Admission Requirements

Graduates with a master’s degree in chemistry, physics, pure or applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics from a recognized university, may be admitted as candidates (PhD I) in a program leading to the PhD degree. On the average, candidates with a BSc degree, or equivalent, may expect to spend three to five years to complete the requirements for the PhD degree. Graduates with an honours degree in chemistry, physics, pure or applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics may be considered for admission to the program leading to the PhD degree. However, such graduates must first register as candidates for the MSc degree. If their progress is satisfactory they may be transferred into the PhD program and advanced in status to candidates (PhD I) for the PhD degree, after one year, and on the recommendation of their Research Supervisor and the Program Director.

Degree Requirements

Candidates (PhDI & II) for the PhD degree must fulfil the following requirements:


In addition to successfully completing the required Research Evaluation courses, ESS6030.03 and ESS7030.03, Candidates must successfully complete three full graduate courses (18 credits), or equivalent, of which up to 6 credits may be from ESS6030.03 and ESS7030.03. A credit of up to 2 full course (12 credits) may be granted normally to Candidates who hold a M.Sc. from York University or another recognized university or who completed the course requirements for this degree. Candidates granted credit for two full courses as outlined above must succesfully complete ESS 7030.03 and one other half courses (which cannot be ESS 6030.03). Candidates may be required to take a further half course, if the supervisory committee determine that this is necessary to strengthen a Candidate’s background in the thesis area.

Dissertation and Oral Examination

  1. All entering Candidates (Ph.D. I & II) plan a research program with their supervisor at the start of their degree studies, and must successfully complete a significant piece of research, under the general direction of a Supervisor and a Supervisory Committee, in one of the major areas offered by the Program, and describe it in an appropriate dissertation. The research must be of such a standard that it will be acceptable for publication in the scientific literature. After the formal submission of the dissertation, an oral examination is held, centred on the dissertation-research. As part of the oral examination exercises Candidates deliver a formal lecture on their research work after which they meet with their examiners.
  2. Research progress is monitored by meetings of the Supervisory Committee with the Candidate and by an annual progress report consisting of a written paper and a public oral presentation normally in May or June. Satisfactory progress results in credit for ESS7030.03 (Research Evaluation) and a statement of the Candidate’s progress in the Candidate’s record. In the event of failure to achieve satisfactory progress the Candidate will normally be required to withdraw from the program.

Language and Cognate Requirements

A Candidate (Ph.D I & II) must give satisfactory evidence of an ability to program and use electronic digital computers for the solution of non-trivial scientific problems.