PhD Program

Fine-tune your expertise

When you enroll in the Department of Pathology’s PhD program, you’re taking a significant step towards a rewarding career in experimental pathology. Not only will you study the essential nature of disease, you’ll also learn a number of experimental approaches and how to design experiments to understand the mechanism of disease.  

A wealth of possibilities

When you’ve finished, you’ll be qualified for a variety of different careers including:

  • an academic research career
  • a research career in industry
  • government advisory consultant

You could also enter a training program for clinical diagnostics certification.

If you have an MSc degree in pathology or another life sciences field, consider applying for our PhD program. Our comprehensive exam and your thesis will ensure you are well-prepared for a career in research.


Pre-requisite for acceptance into this program is an MSc degree in Pathology or other Life Sciences field or an MD degree with research experience.

Minimum requirements will normally include a minimum average of A- in the last year of studies and minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7. Exceptions may be made in special cases, and there are provisions for "special" and "qualifying year" students.

Students entering from a BSc would first enter the MSc program but could transfer to the PhD program before completing the MSc provided that the student had made satisfactory progress and the project had sufficient scope and depth. PhD candidates are required to pass both a written and oral comprehensive examination midway through their programme. Completion of the program requires the preparation and oral defense of the student's thesis describing an extensive original investigation. The typical time to completion for a PhD ranges from 4-6 years. 

Admission to the graduate program is based on an evaluation by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), the departmental Graduate Studies Committee, and on acceptance of the candidate by a research supervisor. Students cannot be admitted until an eligible supervisor has been identified. Students are selected primarily on the basis of their potential for scientific achievement.

It is in applicant's best interest to have a supervisor prior to applying for Pathology. Students cannot be admitted into the Graduate programmes until an eligible supervisor is identified. A list of potential supervisors is available.

Please note that attachments will not be read by the Graduate Studies Committee before a formal application is received. Eligible applicant must supply all required documents with their application.

The application for Ph.D. should include:

  • Completed application form from FGS;
  • Application fee payment required by FGS;
  • CV;
  • Letter of Intent;
  • Letter of Research Interest;
  • Letter of Research Experience;
  • 2 Academic Reference letters;
  • Official Undergraduate Transcripts, received in a signed/sealed envelope from the University/College’s Registrar’s Office;
  • Copy of Graduate Certificate (if graduated); and
  • English Language test score (if applicable).

Application Deadlines

Semester Canadian Applicants International Applicants
September (Fall) June 1 April 1
January (Winter) October 31 August 31
May (Summer) February 28 December 31

Stipends and Tuition

Deptartment of Pathology minimums (effective Sept 2023)
The estimated tuition fees include incidental fees.

Degree level (International/Canadian) 

Tuition fees/year 

International fees (yes/no) 

Minimum stipend 

Doctoral (International) 

~ $8,850 



Doctoral (Canadian)

~ $8,850 



Students that transfer to PhD from MSc may receive a portion of their tuition refunded, as determined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) at time of transfer.

All full-time students are provided health and dental plans. International students are also provided with a basic health insurance plan. However, these plans do cost money and students with proof of sufficient coverage from another source can opt out.

You may be eligible to opt out of the UPass (University Bus Pass) under certain circumstances. To opt out, you must submit your waiver form before the annual deadline. Please refer to the FGS website for more details.