Department of Biology
200 University Ave. W
Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 32569
Fax: (519) 746-0614
Milestones are program requirements that will automatically appear on a student’s Quest account as ‘In Progress’ (IP) until each has been ‘Completed’ (CR). Program milestones are outlined below. These are in addition to the Course requirements listed under Program Requirements.
Academic Integrity Workshop
The Academic Integrity Workshop is required by all students and is to be completed within the first two terms after arrival at the University of Waterloo. The Faculty of Science Graduate Office will contact you with information when the workshop will be held. Please note that this is separate from the Academic Integrity Module which is listed as a course on your transcript.
The completed thesis proposal body should be no longer than 12 pages of text, not including figures and references, double-spaced with 1 inch margins and size 12 font. Students must submit a copy of their proposal to their supervisor and each member of their advisory committee and one copy (preferably electronic) to the Biology Graduate Office at least one week in advance of a scheduled proposal meeting. Thesis proposals are open to the public.
This requirement must be completed by (at the latest):
For M.Sc. students – the second term of the program
For Ph.D. students (not transfer) - the third term of the program
For Ph.D. transfer students – the second term after the transfer (if not fulfilled at the transfer meeting)
A summary of the regulations can be found in Appendix I: Thesis Proposal Guidelines.
During the course of all Biology Graduate programs, students are required to give a 20 minute seminar based on their research. Two student seminars will be presented on alternate Fridays during the Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms.
Students in the Water program must also complete a Water Research seminar in addition to the Biology seminar.
Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination
Ph.D. students are required to demonstrate a broad general knowledge of their research area by means of a comprehensive oral examination held within 4 terms and completed no later than seven terms from program entry. A substantial portion of the student’s coursework (minimum 2 courses) must be completed before the comprehensive exam can be scheduled. The comprehensive exam committee is appointed and is usually comprised of the advisory committee members, along with additional member(s) with complementary expertise if this is deemed appropriate. An impartial chair will be appointed by the Biology Graduate Office.
The subject matter of the examination must be declared to you in writing no less than 8 weeks prior to the exam. The decision (pass/decision deferred/fail) will be based on your responses to questions in the prescribed area(s). However, it is important to keep in mind that your committee members may question you on broader topics in Biology. In order to continue in the Ph.D. program, you must pass this examination. The form to set up the comprehensive exam is available on the Biology website (https://uwaterloo.ca/biology/graduate-studies/program-information/forms/biology-comprehensive-exam-meeting-request-form) and should be submitted a minimum of 7 weeks before the exam.
Additional details regarding the structure and regulations governing the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination are provided in Appendix II: Biology PhD Comprehensive Exams.
The thesis defence is the culmination of the candidate's research program. It exposes the candidate's work to scholarly criticism by members of the University community and gives the student the opportunity to defend it. Information regarding the examining committee, attendance, and the structure of the defence is available on the Science Graduate website as well as in the Thesis Submission and Defence section.
Revised: March 1/23