As a Master’s degree student, you are required to participate in studies and research for a period of 24 months. Every academic year consists of two 14 to 16-week semesters. The studies include both required and elective courses, seminars, lab work (in certain fields of studies) and a thesis.
Potential Research Groups and Research Areas
To help you reach an informed decision in selecting your research group and research topic, you may consult the following Weizmann Institute resources:
Courses and Credits
During your MSc studies you must accrue credits according to the requisites of the pertinent Board of Studies. In special cases, the Board of Studies may require that you accrue a greater number of credits than those required in your specific major, or to participate in courses in accordance with its decision. Any deviation from the official curriculum, including elective courses for credit not within your major, requires prior approval from the pertinent Board of Studies.
Note: Unless there is an obvious continuum of studies as a full-time student at the Feinberg Graduate School, the Feinberg Graduate School will not recognize credit points from courses that are from five years ago or more (including FGS courses).
Ethics in Scientific Research
As part of your studies, you are expected to keep to the highest level of academic ethics, as dictated by the Weizmann Institute of Science. As such, every year all new MSc students must attend the Institute’s lectures on Responsible Conduct of Research.
Selecting and Registering for Your Lab Rotations
Students in some of the major fields of study, e.g., in the Life Sciences and Chemical Sciences, are required to participate in three research labs for a period of approximately 10 weeks, in what are known as rotations. If you are studying one of these majors, you must contact the relevant Heads of the research groups at the Weizmann Institute, and request to be accepted to a rotation in their labs. When you find a rotation lab, you must then register for the lab online prior to commencing, and receive explicit FGS approval of your selection. You will not be prevented from trying to meet with the scientists before the start of the academic year, but you will only be able to register for the rotations after the first day of the academic year. Once you agree to work with a scientist on a rotation in his or her research group, this commitment must be honored. In addition, please note:
- You may choose up to two rotations only within the same department (students in Brain Sciences may do all 3 rotations in Neurobiology).
- There are limitations on the number of rotation students that each group may take (in chemistry up to four rotation students per academic year, and not more than two rotation students per rotation, and in life sciences up to three rotation students per academic year, and not more than one rotation student per rotation).
- Students in Biological Physics are required to do two rotations only.
- Life sciences students who intend to do rotations in groups using laboratory animals are required to take a course in the first semester called, “Laboratory Animals at the Weizmann Institute of Science.”
MSc Research Group
Selecting and Registering for Your MSc Thesis Research Group
Once you have successfully completed your first two semesters of studies, you will be permitted to commence your thesis. To begin, you must find a senior scientist from the staff of the Weizmann Institute to serve as your advisor for your Master’s thesis. Once the scientist agrees, you must register your thesis group online and receive FGS approval for your selection.
Note: There is a limitation on the number of MSc students that each group may take per year (not more than two).
MSc Research Proposal
You are required to submit a research proposal by the 12th month of your studies. The proposal will be based on experimental or theoretical work. The work may be part of a larger project, or an independent one. The scope and subject of your research must be determined in consultation with your advisor.
Transition to Second-Year Status
Your transition to second-year status is conditional upon the approval of your MSc research proposal, and the completion of the number of credit points required by your relevant Board of Studies. If your proposal was not submitted by the end of the first month of the second academic year, and a request to postpone the due date was not approved, your studies at FGS may be terminated.
You are required to submit a thesis by the 24th month of your studies. Your thesis is the conclusion of your research, and must include both a general description of your research subject, as well as a detailed description of your research study.
Approval of Your Degree
The Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School will recommend to the Weizmann Institute’s Scientific Council to grant you your MSc degree after you have fulfilled all the degree requirements. Usually, at this stage, a decision is made whether or not you will be allowed to pursue PhD studies at the Institute.
Once your degree is approved by the Institute’s Scientific Council, you may receive official confirmation from the FGS that you have fulfilled all the requirements for your MSc degree. This confirmation will include your thesis grade, your exam grade, and your grade average for the courses you have completed. There is no weighted grade.
Degree Eligibility Date
The date of your degree is the date on which the WIS Scientific Council approved the degree. Your physical degree will be awarded at the graduation and awards ceremony that takes place once a year in the spring.
Receiving Your Degree
MSc degrees are awarded at the graduation and awards ceremony that takes place once a year in the spring. Students whose degrees are approved after the graduation ceremony of their MSc class receive their degree certificate at the FGS a few weeks after their degree is approved (not at the ceremony of the following year).
Distinctions and Awards
The Scientific Council of the Weizmann Institute of Science does not award degrees with distinctions such as Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude.
The FGS does, however, award several prizes to outstanding PhD students every year for remarkable achievements. The FGS prizes for excellence in studies and research are awarded at the graduation ceremony in the spring.