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Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Neuroscience MDNS
Medicine, Neuroscience MDNS
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G329
Program number: 403.220.2558
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

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

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the 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 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 reference letters.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of complete applications for students with Canadian and U.S. transcripts:

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

Deadlines for submission of complete applications for international students:

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

4. Advanced Credit

Not given.

5. Program/Course Requirements

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

Master of Science

a) Satisfactory completion of Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience (Medical Science 619.01), and Systems Neuroscience and Neuropathology (Medical Science 619.02) in the first year.

b) Participation in the HBI seminar program and a journal club.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Satisfactory completion of Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience (Medical Science 619.01) and Systems Neuroscience and Neuropathology (Medical Science 619.02) in the first year.

b) Satisfactory completion of another graduate-level course in an area that is pertinent to the student's thesis project.

c) Participation in the HBI seminar program and a journal club.

6. Additional Requirements

As determined by agreement with Supervisor, Supervisory Committee and Program Directors.

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

Not given.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time for students in a master’s program is two years and four years for a doctoral program. See “Medicine Programs” for maximum completion times.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Supervisors must be identified and committed to support the student for the duration of their graduate studies, before admission is recommended. The supervisory arrangement should be by mutual agreement between the prospective student and the faculty member, and approved by the Graduate Program Directors. For relevant criteria and responsibilities of supervisors, see the Policies and Procedures of the Neuroscience Program and the Academic Regulations section in this Calendar. A Supervisory Committee must be struck no later than three months after the appointment of the permanent supervisor. The method of striking, composition and functions of the Supervisory Committee are detailed in the Policies and Procedures document.

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 the “Medicine Programs” entry in this Calendar.

12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to qualified students through supervisor operating grants or competitive awards (a minimum stipend of $21,000 and $23,000 per year is required for MSc and PhD students, respectively). For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar, the Neuroscience Program, the Cumming School of Medicine Research Office and the education section of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at

14. Other Information

Rather than study in “classical” disciplines such as anatomy or physiology, students are placed with a supervisor who is a member of a multidisciplinary research group. This multidisciplinary scheme greatly facilitates the development of individual research programs, especially with respect to collaborations involving different techniques and model systems. Students are encouraged to take advantage of such collaborations to enhance the scope and quality of their thesis research.

The purpose of the graduate program is to educate independent, reliable, and competent research neuroscientists. Although many holders of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees find employment that does not directly involve research, having such degrees implies that an individual is able to pursue a research problem to a meaningful conclusion. The main role of the program is to provide a favourable environment both for creative research and for the acquisition of a basic body of knowledge in the neurosciences. The Master of Science and doctoral degrees are distinguished both in the degree of originality expected in the candidate’s research, and in the normal course load undertaken. Members of the Department of Neuroscience, other than the supervisor, have an important role to play in each student’s training.

Further information on applications and admission, and the research interests of individual Program members can be obtained from the Graduate Program Administrator, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Graduate Science Education, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Room G329, Health Sciences Centre, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1. Faculty research interests can also be accessed on the Neuroscience Program website at or the Hotchkiss Brain Institute website at

Courses in Neuroscience are offered under the auspices of the Department of Medical Science and are listed in this Calendar in the Courses of Instruction section.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

The research interests of the department can be found at either the Neuroscience Program website at or the HBI website at