Program Transfer

Transferring from a Master's program to the PhD program 

You may apply to transfer from a Master's to the PhD program after meeting the follow criteria:

  • at least two (and no more than six) terms in one of the Master's programs at SFU
  • completion of at least 3/4 of the required coursework, with a CGPA of 3.5 or better
  • approval of the transfer by all members of your supervisory committee
  • evidence of scholarly accomplishments, such as submission of manuscripts for publication or presentations at national or international meetings


Application Instructions:  

Complete the "Program Transfer" form and give your application package to the Biology Graduate Program Assistant (support letters are usually sent independently by the supervisor/committee).  Your package should include:

  • undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • a PhD research proposal (five pages, single-spaced excluding references in the style of an NSERC proposal with background, research objectives, methods, and significance of research)
  • a letter of support from the senior supervisor in which they describe why they support the transfer. Separate letters from other committee members are not necessary, but they must confirm that they support the transfer.


Application Deadline:

No later than 3 weeks prior to the start of the semester of intended transfer.

The application will be considered by the DGSC and a recommendation made to accept or reject the application.  Transfer is NOT automatic.  The Committee carefully considers the quality of the proposal, the extent of tangible accomplishments to date and the supervisor's comments before approving a request to transfer.

Note - the number of semesters already completed within the Master's program are calculated as part of the 18 semester time limit for completion of the PhD.  Because of this, your eligibility for a Graduate Fellowship may be reduced. Also be aware that the timing of a transfer may affect your eligibility for scholarships (e.g. Vanier, NSERC Doctoral).