximately five years from the start of the MSc, by which time the candidate will write and defend a research thesis, first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

** Students may transfer in Fall, Winter, or Summer.

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 Physiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission is based on academic record, a statement summarizing background strengths and scientific aims, a curriculum vitae (CV), and at least two confidential letters of reference.

  • For exceptional students with an A– standing in appropriate courses taken during the two preceding undergraduate years, direct entry into the doctoral program is possible. However, this will require specific approval by the Graduate Studies Committee. Students with excellent research experience are encouraged to apply.

  • Applicants should have taken courses such as biology, biochemistry, calculus, organic and physical chemistry, general physics, and physiology.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • ​​​Internet-based TOEFL: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Other English proficiency tests are acceptable. Please consult the Physiology website for departmental standards.

Program Requirements

  • Students must take 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses in which an average standing of at least A– is maintained, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​0.5 FCE in PSL 2000H0 PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 0.5 FCE in PSL 1066H0 Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all PhD students in physiology

    • 1.0 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details.

  • The recommended completion time for the doctoral program is five years, by which time the candidate will write and defend a research thesis, first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

5 years**

Time Limit

7 years

** Students may begin in Fall, Winter, or Summer.

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



Arturo Reza Ugalde

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Arturo Reza Ugalde
PhD Candidate, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
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