As per the University's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), M.Sc. students may transfer (fast-track) to the Ph.D. program without completing the full requirements of their M.Sc. degree (i.e., submitting a Master's thesis) by demonstrating both academic and research excellence.

IPN M.Sc. students can take the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination as of their third semester, up until their fourth semester (this does not count summer semesters). In order to be eligible to take the Candidacy Exam, students must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Successfully complete at least one of the core courses (NEUR 630 or NEUR 631);

  • cGPA ≥ 3.5 out of 4.0 at the Master's level; 

  • Approved proposal from the student's Advisory Committee that he/she is an appropriate candidate for Ph.D studies.


Note: Please do not register as an M.Sc. student once you've indicated that you are transferring. 

  1. The student must register for NEUR 700 Doctoral Candidacy Examination in the semester they intend on taking the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination. 
  2. The student must send an electronic calendar invitation on the McGill Exchange System to their supervisor, exam committee members (including external examiner & IPN mentor), with an invitation to the ipn [at] The student will then attach all examination-related documents to this calendar invite. The required documents two weeks prior to the exam are:
    1. Proposal Submission form signed by supervisor & student.
    2. Unofficial Transcript
    3. IPN Progress Reports to date
    4. Exam Poster
    5. Thesis Proposal
    6. Project Management Plan 
  3. If deemed satisfactory, the Advisory Committee will recommend the student to proceed with the Candidacy Exam. 
  4. Once the student receives approval from their Advisory Committee, they must then notify the IPN admissions office (ipn.admissions [at] that they intend on transferring to the Ph.D. program. The office will review the student's file prior to granting the student permission to apply to the Ph.D. program on uApply.
  5. Once the student receives approval from the IPN admissions office, they must then apply for the Ph.D. program on uApply by the application deadline
    1. When submitting their application on uApply, transfer students do not need to pay the application fee and do not need to submit supporting documentation. 
  6. The student must complete and pass the Candidacy Exam by the deadline
  7. All forms are to be electronically submitted to the IPN office (ipn [at] Hard copies of forms are no longer accepted. 


After the Candidacy Exam

Upon successful completion of the Candidacy Exam, the student's supervisor will be asked to complete a new Letter of Understanding. Once this document is received, the student will then receive an offer of admission into the Ph.D. program through uApply. The student is required to confirm this admission offer prior to registering in the program as a Ph.D. student for the following semester. 

NOTE: M.Sc students are given one chance to pass the candidacy exam. If you fail the exam, you will not be permitted to retake the exam and therefore you must proceed with writing the M.Sc thesis.

Tuition & Fees

Transfer M.Sc. students are required to pay their tuition and fees at the M.Sc. level up until the semester they will be entering the program as a Ph.D. student. 

F.A.Q.: "Why am I being charged tuition fees for the summer term?" 

This is because you have completed the required thesis full-time terms of residency for your degree, and are now considered thesis additional session. You are no longer charged tuition, but simply the additional session fee which is the same for all Master's and Ph.D. students, regardless of fee residency. Additional session students are charged fees in all three terms (Fall, Winter, and Summer).


Application Deadlines

Canadian Students Deadline for Application on uApply June 1, 2021
Deadline to complete Candidacy Examination June 30, 2021
International Students Deadline for Application on uApply March 16, 2021
Deadline to complete Candidacy Examination May 12, 2021
Canadian Students Deadline for Application on uApply November 10, 2021
Deadline to complete Candidacy Examination November 25, 2021
International Students Deadline for Application on uApply September 10, 2021
Deadline to complete Candidacy Examination September 25, 2021


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