Masters Program by Thesis

Time Limit:

6 terms (2 years) from an Honours BSc degree.

The number of terms specified in these time limits apply regardless of whether the student is registered full-time or part-time.

Students who run over their time limit may not be guaranteed financial support.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she has completed all the requirements and written his/her thesis within the time limit (six terms for a MSc).


Students must successfully complete at least four one-term graduate courses, two being CHEM 784(0) (Research Literature Review) and CHEM 794(0) (MSc Seminar), and submit and defend an acceptable thesis.  One of the remaining graduate courses must be taken within the Department of Chemistry, the other may be taken through other departments within their registered University or students may request transfer credit for courses taken from another University to meet the course requirements. Students are advised to consult with their supervisor in the selection of courses.


Admission Standards

The minimum academic requirement for admission to the (GWC)2 MSc program is an upper second-class (B+) honours bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in Science from a recognized university.  Strong emphasis is also placed on the letters of recommendation received in support of the student’s application.  Students from foreign countries where English is not the language of instruction are also required to prove their proficiency in English through a TOEFL or IELTS exam.  GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Subject Test scores are not required.


All graduate courses in GWC2 have final examinations, unless prior to the start of the course, the course instructor has proposed an alternate rigorous method of assessment to the Director. Although the overall method of evaluation is left up to the individual professors, general monitoring has shown the method of assessment to include assignments, a mid-term and final examination.  All graduate courses are evaluated by the students each semester with respect to the course content and to the performance of the professors.  These evaluations are kept on file in the Centre Office and are made available to the instructors for their information.

MSc Research Literature Review (CHEM 784(0)) and Seminar Requirements (CHEM 794(0))

In CHEM 784(0), students will learn how to use multiple resources to search and vet scientific literature relevant to their own research. Based on this literature, students will write a review paper (about 25 typed pages in length) in which they present and explain scientific concepts and methods, the up-to-date state of research, and the open questions that are relevant to their research field, including reasons and methods for undertaking further studies.  Students will subject excerpts of their writing to peer review, will participate in peer review of others’ writing, and will learn to improve their scientific writing through this iterative feedback process. Preparation of graphic content will be addressed similarly.  This course has a hybrid delivery of in-person lectures, online assignments, and independent study. The material of the review will be further developed, presented and defended in the CHEM 794(0) MSc Research Seminar.

The objectives of the CHEM 784(0) requirement are to encourage MSc students to learn to use scientific literature at an early stage of their program, to stimulate in-depth thinking about the basis of their thesis research, and to develop their peer network and communication skills.

CHEM 784(0) is a required one term course for all full-time graduate students who are enrolled for an MSc degree starting from Fall 2020; students must complete the requirements for CHEM 784(0) within their first two terms in the program and are strongly encouraged to take this course in their first term.  CHEM 784(0) is offered in Fall and Winter terms.

MSc Research Seminar (CHEM 794(0))

In CHEM 794(0)) students will prepare a NSERC-style written summary of proposed research and a research seminar presentation. The written summary (maximum 1 page) with accompanying bibliography (maximum 1 page) outlines the reasons for undertaking the thesis research, surveys the relevant literature concisely, and presents a detailed methodology for carrying out the research.  The proposal is subsequently presented and defended in the course seminar.

The objectives of the CHEM 794(0) requirement are to encourage the development of research and public speaking skills so essential for scientists.  It involves the proposal development, presentation and defence in a public seminar, together with attendance at, and participation in, the critical evaluation of analogous seminars presented by their peers.

CHEM 794(0) is a required one term course for all full-time graduate students who are enrolled for an MSc degree; students must complete the requirements for CHEM 794(0) within their first two terms in the program.  Please note that CHEM 784(0) is to be taken before (preferably) or concurrent with CHEM 794(0).

To reward strong performances in seminar presentations, a prize of $200 is awarded annually on each campus of the Centre for the best Masters and Doctoral seminar.

MSc Thesis

Students are required to seek out the advice of the Advisory Committee during the preparation of the thesis and provide them with a copy of the thesis to the Advisory Committee before it is submitted to the Examining Committee.  The Advisory Committee should be given approximately two weeks to review the thesis. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with each member of the Advisory Committee to make sure to allow for sufficient time for the Committee to read and comment on the thesis. Once the Advisory Committee agrees that the thesis is ready for submission a date for the defence can be set.

To reward strong performances in seminar presentations, a prize of $200 is awarded annually on each campus of the Centre for the best Masters and Doctoral seminar.