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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2020-2021 Program Descriptions Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G341A
Program number: 403.210.6689
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address: gigrad@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/programs/gi-im-mid

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.

Specializations:

  • 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 and the Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the program requires:

a) Qualifications

Master of Science

  • Four-year BSc degree or equivalent
  • A minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 (on the University of Calgary four-point system; equivalent to a "B+") based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units.

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, four-year BSc degree or equivalent.
  • A minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 (on the University of Calgary four-point system; equivalent to a "B+") based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units and any master’s course work, if applicable.

b) English Language Proficiency

See Medicine Programs.

c) Immunizations

See Medicine Programs.

c) Additional Requirements

  • Applicants are required to arrange for the submission of two reference letters. References must follow the guidelines posted on the program’s website for prospective students.
  • Students must have confirmed a faculty member willing to supervise their studies.
  • Endorsement by the Graduate Program Director that the applicant is acceptable and that adequate supervision in the proposed program is available.

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.

3. Application Deadline

Application deadlines are available on the Future Students webpages:

Master of Science: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/gastrointestinal-sciences-doctor-philosophy-thesis-based

Doctor of Philosophy: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/gastrointestinal-sciences-doctor-philosophy-thesis-based

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 must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission. Any credit to be given for courses completed will be included in the letter of offer for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5. Program/Course Requirements

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

Master of Science

The minimum academic course requirement is normally 6 units, which is met by: 

  • the satisfactory completion of Gastrointestinal Physiology (Medical Science 637.01) in the first year, and 
  • the satisfactory completion of another 3-unit graduate-level course in an area that is pertinent to the student's thesis project and approved by the supervisor and supervisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy

The minimum academic course requirement is normally 9 units, which is met by: 

  • the satisfactory completion of Gastrointestinal Physiology (Medical Science 637.01) in the first year, and 
  • the satisfactory completion of two additional 3-unit graduate-level courses in an area that is pertinent to the student's thesis project and approved by the supervisor and supervisory committee.

Exceptions require the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

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

Each student is required to participate regularly in journal club and work-in-progress seminar programs organized by the Department, Institute or Research Group to which the student and supervisor belong. The student will present at least one journal club seminar and one work-in-progress presentation per year.

Research Integrity Day and Sex and Gender Training Module

See Medicine Programs.

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 Graduate Program Director.

8. Time Limit

Completion times follow the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations (see Time Limits):

  • Maximum completion time for a thesis-based master’s program is four years. Expected completion time is two and a half years.
  • Maximum completion time for a doctoral program is six years. Expected completion time is five years.
9. Supervisory Assignments

The selection of a graduate supervisor must be by mutual agreement between the student and the faculty member concerned at the time of application to the program and approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Supervisory committees, required for both master’s and doctoral students, are established based upon the needs of the student and the expertise of the committee members, following discussions between the student and the supervisor and approved by the Graduate Program Director. A supervisory committee, consisting of supervisor and co-supervisor (if applicable), plus two additional members, must be set up no later than 3 months after the student's first registration in the program.

10. Research Proposal Requirements

All MSc and PhD students must defend a written research proposal to their supervisory committee. For MSc students, this document must be submitted within 12 months after initial registration in the program. For additional information about the PhD research proposal, refer to: wcm.ucalgary.ca/gse/files/gse/csm-candidacy-examination-process-effective-september-1-2015.pdf.

11. Required Examinations

Doctoral Candidacy

To enter into candidacy, students must: (1) successfully complete all required courses, (2) attend Research Integrity Day (3) have their thesis proposal approved at a proposal evaluation meeting, and (4) successfully complete a Field of Study oral examination. Specific details of the examination format and other candidacy requirements can be found at: wcm.ucalgary.ca/gse/files/gse/csm-candidacy-examination-process-effective-september-1-2015.pdf.

Thesis Examination

All students in thesis-based programs (MSc and PhD) must successfully pass the Final Thesis Oral Examination (see Thesis Examinations). The examination will consist of a public seminar followed by an open oral 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 Examination Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

12. Financial Assistance

See Medicine Programs.