Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology


The MSc program in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology involves multidisciplinary approaches to investigate fundamental properties of human structure and function that relate to health, movement, and physiology. The Master's program provides research training through a series of graduate level courses combined with a research thesis presenting novel lines of inquiry related to the fields of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology.

Note that official degree program requirements are listed in the SFU Calendar. If there is a discrepancy between what is written here and what is written in the SFU Calendar, the SFU Calendar should be taken as the most accurate and up to date requirements.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Students enrolled in the MSc program may apply for transfer to the PhD program.

Program Requirements

This program consists of courses, a thesis proposal, and a thesis for a minimum of 31 units. If a supervisory committee deems that preparation is inadequate, more than the minimum requirements may be required.

Students must complete:

BPK 801 - Seminar on Research in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (3)

Required of all graduate students entering the Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology. Students will gain perspective on how their research fits into the overall spectrum of departmental research. Presentations will be given by faculty and students, to be followed by seminar discussions. Students will be exposed to techniques available in the school, their strengths and weaknesses, what data the techniques yield, and how the scientific method is applied in interpreting the data. Students will learn how to give oral, poster, and web-based presentations, and how to facilitate discussions.

STAT 603 - Quantitative Analysis of Research Studies (5)

The use of statistical techniques and mathematical models in field research with special emphasis on experimentation, survey techniques, and statistical model construction. This course may not be used for the satisfaction of degree requirements in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. Prerequisite: A course in statistics. Students may not obtain credit for STAT 603 if they already have credit for STAT 403. Students with credit for STAT 650 may not take this course for further credit.

Plus 2 additional graduate level elective courses chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor

Elective courses taken outside the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology need prior approval of the graduate program chair.

BPK 895 - MSc Proposal (0)

A formal Thesis Proposal is written and defended to the supervisory committee. The Proposal is circulated to faculty and resident graduate students, and presented for an open forum discussion. The Graduate Program Committee Chair or designate will chair the presentation of the proposal. The Thesis Proposal is intended to establish the objectives, methodology and scope of the thesis project at an early stage of the degree and provides an opportunity for the Supervisory Committee to influence the direction of the research at an early stage and to offer feedback to aid the growth and development of the research trainee. The Supervisory Committee will also explore the student's knowledge in any area that is relevant to the proposed research. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

BPK 898 - MSc Thesis (18)

Students must register for BPK 898 every semester they are in the MSc program. This thesis will be completed and defended at the end of your program.

Optional specialization in translational and integrative neuroscience (TRAIN)

Application to TRAIN is through the TRAIN steering committee. Students must fulfill all Departmental requirements for the MSc.

To receive TRAIN specialization, students must complete both NEUR courses with a grade of B+ or higher. These courses would replace graduate elective course requirements for this program.

Students must complete:

NEUR 800 - Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3)

Covers fundamental concepts related to the basic cellular neurobiology of neurons and other nervous system cells, neuronal pathfinding, electrophysiology, dendritic organization, axonal transport, plasticity, and signal transduction, as well as the integration of neurons into neural circuits and diseases of the nervous system. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

NEUR 801 - Foundations of Systems Neuroscience (3)

Fundamental concepts related to information processing (sensing, encoding, planning, decision-making, execution) by neural circuits are discussed. Topics include: neural communication, sensorimotor control of movement, neuroplasticity, and diseases of the brain. Issues of experimental design and application of modern neuroscience methods will be integrated across these topics. Additional topics will vary depending on the year. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

2x NEUR 802 - Translational and Integrative Neuroscience Workshop (0)

Workshops focus on providing students with skills to facilitate the translation of neuroscience, broadly defined, for the benefit of society. Faculty members at SFU as well as relevant clinicians and company representatives will run these workshops. Topics may include: how to translate fundamental questions into clinical-oriented questions; how to perform clinical research; how to start a spin-off company; how to pitch ideas for commercialization; how to work with industry; how drug-discovery works; and how to communicate to different audiences. All topics will relate specifically to neuroscience. Prerequisite: Enrollment in translational and integrative neuroscience graduate specialization or permission from lead workshop organizer.

Students must attend at least two of these workshops in order to complete their TRAIN designation

For more information on TRAIN, please see the Calendar description of the  Translational and Integrative Neuroscience program or a more detailed description at SFU's Institute for Neuroscience and Neurotechnology.

Optional specialization in interdisciplinary oncology

This specialization within the BPK MSc Program is for students who are interested in gaining exposure to diverse facets of cancer-related research. Application to the Interdisciplinary Oncology Graduate Specialization (IOGS) is through the interdisciplinary oncology steering committee. Students must fulfill all Departmental requirements for the MSc. For more information, please see Interdisciplinary Oncology Graduate Specialization requirements.

Thesis proposal requirements

Thesis Requirements

A major part of the MSc program will be devoted to original research. A thesis describing the work must be submitted and defended at an open forum in accordance with SFU Graduate General Regulations 1.10.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six contiguous terms. Time limits for program completion are governed by Graduate General Regulations 1.12.

Academic requirements within the graduate general regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.