Fast-Track/Transfer to PhD

Students currently in the MASc program who wish to transfer (bypass/fast-track) into the PhD program prior to completion of the MASc must successfully complete a MASc Bypass ExaminationInterested students are encouraged to discuss the option of transferring with their supervisor(s) as early as possible in their MASc program.

The examination is normally held within the first 13 months of MASc study, and may only be held up to the 16th month of MASc study with permission from the Associate Chair & Graduate Coordinator.

MASc students wishing to fast-track into the PhD must achieve a grade of A- in at least two academic courses prior to transferring into the PhD program, and have completed the relevant seminar courses (CHE300x and CHE2011 or equivalent) prior to transferring into the PhD program.

MASc Bypass Examination Process

(a) Examination Committee Members

The four-member Examination Committee is comprised of:

  • the supervisor(s)
  • two other faculty members, one of whom must be from this Department (determined by the supervisor(s) and candidate), and
  • a Chair, who is appointed by the Graduate Coordinator

(b) Assigning a Chair

The candidate must email the following items to the Graduate Coordinator, who will appoint the Chair or the by-pass examination:

  • a copy of their Abstract
  • the research cluster they are studying in
  • the name of each Committee member

Once the Graduate Coordinator has provided the candidate with the name of the Chair, the candidate should then fix the date and time with all committee members and submit a formal request to hold the MASc By-Pass examination to the Graduate Assistant.

 (c) Distributing Research Report

A summary (20-30 pages is typical) of completed work and proposed research should be distributed to the members of the examining committee at least two weeks in advance of the date of the examination.  Committee members may refuse to participate in the examination if less time is given to review the document. Hard copies are acceptable only (no email submissions are allowed).

 (d) Formal Request for the MASc By-Pass Oral Examination

An MASc Oral Examination Request Form is to be completed and submitted to the Graduate Assistant (WB 216a) a minimum of one week (5 business days) prior to the examination.  Please ensure that a ROSI printout of your transcript is attached to the form that includes your printed name.

The meeting room can be booked by contacting the Departmental Assistant in the main office (WB 217).

(e) Conduct of the MASc By-Pass Oral Examination

(i) Pre Oral Review

At the start of the Oral Examination the candidate will be asked to leave the room while the following procedures are carried out:

  • The Examination Chair will briefly review the relevant Departmental Policies related to the MASc by-pass
  • The Committee will review the length of time the candidate has been registered in the MASc program and examine the eligibility for by-pass
  • The Committee will review the student’s course performance.
(ii) Oral Examination

The candidate will then be asked to enter the room, and the candidate will make a 20 minute presentation on his/her research.

The committee members will then question the student on his/her research.  Student observers may also ask questions. Questions can be on the fundamentals of Chemical engineering and outside the immediate field of the candidate.

At the end of the question period, the candidate and any observers will be requested to leave the room.

This exam also serves as a PhD qualifying exam.

(iii) Post Oral Review

On the basis of the research summary, presentation, and academic standing, the committee may recommend that:

  • the student transfer to the PhD program
  • the student remain in the MASc program
  • there is no option to reconvene the exam
(iv) Transfer Process

Upon successful completion of the bypass oral, students should fill out a Program Transfer Request form which is available on the SGS website, www.sgs.utoronto.ca.  This is necessary for the official transfer into the PhD program.

Students who successfully by-pass into the PhD program are not required to hold a PhD Qualifying Examination during their PhD studies, as the MASc by-pass exam fulfills this requirement.

6.2.10. Unsatisfactory Progress

After each session, the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee will consider the cases of those students who fail one graduate course.  Students who at any time accumulate two failing grades will be required to withdraw unless extenuating circumstances exist.  Students with one failure who are allowed to proceed will have their cases reviewed at a later date.

Students whose research work is unsatisfactory in the opinion of their supervisor, and/or who have not completed the degree requirements after 6 sessions (24 months) may have their progress to date assessed by a three-person committee made up of the supervisor and two faculty knowledgeable in the research area.  The committee has complete authority to recommend the termination of a student’s degree program if adequate progress is not demonstrated.