Master of Science in Bioinformatics (MSc)
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary program that combines the application of computer technology to the management and analysis of biological data. The result is that computers are being used to organize data generated from experiments into databases, develop new algorithms and software, and use this software for the interpretation and analysis of the data into meaningful biological information. For the past ten years, our M.Sc. program has been training students to organize, visualize, analyze and interpret biological data. Students have access to world renowned bioinformaticians at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the BC Cancer Agency, and have exposure to the latest technologies to develop their skills.
Strategic Program Objectives:
- To build on British Columbia's reputation and excellence in bioinformatics.
- To integrate bioinformatics into basic biology to further current research excellence in other life science sectors of the province.
- To foster collaborations locally, nationally and internationally.
What makes the program unique?
The Bioinformatics M.Sc. program integrates academic centres in computer science, statistics, molecular biology, and biotechnology, with translational groups at hospitals and at the clinical interface. The innovative partnership among the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the BC Cancer Agency allows students access to top experts in the field of bioinformatics, exposure to original research and opportunities to complete significant practical work on real bioinformatics problems. Internships allow student mobility between Canadian and international universities, institutions and industries to further enhance collaborations among Canadian high-technology research groups in both the private and public sectors. Students have done research in various locations over the years such as the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and Mexico, Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Moscow, European Bioinformatics Institute at Cambridge, National University of Singapore and the National Institute of Genetics in Japan.
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)
English Language Proficiency
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Prior degree requirements
Applicants must have a Life-Sciences degree, with significant experience in a quantitative science OR a Computer Science/Math/Engineering/Physics degree with significant experience in Life Sciences. Although work experience may be taken into consideration if the degree is outside these areas.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Bioinformatics faculty are spread throughout the UBC campus, as well as off-campus at the BC Cancer Research Centre or hospital research labs and Institutions.
Students must secure a supervisor before they can be admitted into the program. As well, they must meet the minimum admission requirements set out by Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies at UBC.
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.
May 2020 Intake
Application Open Date20 June 2019
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date14 September 2019
All students accepted by a faculty member and enrolled in the program will be paid a minimum stipend of $24,300/year. Applicants who are interested in the organization and management of data, the development of algorithms and software, and application of these approaches to questions in wide-ranging areas of biology may consider the NSERC-CREATE funded Training Program in High-Dimensional Bioinformatics that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (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.
Accili, Eric (molecular mechanisms responsible for cellular pacemaking behavior )
Adams, Keith (Molecular evolution, genome evolution, and gene expression)
Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
Birol, Inanc (bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics, transcriptome analysis, next generation sequencing, cancer, Bioinformatics, sequence assembly, transcriptomics, gene regulation networks, high throughput informatics for big data)
Bohlmann, Carl (plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions)
Bouchard-Cote, Alexandre (machine/statistical learning; mathematical side of the subject as well as in applications in linguistics and biology)
Brinkman, Ryan (Bioinformatics, flow cytometry, high throughput data analysis, data standars, GvHD biomarker identification, cluster identification)
Brooks-Wilson, Angela (human genetics, cancer genetics, cancer families, longevity, Super seniors, genetic susceptibility)
Brown, Carolyn Janet (Epigenetic control of gene expression, X-chromosome inactivation, Long non-coding RNAs, XIST RNA, Genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation, DNA methylation)
Cherkasov, Artem (Drug design; Bioinformatics, Molecular modeling; Proteomics; Artificial intelligence; Antibiotics )
Cohen Freue, Gabriela (statistical genomics (focus in proteomics), robust estimation and inference, linear models with endogeneity )
Collins, Colin (translational genomics where mathematics, genomics, computer science, and clinical science converge in diagnostics and therapeutics)
Condon, Anne (Algorithms, Molecular Programming)
Daley, Denise (genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, epigenetics, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions)
Eaves, Constance Jean (Normal and leukemic stem cells, normal and malignant breast stem cells)
Edelstein-Keshet, Leah (cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases)
Finlay, B Brett (Infectious agents, bacteria, microbial infections and how humans react to it)
Friedman, Jan Marshall (Application of whole genome sequencing to diagnose genetic disease, Clinical genomics, Neurofibromatosis, Birth defects epidemiology)
Garbi, Rafeef (Medical Image Computing, Machine learning, Computer Vision, Image Analysis, Biomedical Engineering, Deep Learning)
Goldowitz, Daniel (Genetic basis of brain disease, neurobiology of autism, Huntingtong's gene, mouse/mice epigenetics, gene regulatory network)
Gsponer, Joerg (Protein-DNA, protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions)
Hallam, Steven (methanogenesis, methane oxidation, methyl coenzyme M reductase, metagenomics, environmental microbiology, genomics, proteomics, microbial ecology, systems biology, archaea, energy, bioinformatics, Microbial communities, construction and interpretation of environmental genomic libraries, generation of computational tools and workflows for taxonomic and functional binning, population genome assembly, and comparative community analysis, development and functional screens to interrogate environmental genomic libraries for bioactive small molecules and biocatalysis)
Hancock, Robert E (Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides, Host Defence Peptides and Innate Immunity, Functional Genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Regulation of Antibiotic Resistance, Array Data, Self-promoted uptake hypothesis)
Hayden, Michael (Huntington disease, Disease progression, Diabetes, Neurodegenerative disorders, Gene therapy, Drug development)
Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers)