Chapter 4 Degree Requirements

All new graduate students must complete the following as part of their degree requirements:

  1. WHMIS Training
  2. AODA – 800
  3. QACS – 799 (if working with animals)
  4. Lab Safety Training


MSc Anatomical Sciences

The Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen's University offers a 16-month MSc Program in Anatomical Sciences. This program is structured around three pillars of competency (content, pedagogy, inquiry) and designed to educate students in the art of teaching and designing curricula in Anatomical Sciences. This teaching Master’s program spans 16-months and consists of 30 credit units (two 6 credit units and six 3 credit units advanced courses).  All MSc (AS) students must complete and defend a well-written MSc (AS) research project.

Minimum Entrance Requirements & Application Procedure

Candidates will be required to have completed a recognized honours degree with a background in Biology or Health Sciences or the equivalent professional degree (BNSc, BSc, in Physiotherapy, etc.). The minimum entrance average is set at 77% in the 2nd through 4th year of study.

Interested individuals are asked to apply electronically through the School of Graduate Studies and Research at:

NOTE: Please indicate ‘M.Sc. Program in Anatomical Sciences (Teaching Masters)’ under ‘Research Interest’ on your application form.

Application deadline is March 1st. Short listed candidates will be interviewed in April for a September start.

Program Overview: Please see Chapter 7 Graduate Courses for more detailed information

Principles of Teaching and Learning


Advanced Gross Anatomy

Advanced Topics in Embryology

Advanced Topics in Neuroanatomy

Advanced Topics in Histology and Histology Techniques

Independent Studies in Anatomy and Cell Biology/Pedagogy

Curriculum Design


Embalming Techniques

Freeze Drying Techniques

Plastination Techniques

Museum Specimen Production

Electronic Media

Digital Imaging Techniques for Gross Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, and Histology

Lecturing and Demonstrating

Core Faculty:

Dr. Ronald Easteal

Dr. Easteal is an Associate Professor in Anatomy and Cell Biology and has been teaching Anatomy at Queen’s University since 1975. He is a mining engineer and obtained his PhD degree in Anatomy at Queen’s University. Dr. Easteal has introduced many innovative methods in educating students in the field of Anatomical Sciences and has authored/coauthored several learning resources that have been valued by our anatomy students since 2004. Dr. Easteal was the recipient of the 2007 Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award, Queen’s University.

Dr. Leslie MacKenzie

Dr. MacKenzie is Associate Professor and the Director of the Pattern II MSc Program in Anatomical Sciences.  Over the past decade, Dr. MacKenzie has distinguished himself as an outstanding educator in Anatomy. Dr. MacKenzie was the recipient of the 2009 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching at Queen’s University, attesting to his commitment and innovations in undergraduate education in Anatomy.

Dr. Stephen C. Pang

Dr. Pang is Professor and Former Head (1996-2001; 2002-2007) of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Queen’s University.  His research program focuses on the structure and function of the cardiovascular system in health and disease.  More recently, Dr. Pang’s research also encompasses the establishment of polymeric devices for peptide drug delivery (with Dr. Brian Amsden, Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University) and the development of tissue-engineered cartilage for joint repair (with Dr. Stephen Waldman, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University).  Over the past twenty years, he has been actively establishing internet-based learning resources for students and teachers of Anatomy leading to the debut in 2000 of an internet-based learning resource named Scalable Gross Anatomy and Histology Image Catalogue (SGAHIC).  Dr. Pang was the recipient of the 1998-99 Health Sciences Education Award, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University.

Dr. Charles Graham

Professor and Former Head of the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology. His research group studies various aspects of cancer progression and the biology of the human placenta and pregnancy complications. Their cancer studies have led to the discovery of mechanisms by which the local tumour microenvironment contributes to the acquisition of metastatic behaviour, ability to evade immune destruction, and resistance to therapy in malignant cells. Their research on pregnancy aims for a better understanding of how adequate placentation is important for a healthy pregnancy; they also study the role of maternal inflammation in the development of pregnancy complications and how complications of pregnancy contribute to increased risk of disease in later life. Dr. Graham has coordinated the Anatomy and Cell Biology graduate program for several years and also coordinates the graduate field in Reproduction and Development.

MSc Degree Program

The Biomedical and Molecular Sciences MSc requires, at minimum, the completion of 12 credit units at the graduate level.  BMED 860* (3 credit units, Fundamentals of Academic Research) and BMED 897*(3 credit units, Biomedical Sciences Seminar Program) are mandatory courses. Additional required credit units are specified by some of the Field Specialization (see below).  Students may take no more than one 3 credit unit dual-numbered undergraduate course towards their additional credits. Students are encouraged to take additional graduate-level courses, and may be required to do so upon recommendation of their supervisory committee and/or depending upon participation in an interdisciplinary program.

Specific Field Course Requirements in addition to the 6 mandatory units described above:

  • Biochemistry and Cell Biology: MSc students in this field can choose from any BMED graduate courses to complete the remaining 6 credit units of coursework in consultation with the supervisor. It is highly recommended that students take at least one graduate course offered by the Biochemistry and Cell biology field: BMED 820*, BMED 821*, BMED 823*, or BMED 842. Graduate courses offered through other departments may also be taken if approved by the Graduate coordinator in consultation with the Supervisor.
  • Experimental Medicine: MSc students in this field can choose from any BMED graduate courses to complete the remaining required 6 credit units of coursework in consultation with the supervisor.
  • Microbes, Immunity, and Inflammation: MSc students in this field can choose from any BMED graduate courses to complete the remaining required 6 credit units of coursework in consultation with the supervisor.
  • Reproduction and Developmental Sciences: MSc students in this field can choose from any BMED graduate courses covering reproduction and development, or if appropriate other BMED graduate courses to complete the remaining required 6 credit units of coursework.
  • Therapeutics, Drug Development, and Human Toxicology: MSc Students in this field must complete an additional 3 credit units from the Methods Modules (ranging from BMED 862 – BMED 870). In addition, students must complete 3 credit units from one of BMED 813*, BMED 809*, BMED 815*, BMED 853*, or BMED 854*; the specific course will be determined in consultation with the supervisor.  In cases where students do not have the necessary background in core pharmacology, they will be required to pass an examination late during their first year of study. The examination will be based on the content of BMED 840 and 849. In preparation for the examination, students will be able to attend BMED 840 and 849 teaching sessions, and will have access to posted course materials. If they wish, students also may attend MEDS 121 lectures (the Therapeutics course in the MD program). Students who do not pass the exam will be required to take BMED 840 and 849 for credit.

Mini Master's Thesis
A student registered in the M.Sc. program, with an excellent academic record and exceptional ability to perform research, may be accelerated into a Ph.D. program upon recommendation of the department and submission and defense of a 'mini-master's' thesis. It is recommended that a 'mini-master's' should be considered early in the program for students performing at excellent levels.

See Chapter 10 for complete Mini Master’s Guidelines.

PhD Degree Program 

Students with an M.Sc. from a related field will normally not be required to take additional courses as part of the Ph.D.

Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Experimental Medicine, Microbes Immunity and Inflammation, and Reproduction and Developmental Sciences:

No specific additional coursework requirements.

Therapeutics, Drug Development and Human Toxicology:

If not taken during the M.Sc. (or equivalent from another university), Ph.D. students in this field must complete BMED 809*.

Other Requirements:

  • Ph.D. students must develop a thesis proposal within the first two terms of enrolment that reviews the literature and demonstrates the ability to design, conduct, and evaluate experiments and the data that arise from them.  This can be in the format of a powerpoint presentation given during the first mandatory Thesis Advisory Committee meeting.  As well, this information can also be contained in a written document prepared by the student prior to the committee meeting. If a student enters the PhD Program via a mini-MSc transfer, then the PhD proposal requirement will be waived.
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • All Ph.D. students must give an exit seminar prior to their final defence
  • Annual committee meetings
  • Oral and written defence