Master of Science in Medical Genetics (MSc)
The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge, technical expertise, and compassionate care for our patients. The Department is composed of dozens of faculty members at the forefront of their fields who use cutting edge genetic, epigenetic, genomic, and bioinformatic methodologies to gain insight into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative and neurological disorders, and other genetic diseases. Research is highly interactive and often involves local, national, and international collaborations which further enrich the research experience.
Individual labs conduct clinical and/or translational research and basic experimental research engaging a wide variety of approaches including the use of model organisms such as mice, flies (D. melanogaster), worms (C. elegans), and yeast (S. cerevisiae).
What makes the program unique?
The mission of the Department of Medical Genetics is to pursue basic and clinical research for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic disease. Our goal is to be a world leader in the research, clinical practice and teaching of Genetic Medicine.
Research in the Department of Medical Genetics covers the study of human genetics with areas of focus in mammalian development, regulation of gene expression, genetic diseases due to single gene or complex inheritance, birth defects, reproduction, cancer, immunology, genomics, bioinformatics, ethics and population health.
Research Areas of Expertise:
Cancer Genetics and Genomics;
Developmental Genetics & Birth Defects;
Epigenetics, Epigenomics & Chromosome Transmission;
Gene Expression, Genomics & Bioinformatics;
Genetic Epidemiology & Human Gene Mapping;
Neurogenetics & Immunogenetics;
Stem Cells & Gene Therapy;
Clinical Genetics, Genetic Counselling and Ethics & Policy.
Medical Genetics graduate student training takes place at multiple state-of-the-art facilities, representing a diverse collection of training environments. These include several centres on the UBC Point Grey Campus (e.g. Life Sciences Centre, Brain Research Centre, Michael Smith Laboratories) and health authority research centres (e.g Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency). Available research services and facilities include: animal modeling, biobanking, bioanalyzer, bioinformatics, DNA sequencing, flow cytometry, genotyping and gene expression, histology and imaging, transgenic facility, support to perform biostatistics, clinical trials, data management and access to health research and evaluation services.
SEPTEMBER-START APPLICANTS: MSc and PhD applicants who are ranked by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee as 'admissible' must secure a supervisor commitment prior to receiving an admissions offer from UBC. Deadline for supervisor commitment is June 1st.
JANUARY-START APPLICANTS: There is no January-start available to MSc applicants.
The application form lists all document requirements. Applicants upload legible PDFs of their OFFICIAL transcripts and degree certificates to their application. (Unofficial / web transcripts are not acceptable.)
Include one copy of the grading key (often printed on the back of transcripts).
Three references are required. Check with your referees to be sure that they are able to submit their references before the deadline which is two weeks after the admissions application closes.
Applicants must ensure that their application is complete by the deadline. An incomplete application will not be reviewed.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Prerequisites / Course Requirements
Upper-level /advanced Genetics, Genomics, Genetics Engineering, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biostatistics (statistics). Bioinformatics (strongly recommended but not required.) To be competitive for the Medical Genetics Graduate Program, applicants must have recently taken, and excelled at, all prerequisites. Note: Medical doctors (MBBS) generally have not taken upper level genetics courses, etc. and are therefore not competitive for this Program.
Relevant laboratory research experience; excellent references with assessment of applicant's research expertise and aptitude.
Grade Point Average (GPA) – international degrees: Check your COUNTRY of education (https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minim...) for minimum GPA and length of degree program to determine if your credentials meet UBC admission requirements. GPA calculation of international degrees is based on the final, overall standing (grade) achieved in the last completed degree.
GPA calculation of Canadian degrees is based on all upper level courses taken in the most recent, full time degree.
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 Date01 December 2019
January 2021 Intake
Application Open Date15 March 2020
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 December 2020
All students accepted to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program receive a minimum yearly stipend. This applies to both MSc and PhD, Canadian and international students.
Stipend Amount and Duration: The recommended minimum yearly stipend for a full time Medical Genetics (MEDG) graduate student is $22,000. The student is expected to pay tuition from their stipend. This stipend may come from an independent studentship award and/or from the Research Supervisor's research grant. Admission to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program normally includes a commitment from the Supervisor to ensure that each student is supported to the recommended funding level. Exceptions to this policy may be granted under unusual circumstances. Financial support from personal resources is not acceptable as “funding” for incoming students in the Medical Genetics Graduate Program.
The duration of the annual stipend is normally two years for a MSc student and four years for a PhD student. After the two-year MSc and four-year PhD point, continued funding is at the discretion of the Supervisor. The Supervisor should inform their student in writing (with a copy to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program office) at least six months prior to the end-date of the student's stipend.
Funding depends both on satisfactory academic and research progress, as determined by the Student’s Advisory Committee, and on the Research Supervisor's continued grant support. Termination of funding for other justifiable reasons must be approved by a majority of the Medical Genetics Graduate Advisory Committee.
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.
Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
Arbour, Laura (northern and aboriginal health issues as they pertain to genetics)
Austin, Jehannine (Genetics, genomics, genetic counseling, psychiatric illness, mental illness, mental health, psychiatry, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, postpartum depression, perinatal mental health, Mood & Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia)
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)
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 (Gene Regulation and Expression, Chromosomes: Structure / Organization, Applied Genetics, Chromosomes: Structure / Organization, 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)
Carleton, Bruce (Pharmacogenomics, Adverse drug reactions (ADRs), Drug safety and effectiveness, Clinical pharmacology, Pharmacovigilance)
Clarke, Lorne (Lysosomal storage disease, disorders or sulfate transport, mucopolysaccharidosis, phenylketonuria)
Conibear, Elizabeth (Molecular Genetics, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Genomics and Proteomics, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Membranes, Enzymes and Proteins, Parkinson's Disease, Protein Palmitoylation, Vesicle Trafficking)
Eaves, Constance Jean (Normal and leukemic stem cells, normal and malignant breast stem cells)
Farrer, Matthew (Neurological Diseases, Genetics of Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases, Neuronal Modeling, Neuronal Communication and Neurotransmission, Parkinson's disease, Dementia, Epilepsy)
Friedman, Jan Marshall (Genetics and Heredity, Developmental Genetics, Genomics, Application of whole genome sequencing to diagnose genetic disease, Clinical genomics, Neurofibromatosis, Birth defects epidemiology)
Gibson, William (Genetic Diseases, Chromosomes: Structure / Organization, Epigenetics)
Goldowitz, Daniel (Genetic basis of brain disease, neurobiology of autism, Huntingtong's gene, mouse/mice epigenetics, gene regulatory network)
Hayden, Michael (Genetic Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Huntington disease, Disease progression, Diabetes, Neurodegenerative disorders, Gene therapy, Drug development)
Hieter, Philip (Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission )
Holt, Robert (Immunogenetics, Metagenomics - Infectious agents in Cancer, Cancer Genomes, Neurobiology, DNA Sequencing)
Hoodless, Pamela (Embryonic Development, Genomics, Heart Valve / Valvular Diseases, Liver, Stem Cells and Organogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Embryology, Transcriptional regulation, Epigenetics, Heart valve formation, Liver development)
Huntsman, David (hereditary cancer, molecular pathology, cancer biomarkers, Pancreas centre)
Jefferies, Wilfred Arthur (Iron transport molecules)
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, Immunotherapy)
Jones, Steven J (Bioinformatics, genome science, mutations, cancer progression)