Transferring from Master’s to Ph.D. program

Transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D. program: 

Note: Transfer from Master’s to PhD within a unit must now be completed within the first 4 semester in the Master’s program.  Please refer to the latest version of the Biological Sciences Supplemental Regulations (section 5.1.3).

Students who have not completed a Master’s program may transfer to the Ph.D. program within the same department upon recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies by the student’s major department. The transfer must be complete within 4 semesters (counting the summer) of the student’s commencement of the Master’s program. The coursework completed in the Master’s program would normally become a part of the Ph.D. program, and the number of years spent in the Master’s program would be counted as years in the Ph.D. program. Students must complete at least 12 credit hours of coursework (including the two core courses; BIOL 7100: Core Skills in Biological Sciences Research and BIOL 7220: Critical Thinking in Biological Sciences), all of which must be at the 7000-level. If the transfer occurs within 12 months of the initial registration in the Master’s program, the student will be assessed Ph.D. fees for 3 years. If the transfer occurs after 12 months, the student will be assessed Ph.D. program fees for 2 years (as they will have already paid fees for the Master’s program). Students are cautioned that such transfers may impact on the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship duration. The request to transfer from the Master’s to the Ph.D. program must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies during the term prior to the start of the PhD (which must occur by the end of the 4-semester deadline).

The process from the supplemental regulations:  

Prior to the deadline to apply for the PhD, the student must write a research proposal with a minimum of direct assistance from the advisor. This proposal should demonstrate the student’s potential to do independent research, the depth and breadth of conceptual undertaking by the student as required for Ph.D.-level research, and demonstrate the student’s understanding of the most relevant literature. The proposal must be approved unanimously by the student’s advisory committee, and the committee must also voice its unanimous support for the transfer.

Once the proposal has been approved, the student applies for admission to the Ph.D. program by submitting an application to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, evaluated by the Dept. of Biological Sciences Graduate Studies Committee as well as the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  The student must include a letter from the supervisor acknowledging that the advisory committee has approved the proposal and recommends the transfer to the Ph.D. program.

Timeline of the process:

The transfer to the PhD program must be completed within 4 semesters of starting the Master’s program.  That means the student should be IN the PhD program by the beginning of the 5th semester. Application deadlines must follow the regular deadlines for admission to the PhD program. See the online admissions deadline dates for domestic and international students. As there are only 3 application periods per year, the reality is that after 15 months, the process should be complete to stay within the 4 semesters.  Example:  If you started on Sept. 1st, 2019 then the end of the 4th semester is December 2020. But to have an entry start date in January 2021 (the beginning of the 5th semester) which completes the process, you need to apply in the previous October 1st 2020. These deadlines essentially mean you need to have your committee meeting and present your proposal to your committee prior to the beginning of the 4th semester when an application for transfer to the PhD is due online (i.e., within 13 months of starting the MSc).