The program information below is valid for the fall 2022 term (September 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Acceptance into the Accelerated PhD Program

The Accelerated Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) allows students registered full-time in the Master of Science (MSc) program to transfer directly into the PhD program without completing the MSc degree (note that this option is applicable to all three of the Physics PhD programs). An MSc student can request the acceleration up to 3 full-time terms after initial registration. A request to accelerate can only be made once. The Supervisor and Advisory Committee will consider whether the request for acceleration to the PhD is appropriate and desirable. Funding must be available to support a PhD thesis project.

The student must show the potential for independent research necessary to complete a PhD. The Supervisor and Committee must support the request and the criteria that will be used to assess that potential for the accelerated PhD are:

  • A preliminary research proposal that is appropriate for the PhD and is acceptable to the committee, the Graduate Officer and the Director.
  • Completion of at least 2 graduate level courses and a grade of at least 80% in each.

Degree requirements

Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)


Students in the Accelerated PhD program will need to complete the course work requirements of both the MSc and PhD degrees, a total of 6 one-term graduate courses. 3 of the core courses including 1 of PHYS 701, PHYS 704 or PHYS 706 will have been taken by the end of the first year of the PhD program. Biophysics students in the PhD program are required to take 1 core course which must be 1 of PHYS 701, PHYS 704 or PHYS 706.

Academic Integrity Workshop

This is a milestone requirement for all full-time students. Part-time students are not required to complete this workshop. This is a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property which will be offered to all new incoming graduate students within the Faculty of Science during the first term of each Fall and Winter.

Note: students will be required to complete both the Academic Integrity Module as a required course along with the Academic Integrity Workshop milestone. The Module will appear on the student's transcript as a course. The Workshop will appear on the student's transcript as a milestone.

PhD Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Examination Milestone will be considered complete when students have successfully completed their Qualifying Examination which must occur by term 7 (which includes their MSc terms) of their Accelerated PhD program. Note: Additional information on the PhD Comprehensive Examination is available on the PhD in Physics program page.

PhD Thesis

An acceptable thesis on an advanced research topic must be submitted. The topic of the thesis and the quality of the research will be such as to merit publication in reputable scholarly media. Detailed specifications of the format of the thesis are available from the appropriate Graduate Office.

Acceptance of the thesis requires satisfactory completion of a Final Oral Examination.

Department of Physics and Astronomy website