VIII. Graduate Programs
The Department of Plant Agriculture offers a PhD program in the fields of crop management and physiology, crop breeding and genetics and crop biotechnology
The usual requirement for admission into the PhD program is a MSc degree by thesis in a field appropriate to their proposed area of specialization with a minimum 'B' average and supportive letters of reference. On rare occasions direct admission to the PhD program will be permitted to applicants holding an honours baccalaureate degree who have demonstrated extraordinary academic and research capabilities. It is also possible for a student to transfer from the MSc program without completing the requirements for that degree provided the student has an excellent academic record and has demonstrated a strong aptitude for research which can be expanded to the doctoral level. Applicants should submit a statement of research interests, background experiences, and career goals to assist in the identification of a faculty adviser who has the resources necessary to support the thesis research. Students may be admitted into the fall, winter or spring semesters. In some instances (see MSc admission requirements) applicants who already hold an MSc may be required to initially register in the MSc program.)
Transfer from the MSc Program to the PhD Program
Students enrolled in the MSc program who demonstrate exceptional research and academic capabilities may request to be transferred to the PhD program. The request for transfer must be initiated by the student and must be done no sooner than the end of the second semester and no later than the end of the fourth semester.
The major emphasis in the PhD program is on research and the preparation of an acceptable thesis. There are no specific course requirements except for the seminar and colloquia as outlined below. However, it is usual for most students, in consultation with their advisory committee, to select prescribed studies and additional courses in preparation for the qualifying examination and thesis research. The qualifying examination is in two parts (written and oral) and evaluates the student's knowledge of their field of specialization and related topics. The qualifying examination will be taken no later than the fifth semester or seventh semester if the student has transferred from the MSc program or has been admitted directly to the PhD program with only a BSc. In addition, the advisory committee is required to submit a written evaluation of the student's performance in research and the student's potential as a researcher. Upon completion of the qualifying examination, the student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.
Students are required to participate in the Seminar (PLNT*6400). PhD students will complete a second seminar (PLNT*6410) on their thesis research no later than semester 6. In addition, a thesis seminar will be presented in conjunction with the final oral examination and thesis defence. Students are required to participate in two Departmental Colloquium courses offered by the Department. Students are encouraged to participate in the Annual Poster Day sponsored by the Department. The PhD program is completed by the submission and successful defence of an acceptable thesis.