Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Oncology (MSc)
The Interdisciplinary Oncology program (IOP) is a graduate program designed to appeal to a broad range of students interested in cancer research. IOP offers advanced study and research in a variety of fields relating to oncology. Those fields include: molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biophysics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, radiological sciences, immunology, molecular pathology, sociobehavioral studies, epidemiology and health economics. The goal of the program is to provide graduate students from diverse backgrounds, with an education in a number of disciplines relating to oncology, and to provide training opportunities for intensive training in specialized aspects of cancer research. For more than ten years, the program has been training the next generation of cancer research leaders.
What makes the program unique?
IOP integrates the diverse areas of oncology by offering two required courses which provide an interdisciplinary perspective on oncology in a form that is accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. The elective courses provide intensive training in one or more subjects specific to the student's research, and also gives the student an opportunity to gain expertise in other disciplines that have potential for synergy with their primary specialization. Students have access to clinicians and university faculty through the world-renowned BC Cancer Agency, to get a practical perspective on oncology treatments and outcomes. An innovative rotation course is a unique option for students to gain hands-on experience by rotating through specialty laboratories and by shadowing clinicians.
Contact the program
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.
English Language Test
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:
Other Test Scores
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:
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.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Oncology (MSc)
CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)
Prior degree requirements
A B.Sc is the minimum requirement.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Once students are enrolled in the program, they will have an opportunity to design a program that allows for rotations through other IOP faculty's labs to gain insight into other research areas other than their specific supervisor's research.
Most IOP supervisors reside off-campus at the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital or other hospital-related buildings.
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.
January 2021 Intake
Application Open Date18 May 2020
May 2021 Intake
Application Open Date18 May 2020
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date18 May 2020
Tuition & Financial Support
|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.
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.
Program Funding Packages
All students who secure a supervisor and who are enrolled in the program will be paid a minimum stipend of $24,300/year.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Oncology (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
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.
Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
Bally, Marcel Bertran (Pancreas centre)
Baumbusch, Jennifer (long-term residential care, family caregiving, Intellectual Disability, nursing care of older adults )
Benard, Francois (Medical isotopes Radioisotopes Nuclear Medicine Cancer Imaging Molecular imaging of cancer Radionuclide therapy, Cancer division, radiology, pancreas centre)
Bennewith, Kevin (Oncology; Molecular Pathology & Cell Biology; Cancer research; Solid tumour microenvironment; Hypoxia; Metastasis research; Pre-metastatic niche; Targeting hypoxic tumour cells in therapy; Radiation biology)
Brooks-Wilson, Angela (human genetics, cancer genetics, cancer families, longevity, Super seniors, genetic susceptibility)
Brown, Carolyn Janet (Gene Regulation and Expression, Chromosomes: Structure / Organization, Applied Genetics, Epigenetic control of gene expression, X-chromosome inactivation, Long non-coding RNAs, XIST RNA, Genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation, DNA methylation)
Burgess, Michael (Genetics and Ethics, Ethics and Health, Applied Ethics, Individual and Collective Ethics, Participatory research, Public deliberation, Health Policy, Science Policy, Deliberative Democracy)
Buttyan, Ralph (Kidneys, Urinary System, Benign Bladder Dysfunctions)
Campbell, Kristin (Breast Cancer, Rehabilitation, Physiology, Quality of Life and Aging, Exercise Physiology, physical function, oncology, Biomarkers)
Cox, Michael (genetic testing, experiences of hereditary risk, social and ethical implications of genetics, interpersonal and family communication, qualitative research, narrative and story, Prostate cancer)
Daugaard, Mads (Cell Signaling and Cancer, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Stress and Cancer, Immunotherapy, Cell Therapy of Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Cancer biology, glycobiology, DNA damage response pathways, Cancer therapy, Cancer diagnostics, Stress signalling in cancer)
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)
Dong, Xuesen (Hormone Dependent Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Endocrine Regulation, Gene Regulation and Expression, Prematurity)
Eaves, Constance Jean (Normal and leukemic stem cells, normal and malignant breast stem cells)
Garnis, Catherine (Cancer biology; Tumor progression; Oral premalignant lesions; Head and neck cancer; RNA biology, microRNAs; Alternative splicing; Biomarkers)
Gleave, Martin (Infectious diseases, interdisciplinary oncology, prostate)
Hieter, Philip (Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission )
Hirst, Martin (Carcinogenesis, Leukemia, Cellular Differentiation, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Molecular Genetics, Epigenomics)
Holt, Robert (Immunogenetics, Metagenomics - Infectious agents in Cancer, Cancer Genomes, Neurobiology, DNA Sequencing)
Howard, Fuchsia (health service needs of vulnerable, high-risk survivors of acute life-threatening illness, specifically, cancer survivors and survivors of critical illnesses; hereditary cancer prevention and risk management and psychosocial and ethnocultural factors that shape health and illness experiences)
Huntsman, David (Corporate Law, Contracts, Competition Law, legal history)
Jiang, Xiaoyan (Cancer Genetics, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Leukemia, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Cell Therapy of Cancer, Immunotherapy, Basic and translational leukemia research, Leukemic stem cell biology, Gene regulation, Drug resistance, Proteomics)
Jones, Steven J (Bioinformatics, genome science, mutations, cancer progression)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Further Program Information
Interdisciplinary Oncology offers advanced study and research in a variety of fields relating to oncology. The focus on interdisciplinarity is accomplished through a breadth of coverage in the following disciplines: molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biophysics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, radiological sciences, immunology, socio-behavioural studies, and epidemiology.