Master of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology (MSc)

Overview

The graduate program in Cell and Developmental Biology offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees to students undertaking advanced study and research in cell and developmental biology. The program is flexible and is designed to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of students and the broad nature of research in cell and developmental biology.

The program's courses provide a thorough understanding of the scientific fundamentals and methodologies of contemporary cell and developmental biology. All students also undertake original and significant research from the start of their studies. With nearly 50 faculty members engaged in cutting-edge research in cell and developmental biology, a wide range of research topics is available to students.

The program also aims to enhance linkages and facilitate research interactions between the larger community of cell and developmental biologists in British Columbia by acting as a common forum for scholarly exchange in cell and developmental biology through its student-led seminar series, research retreats and other activities.

What makes the program unique?

The Program is administered through the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), Canada's largest Institute for life science research which houses over 80 laboratories conducting internationally recognized research in areas such as cell and molecular biology, cancer biology, diabetes and microbiology & immunology.

Program faculty and students also conduct research at hospital-based research Institutes and Centres, including the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Biomedical Research Centre, the Centre for Brain Health, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics,and the Centre for Macular Research. All of these Institutes and Centres offer highly collaborative research environments and provide outstanding facilities and resources to the ~ 70 graduate students who call the program home.

Given the number of researchers associated with the program and their varied Departmental and Faculty affiliations, the potential range of research topics available to students in the Program is very large.

Minimum level of financial support for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of $22,000 per year, with top-ups for students who receive scholarships.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Science
Subject
Life Sciences
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Cell and Developmental Biology
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Medicine

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

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.

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:

100
22
22
22
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervision

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.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Highly recommended

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:

The GRE is not required.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Application Notes

Acceptance into the Program is dependent upon a prospective student getting written agreement from a Faculty member that he/she will be their Research Supervisor.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

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 Date
30 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 April 2020
Transcript Deadline: 30 June 2020
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 April 2020
Transcript Deadline: 30 June 2020
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
31 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2020
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2020
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2020

Funding Sources

Research Supervisors must commit to supporting you financially during the course of your training. The minimum level of financial support is $22,000 per year, for a minimum of 2 years. As a general rule, financial support continues to the completion of your degree, so long as performance is satisfactory and you remain in good academic standing. Students are expected to pay tuition from their stipend.

Financial support is in the form of a minimum funding package which can be made up from several sources – usually a combination of a Scholarship/Award, a Teaching Assistantship (from teaching duties as a graduate student, to a maximum of two 0.5 TAships per year) and a Research Assistantship (paid from a Supervisor’s research funds). There are no citizenship requirements for Teaching or Research Assistantships.

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.

Career Options

Our graduates are well-prepared and highly competitive for the next step in their careers, whether in academia or in other sectors (e.g. biotechnology, health care, government, business, finance) where an in-depth knowledge of modern cell and developmental biology is required.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
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)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
New registrations1597108
Total enrolment3222202428

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 80% based on 25 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 25 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 4.00 years with an average of 2.72 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

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 )
  • Allan, Douglas (Nervous system)
  • Auld, Vanessa (development, nervous system, permeability barriers, glia , cell biology , genetics, in vivo imaging, epithelia)
  • Bamji, Shernaz (synapse biology, primary neuronal cultures, transgenic mouse models, neurodevelopmental disease)
  • Clee, Susanne Michelle (Obesity and diabetes are world-wide epidemics)
  • Conibear, Elizabeth (Protein Palmitoylation, Vesicle Trafficking)
  • Coombs, Daniel (Mathematical biology, Cell biophysics, Immune cell signalling, Disease models)
  • Edelstein-Keshet, Leah (cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases)
  • Gold, Michael (understanding cell signaling, morphology, trafficking, and effector function of immune cells and tumour cells)
  • Gordon, Michael (Neuroscience, Neural circuits, Sensory systems, Feeding, Taste, Gustation, Drosophila, Chemosensation)
  • Haas, Kurt (Autism, Epilepsy, Synaptic Plasticity, Dendritogenesis, Brain Circuit Development, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Neuronal Computation)
  • Hakkinen, Lari (Wound healing, Tissue regeneration, Fibroblasts, MSC, Extracellular matrix, Cell to cell communication, Oral mucosa and skin)
  • Hoffman, Bradford (Understanding how the genes critical to endocrine pancreas development, as well as ?-cell function and proliferation are regulated is essential for the development of novel strategies for the production of insulin-secreting cells, and for improving the efficacy of available transplantable material. )
  • Hoodless, Pamela (Embryology, Transcriptional regulation, Epigenetics, Heart valve formation, Liver development)
  • Johnson, James (diabetes, hormones, cell biology, signal transduction, apoptosis or programmed cell death, heart failure, heart disease, calcium signalling, pancreatic cancer, obesity, longevity, imaging, Causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes at a molecular level discovery of genes and associated gene networks linked to diabetes risk and by known risk factors that predispose individuals to diabetes)
  • Kieffer, Tim (Diabetes)
  • Kopp, Janel (Pancreas, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic development, Modeling cancer)
  • Lange, Philipp (pediatric cancer, post translational protein modification, personalized medicine, proteomics, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics)
  • Lansdorp, Peter (DNA replication, epigenetics and stem cells, Telomeres, genomic instability, aging and cancer, Application of single cell Strand-seq in precision medicine)
  • Li, Xin (Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes)
  • Lim, Chinten James (tumour cell biology, mechanisms of drug resistance, integrin cell adhesion and migration, tumour microenvironment, pediatric oncology)
  • Loewen, Christopher (Membranes and Organelles, Lipid Signalling, Lipid Traffic, Membrane Contact Sites, Genetic Networks, Systems Biology, Super Resolution Microscopy, Cell Polarity, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi, Membrane Diffusion Barriers, Cell Biology, Autism, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cancer Cell Metabolism)
  • Luciani, Dan (Diabetes, Pancreatic beta-cell function and failure, Mitochondrial physiology, Lysosomal physiology, Cell calcium signalling, Cell stress signalling, Mechanisms of cell death, Autophagy, Fluorescence Microscopy)
  • Lynn, Francis (diabetes, ß-cell development, ß-cell biology, Human pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR/Cas, transcriptional regulation)

Pages

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
30 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 April 2020
International Applicant Deadline
30 April 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
31 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2020
International Applicant Deadline
30 November 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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