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Chemistry

Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

Chemistry

Location

  • Department of Chemistry
  • Otto Maass Chemistry Building
  • 801 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC H3A 0B8
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-6999
  • Fax: 514-398-3797
  • Email: graduate [dot] chemistry [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.chemistry.mcgill.ca

About Chemistry

Research in Chemistry

Members of the Department are organized into various research themes. Some of the current research interests are listed below, and are presented in much more detail on the Departmental website at www.chemistry.mcgill.ca.

Analytical/Environmental

The Analytical/Environmental Thematic Research Group at McGill is involved in a wide range of exciting fundamental and applied research with focus on: state-of-the-art instrumental development in spectroscopy; imaging; chemometric and analytical bio-spectroscopy; artificial intelligence; ultra trace sampling; state-of-the-art atmospheric kinetics and photochemistry; thermochemical, box, and cloud modelling; as well as the development and application of state-of-the-art numerical models of the chemistry of the regional and global atmosphere. Our collective research has direct implications in fields such as materials, environmental, and biomedical chemistry.

Chemical Biology

The Chemical Biology Thematic Research Group is engaged in a diverse range of research topics, which span structural biology, enzymology, nucleic acid research, signalling pathways, single-molecule biophysics, and biophysical chemistry of living tissues. Among the themes that unite the research being performed in this group is the attempt to learn new chemistry and physics from biological systems.

We have projects relating to pharmaceutically relevant enzymes such as those involved in drug metabolism and antibiotic resistance; development of therapeutic agents in the control of inflammation, cancer and viral infections; the chemical biology of NO; quantification of bioenergetic markers of metabolism; self-assembly mechanisms of the HIV-1 virion capsid; liposome microarray systems to address membrane protein dynamics and recognition; studies on reactive oxygen species translocation across the aqueous/lipid membrane interface; RNAi/antisense technologies; dynamic combinatorial chemistry; protein dynamics and function; mechanistic aspects involved in cellular adhesion and transport in membrane and zeolite channels; and cutting-edge microscopes used to examine transport, motility, and reactivity in cells.

Chemical Physics

The research interests of the members of the Chemical Physics Thematic Research Group are diverse, with groups focusing on high-end laser and NMR spectroscopies, kinetics and modelling of atmospheric chemical reactions, experimental and theoretical biophysical chemistry, polymers at interfaces, and statistical and quantum mechanics. In the field of biophysical chemistry, single molecule spectroscopy is being used to probe enzyme function as well as DNA recombination and repair. Our recent advances in image correlation spectroscopic techniques now allow researchers to precisely follow the macromolecular dynamics in living cells. In a similar vein, breakthrough ultra-fast electron diffraction experiments have opened the window to real-time observation of the making and breaking of chemical bonds. State-of-the-art multi-pulse femtosecond spectroscopy experiments are being applied to interesting and technologically important new materials such as photonic crystals and quantum dot superlattices. A molecular-level picture of polymer dynamics and structure at surfaces and interfaces is being developed through theoretical modelling, high-field solids NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and other surface characterization methods. In the area of atmospheric chemistry, the chemical transformation of the atmosphere is being modelled both experimentally and theoretically to understand how these processes are currently affecting and driving climate change. Finally, we have basic theory projects relating to the experimental work just described, as well as in transport and structure in complex colloidal or zeolite systems, protein dynamics, and fundamental issues in quantum and statistical mechanics.

Materials Chemistry

The chemistry of materials is a rapidly evolving domain of research. Materials chemistry seeks to understand how composition, reactivity, and structure are related to function from a molecular perspective. The functionality of materials is expressed in a variety of areas including photonics, micro- and nano-electronics, biosystems, nanotechnology, drug delivery, catalysis, polymer science, molecular biology, and chemical and biological sensing. Activities of the Materials Chemistry Thematic Research Group are often broadly interdisciplinary. University-wide synergies among members of this group have led to the creation of the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials (MIAM) and the McGill Nanotools Facility. The latter comprises state-of-the-art micro/nanofabrication, atomic manipulation and high-performance computing facilities. MIAM and members of the Chemistry Department have established research that links the Centre for Self Assembled Chemical Structures, the Centre for Biosensors and Biorecognition, the Centre for the Physics of Materials, and the Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research. Synthetic approaches to new materials include research in dendrimers, polynucleic acid architectures, polymers that conduct electrons or light and biopolymers. Polymer and colloid science figure prominently as does research and applications of the chemistry and physical properties of nanostructures. There is significant activity in understanding directed molecular assembly at interfaces and in the application of sophisticated spectroscopic tools to explore them.

Synthesis/Catalysis

The Synthesis/Catalysis Research Activity Group is a collective to develop the state-of-art catalysts, synthetic methodologies, reaction mechanisms, and synthetic routes for organic chemicals, natural products, and materials. The following are the major research activities at McGill: (1) Development of novel catalysts and catalytic reactions for highly efficient organic synthesis; Green Chemistry. This includes the study and discovery of novel transition-metal catalysts, biological catalysts, nano- and dendrimer-based catalysts for synthetic purposes; new chemical reactivity such as C-H activation, asymmetric catalysis and theory, multi-component reactions and combinatorial chemistry; innovative chemistry in alternative solvents such as water, sub-critical water, ionic liquids, and liquid CO2; photocatalytic reactions, reaction mechanisms, and physical organic chemistry; and computational chemistry. (2) Synthesis of biological compounds, organic materials, and natural products. Focus areas are total synthesis of natural products, synthesis of DNA and RNA analogues; synthesis of antiviral and anticancer nucleoside analogues, synthesis of amino acid and peptides; synthesis and study of carbohydrate derivatives; design, synthesis, and study of speciality organic chemical and materials.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Chemistry (Thesis) (45 credits)
Please consult the Department for more information about this program.
Master of Science (M.Sc.); Chemistry (Thesis) — Chemical Biology (45 credits)
This program is currently not offered.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Chemistry
Please consult the Department for more information about this program.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Chemistry — Chemical Biology
This program is currently not offered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

Chemistry Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

The minimum academic standard for admission to research thesis degree programs is a minimum standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 or a CGPA of 3.2/4.0 for the last two full-time academic years. Applicants from other institutions should have an academic background equivalent to that of a McGill graduate in the Chemistry Honours/Major programs. If possible, candidates should specify the field of research in which they are interested.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Degrees

Graduate students devote 12 hours per week (contact hours, plus grading of reports, etc.) during the academic session to their teaching duties. Financial assistance during the remainder of the year is provided from research funds. Scholarship holders, such as NSERC or awards of similar value, receive a tuition fee waiver.

Additional Requirements

  • GRE – may be required for international degrees

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Chemistry Department and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: June 1 Fall: March 15 Fall: June 1
Winter: Oct. 15 Winter: Sept. 30 Winter: Oct. 15
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: Applications for Summer term admission will not be considered.

All inquiries concerning graduate work in the Department should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Chemistry.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Location

  • Department of Biochemistry
  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
  • 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler
  • Montreal QC H3G 1Y6
  • Canada

About Biochemistry

The Department of Biochemistry offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs, which emphasize laboratory research. Our research interests include: molecular and cell biology, the regulation of gene and protein expression, signal transduction, protein structure and function, membrane biology, cell death and differentiation, embryonic development, neurobiology, bioinformatics, and many aspects of cancer. Specialized graduate training programs in Chemical Biology, Human Systems Biology (Bioinformatics), Cancer Research/Oncology (http://cancercentre.mcgill.ca/research), and Structural Biology (http://grasp.mcgill.ca) are available. Laboratories are located in the new Bellini Life Sciences Building and Goodman Cancer Research Centre, and the renovated McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, together comprising one of the best-equipped research facilities in Canada. The outstanding quality of our research has been recognized by recent awards including a Gairdner Award, two Killam Prizes, and eight Canada Research Chairs.

Funding

Master's students receive a minimum stipend of $20,000 annually; doctoral students receive $22,000. The Department is committed to helping graduate students secure adequate funding for their research. All students are financially supported either by their supervisor or through fellowships or scholarships. Prospective students are urged to make every effort to secure their own funding. Applications may be made for a variety of fellowships administered by the University or by various federal, provincial, or private agencies. For more information on fellowships and awards, see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website, www.mcgill.ca/gps/funding/students-postdocs.

Departmental Seminars

Visiting scientists and senior doctoral students present their research findings to the Department at a regular seminar series throughout the academic year. All graduate students are required to attend the regular seminars and additional special lectures, and are encouraged to attend scientific conferences and symposia.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Biochemistry (Thesis) (45 credits)
The M.Sc. in Biochemistry introduces students to laboratory-based research at an advanced level. The M.Sc. program offers core courses in advanced biochemistry topics, but focuses on laboratory research. The program provides sophisticated training in the technical as well as theoretical aspects of biochemistry, at one of the leading Biochemistry departments in Canada. The M.Sc. program is an excellent preparation for skilled positions in the biomedical sciences, in industry or the public sector, or for superior research in a Ph.D. program.
Master of Science (M.Sc.); Biochemistry (Thesis) — Chemical Biology (47 credits)

The Chemical Biology Thematic Group is engaged in a diverse range of research topics, which span structural biology, enzymology, nucleic acid research, signalling pathways, single molecule biophysics, and biophysical chemistry of living tissues. Among the themes that unite the research being performed in this group is the attempt to learn new chemistry and physics from biological systems. We have projects relating to pharmaceutically relevant enzymes such as those involved in drug metabolism and antibiotic resistance; development of therapeutic agents in the control of inflammation, cancer, and viral infections; the chemical biology of NO; quantification of bioenergetic markers of metabolism; self-assembly mechanisms of the HIV-1 virion capsid; liposome microarray systems to address membrane protein dynamics and recognition; studies on reactive oxygen species translocation across the aqueous/lipid membrane interface; RNAi/antisense technologies; dynamic combinatorial chemistry; protein dynamics and function; mechanistic aspects involved in cellular adhesion and transport in membrane and zeolite channels; and cutting-edge microscopes used to examine transport, motility, and reactivity in cells.

The Chemical Biology graduate option is centred on the pursuit of an original research project under the direction of one or more mentors. The program is supported by McGill University and by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through its Strategic Training Initiatives program.

The program of training incorporates several important features, including a diverse curriculum and programs of seminars, workshops, and discussion groups designed to provide students with a well-rounded exposure to both the chemical and biological aspects of the discipline. The M.Sc. option provides a foundation in the concepts and approaches of Chemical Biology.

Financial support for students in the program is available from a variety of sources, including competitively awarded CIHR-funded Chemical Biology Scholarship awards.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Biochemistry (Thesis) — Bioinformatics (45 credits)

Bioinformatics research lies at the intersection of biological/medical sciences and mathematics/computer science/engineering. The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics.

M.Sc. level – Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option at the M.Sc. level will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field.

The option consists of a number of interdisciplinary courses and a seminar designed to bring students from many backgrounds together and to provide a thorough overview of research in this field.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Biochemistry
The Ph.D. in Biochemistry trains students in laboratory-based research at the highest level. The Ph.D. program is streamlined to emphasize independent research, and the many areas of biochemistry studied in our Department offer a wide choice of specialties. Students gain in-depth expertise in biochemistry and the biomedical sciences, with the opportunity to carry out research projects at a world-class level and build collaborations with other leading research groups. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are outstandingly prepared for leadership careers in the basic health sciences in industry, the public sector, or academia.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Biochemistry — Chemical Biology

The Chemical Biology Thematic Group is engaged in a diverse range of research topics which span structural biology, enzymology, nucleic acid research, signalling pathways, single molecule biophysics, and biophysical chemistry of living tissues. Among the themes which unite the research being performed in this group is trying to learn new chemistry and physics from biological systems. We have projects relating to pharmaceutically relevant enzymes such as those involved in drug metabolism and antibiotic resistance; development of therapeutic agents in the control of inflammation, cancer and viral infections; the chemical biology of NO; quantification of bioenergetic markers of metabolism; self-assembly mechanisms of the HIV-1 virion capsid; liposome microarray systems to address membrane protein dynamics and recognition; studies on reactive oxygen species translocation across the aqueous/lipid membrane interface; RNAi/antisense technologies; dynamic combinatorial chemistry; protein dynamics and function; mechanistic aspects involved in cellular adhesion and transport in membrane and zeolite channels; and cutting-edge microscopes used to examine transport, motility, and reactivity in cells.

The Chemical Biology graduate option is centred on the pursuit of an original research project under the direction of one or more mentors. The program is supported by McGill University and by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through its Strategic Training Initiatives program.

The program of training incorporates several important features, including a diverse curriculum and programs of seminars, workshops, and discussion groups designed to provide students with a well-rounded exposure to both the chemical and biological aspects of the discipline. The Ph.D. option provides advanced training in Chemical Biology based on independent research.

Financial support for students in the program is available from a variety of sources, including competitively awarded CIHR-funded Chemical Biology Scholarship awards.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Biochemistry — Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics research lies at the intersection of biological/medical sciences and mathematics/computer science/engineering. The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating Bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics.

Ph.D. level – Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option at the Ph.D. level will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field, and have the capability of developing an independent Bioinformatics research program.

The option consists of a number of interdisciplinary courses and a seminar designed to bring students from many backgrounds together and to provide a thorough overview of research in this field.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

Biochemistry Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on the candidate’s academic record, letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, and personal statement. A minimum grade point average of 3.2/4.0 (B+) is required. Once a student has submitted all the required documents, the applicant’s file will be reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. Files that do not meet the minimum requirement will not be considered. Applicants must also be accepted by a research supervisor who is a faculty member or associate member of the Department of Biochemistry. Recommendation for admission will be made once the applicant has secured a supervisor and adequate financial support. Financial support should be in the form of a stipend from the supervisor's research grant or a fellowship held by the student.

Master's Program

Candidates for the M.Sc. degree must hold a B.Sc. degree or its equivalent in Biochemistry or in related disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, physiology, microbiology).

Doctoral Program

Candidates who have completed their M.Sc. degree may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. Candidates who are admitted to the M.Sc. program and who are interested in the Ph.D. may transfer into the Ph.D. program after successfully completing the transfer seminar (BIOC 701) and all course requirements. The M.Sc. thesis requirement is then waived.

International Applicants

Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must submit the following:

TOEFL: Minimum score of 600, or 86 on an Internet-based test with each component score of not less than 20.

or

IELTS: Minimum overall band score of 6.5.

International students who have received their degree outside North America should submit the following:

GRE: Subject Test in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology with a minimum score of 550. (Not required, but strongly recommended.)

Admission Requirements – Chemical Biology Option

As for the regular graduate programs of the Biochemistry Department, acceptance into the Chemical Biology option consists of two steps:
  1. Preliminary approval by the Department's Graduate Admission Committee based on the student's transcript, references, and other documents submitted with the application. The criteria for assessment at this level are the same as for the regular graduate programs of the Department.
  2. Acceptance by a Chemical Biology research director. The director must propose a research project for the student that provides training in the methods and philosophy of Chemical Biology. Project proposals are assessed by the Chemical Biology Program Committee.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

All applicants are advised to contact potential research supervisors during or before the application process since supervisor acceptance is required. Information about the research interests of faculty members can be found at www.mcgill.ca/biochemistry/research and www.mcgill.ca/biochemistry/about-us/department/faculty-members.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Agreement of a faculty member to act as Thesis Supervisor and to provide adequate financial support
  • Acceptance by a Chemical Biology research director (for Chemical Biology option only)

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Department of Biochemistry and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: June 1 Fall: March 15 Fall: N/A
Winter: Oct. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: N/A
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 21, 2014).

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