Required Coursework

A PhD student is required to take 6, one-semester courses during their studies. These have to be 500 level and above. IMPORTANT, all new students, even PhD students, need to take the HGEN 692 core course. I recommend taking this in your first year, since it’s meant as a background information course but also because you’ll have it done and won’t have to schedule other courses you want to take around it. Very popular with PhD students is the “theme course”, which is based on first-come, first-serve registration. Ask the departmental secretary for registration deadlines and when you can be put on the list. This course fills up fast, so act quickly. The reason it fills up fast is because it’s a seminar course with three related topics, one new lecturer per topic. You attend a lecture class, then generally you are given some papers to read, one of which you will present to the class in a short, 15 min presentation. The class is pass/fail. It’s easy, not a lot of work, and you learn a lot. Your SC members will suggest other courses you may want to take, but you can suggest some as well. Mostly you want to take courses that are related to your thesis work. Lastly, you are not restricted to the Human Genetics department for courses, you can take courses from the departments of Experimental Medicine, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Math, Physics, whatever, as long as it is relevant to your research. Make sure you run your choices by Ross Mackay if they’re outside the Department – some courses that you would think would be relevant (ie Writing classes for the Sciences) may not be, and you don’t want to waste your time taking courses that won’t get you anywhere.

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