The program information below is valid for the fall 2019 term (September 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019).

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.

Graduate research fields

  • Pharmaceutical Discovery and Evaluation
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus (Kitchener campus)
  • Program type 
    • Doctoral
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • A 78% overall standing in a two-year Master of Science (MSc) or equivalent degree, in a relevant field.
    • We expect that most students entering our program will have previously graduated from a thesis based MSc degree. There is a possibility to be admitted to the PhD program in the absence of a thesis based MSc and equivalency will be established on a case-by-case basis. The Admissions Committee however, will require evidence that the student has fulfilled the expected MSc outcomes even in the absence of the MSc degree.
    • Students in the MSc in Pharmacy program at the University of Waterloo may apply to transfer to the PhD in Pharmacy program after their first year in the MSc program but not later than the end of the second year. To be eligible to transfer, the following conditions must be met:
      • The student must have completed at least 2 courses (a total of 1.00 credit units) at the graduate level and have achieved a score of at least 75% in each course.
      • The student must be in good academic standing, including not being on probation or carrying incomplete grades.
      • The student must demonstrate good progress in a research project that the Advisory Committee considers could be expanded to a PhD project.
      • The student must demonstrate superior academic, research and scientific writing and oral presentation skills such that the experience of conducting research, collecting and analyzing data and preparing and defending a thesis at the MSc level could be bypassed. Implicit in this is that the student must demonstrate the necessary potential for research skills and knowledge to successfully complete a PhD.
    • Students must successfully pass PHARM 601 before being recommended for transfer. This course is only available for the first Thesis Proposal taken within the Pharmacy program. If a student has completed PHARM 601 as an MSc Pharmacy student, then credit for PHARM 616 cannot be granted.
    • Enrolment in the PhD program for transfer students will be counted from the date of initial registration in the MSc in Pharmacy program. The student may begin work on the PhD only after the transfer is approved.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

    In their first year, students will establish their Supervisory Committee, begin their coursework and research, and define and present their thesis proposal.

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must complete 3 to 5 one-term graduate-level courses (0.50 unit weight), depending on route of entry into the program.
    • Students can only take 1 ‘Special Topics’ course for credit toward their graduate degree program requirements (e.g. PHARM 608 or PHARM 611).
    • Students admitted after completing the University of Waterloo MSc in Pharmacy degree must complete the following:
      • 3 one-term graduate elective courses (0.50 credit weight). Students who completed PHARM 610 Topics in Drug Development in their MSc program cannot take the course again for credit in the PhD program. Another 0.50 credit weight graduate course from the School of Pharmacy graduate curriculum must be taken instead.
      • Completed by a maximum of 12 terms (four years).
    • Students admitted with an MSc degree from a program other than the University of Waterloo MSc in Pharmacy (or admitted with an equivalent degree to an MSc degree) must complete the following:
      • PHARM 616 PhD Thesis Proposal.
      • PHARM 610 Topics in Drug Development.
      • 1 additional one-term graduate elective course (0.50 unit weight).
      • Completed by a maximum of 12 terms (four years).
    • Students who transferred into the PhD in Pharmacy program from the University of Waterloo MSc in Pharmacy program or who are admitted directly from a BSc degree must complete the following:
      • PHARM 616 PhD Thesis Proposal (BSc direct admitted students only, MSc transfer students will complete a PhD Thesis Proposal milestone).
      • PHARM 610 Topics in Drug Development.
      • 3 one-term graduate elective courses (0.50 unit weight).
      • Completed by a maximum of 18 terms (six years – students should note that the term count continues when they change their program from MSc to PhD so this time period includes any terms completed in the University of Waterloo MSc program).
    • Students must complete all graduate courses with a final mark of 70% or greater and an overall cumulative average of 75% or greater.
    • Among the 3 to 5 courses taken, graduate-level courses from outside the School of Pharmacy curriculum may be accepted toward these requirements if approved by the supervisor, Advisory Committee and the Graduate Officer. The main criterion for acceptance will be gaining knowledge in an area that is outside the background of the student but will benefit their research program. Graduate students and their Advisory Committee must ensure that the course selection reflects a graduate degree in Pharmacy.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • PhD Thesis Proposal
    • The objectives are to encourage PhD students to use the literature to stimulate in-depth thinking about the basis of their thesis research project and to encourage development of their scientific oral presentation skills. It involves the preparation of a written research proposal and oral defence of the proposal. The thesis proposal should outline the reasons for undertaking the project, concisely survey the relevant literature, present a detailed description of the methodology to be used and outline any preliminary results.

    • In their first year, these students will make a presentation of their thesis proposal to their Supervisory Committee and audience including any interested parties so they can receive valuable feedback on their work. The thesis proposal provides the student with an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and depth of knowledge as well as demonstrate an understanding of how their research fits within their broader discipline.

    • Summary of the steps for completion: Step 1: Select examination committee (can be the same as the advisory committee) and set up date for oral thesis proposal defence. Step 2: Prepare written thesis proposal and submit two weeks prior to oral defence to examination committee. Step 3: Orally defend thesis proposal.

    • Students who have taken PHARM 601 MSc Thesis Proposal during a previous MSc degree in Pharmacy cannot take the PHARM 616 PhD Thesis Proposal course for credit (and are not required to take the scientific writing module that is part of PHARM 616) but are required to present and successfully defend a PhD Thesis Proposal to their Graduate Advisory Committee and receive credit for the milestone before proceeding to the Graduate Studies Seminar, PhD Comprehensive Examination, and PhD Thesis milestones.

  • Graduate Studies Seminar
    • This milestone requires students enrolled in the program to attend the School of Pharmacy Research Seminar Series continuously throughout their program. Attendance at 5 seminars each term will be the minimum required for full-time students. Attendance at 2 seminars each term will be the minimum required for part-time students.
    • Reasonable exceptions for not meeting minimum attendance in a term will be granted by the Graduate Officer in cases of illness, unavoidable TA or course conflict, and research conference attendance. Outside employment, experimental preparation, final thesis writing and vacation are not considered reasonable exceptions for attendance.
    • This milestone also requires students enrolled in the PhD in Pharmacy program to orally present their research within the Research Seminar Series or in rare and pre-approved circumstances at an acceptable alternative scientific forum. The milestone will be considered complete when the Graduate Officer has approved the setting (if not the Research Seminar Series) as a reasonable venue for scientific presentation and the presentation in either context has been completed.
    • Students who were admitted to the PhD in Pharmacy program prior to Fall 2014 (1149) and who have already presented at a major national or international conference or acceptable alternative scientific forum may receive approval of completion of this component of this milestone, and will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • Students are required to meet the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements outlined in the “Minimum requirements for the PhD degree” section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (GSAC).
    • In addition to the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements, students in the PhD in Pharmacy program are also required to meet the following requirements:
      • Students with no previous studies at the PhD level must begin the comprehensive examination not later than the end of their fourth term of studies.
  • PhD Thesis
    • Students must submit and defend a thesis, embodying the results of original research.
    • The third and fourth years of the student‘s program are devoted to research, writing, and defending the thesis. In addition to demonstrating the ability to carry out research and teaching at the highest intellectual level, our students will be able to communicate the fruits of that research to a much wider audience than simply those in their particular area of specialty. At the thesis defense, students are required to make a public presentation of their research, which is part of the Program‘s commitment to ensuring the public intelligibility of scholarship.
  • Other requirements 
    • Thesis Advisory Committee meetings: the thesis advisory committee must be formed during the student’s first term.
    • The thesis advisory committee must meet formally to report on the student’s progress, at least annually, according to the following schedule: 1) the first meeting of the thesis advisory committee meeting must be held by the end of the first term; 2) the thesis proposal examination should take place by the end of the second term and no later than the middle of the third term; 3) subsequent general meetings must be held at least annually.
    • The student must submit a written report following each thesis advisory committee meeting.