MSc Program

Master Student Requirements

Welcome to the MSc program within the Department of M&I. We have laid out the requirements for coursework, teaching assistantships, and the research expectations for the MSc program below. We expect our MSc graduates to hone their observational, technological, and critical thinking skills while in the program and gain valuable insights and skills that will further their scientific interests and careers. We recognize that everyone’s experiences in the program may be slightly different however we have provided the following guidelines to help you plan your degree.

At the beginning of the fall term complete the Initial Thesis Project form.


Year 1 Milestone


Our Masters program requires students to register for and complete a total of 30 credits: 18 credits thesis course plus 12 credits of course work. An overall average of 80% in course work must be maintained.

Course: 506C (required); Credits: 6
Additional Course(s); Credits: 6
Course: MICB 549 (Thesis); Credits: 18
Total: 30 

Download and review the Full Course List


1.    All Master students are required to take MICB506 in the first September of their program. The Graduate Coordinator will register you. MICB506 runs from September through to May, registering for MICB530 is NOT required as it is included in MICB506.

2.    In consultation with their supervisor, students will choose 2 additional 3-credit courses. These courses can be undergraduate (<500) or graduate (>500) courses.

  • Note: If you intend on transferring to the PhD program you are required to take 9 credits at a graduate level (>500) and achieve >80% in any 9 credits.
  • Note: The student’s set of courses should be listed on the “Initial Thesis Project” form (see forms) and handed in to the Graduate Program Coordinator.

3.    Continual registration in your thesis (MICB549) is required. The Graduate Program Coordinator will do this on your behalf.

  • Note: if the student account is in financial hold than they cannot be registered and they are responsible for registering when their account is settled.

Form a Committee

Committees consist of 2 faculty members plus your research supervisor. One faculty member must be from the M&I Department. Information regarding composition and membership function can be found on the G+PS webpage.

Complete a Committee Report

Committee Reports are due 2 weeks before a committee meeting. A Committee Report template can be found here

Committee Meeting

A committee meeting is a forum to present your work and receive feedback and input from your committee. The minutes from the meeting are documented on a thesis committee report. This report is filled in by your supervisor, signed and returned to the Graduate Program Coordinator. For those students who are considering completing a PhD this meeting is the first opportunity a MSc student has to request a transfer to the PhD program.

Year 2 Milestones


Teaching Assistantships (TAships) are a required learning opportunity for all Graduate students within the Department. A list of TAships commonly available for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology can be found here.

2nd Committee Meeting

This meeting defines your research and clarifies the outline for your final thesis. The second committee meeting is a good time to discuss finishing up your experiments, writing up your thesis, graduation and reviewing the next steps in your career. For those students who are considering completing a PhD this meeting is the last opportunity a MSc student has to request a transfer to the PhD program.

Finishing Your Program

Graduate and Post-Doctoral studies (G+PS) have helpful information on editing, writing, formatting your thesis. Helpful information about writing up your thesis and submiting your thesis?


Career ResourcesGraduate Pathways to Success

Thesis Defence


1. Receive permission to write up your thesis from the supervisory committee

2. Prepare your thesis according to the guidelines as specified in the Faculty of Graduate Studies “Instructions for the Preparation of Graduate Thesis"

3. Submit a copy of your thesis to each examiner at least 3 weeks before the date of your defence

  • Your examining committee will be comprised of 1 member of your supervisory committee and one additional member as chosen by your supervisor (may be but need not be departmental).
  • Your supervisor is the chair person. 
  • You are responsible for arranging the thesis defence date with your examining committee.

4. At the defence, you will make a 20 to 30 minute oral presentation of your research, followed by a 10-20 minute question and answer session. (Master’s thesis defence is NOT public).

5. After the defence, your examining committee will submit a Master's defence form with a pass/fail grade to Graduate Program Coordinator. You must complete all recommended revisions and obtain committee signatures prior to submitting your thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please download and complete the Master’s Thesis ApprovalYour program will be closed after you submit your revised thesis to CIRCLE.