Degree Programs & Courses

The department offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science (MSc), Master of Science with specialization in Surgical Education and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Master of Science (MSc)

The time required to complete the MSc program is a minimum of two years dependent on previous training and the nature of the research undertaken. Following one or two years of course work and research, students can apply for a change of program to PhD.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD students are required to take a candidacy exam within two years of the start of their program. The time required to complete the PhD is a minimum of three years to a maximum of six years dependent on previous training and the nature of the research undertaken.

Master of Science (MSc) with specialization in Surgical Education

The purpose of this specialization is to provide graduate students in advanced training in surgical education, with a specific focus on how surgeons are trained for their roles as expert practitioners.


  • MSc program students must complete a minimum of four graduate level courses.
  • PhD program students must complete a minimum of five graduate level courses.
  • MSc with specialization in Surgical Education students must complete a minimum of six graduate level courses.

Mandatory Courses:

  • SURG 530 Directed Reading in Biology and Medicine - Reading and study of topics in biomedical research of relevance to the student's interest under direction of one or more faculty members.
  • SURG 600 Research Seminar - A weekly series of seminars on current research is held during fall and winter terms. Graduate students must attend and make two presentations in this series. This course is taken in the second year of the student's program.
  • MED 650 Fundamentals for Clinical Investigators - mandatory for those in the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) only.

In addition to the above courses, a graduate level statistics course is required for the MSc and PhD; one of the following courses offered by the Department of Public Health Sciences is recommended:

  • SPH 531 Statistical Methods in Health Research - Basic biostatistical concepts and methods used in health science research.
  • SPH 598 Biostatistics I - An introduction to elementary biostatistical methods used to analyze epidemiologic data.

Elective Courses for MSc specialization in Surgical Education only:

One elective course in research methodology, chosen from the following:
• EDPY 501 Introduction to Methods of Educational Research
• EDPY 505 Quantitative Methods I
• EDPY 605 Quantitative Methods II
• EDEL 665 Qualitative Research Methods in Education
• EDPY 604 Mixed Methods Approaches to Educational Research

Two elective courses relevant to their field of study:
• EDPS 521 Learning and Teaching at the Adult Level
• EDPY 615 Program Evaluation
• EDPY 524 Psychology of Technology-based Learning
• EDPY 597 Assessment and Evaluation in the Health Sciences
• EDPY 597 Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum
• EDPY 597 Special Seminars: Philosophy of Teaching
• EDPY 597 Special Seminars: Curriculum studies in the Health Sciences

Additional courses available in the Department of Surgery:

  • SURG 555 Microvascular Surgery - This course reviews the fundamentals of microvascular surgery, and allows supervised instruction in techniques including dissection, vascular anastomosis, mobilization of free flaps of vascularized tissue, transplantation and vein grafts.
  • SURG 570 From Basic to Clinical Immunology - This course will begin with the fundamentals of basic immunology to provide the basis for understanding subsequent clinical immunology lectures. This course is offered in alternating odd/even years only.

Students are encouraged to find the most suitable courses relevant to their specific research interests.

Excellent courses are offered by other departments including: Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Oncology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Contact the program administrator for details. All course work must be approved by the student's Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Education.


Graduate Program Manual