Master of Science in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (MSc)
The goal of the Graduate Program in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences is to provide students with a broad knowledge of mammalian reproductive and developmental biology, as well as with in depth expertise in at least one area of research, including:
- reproductive and molecular endocrinology
- immunology of reproduction
- maternal adaptations to pregnancy
- women’s mental health
- gynecologic cancers
- prostate cancer
- fertilization and early embryonic development
- placental development
- perinatal metabolism
- fetal/neonatal physiology and pathophysiology
- perinatal epidemiology
Other areas of research on human health and disease as it relates to male and female reproduction are also possible, including perinatal and postnatal health topics.
Basic science, clinical or epidemiological research projects are possible.
What makes the program unique?
The RDS program is the only graduate program in Canada that is based in a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. RDS students thus have the opportunity to interact with both basic science and clinical research faculty, which can lead to the formulation of research projects that address important clinical issues in women (e.g. ovarian cancer, preeclampsia). Moreover, the location of the department within the teaching hospitals in Vancouver facilitates the collection of human samples (e.g. placental or ovarian tissue, sperm and testes tissue) that can be used in thesis research projects.
The MSc program involves both coursework and completion and defense of a thesis research project.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program 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:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 100
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 7.0
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:
The GRE is not required.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
Students admitted to the MSc degree program normally possess a bachelor’s degree in biological science or related area, or its academic equivalent (MD, DVM, DDS), and must meet the general admission requirements for master’s degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (ie. a minimum overall B+ average in third- and fourth-year courses). Other bachelor’s degrees that are relevant to the proposed area of research may also be considered.
2) Meet Deadlines
May 2021 Intake
Application Open Date18 August 2020
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date10 November 2020
3) Prepare Application
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 Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (MSc)
RDS faculty members are listed on the "Prospective Supervisors" page of the program's website. You will be asked to upload a signed Memo of Acceptance (provided by the program) from your confirmed supervisor with the application.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Reproductive and molecular endocrinology, immunology of reproduction, maternal adaptations to pregnancy, women’s mental health, gynecologic cancers, prostate cancer, fertilization and early embryonic development, placental development, perinatal metabolism, fetal/neonatal physiology and pathophysiology, perinatal epidemiology.
Research activities take place in the BC Women’s Hospital, the main obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in BC, and in one or both of the on-campus research institutes: the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Women’s Health Research Institute. In addition, research may be carried out on the UBC Point Grey campus, at Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital or the BC Cancer Agency. All sites possess modern, well-equipped laboratories for basic science research. There are also facilities for conducting research on human subjects, and for clinical and epidemiological research. Students whose research involves human reproductive biology may have the opportunity to work with clinical members of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. There are also opportunities to collaborate with the BC Support Unit for students whose projects involve patient engagement.
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
Students in the RDS program have been successful in receiving CIHR Graduate Scholarships, Michael Smith Foundation awards, and BCCHR studentships.
The minimum funding requirement for MSc students is $20,000 per annum, paid by a Graduate Research Assistantship. Students with external awards totalling less than $20,000 must be topped up to at least the minimum funding from their supervisor's grant.
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 Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (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.
Anglesio, Michael (Cancer of the Reproductive System, Host-Tumour Interaction, Endometriosis, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Immunotherapy, microenvironment, endometriosis associated cancers, Immunology, genomics, gene-expression and transcriptomics, Cancer prevention, ovarian cancer etiology, early detection biomarkers, animal models of endometriosis and cancer)
Bayrampour Basmenj, Hamideh (Perinatal Period, Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding, Maternal Mental Health, Pregnancy Outcomes, Perinatal Anxiety, Prenatal Cannabis Use, Developmental Outcomes)
Bedaiwy, Mohamed (IVF, MIS, robotic surgery, fertility preservation in cancer patients, and endometriosis)
Beristain, Alexander Guillermo (Healthy Starts; cellular and molecular processes that direct trophoblast cell biology in early placental development; Examining the A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family in trophoblast biology; Examining the effects of obesity-associated inflammation on the maternal-fetal interface; Identifying gene expression differences in subpopulations of trophoblasts in normal and pathological pregnancies )
Brotto, Lori (Sexual Dysfunctions, sexual dysfunction, mindfulness, sexual desire)
Cerri, Ronaldo (Animal Reproduction, Animal Production, Agricultural Machinery and Technology, Endocrine Regulation, Biotechnology and Activity monitors, Dairy cattle reproduction, Endometrium-conceptus cross communication, Production medicine in dairy cattle, Estrous cycle physiology in cattle, Inflammation and stress)
Devlin, Angela (Obesity, Children, cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, developmental programming)
Elango, Rajavel (Protein Nutrition, Maternal-Fetal Nutrition, Childhood Malnutrition, Amino Acid Metabolism, Human Nutrition )
Flannigan, Ryan (evaluating genetic and molecular mechanisms contributing to non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA))
Hanley, Gillian (socioeconomic status as a predictor of maternal mental health prenatally, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and infant outcomes.)
Huntsman, David (Corporate Law, Contracts, Competition Law, legal history)
Joseph, K.S. (Pregnancy complications, preterm birth, fetal growth, infant mortality, neonatal)
Leung, Peter C (Reproductive and molecular endocrinology )
Lisonkova, Sarka (preeclampsia)
McAlpine, Jessica (subtypes of ovarian and endometrial cancers, and prevention)
Mitchell-Foster, Sheona (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Cancer of the Reproductive System, Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding, Global Health and Emerging Diseases, AIDS / HIV, Urban and Rural Planning Policies, cervical cancer screening, HPV, rural and remote reproductive care, Indigenous women's health, perinatal substance-use, reproductive health of women living with HIV, culturally safe care, reproductive screening in LMIC)
Money, Deborah (Reproductive Infectious Diseases, Infectious in pregnancy, vaginal microbiome, HPV vaccine, HIV in women, HIV in pregnancy, Perinatal transmission of viral pathogens and infectious etiology of preterm labour)
Munro, Sarah (Knowledge translation, Implementation Science, Reproductive and maternal health, Shared decision making, investigation of factors that influence implementation of patient-centred practice and policy, development and evaluation of tools that support shared decision-making for patients & care team, implementation of patient-centred care for choice of next birth after caesarean, choice of contraception, medical abortion practice, non-invasive prenatal testing, breastfeeding)
Norman, Wendy (Contraception, Abortion, Family Planning, Family Practice Research, Primary Care Research, Researcher training, Family Practice )
Oberlander, Timothy (Population epidemiological studies that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity)
Ranger, Manon (Prematurity, Stress, Infant / Child Development, Pain, neurodevelopment, Early-adversity, Biomarkers of early stress exposure, Brain development)
Robinson, Wendy (Developmental Genetics, Genomics, Reproduction and Growth, DNA and RNA Chips, Bioinformatics, Medical Genetics, Human Development, Epigenetics, miRNA, Preterm Birth, Placenta, Mosaicism, Fetal Growth, DNA methylation, Sex differences)
Roskelley, Calvin (Breast cancer, ovarian cancer )
Talhouk, Aline (Computer Science and Statistics, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Cancer of the Reproductive System, Digital health, Machine Learning, diagnostic models, prevention, personalized medicine, Privacy)
Tomek, Jennifer (Perinatal epidemiology ; Perinatal research methods; Fetal growth restriction; Severe maternal morbidity; Improving the reference charts used to assess fetal growth and maternal weight gain in pregnancy; Evaluating the impact of obstetrical health care policies on maternal and infant health; Developing clinical prediction models for the identification of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Further Program Information
Reproductive and Developmental Sciences provides students with a broad knowledge of mammalian reproductive and developmental biology, as well as with in-depth expertise in at least one area of research, including reproductive and molecular endocrinology, immunology of reproduction, fertilization and early embryonic development, perinatal metabolism, and fetal neonatal physiology.