An image by Jonah Burke-Kleinman of vascular smooth muscle cells under the microscope

Collaborative Specialization in Musculoskeletal Sciences (CSMS)

This multidisciplinary program aims to enhance the experience of graduate students across the University of Toronto by strengthening their education and fostering multi-disciplinary approaches to musculoskeletal research. Our program will train future leaders in the field of musculoskeletal sciences to bring transformative changes to the study and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases.

As an existing MSc or PhD candidate at the university, you will learn how your work fits into the larger community of musculoskeletal research that stretches from bench to bedside to society. 

Why you should apply to the CSMS

If you are a graduate student with an interest in musculoskeletal research, this program will enable you to:

  • understand how your work fits into the musculoskeletal research community
  • network and collaborate with others in various areas of the field
  • build your knowledge and capability to bring about transformational change in this field
  • enhance your interdisciplinary knowledge and advance your career.

How it works

You must be enrolled in an MSc or PhD program at the University of Toronto.

There is no additional cost associated with the program and we accept applications year round. 

Once accepted into the CSMS, you will attend:

  • A Foundation course that covers musculoskeletal physiology, disease, clinical treatments and basic science. This consists of 12 two-hour lectures.
  • Seminar series where invited experts present their latest research reflecting the breadth of expertise of this inter-disciplinary program. You, as a student, will also have an opportunity to present your work. MSc students must attend 12 seminars, PhD students, 18.

If you complete this program, and the requirements of your doctoral program, you will receive formal recognition of your training in musculoskeletal science on your graduate transcript. We do not award degrees.

Find out more about the completion requirements.


You must be already admitted into one of the below programs in a participating unit at the University of Toronto to apply:

You may apply if you are enrolled in a masters or doctoral program in another department at the University of Toronto, but you must complete the Non-standard Application Form (PDF) in addition to the requirements below.

How to apply

You can apply for this program at any time.

Please submit your completed application form (PDF) and the required documents to  

  • CSMS Application form (PDF)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A maximum one-page letter explaining how your program of study and specific research interest relates to musculoskeletal science signed by both you and your supervisor
  • A copy of the participating unit program acceptance.


Maryam Gabrial

Administrative Coordinator

60 Leonard Avenue, Suite 5KD-424 Toronto, ON M5T 0S8

Find out more about the foundation course and the schedule.

Find out more about the student and faculty seminars and the current timetable.

Find out the requirements to complete the CSMS.

Find out more about the team behind this collaborative specialization.

LMP Art competition 2022 Jonah Burke-Kleinman

About the image used for this program promotion

The image we are using is from PhD student, Jonah Burke-Kleinman in the lab of Dr. Michelle Bendeck.

“Cellular Connections” came second place in the 2022 LMP Art Competition.

It is N-Cadherin (yellow) junctions at cell-cell contacts between vascular smooth muscle cells, also stained for filamentous actin (magenta) and cell nuclei (cyan). These cells were plated on glass coverslips and imaged with an Olympus FV3000 laser-scanning confocal microscope using a 60x objective lens.