Apr 22, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Degree of PhD (Cell Biology) [Graduate]

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of ★9 in graded graduate courses and a thesis.


  • Students are required to enroll in CELL 671  in their first full academic year.
  • Students are required to enroll in CELL 672 .
  • A minimum of two graded courses must be selected from the 500- and 600-level CELL courses, to be chosen in consultation with the student’s Graduate Supervisory Committee.
  • Registration in CELL 545  is recommended.
  • Addition or substitution of courses outside the CELL courses will require approval by the Cell Biology Graduate Program Committee
  • It is expected that students attend all Departmental seminars.


  • Registration in 900-level THES.
    PhD students must prepare and successfully defend a thesis acceptable to their Doctoral Thesis Examination Committee, presenting the results of original research conducted by the student. Students must submit a thesis for preapproval by the supervisory committee prior to submission to the examination committee

Candidacy Exam

Students in the PhD program must pass a candidacy exam before 24 months after direct entry into the PhD program or 36 months for students changing program category from the MSc.

Ethics Requirement

All graduate students are required to take at least eight hours of ethics training. There are two required components which total 6 hours:

  • EPR (Introduction to Ethics and Personal Responsibility in the Lab) for 1 hour (Offered through the Department of Biochemistry each September)
  • ESI (Ethics and Scientific Integrity Day) for 5 hours (Offered twice a year by the Faculty of Medicine)

A minimum of two additional hours from these three optional components must be completed:

  • GET (Graduate Ethics Training) for 5 hours (Offered on-line through FGSR)
  • Care and Use of Animals in Research, Teaching and Testing for 1.5 hours
  • Animal Care Certification and Biohazard Approvals for 1 hour

Students are expected to complete ethics training within the first year of graduate studies under normal circumstances.

Residence Requirement

The minimum period of residence is two academic years of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

The time required to complete the PhD program will vary according to the previous training of the applicant and the nature of the research undertaken. Typically, graduate students that change program category from the MSc to the PhD program are expected to complete their studies in five years while those entering the PhD program directly are expected to complete their studies in four years.

The maximum time to complete the PhD program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is six years.