New master’s programs offer flexibility to students impacted by COVID

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2020

When COVID-19 halted research in labs around the world, graduate students at the Faculty of Medicine were sent home with their research projects in limbo.

Naturally, they wondered how they would finish gathering the results they needed to write and defend the theses necessary to graduate.

“Our students are understandably concerned and even scared,” says Karen Littlejohn, administrator of the Faculty’s Graduate and Undergraduate Basic Science Programs.

Pre-COVID, the Faculty was already in talks with the University of Ottawa’s central administration to create a series of accelerated, one-year master’s degrees based primarily on course work. The research component would be much shorter than that of a traditional two-year master’s program, and instead of the time-consuming process of writing, submitting and defending a thesis to an advisory committee, students would complete a shorter, less structured, research paper.

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