Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

The program of study in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology provides a curriculum of courses and a broad-based multidisciplinary approach to research in mechanisms of disease leading to MSc and PhD degrees. The program emphasizes the development of analytical technologies, the application of basic research techniques in biochemistry, cell biology, clinical biochemistry, experimental pathology, genetics, immunology, and molecular biology to the study of mechanisms of cell and tissue injury and the pathogenesis of disease. The program also emphasizes the nature, mechanisms, therapy, and prevention of microbial diseases in humans, as well as the processes by which pathogenic microbes are spread.

For more details, refer to the alphabetical listing of all the graduate programs offered by the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto.


Master of Science (MSc) – Program Requirements

  • original thesis
  • 0.5 FCE: LMP 1404H
  • participation in ongoing seminar course LMP 1001Y, including at least one presentation
  1. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.
  2. Students who have not previously completed LMP 1404H Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease, or an approved equivalent, will be required to take this course in the first year of their program. Students exempted from LMP 1404H will take a departmental half-course as a substitute. The student's advisory committee may recommend additional courses.
  3. Students must enrol and participate in a credit/no credit course, LMP 1001Y Graduate Seminars in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, which must be taken throughout the program (attendance is mandatory).
  4. Students are expected to attend the departmental weekly Monday Guest Lecture Series immediately following the student seminar course LMP 1001Y (50% minimum attendance required).
  5. A thesis is completed under the direction of the student's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee.
  6. The duration of the MSc program is usually 18 months. Within 12 to 18 months of entry, students will be advised by their committee to do one of the following: write a thesis on research completed, transfer to the PhD program, or withdraw from the program.
  7. The research content of the MSc thesis is expected to generate the equivalent of one paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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Doctor of Philosphy (PhD) – Program Requirements

  • original thesis
  • 2.0 FCE, including LMP 1404H
  • participation in ongoing seminar course LMP 1001Y, including at least two presentations
  1. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.
  2. Doctoral students with an MSc degree in the Life Sciences are expected to complete their PhD degrees within four years of registration in the program. Students who reclassify from MSc to PhD are expected to complete their degrees within four years of transfer to the PhD program. Short extensions for good cause may be permitted at the discretion of the Graduate Coordinator.
  3. Students who have not previously completed LMP 1404H Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease, or an approved equivalent, will be required to take this course in the first year of their PhD program. Students exempted from LMP 1404H will take a departmental half-course as a substitute. In addition to LMP1404H, all students are required to take the equivalent of three graduate half-courses and the ongoing credit/no credit seminar course, LMP 1001Y (attendance is mandatory). These courses must include at least one half-course in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. With the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, students may take for credit one graduate half-course outside the area of Life Sciences; this half-course should have relevance to the student's PhD research program and career path. Students who successfully transfer to the PhD program are required to complete their course requirements by the end of the second year (after transfer). Those who enter directly into the PhD program must complete their course requirements by the end of year three, however, it is highly recommended that courses be completed in the first two years (the continuing seminar course excepted). A high priority is placed on focusing the latter half of the program on research only.
  4. Students who take additional graduate courses during the MSc program in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and who continue their graduate studies in the PhD program may receive credit for MSc courses towards doctoral course requirements.
  5. It is expected that students attend the departmental weekly Monday guest lecture series immediately following the student seminar course LMP 1001Y.
  6. A thesis is completed under the direction of the student's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee. The student defends the thesis orally first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.
  7. The PhD thesis must demonstrate a substantial contribution to laboratory medicine and pathobiology that involves a systemic investigation of disease-related hypotheses. The standard of work in the PhD thesis must be publishable in both content and presentation. The emphasis is on the quality of the science and its presentation. The PhD thesis is generally expected to be equivalent to three publications in refereed scientific journals.
  8. PhD students are expected to present at least two graduate research seminars in LMP 1001Y prior to their departmental oral thesis defence examination.

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MD/PhD Program

The MD/PhD Program at the University of Toronto, offered jointly by the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies, provides highly qualified students the opportunity to combine fundamental biomedical research with clinical training. A limited number of selected students may enter the MD/PhD program subject to admission into both a department PhD program and the MD program. A four-year bachelor's degree is required for admission to the MD/PhD program. Students in a Master's program or in their first-year of medical school are also eligible to apply.

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Collaborative Programs

MSc and PhD students may enrol in the following collaborative programs:

Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Toxicology
Cardiovascular Sciences*
Developmental Biology
Genome Biology and Bioinformatics (PhD students only)

Musculoskeletel Sciences
Neuroscience
Resuscitation Science

* Up to two of the JCV half-courses from Cardiovascular Sciences (JCV3060H, JCV3061H, JCV3062H or JCV3063H) may be credited toward the course requirements of the PhD program in LMP.

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