Students without a MSc who apply for entry to the PhD program are normally admitted first to the MSc program. If their progress in the first year is of PhD caliber they can apply to transfer to the PhD program. Also, other students in the MSc program who are making exceptional progress may apply for transfer. A GPA of 3.7 or better on graduate courses is expected of students applying for transfer. In addition, the student should have substantial evidence of research success such as a publication accepted to a well-recognized journal or conference. The supervisor of a student in the MSc program must request that a student be evaluated for transfer to the PhD program.
A Transfer Committee is appointed by the Graduate Director to evaluate the application and make a recommendation. This includes the intended members of the Supervisory Committee should the transfer be approved, together with others knowledgeable in the subject area. The student supplies the Committee with a dossier specifying a research program, and other material supporting the transfer, such as published or submitted papers, technical reports written by the student, draft MSc chapters, and so on. The evaluation for transfer includes a meeting of the committee in which the applicant gives a 15 to 20 minute presentation on the proposed research program, and then responds to questions from the committee members using a format similar to MSc oral exam.
If the Transfer Committee recommends the transfer, it sends this recommendation to the Graduate Committee, which normally endorses it and sends it to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval.