Queen's University
Prospective Students

Degrees and Requirements

Master's of Science Degree (M.Sc.)

  • A research thesis which demonstrates that the candidate is capable of original and independent work.
  • The equivalent of 12.0 credits to be determined in consultation with the graduate student’s supervisor and the advisory committee. One of these courses shall be NSCI 800* Current Concepts in Neuroscience (See Graduate Courses).

Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.)

  • A research thesis, describing original research conducted by the candidate.
  • Some courses may be required by the student’s advisory committee to prepare the student for the comprehensive examination (see below), which all Ph.D. candidates are required to successfully complete, and/or to provide additional formal training in a particular area of research. Students who enter the Ph.D. program from another discipline may be required to take NSCI 800* and/or an equivalent.

A comprehensive exam is comprised of both a written exam and an oral exam. The student will have four contiguous weeks to complete the written component of the exam. An oral exam, based on the four questions, will be conducted normally within 3 to 5 days (no more than 14 days) of submitting the written exam.


Acceleration into a Ph.D. program without completing the Master’s thesis is reserved for students who meet the following criteria:

  • Must have completed at least one term, full time, and completed at least two graduate course, or equivalent.
  • Must complete all course requirements for both the Masters and Doctoral degree (if applicable) prior to graduation.
  • Should have an undergraduate honours degree with a minimum B+ standing or equivalent.
  • Must have an overall A average in completed graduate courses.
  • Must demonstrate exceptional promise and ability at research. Evidence of exceptional progress in research such as, for example, first authored papers in peer-reviewed journals or first authored abstracts of presentations at national or international meetings. Letters of support from faculty familiar with the student’s progress.
  • Must apply to Division following one term of enrolment (4 months) and prior to the end of the fifth term of study (20 months). All requirements for completion of the mini- master’s must be satisfied by the end of the sixth (6th) term.