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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences MDCV
Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences MDCV
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room 341B
Program number: 403.210.6689
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based

Faculty members within the MDCV program hold academic appointments in Biological Sciences, Cardiac Sciences, Cell Biology and Anatomy, or Physiology and Pharmacology. Faculty members are typically affiliated with the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, but may also be members of other research institutes within the Cumming School of Medicine.

2. Admission Requirements

All MSc and PhD students are considered full-time. In exceptional circumstances part-time status may be considered and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

In addition to requirements outlined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine, applicants to the MDCV program will be expected to meet the following criteria:

a) A minimum admission grade point average over the last two years (minimum 60 units or 10 full-course equivalents) of 3.30 ("B+") on a four-point scale or equivalent.

b) Applicants will have completed a four year Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent.

c) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test), or 105 (Internet-based test), a minimum IELTS score of 7.5, or a minimum MELAB score of 86, or a minimum PTE score of 75.

d) Applicants to the MSc program are required to submit two reference letters and two corresponding reference forms. Applicants to the doctoral program are required to submit three reference letters, and three corresponding reference forms. References must follow the reference guidelines posted on the MDCV program’s website for prospective students.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of required documents for international applicants:

April 1 for September admission
August 1 for January admission
December 1 for May admission
February 1 for July admission

Deadlines for submission of required documents for domestic applicants:

June 1 for September admission
October 1 for January admission
March 1 for May admission
May 1 for July admission

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit for previous course work is usually not given. For additional information, see “Medicine Programs”.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the requirements described by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine, the MDCV program requires that:

a) The minimum academic course requirement is normally 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) for the MSc and an additional 3 units (0.5 full-course equivalent) for the PhD program. At least one course for the MSc program and two courses for the PhD program should be from the list of recommended MDCV graduate courses.

b) Students holding a completed BSc degree entering the PhD program are required to successfully complete a minimum of 9 units (1.5 full-course equivalents).

c) Students holding a completed MSc degree in the same area of study entering the PhD program are required to complete a minimum of 3 units (0.5 full-course equivalent) provided that a minimum of 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) were completed during their MSc program.

d) Students transferring from the MSc program to the PhD program are required to complete a minimum of one additional 3 units (0.5 full-course equivalent).

e) Students holding a completed MSc degree in an unrelated field of studies entering the PhD program are required to complete a minimum of 9 units (1.5 full-course equivalents) unless otherwise agreed by the student's supervisory committee.

f) Students attend the seminar and journal club series organized by the student’s affiliated research Institute (e.g. Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, etc.) and arrange to present at least one research-in-progress seminar annually. Students are also required to participate in the monthly MDCV student seminar program, which will include an annual presentation.

The amount of course work to be undertaken is determined by the student’s supervisory committee; however, it also must meet the minimum requirements of the program.

6. Additional Requirements

Research Integrity Day is a Research Ethics session offered several times each year. All graduate students in the Cumming School of Medicine are required to attend Research Integrity Day in the first year of their program as part of their course requirements.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit may be given for courses taken below the 600 level. At least one half of a graduate student’s course work must be at the 600 level or higher. Students may receive credit for completing a course numbered 500-599 providing that the course is recommended by the supervisory committee and approval is received by the program director.

8. Time Limit

See “Medicine Programs”.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The selection of a graduate supervisor must be by mutual agreement between the student and the faculty member concerned and approved by the MDCV Graduate Director. The supervisor will be a member of one of the recognized research institutes within the Cumming School of Medicine (e.g. Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Snyder Chronic Disease Institute, etc.). Every graduate student must have a supervisory committee named no later than three months after the appointment of the permanent supervisor. The final composition of the supervisory committee must be approved by the MDCV Graduate Director.

10. Required Examinations

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the program requires:

Candidacy Examination

Doctoral students must pass an oral candidacy examination. Specific details of the examination format and other candidacy requirements can be found at:

Thesis Examination

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

See “Medicine Programs”.

12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance

All students who are accepted into the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Science Graduate Program will receive a minimum stipend. For information on stipend amounts visit Students are encouraged to apply to external agencies for financial support and studentship awards. Students in the MDCV program are also eligible to apply for University of Calgary Scholarships (see Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar). Possible sources of financial support are listed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website:

Students in the program are eligible to receive a Tuition Reimbursement to assist them with tuition costs while paying full program fees. The amount of the scholarship varies from year to year, and is dependent on available funds.

14. Other Information

For information on individual course requirements, please visit the graduate program’s web page at

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Faculty members and their research interests may be found at