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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G329
Program number: 403.220.8306
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

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

All master’s thesis and doctoral students are considered full-time. In exceptional circumstances part-time status may be considered and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.


  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunopharmacology
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
  • Epidemiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Cumming School of Medicine graduate programs require:

Master of Science

  • BSc degree or equivalent

Doctor of Philosophy

  • MSc degree, or relevant master’s degree, recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, or transfer from MSc program, or, in exceptional cases, BSc degree or equivalent.

In addition, the Gastrointestinal Sciences Graduate Program requires:

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

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

c) Two references from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic background. Each referee to provide a reference form and accompanying letter on institutional letterhead.

d) Endorsement by the Chairperson, Gastrointestinal Sciences Education Committee (GSEC) that the applicant is acceptable and that adequate supervision of the proposed program is available.

e) Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Applications are ranked according to academic excellence, prior research experience and commitment to the study of gastrointestinal sciences.

f) Students must also have confirmed a faculty member willing to supervise their studies.

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

Students applying to the MD/Masters or MD/PhD program must apply individually to each program and complete a supplementary application to the Leaders in Medicine program.

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants may request to receive credit for previously completed courses at the time of application.

See Medicine Programs for further information.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the Department requires:

a) The completion of a minimum of 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) for the MSc and the completion of a minimum of 9 units (1.5 full-course equivalents) for a PhD. Medical Science 637.01 is compulsory for all MSc and PhD students. Exceptions, can be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

b) A seminar presentation once a year. Exceptions require recommendation by the supervisory committee and approval by the Graduate Program Director.

c) Regular, mandatory attendance at the Snyder Graduate Program Seminar Series.

To qualify for an approved specialization, the supervisor and/or at least one member of the supervisory committee should have expertise in that specialization and the research in the thesis should be largely based in that discipline. In addition, the student should complete graduate course work deemed relevant/required by the supervisor and the supervisory committee for the student to be competent in the specialization.

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.

Contributions to journals, relevant journal clubs and/or seminars are desirable.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

No credit given.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for students in the Master of Science program and four years for doctoral students. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Science program and six years for the doctoral program.

Leaders in Medicine: Expected completion time for the MD/Master’s program is four to five years, and for the MD/PhD program, six to seven years. The maximum completion time is six years for the MD/Master’s, and eight years for the MD/PhD program.

9. Supervisory Assignments

See Medicine Programs.

Students may interview several potential supervisors. The decision to establish a relationship is based upon mutual agreement between the student and the supervisor. Supervisory committees are established based upon the needs of the student and the expertise of the committee members, following discussions between the student and the supervisor. A supervisory committee must be set up no later than three months after the appointment of the permanent supervisor.

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

The general policy of the Gastrointestinal Sciences Graduate Program is that all students shall be full-time and that all students will receive financial support for the entire period of their program.

Graduate students are generally funded by their supervisor’s operating grants, internal awards, and/or external awards. Self-funding is not an option. Possible sources of financial support are listed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies awards database:

Some program awards are also available, dependent on funding. Please see the program website:

14. Other Information

Contributions to journals, relevant journal clubs and/or seminars are an expectation. Please visit the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences Website at for additional information.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Current faculty research interests and additional information of the MDGI graduate program can be found at