Departmental Graduate Courses

For any questions regarding courses please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Karl Cottenie or the Graduate Program Assistant, Lori Ferguson.


Many students first think of the development of “a thesis” as the product of their successful graduate education, rather than a key part of its genesis. A thesis is a conjecture, or a proposition supported by evidence. But where do theses come from in the first place? What are the relationships, if any, among a thesis, a hypothesis, and a research question? Knowing, as early as possible in the program, what research questions and hypotheses will guide the development of the proposal is key to efficient literature searching, and organizing background material. This course will explore scientific philosophy, critical thinking, and using the Web of Science and other tools to search literature. The key communication skill to be developed in this course is scientific writing, through critiques of existing literature and proposals, including students' own work. Secondarily, students will practice oral skill development through interactions with peers and faculty. Bi-weekly topics will comprise, minimally, readings of a few selected papers and a “hands on” exercise relevant to the topic. The class meetings will comprise facilitated discussions arising from the readings and exercises. The final product of this course, for each student, is a Draft Thesis Research Proposal ready for dissemination to the Thesis Advisory Committee.


Special Topics courses

'Special Topics' courses are taught by different faculty each year and the focus will vary from year to year. Each course offering will be identified as a section with its own title. This information will appear on your transcript, and this will allow students to participate in multiple offerings for these courses, since they will be identified as different sections, covering different course materials. Please contact the graduate secretary for information about which faculty are teaching these courses in a particular year. You may have to approach the assigned faculty to discuss what topics they will cover and how, to make your own plans. You can also take a look at previous course outlines


Advances in Integrative Biology - Dr. John Fryxell, Coordinator

  • IBIO*6070 Advances in Integrative Biology I [0.50] - Offered in Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 - Form

  • IBIO*6080 Advances in Integrative Biology II [0.50] - Offered in Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 - Form

'Topics in' courses are typically undertaken as individual research projects or customized reading courses taken under the supervision of a faculty member who is not your thesis advisor. You can also take a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate course with an additional component that warrants its designation as a graduate course. You can explore thesis-related topics in this type of course as a complement to your thesis research. Seek the advice of your thesis advisor for appropriate faculty to approach for particular topics of interest to you.  


Other Graduate Courses Offered in the College of Biological Science