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Graduate Studies Calendar 2022-2023 Program Descriptions Chemistry CHEM
Chemistry - CHEM
Contact Information

Location: Science A Building, Room 229
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

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

PhD and MSc programs are available for full-time study only.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Science admission requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

a) Two reference letters.

An appropriate letter of recommendation is one written by an individual who can provide an assessment of the applicant's background and capabilities with respect to our department. An applicant currently registered in a graduate degree program, or who has recently completed a graduate degree program, must request one letter of reference from their program supervisor.

b) For applicants required to prove proficiency in English: a minimum TOEFL score of 97 (Internet-based test), or an IELTS score of 7.0, or a PTE score of 68.

Master of Science

For applicants with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree:

a) A four-year degree or its equivalent.

b) An admission grade point average of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale.

Doctor of Philosophy

For applicants with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree:

a) A four-year Honours degree or its equivalent.

b) An admission grade point average of 3.70 or better on a four-point scale.

For applicants with a Master of Science (MSc) degree:

a) A Master of Science degree recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

b) An admission grade point average of 3.30 or better on a four-point scale.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of complete applications are available on the Future Students website:

Master of Science:

Doctor of Philosophy:

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit for graduate courses taken as an unclassified student, or qualifying student may be given for courses in which the student obtains a grade of “B” or higher.

A reduction in course requirements may be given for students who completed graduate courses at other institutions. This will be determined on program entry and after consultation with the research supervisor and the graduate office.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Science requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Science

a) Nine units at the 500 level or above. Normally a minimum of 6 units will be Chemistry courses.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Twelve units at the 500 level or above, for students entering with a four-year Honours BSc degree or equivalent. Normally, a minimum of 9 units will be Chemistry courses.

b) A minimum of 3 units and a maximum of 12 units for students entering with an MSc degree or equivalent. The number of courses will be determined by consultation between the student, the supervisor, and the Graduate Director.

Students who transfer to the doctoral program will be given credit for courses taken in the MSc program.


The department does not allow copyediting in students' theses.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The Department of Chemistry will allow students to pursue the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) with the exception of Chemistry 601 and 603.

Students may choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will not affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Additional Requirements

Each student must participate in the Department's Chemistry 601 and 603 Research Seminars in each year they are registered in a graduate program.

A Master of Science student planning to apply for a transfer to a doctoral program must notify their supervisory committee at least one month before the committee meeting which takes place at the end of the student's first year in program.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

At least one-half of a graduate student’s course work must be at the 600 level or higher and only where appropriate to a student’s program will graduate credit be given for courses numbered 500-599, which are considered undergraduate courses. In addition to course prerequisites, consent of the department is required.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for the Master of Science degree and four for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Science degree and six years for the doctoral program.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Students are assigned an interim advisor (currently the Graduate Director) upon first registration in a program and must choose a permanent supervisor before the fifth month in program. Students in both the MSc and PhD programs must also choose two additional faculty members to serve as supervisory committee members.

10. Required Examinations


Doctoral students are required to complete written and oral candidacy examinations. Further details may be obtained from the Department’s Handbook of Graduate Studies available at:

The oral examination component will include questions on the research proposal.

Thesis Examination

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
Before an examination can be scheduled, 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.

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

Thesis examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

All doctoral students must successfully complete a written thesis research proposal that is evaluated and approved by the Candidacy Field of Study Oral Examination committee. Further details may be obtained from the Department’s Handbook of Graduate Studies available at:

12. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is normally available to all qualified students in the form of Teaching Assistantships and Trust funded Assistantships. Assistantship funding is not normally available beyond twenty-eight months in a master’s program and fifty-two months in a doctoral program.

For further information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this calendar.