Master of Science in Medical Genetics (MSc)

Overview

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Science
Subject
Life Sciences
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Medical Genetics
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Medicine

Meet a UBC representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 23 August 2018
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors Samuel Adenyanju (MSc Forestry, Nigeria), Federico Andrade (PhD Public Health, Colombia), Maria Angélica Guerrero (MA Educational Studies, Colombia), Xining (Linda) Yang (PhD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, China) and Dorine Akwiri (Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Kenya) who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Research Information

Research Focus

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;
Pharmacogenomics;
Proteomics; and
Clinical Genetics, Genetic Counselling and Ethics & Policy.

Program Components

Medical Genetics Rotation Program: MSc and PhD applicants who have applied for the September-start, and who are highest ranked by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee, will be offered the opportunity to join the Medical Genetics Rotation Program. The four top-ranked applicants offered these positions will also receive one-year Rotation Program Awards. Rotation Program students rotate through three different laboratories before choosing a final, thesis lab. Rotations are for nine-weeks each, from September to April. The Rotation Program is open to Canadians, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international applicants.

Research Facilities

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.

Application Notes

IMPORTANT note about supervisor commitment: no supervisor commitment is required for MSc and PhD September-start applicants.
However, MSc January-start applicants MUST have the commitment of a research supervisor before they apply. This requirement is not applicable to PhD January-start applicants.

Requirements

Document Requirements

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.

See: http://medgen.med.ubc.ca/graduate-program/prospective-students/

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
25
22
22

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

No

GRE required?

Not required

Prerequisites / Course Requirements

Upper-level /advanced genetics, biochemistry, statistics (biometrics) and relevant laboratory research. 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.

Other Requirements

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.

Funding Sources

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.

Career Options

The MSc program in Medical Genetics is a research-based, thesis-based program which generally takes two - three years to complete. Graduates find employment in the public and private sector, and also pursue further studies in the field of Medical Genetics. Following is a brief sample of occupations that our graduates are pursuing:

Training:

  • Genetic Counselling
  • Medical Doctor
  • Clinical Genetics Technology

Industry / Clinical Careers:

  • Molecular Diagnostic Technologist
  • Research Associate
  • Data Management Coordinator
  • Research Program Manager
  • Online Marketing Coordinator
  • Scientific Sales Representative
  • Research and Development Scientist

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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. 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

 20172016201520142013
Applications4243373228
Offers9101088
New registrations810787
Total enrolment2327212425

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76% based on 25 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 17 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 3.66 years with an average of 2.72 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. 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: 29 September 2017].

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.

  • 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, Epigenetic control of gene expression, X-chromosome inactivation, Long non-coding RNAs, XIST RNA, Genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation, DNA methylation)
  • Burgess, Michael (Philosophy and social sciences, ethics and social policy in the areas of genomics, genetics and biotechnology (health, agriculture and environment))
  • 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 (Childhood Diseases; Weaver syndrome - mutation detection and new therapies; Cohen-Gibson syndrome - mutation detection and new therapies; Appetite regulation; Energy expenditure; Body composition; Monogenic human obesity disorders; Familial Brain Aneurysms)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Humphries, Richard Keith (Genetic control and manipulation of hemopoiesis. Stem Cell Regulation. Retroviral Gene Transfer. Transgenic Mice.)
  • 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, Basic and translational leukemia research, Leukemic stem cell biology , Gene regulation , Drug resistance , Proteomics)
  • Jones, Steven J (Bioinformatics, genome science, mutations, cancer progression)

Pages

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019
International Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 March 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 April 2019
International Applicant Deadline
30 April 2019

Program Information

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