A Master’s degree is expected to take two years, although faster progress is encouraged. The MSc degree requires a combination of coursework and research for a total of 30 credits. 12 credits of coursework are taken, with the remaining 18 credits being thesis research.
At least 9 of the 12 credits of courses must be at the 500 level but the remaining 3 credits may be at the 300-400 level. Coursework is initially set through consultation with the student's supervisor, but the supervisory committee may also have suggestions. 3 credits of Directed Studies (ZOOL 500) may be taken.
Master’s students must obtain a minimum of 60% in any course to be granted pass standing, but only 6 credits of pass standing are counted towards the master's program. For all other courses, a minimum of 68% must be obtained. If a student repeats a failed required course, a minimum mark of 74% is required. A student whose grade does not improve by repeating the course or taking an alternate course may be required to withdraw from your graduate program. For more information, visit: grad.ubc.ca/current-students/managing-your-program/satisfactory-progress-masters-students.
Students have considerable flexibility in their choice of courses including graduate and senior undergraduate courses in Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Fisheries, Genetics, Conservation, and Earth and Oceans Sciences, as well as several other departments. Students may also design their own courses in the form of "Directed Studies" supervised by a faculty member other than their supervisor.
M.Sc. students are also required to conduct research towards their degrees. Although research conceived independently of the student’s supervisor is encouraged, the minimum requirement for the M.Sc. degree is to successfully complete directed research. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to provide a suitable project that can be completed within two years.
The project should be of publishable quality, but need not extend beyond the equivalent of a single paper and may constitute part of a larger body of work.
Consult the G+PS pages for further information on thesis preparation: grad.ubc.ca/current-students/dissertation-thesis-preparation
At the end of their two year program, MSc students are expected to complete an oral defense of their Master’s thesis.
Please keep in mind that your program will not be closed until the final submission instructions have been completed. If you're aiming for a particular completion date/graduation, give yourself about a month between the oral examination and your target deadline. After revisions and after the final submission paperwork and dissertation have been submitted and accepted, G+PS will close your program about 1-2 weeks.
And remember to apply for graduation! Graduation happens in May and November of each year. You can apply for graduation even if you haven’t defended yet (but you won’t be approved to graduate without having completed all your requirements so check the Deadlines page for when your program requirements should be completed for a specific graduate ceremony).