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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Medical Science MDSC
Medicine, Medical Science MDSC
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G347A
Program number: 403.220.6852
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

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

Students in the MSc and PhD degree programs are normally considered full-time.


  • Cancer Biology
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Mountain Medicine and High Altitude Physiology
  • Joint Injury and Arthritis
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Molecular & Medical Genetics
  • Pathologists' Assistant
  • Physiology
  • Surgery (In co-operation with the Department of Surgery)
  • Medical Imaging (Interdisciplinary)*

* See the Calendar section on Interdisciplinary Specializations for further information.

2. Admission Requirements

Master of Science:

A BSc degree or equivalent.

Doctor of Philosophy:

A BSc degree or equivalent, an MSc degree, or relevant Master’s degree, recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, or transfer from MSc program.

Additionally, both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs require:

a) A minimum overall 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 (10 full-course equivalents). A minimum 3.30 grade point average is also required in courses relevant to the proposed field of study.

b) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in the English language, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test), 105 (Internet-based test), or a minimum IELTS score of 7.5, or a minimum MELAB score of 86, specializations may have additional requirements.

c) Two reference letters.

d) For admission to the Master of Science program with a specialization in surgery, prior admission to the surgery residency program is required. Students will normally apply to the Master of Science program in the third year of the surgery residency program. For admission to the Surgeon Scientist Program prior admission to the Medical Science Graduate Program is required.

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 is not normally given in a thesis-based program. See Medicine Programs.

5. Program/Course Requirements

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

Master of Science

a) A minimum of 6 units at the graduate level (1.0 full-course equivalent).

b) Regular attendance and presentation at a journal club and a research in progress series. Specific training programs may have additional requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) A minimum of 9 units at the graduate level (1.5 full-course equivalents).

b) Regular attendance and presentation at a journal club and a research in progress series. Specific training programs may have additional requirements.

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. See the Graduate Science Education website for details and to register for the Research Integrity Day session.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Graduate credit may be given for one 500-level course (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent) towards the completion of program course requirements.

8. Time Limit

The MSc program must be completed in four years and the PhD program in six years. Average completion time for students is two and a half years in the MSc program and four and a half years in the PhD program.

Leaders in Medicine - Expected completion time is four to five years in the MD/MSc program, six to seven years in the MD/PhD program.

See Medicine Programs for maximum completion times.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Students must have identified a supervisor at the time of admission. In consultation with their supervisors, students select a supervisory committee consisting of their supervisor plus two other faculty members (MSc) or three other faculty members (PhD) within three months of the appointment of the Supervisor. The Graduate Program Director must approve the composition of the supervisory committee. Specializations may have additional requirements.

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

Only full-time students with financial assistance are admitted. Students must be supported either by financial assistance provided by the supervisor (at levels stipulated by the Cumming School of Medicine) or by a fellowship, except for MD holders also enrolled in a clinical training program. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this calendar.

Information and deadlines for Medical Science Faculty of Graduate Studies’ award competitions will be provided throughout the year.

14. Other Information


15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Information about institutes in the Cumming School of Medicine can be found at