Accelerated MSc

Undergraduates...

  • Are you interested in doing scientific research over the summer?

            AND/OR

  • Do you want to get an early start to your MSc in Biochemistry?

The Biochemistry Dept. offers...

Project and Program Details...

Summer Honors Research Project (4483E)

The Dept. of Biochemistry is offering the Honors Research Project in the spring/summer term. This project is separate from the Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Program (BUSRP).

The pre-requisites for the summer research project are Biochemistry 3381A, 3382A, and 3380G with a mark of at least 70% in each. Microbiology & Immunology 3610F or 3620G may be substituted for Biochemistry 3380G. Note that you do not have to be in a Biochemistry Honors Specialization module to do the Research Project in the summer and that in all cases, registration in the summer research project requires special permission. To register, students should take the following three steps:

1. Find a supervisor.  Students should use the department’s webpage of Research Faculty to identify researchers working in areas that interest them. The decision to carry out the research project is made between the student and the supervisor.   Each student should contact potential supervisor(s) (provide a CV and academic record) by the end of March to make arrangements, so they can register for the course by mid-April.

  2. Obtain special permission from  Dr. McLachlin.  Due to the limited number of available positions, special permission is required for all students.

  3. Register for the course.  After you have permission, you can add the course online like any other course. Note that the 4483E summer research project is a for-credit course, and therefore tuition must be paid for the Spring-Summer terms.

The research project will begin on or about May 1 and will include all aspects of the fall/winter term research project, including safety training, oral presentations, and a written thesis. Because of the shortened time-span (16 weeks versus 24 for the fall/winter project), students are expected to spend approximately 20 hours per week in the laboratory.

Students who complete the Year 4 research project in the summer between Years 3 and 4 can elect to continue in a research intensive stream in Year 4 (see Advanced Research Project), or complete their Year 4 requirements in the fall/winter. Although a full course load in Year 4 is recommended (it may be required for admission to graduate or professional programs), you may elect to take fewer than 5.0 courses if you have 'extra' credits.

Advanced Research Project (4999E)

The Advanced Research Project (Biochemistry 4999E, 1.0 credit) is offered in the fall-winter terms. The Advanced Research Project is intended for students who are enthusiastic about scientific research and would like to gain additional experience and/or proceed to the graduate program immediately after completion of their undergraduate studies (see Accelerated MSc). The Advanced Research Project can be conducted in the same laboratory as the Year 4 Summer Honors Research Project, or a different laboratory. An outline of the course is provided below.

Importantly, students enrolled in the Advanced Research Project will be assigned an “advisory committee,” analogous in function to the graduate advisory committees currently in place for MSc and PhD students. The supervisor and advisory committee together will be responsible for providing input into the research program, as well the student’s development as a scientist.

This course (1.0 credit) will provide research skills to prepare students for graduate studies in biochemistry. The major component of the course will involve 12 hours per week of independent research. The course will also include 8 lectures focusing on key aspects of statistics, scientific writing, scientific communication, analysis of the literature and bioethics. The student will also undertake a literature review of the research area and a research seminar.

Accelerated Master of Science (MSc)

The Accelerated MSc makes use of the research experience and results obtained in the Advanced Research Project to facilitate early registration in the MSc program and an anticipated early completion of the MSc. See the comparison of the timeline below for the Accelerated MSc versus the conventional MSc. Note that students in the Accelerated MSc, like their counterparts in the conventional MSc program, have the option to transfer to the PhD program.

Students who have successfully completed the Advanced Research Project will be eligible to enrol in the MSc program for a May 1 start date. The research completed as part of the Advanced Research Project can be used as part of the MSc thesis research. In addition, students who complete a 0.5 credit graduate level course (or an appropriate undergraduate course) in Year 4 will only require an additional 0.5 credit to complete their MSc course work. Thus, the work completed in Year 4 of a student’s undergraduate studies will contribute to the graduate program, and thereby shorten the time for completion.

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Term Month BSc/BMSc BSc/BMSc with Summer Project BSc/BMSc with Conventional MSc BSc/BMSc with Accelerated MSc

 

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Winter, Year 3 Jan to Apr

Course work as required for modular program

Summer, Year 3-4 May to Aug   Year 4
Summer
Research
Project
1.5 credits
  Year 4
Summer
Research
Project
1.5 credits
Autumn, Year 4 Sep to Dec

Year 4 Research Project, 1.5 credits; year 4 courses

Year 4 courses

Year 4 Research Project, 1.5 credits; year 4 courses

Advanced Research Project, 1.0 credit; Graduate Course, 0.5 credit; year 4 courses
Winter, Year 4 Jan to Apr
 

BSc/BMSc Graduation 

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Year 1 May           Registration in MSc
Jun to Aug MSc Thesis Research (continued from Advanced Research Project); Graduate Course, 0.5 credit
Sep Registration in MSc
Oct to May MSc Thesis Research; Graduate Courses, 1.0  credit
Jun to Aug Thesis Writing and Defense
  MSc
Graduation
Year 2 Sep to May      
Jun to Aug Thesis Writing and Defense
  MSc
Graduation