PhD – Guide through our program

When you’re enrolled in the Ph.D. degree program you will have to achieve certain milestones during your studies:

End of first year
Course work completed (if applicable); supervisory committee established and has met once.

End of second year
Comprehensive examination completed.

Maximum time allowed for completing a doctoral degree: six years (can be extended with approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies).

Guide through the program:

While you’re enrolled in our program, you have to maintain registration in MEDI649 (your thesis course).

Supervisory Committee Meetings
Students are obliged to submit their supervisory committee meeting reports (SupervisoryCtteReport) or minutes after each supervisory committee meeting. The policy of the Faculty of Graduate Studies advises students to have a supervisory committee meeting annually.

Student/Director Meetings
All students in their first year must schedule a meeting with our Director as well as fill out the Online Student Annual Report and evaluation forms.  Due to the size of the program, our Director cannot meet with each student annually to enquire about their progress in our program.  Therefore we send out the online Annual Student Report each June – students must fill out these and return to our office the evaluation forms.  Students are obliged to provide the Experimental Medicine Program with this information according to the policies and regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (laid out in their Handbook under the Chapter “Graduate Student Responsibilities”).

Student Research Days
Each June and November the Experimental Medicine Program holds a Student Research Day.
Students will be asked to present a poster or oral presentation once per year. Exceptions are those students who defended their thesis by the date of the Student Research Day. Also, students who presented in the previous Student Research Day are not expected to present.

Choosing a Research Topic
Choosing a research topic and methodology should ultimately be a joint decision among you, your supervisor and your supervisory committee. Initially, however, the determination of a research topic is up to you and your supervisor. Be sure to discuss the research topic early in your student/supervisor relationship.
Admitted to Candidacy means all coursework is complete, the student has passed Comprehensive Exam, and that the Research Supervisor and Supervisory Committee have approved the thesis proposal.


The Faculty of Graduate Studies has worked out a handbook for Graduate Students.

Some Experimental Medicine Program specific amendments are:

Individual Faculty Requirements for Supervision:
The Experimental Medicine Program requires students to find a Research Supervisor before the “recommendation for admission” can be sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. We recommend finding a potential Research Supervisor prior to filling out the online application.

The Supervisory Committee:
The Experimental Medicine Program does not require doctoral students to take courses if they have completed a M.Sc. degree in a related discipline. However, the student’s Research Supervisor or the Supervisory Committee may recommend that the student take additional courses. Also the Faculty of Graduate Studies can require doctoral students to take courses as a condition for admission.


Please see all dates and deadlines for the UBC Academic Year.
Please see all deadlines set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.