The Biochemistry BSc/MSc Track offers a direct path to a graduate degree for strong undergraduate students interested in research. The track provides an opportunity for continuous laboratory research under the same supervisor, starting in the summer after U2, throughout U3, to early enrollment in the MSc program. Completion of the MSc after one academic year will be possible, faster than the two years expected for a typical MSc.
Honours students intending to pursue an MSc degree can apply to the BSc/MSc Track in the U2 year with the support of a faculty member in Biochemistry. Once accepted, students conduct research in the summer after U2, paid by a bursary from the Faculty of Medicine, or an NSERC summer award. In U3, students complete at least one Honours project (BIOC 462, and BIOC 491 highly recommended). The summer research and Honours projects must be with the MSc supervisor. Acceptance into the MSc program is conditional on maintenance of a strong academic and research performance, but enrolment will be allowed in the summer after U3. Students then have the possibility of completing an MSc degree in four semesters, depending on the progress of research.
Successful applicants will be funded by the Faculty of Medicine for their mandatory summer research ($350/week for 10-12 weeks). However, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for external funding, such from NSERC or CIHR. Students who secure outside funding are not eligible to receive the $350/week funded by the Faculty of Medicine in addition to their external funding, however, should the third-party funding not equal $350/week, the Faculty of Medicine will supplement their funding to equal $350/week for a maximum of 12 weeks.
Requirements for admission
- Minimum CGPA 3.5
- Must be a U2 student registered in an Honours Degree in Biochemistry
- Commitment by a faculty member to supervise an Honours project (BIOC 462 and/or BIOC 491) and conditionally for an MSc degree
- Has secured a summer research position for 10 to 12 consecutive weeks (Note: This will be paid at $350/wk either from the Faculty of Medicine, a summer NSERC award, or from the supervisor; alternatively unpaid research as a BIOC 396 project)
- Successful completion of BIOC 220/320 labs (or being completed)
- Highly recommended – BIOC 491
Application documents required
- Unofficial transcript.
- Letter of intent written by the applicant – must show strong evidence of research potential and interest in graduate studies.
- Letter of reference written by a faculty member - indicating a commitment to supervise a summer research project and conditional acceptance for an MSc. ( Need to be sent directly by the faculty member to carmen.paezmendoza [at] mcgill.ca (Carmen Aimee).)
- One additional letter of reference – optional – research or otherwise.
Send all application documents in PDF format labelled BSc-MSc_lastname_firstname by January 25th to carmen.paezmendoza [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Biochemistry%20BSC%2FMSC%20Track) (Carmen Aimee Paez.)
Applicants will be considered for a limited number of summer bursaries from the Faculty of Medicine ($350/wk for 10-12 weeks), with selection by mid-February.
The supervisor must state in the application letter whether the student should still be accepted into the BSc/MSc Track if funding is not awarded from Faculty of Medicine or NSERC, and if so, how summer research will be supported (for example, pay from a grant, or credit for a BIOC 396 project)
Conditions of acceptance for the MSc
- Shows strong research performance during summer following U2 and strong academic (minimum CGPA 3.5) and research performance during the U3 academic year
- Successfully completes BIOC 462 and/or BIOC 491 Honours Research Project (6 credits)
- Completion of BIO 462 and/or BIOC 491 must be with the potential MSc supervisor
The regular MSc application process and admission requirements will be followed.
Once in the MSc program, for possible promotion to the PhD program, students will follow the same Timeline as those starting in the Fall semester.