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Medical Science

MSc & PhD

The Institute of Medical Science (IMS) offers stimulating, research-intensive MSc and PhD programs in one of four areas of research: basic sciences, clinical sciences, health systems and services, and population health research. Each stream offers a variety of multidisciplinary studies in fields such as cardiovascular sciences, neuroscience, bioethics, stem cell biology, respiratory medicine, transplantation and psychiatric and brain health. This breadth is also reflected in our elective courses - from neuroanatomy to regenerative medicine and cardiovascular science.

Our programs are full-time and offer an immersive graduate training experience. We specialize in multidisciplinary translational research with bench-to-bedside clinical applications. Under the mentorship of one of our world-renowned faculty, IMS students receive specialized graduate training and exposure to Toronto’s finest cutting-edge biomedical research. Students can also participate in numerous Graduate Collaborative Specializations that provide more opportunities to develop multidisciplinary research skills and collaborations.

Our Programs

In addition to completing a thesis, students take 2.0 FCE*:

  • MSC 1010H (MSc Seminars in Translational Research, 1.0 FCE)
  • modular courses (two courses at 0.25 FCE each)
  • elective course (1.0 FCE)

Students successfully finish this program in 2 years.

In addition to conducting independent and original research that will form their
thesis, students complete 2.0 FCE:

  • MSC 1011H (PhD Seminar Series in Translational Research, 0.5 FCE)
  • modular courses (0.25 FCE each)**
  • elective (1.0 FCE)

Typically, students successfully complete this program in 5 years.

Alumni Profile

Alaa Youssef

Alaa Youssef, PhD

During my graduate training I developed many transferrable skills such as understanding research problems and identifying research methodologies,gathering evidence, problem-solving, collaborating with teams, and most importantly, communicating  and learning from others. I apply these skills, today, studying organizational readiness to implement and use artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare to promote diagnostic excellence in patient care.

My training in mixed-method research well-positioned me to investigate how organizational processes and policies influence technology adoption and integration in clinical workflow. Moreover, the plethora of extracurricular opportunities during my graduate training allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills, enabling me to build collaborations and lead educational initiatives in my current position.

My advice to all prospective students is to enjoy your graduate training in all its highs and lows. Get to know your lab, mentors and research team very well. Most importantly, try to engage and meet other people, push yourself out of your comfort zone by building connections and seeking advice when needed; you will be surprised by how inspiring and illuminating people’s research and career journeys can be.

Potential Career Paths

In 2016, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) tracked the career outcomes of 10,000 PhD students who graduated from the University of Toronto between 2000 to 2015. The data below is from 489 medical science graduates.


Some examples of the positions our medical science graduates held included:

  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Scientist
  • Clinician Scientist


Some examples of employers for whom our medical science graduates worked included:

  • The University of Toronto
  • University Health Network
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • St. Michael's Hospital

The chart below shows a breakdown of the various sectors in which our medical science PhD graduates worked at the time the survey occurred.

Main Employment Sectors of Medical Science PhD Graduates

Chart data

Post-Secondary Education Private Sector Public Sector Charitable Sector Individual Sector
280 55 126 22 6

By the Numbers

Number of current PhD students.
Number of current MSc students.
Average class size (electives).

Institute of Medical Science

Learn more about our programs in medical science.

*Full course equivalent. A typical 0.5 FCE is over one term (13 weeks), meeting 1-2 times per week. A typical 1.0 FCE is over two terms (26 weeks), meeting 1-2 times per week.

** For full details, please refer to the Institute of Medical Sciences degree requirements webpage.