Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSc)
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is home to more than thirty well-funded research groups, offering opportunities for research that is fundamental in advancing basic science and at the same time provides knowledge that is being translated to help tackle human diseases. The graduate programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology therefore provide advanced research-based education with the goal of preparing students for a career in academic, industrial or professional positions in British Columbia and beyond.
The Department offers MSc and PhD degree programs, with the option to transfer into the PhD track during the second year. Enrollment in the two programs combined has been steadlily increasing over the last 5 years from about 65 to 90 grads. The requirements for formal course credits are usually completed within the first two academic terms. Course topics include laboratory techniques, nucleic acids, membrane structure and function, cellular regulation, protein chemistry and molecular biology. Additional options include bioinformatics, genome analysis, cell growth and differentiation, bacterial pathogenesis and immuno-genetics. The balance of the program is research intensive and assessed by examination of a dissertation.
What makes the program unique?
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has a rich history and on-going record of exceptional academic and research excellence. The Department was home to Nobel Laureate, Michael Smith and his legacy is sustained through involvement of a number of our professors with the Michael Smith Laboratories and the closely-associated Centre for High Throughput Biology. The majority of our research laboratories are located in the Life Sciences Institute, the largest multidisciplinary research hub at UBC. Key features of our research and graduate programs are that they are set up to enable top-notch work, with the very best facilities and with opportunities for collaboration with researchers from a range of disciplines. Research groups in the Life Sciences Institute include those with a focus on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, bacterial and viral diseases, chemical biology, blood research, molecular epigenetics and others. We encourage you to visit the Department website to check out the specific research interests and achievements of the professors in the Department. A number of our professors have developed and maintain major and cutting-edge equipment that underpins research using macromolecular crystallography, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, high-throughput imaging and a range of spectroscopic techniques for macromolecular analysis.
The Department provides tuition benefits to more than half of all students and scholarships to assist with travel to meetings. The Department makes every effort to enable students to gain teaching experience through teaching assistantships, mostly to support teaching in undergraduate laboratory and lecture courses and for which further stipend support is achieved. Overall, the average support package for graduate students exceeds $27,000 per annum.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date23 September 2019
January 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 March 2020
Applicants who are interested in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization and application, and nanoscience instrumentation may consider the NanoMat program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$930.14 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Bromme, Dieter (Lysosomal proteases, centre for blood research )
Brumer, Harry (Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis, enzymes, polysaccharides, carbohydrates, biomass, cellulose, plant cell walls, microbiota)
Ciernia, Annie (epigenetics, brain development, autism, neurodevelopmental disorders)
Cullis, Pieter (Molecular biology for therapeutic purposes, lipids, immunological drugs)
Dedhar, Shoukat (molecular biology, molecular biology as it relates to disease; developing new theraputics for cancer; how brain cells (neurons)make connections, therapeutics for cancer; molecular genetics and cancer; medical research, cancer, inflammatory diseases, cariovascular diseases, Cellular proteins, extracellular martrix, integrins, signal transduction, calreticulin, protein kinase, gene expression, cell differentiation)
Devine, Dana Virginia (Biochemistry, blood regulation, platelet biology)
Duong, Franck (Membrane protein, nanodiscs, ligand-receptor interactions, cell membranes, lipids, soluble proteins, porin, iron intake)
Eltis, Lindsay (Microbiology, Enzymes and Proteins, Metabolism (Living Organisms), Bacterial catabolism of steroids and lignin, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, biocatalyst development)
Finlay, B Brett (Infectious agents, bacteria, microbial infections and how humans react to it)
Foster, Leonard (Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Microbiology, Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases, Immune System, Agriculture, Proteomics, honey bees, host-pathogen interactions, antigen presentation, systems biology)
Gsponer, Joerg (Protein-DNA, protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions)
Hieter, Philip (Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission )
Howe, LeAnn (gene regulation, epigenetics, chromatin)
Jan, Eric (Virus, Nucleic Acids, Proteomics, Virology, Virus, Antiviral innate immunity, translation, Protein synthesis, RNA, RNA structure function, tRNA, ribosome, RNA virus, protease, molecular biology, picornavirus, innate immunity)
Kastrup, Christian (drug delivery, coagulation, biomaterials, atherosclerosis, in-vivo imaging, microfluidics )
Kelleher, Dermot (immune response to many of the leading causes of gastrointestinal infectious disease worldwide)
Kim, Hugh (platelet biochemistry)
Kobor, Michael (Epigenetics, Social Epigenetics, Molecular Biology , Chromatin Biology)
Ling, Victor (Resistance to anticancer drugs, glycoprotein, chemotherapy, proteins )
Mayor, Thibault (Proteostasis, Protein Degradation, Protein Folding, Proteomics, Ubiquitin, Proteasome, Neurodegenerative diseases, Aging, Cell Biology, Yeast Genetics, Biochemistry)
McIntosh, Lawrence (Protein structure-dynamics-function, Regulation of gene expression, Signal transduction, Cancer, Enzyme mechanisms)
Measday, Vivien (Chromosome segregation in the budding yeast using molecular biology and genomic tools)
Molday, Robert (Proteins, cell structure, lipids, drug discovery, gene therapy)
Mui, Alice (Inflammatory Signalling Pathways)
Nislow, Corey (genomics and develops biotechnology tools to address both fundamental and applied biological questions; Parallel genome-wide chemical genomic screens; High throughput cell-based screens; Next Generation Sequencing)