Surgical and Interventional Science (Surgery, Experimental)

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Surgery, Experimental


  • Surgery, Experimental
  • Montreal General Hospital, Room C9-169
  • 1650 Cedar Avenue
  • Montreal QC H3G 1A4
  • Canada
  • Graduate Program Coordinator: Sharon Turner
  • Telephone: 514-934-1934, ext. 42837
  • Email: [at]
  • Website:

About Experimental Surgery

Experimental Surgery offers graduate-level training leading to an M.Sc. or a Ph.D. degree. At the master's level, in addition to the core program, those who are interested have a new opportunity to choose a concentration in Surgical Innovation, Surgical Education, or Global Surgery. The Experimental Surgery Department is responsible for the administration of the graduate programs and allows excellent opportunities for training under the supervision of professors located in the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre or other McGill teaching hospitals. The scope of the research and close connections with other Montreal research centres and McGill departments provide ample opportunities for collaboration. Research in the Department covers a wide spectrum, including injury, repair, recovery, tissue engineering, transplantation, fibrosis, cancer and stem cell biology, biomechanics, organ failure, surgical stimulation, surgical innovation, education, and evaluative/outcomes research.

A list of research directors and their research topics is available on our website.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.Sc. core program is intended for students wishing to pursue careers in academia, the medical field, or industry. Thesis projects available in the various laboratories of the Department are multidisciplinary and ensure that students are exposed to a broad spectrum of research projects and experimental approaches. Students who have achieved superior progress in their research have the option to transfer to the Ph.D. program, waiving the M.Sc. thesis submission.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis): Digital Health Innovation (45 credits)

The M.Sc. in Experimental Surgery; Digital Health Innovation focuses on the basics of clinical epidemiology, medical artificial intelligence, clinical innovation, and applied data science, including the use and generation of digitized health and social data using specialized software. Fundamentals of current AI applications in medicine, methods to employ big data in clinical tool development, mathematical principals underpinning digital health and big data, and design thinking methodology in clinical innovation. High-volume streams of clinical and health-related data from clinical systems, wearables, and social media.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis): Global Surgery (45 credits)

This concentration emphasizes healthcare needs specifically within the surgical field in resource-limited settings. It comprises three main pillars: research, education, and mentorship. Through extensive research work, students will participate in the design and implementation of innovative approaches in surgical care and injury surveillance, advancing the surgical capacities in low- and middle-income countries. Students will also participate in global surgical endeavours, allowing professionals from partner countries and Canada to engage in a learning and knowledge transfer experience through training and courses. Students choosing this option will have the opportunity to engage in international projects and orient their work depending on their research interest (i.e., health economics, injury epidemiology, etc.) aligned with the Centre for Global Surgery's (CGS) mission.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis): Surgical Education (45 credits)

This concentration provides a foundation in surgical education practice and research. The program highlights the unique teaching and learning environment of surgery coupled with a basis in educational theory, curricular design, and implementation. A major emphasis of this program is surgical educational research with the elaboration, designs, implementation, and analysis of a research project founded in best practices of educational research. The research project may encompass, but is not limited to, surgical stimulation, technical skills acquisition, surgical technology, and assessment.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis): Surgical Innovation (45 credits)

This concentration is intended for residents interested in developing new devices and software solutions for surgical needs, as well as non-clinician trainees with a passion for healthcare technology. The program allows for a hands-on learning experience for students to develop skills necessary to work within multidisciplinary teams in the creation of novel, needs-driven and marketable prototypes used in development of novel surgical and medical devices. As such, participants work in these teams to identify clinical needs and to innovate solutions to them.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Thesis): Surgical Outcomes Research (45 credits)

This concentration offers a graduate-level training program focused on the science of measuring and improving the outcomes of surgical patients. Students in this concentration will complete coursework addressing research methods, biostatistics, and strategies to measure and improve postoperative outcomes. This concentration aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to start a successful career as a surgical outcomes researcher.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Experimental Surgery (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

This is a graduate level training program in fundamentals of modern surgical research. The program is based primarily on academic course work and short projects. It is designed to be flexible and provide students the opportunity to gain knowledge in various surgical core disciplines while allowing training opportunities in more specific areas such as global surgery, innovation, education or as the interest of the students dictates.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Experimental Surgery

The doctoral program is intended for students with excellent academic standing who wish to pursue research-focused careers in academia, the medical field, or industry. Thesis projects, available in the various laboratories of the Department, ensure that students receive in-depth training and exposure to varied conceptual frameworks and a wide array of experimental strategies.

Graduate Certificate (Gr. Cert.) Surgical Innovation (15 credits)

The centre of this graduate program is two innovation courses (EXSU 620 and EXSU 621) delivered by the McGill Department of Surgery. The first semester of the program focuses on team building and, supported by lectures, the students embark on a needs-finding process by observing all aspects of clinical activity in their focus themes. The trainees learn basic prototyping skills, start-up organization, and project management. This is supplemented by a basic statistics course and an introduction to the current status of biomedical research innovation. This certificate then gives a solid non-thesis-based foundation in the innovation process.

Graduate Diploma (Gr. Dip.) Surgical Innovation (30 credits)

The cores of this program are two-fold. Firstly, two innovation courses are offered by the McGill Department of Surgery, Experimental Surgery (EXSU 620 Surgical Innovation 1 and EXSU 621 Surgical Innovation 2) and supporting courses are delivered by the McGill Department of Surgery with some sessions in those courses provided by external partners, Local Industry (Regulatory & IP), the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) (lean start-up), Concordia University (software design), and L'École de technologie supérieure (ETS) (prototyping). Secondly, fundamental business and management courses are taken concurrently provided by Continuing Studies (McGill) and JMSB and reinforce the innovation project team experience.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 29, 2023).

Experimental Surgery Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

M.Sc. Core Program

Usually a B.Sc., M.D., or D.V.M. degree is required, with a minimum CGPA of 3.2/4.0. Applications will be accepted from candidates sponsored by a research supervisor willing to provide laboratory space, funding, and direction for their research work.

M.Sc. Concentrations

Generally a B.Sc. in biological, biomedical, and life science; physical science; computer science; an M.D. degree; or a B.Eng. is required. Exceptionally, on a case-by-case basis, an applicant holding a B.Com.; B.C.L./LL.B.; or B.A. or B.Sc. in humanities and social sciences will be considered. An applicant must have a minimum CGPA of 3.2/4.0.

Ph.D. Program

Admission is usually through one of the M.Sc. programs, either upon completion of the M.Sc. degree, or by transfer from the first year of M.Sc. to the second year of Ph.D. studies, within the Department. Request for such transfer is to be made in writing by the thesis supervisor during the candidate's first year of M.Sc. studies. A candidate for transfer must submit an application to the doctoral program according to normal procedures and deadlines. Transfer is granted on the basis of an examination administered by the student's Research Advisory Committee. Exceptional students with a minimum 3.5/4.0 CGPA may apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

Students with an M.Sc. degree from other departments or from other recognized universities whose M.Sc. topic is closely related to the subject of their Ph.D. research may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program, at the level of Ph.D. 2, at the discretion of the Department. Exceptional students with a master's degree unrelated to their proposed research may be admitted to Ph.D. 1.

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

Generally a B.Sc. in biological, biomedical and life science; physical science; computer science; an M.D. degree; or a B.Eng. is required. Exceptionally, on a case-by-case basis, an applicant holding a B.Com.; B.C.L./LL.B.; or B.A. or B.Sc. in humanities and social sciences will be considered. An applicant must have a minimum CGPA of 3.2/4.0.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Project Proposal
  • Confirmation of Supervisor
  • Letter of Understanding
  • Tuition Assistance

Additional Requirements for the Concentrations in Surgical Education and Surgical Innovation

  • Letter of Intent – A letter of intent from the students describing their reasons for pursuing the concentration of their choice, what their qualifications are, and why they should be accepted.
  • Interview session – Students applying to the concentration in Surgical Education or in Surgical Innovation may be requested to attend an interview session either in person, by phone, or via Skype.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by Experimental Surgery 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

Information on application deadlines is available at

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 2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 29, 2023).
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