Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD Program

Students may take a PhD program in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis on aspects of Reproductive Biology; Developmental, Cell and Tissue Morphology and Biomedical Toxicology/Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Wherever appropriate, students are encouraged to integrate the methodologies of more than one of these fields in their research project. The PhD program is research-oriented and provides instructional opportunities and experiences that are intended to develop the student's ability to formulate hypotheses and to design and execute experiments, or to conduct observational studies.

Admission Requirements (PhD)

Students entering a PhD program must show evidence of a potential for independent, productive and original research. Admission to a PhD program generally requires the completion of an approved MSc program by thesis, a minimum "B+" average in the prescribed courses taken during the Master's degree program and strong recommendations from referees based on a sound knowledge of the student's strengths and weaknesses. In addition, a short statement of the applicant's research interests and career goals is required. In those cases where the student is continuing her or his PhD program in an area related to the MSc program, the student will be expected to clearly explain how the PhD program represents a significant advance over that of the MSc program. In exceptional cases, where a candidate has demonstrated excellence in academic work and an extraordinary ability to plan and initiate original research, transfer to a PhD program without completion of the MSc program may be recommended; this transfer must take place before the end of the fourth semester in accordance with University regulations. There is an option for direct admission into a PhD program, however, approval must be obtained from the Board of Graduate studies (see section II, 'General Regulations' page 4 of the PDF Graduate Calendar) Students may be admitted into the Fall, Winter or Spring semester.

Application Process

Faculty Advisors:

A Faculty Advisor is mandatory before you can be admitted into any of our programs.  You should begin contacting Faculty doing research in your particular area of interest to determine if they are taking on new students, prior to applying.  You should begin contacting Faculty early to avoid disappointment.  A list of Biomedical Sciences faculty can be found here: Biomedical Sciences Faculty

Please note: If you are interested in applying to the MBS Program, you can have a Faculty Advisor from the Pathobiology or Population Medicine Departments. If your Advisor is from a Department outside of the Ontario Veterinary College, you will be asked to have a Co-Advisor from within the Department of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Requirements (PhD)

The PhD program offers opportunities for students to become investigators in veterinary and human-health-related sciences. Students will be expected to demonstrate the originality and skill needed to contribute to the knowledge base in a manner that transcends the mere acquisition of data. All students are required to present departmental seminars (one per annum). Students must also successfully complete a qualifying examination. Details of the qualifying examination which includes written and oral components can be found on this page. Successful completion of the qualifying examination is a prerequisite for continuation in the PhD program. The advisory committee is required to evaluate the student's research productivity periodically and to report on the student's progress to the Department Graduate Program Committee each semester in which the student is registered.

The PhD program culminates in the preparation, presentation and defence of the thesis, which contains a substantial component of original research. Preparation and defence of an acceptable thesis based on research data and hypotheses generated during the duration of the study are the main criteria used to assess the satisfactory completion of the PhD program. In addition the student must meet the Department’s minimum scientific communication requirements. The minimum scientific communication requirements are two manuscripts which must at least have been submitted to a scientific journal prior to the student graduating with their PhD degree. One of these manuscripts must be based on the student’s PhD research project and the student must be the first or senior author on this manuscript. The second manuscript may be either an original research manuscript or a review manuscript. The student is not required to be the first author on this manuscript but the manuscript must be generated during the student’s tenure as a PhD candidate (i.e. the manuscript cannot be based on work performed while an undergraduate student or work presented in an MSc thesis). Students transferring from the MSc program to the PhD program can use any publications generated while enrolled in the graduate program of the Department of Biomedical Sciences. If these requirements have not been achieved, written justification must be provided to the Department of Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Committee outlining the reasons why these requirements have not been achieved. The Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Committee will provide a written response outlining the decision of the Graduate Program Committee to either grant or reject the request that the defence proceed even though the minimum scientific communication requirements have not been completed.


Qualifying Examination (PhD)




Contact Us

OVC Graduate Programs Services

Heather Hamilton, Graduate Program Assistant
Stewart Building #45, OVC, Room 2509

Ext. 54780 /