Aug 15, 2022  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2018-2019 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2018-2019 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Biochemistry, Ph.D

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Ph.D Candidates

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must comply with the School of Graduate Studies Regulations for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy. There is no minimum course requirement for the completion of the Ph.D. degree, unless the student’s supervisory committee has made a specific recommendation for additional course work to supplement the student’s knowledge in their area of research. The candidate will be required to participate in the Departmental seminar program and meet at least annually with their Supervisory Committee. All Ph.D. candidates must pass a Comprehensive Examination, consisting of a public Department seminar based on their thesis research, followed by an oral examination by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. The Comprehensive Examination is designed to test students for breadth of knowledge and the ability to integrate ideas. The Comprehensive Examination typically takes place at 18 months after the student has begun Ph.D. studies, with an upper limit of 24 months. Candidates must present a thesis that embodies the results of original research and high scholarship. This thesis must be defended in a Final Oral Examination as outlined in the School of Graduate Studies Regulations for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy.

Qualification Exam

Direct-entry Ph.D. students are required to schedule their first Supervisory Committee Meeting within 6 months of initial registration. Students who enter our Ph.D. program directly with an M.Sc. from another McMaster Department or Institution, or with only a first degree (B.Sc.) are also required to pass the Qualification Exam within 9-12 months following registration. The Qualification Exam follows the guidelines and procedure as outlined for the Ph.D. Transfer Exam and involves a written submission and oral defense of a CIHR-style grant proposal on the student’s proposed doctoral work. Please consult the Program Handbook for additional details related to the Qualifying Exam, available from the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. The Qualification Exam Committee consists of the members of the Supervisory Committee and the Exam Chair, who is appointed by the Program. The outcome of the exam will be Pass or Fail. If the candidate fails the Qualification Exam, The Exam Chair will notify the student whether the written, oral or both parts of the exam were insufficient and in need of a second attempt. The student will be allowed a second opportunity for re-examination, which must be successfully completed within 3 months of the first attempt. Students who entered the program with an M.Sc. Degree who fail their second attempt at the Qualification Exam are required to withdraw from the Ph.D. Program. Students who entered the program directly from a B.Sc. may be given the opportunity to re‐register as a Master’s student, provided that their work to date has met the standards for the Biochemistry Master’s program.

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