Doctor of Philosophy in Genetic and Genomic Counselling (PhD)

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Applicant Information

This program is pending final approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

Overview

Precision health (e.g. genome sequencing, sequencing of a person’s entire genetic code) is transforming clinical care. Genome sequencing is a powerful technology that can diagnose patients with suspected genetic disorders and can customize treatment. Precision health is advancing in many disciplines of medicine at a rapid pace. The expansion of clinical genome sequencing requires additional and innovative methods to cope with the increased demand for genomic counselling to enable access and optimize patient-centered care.

Genome sequencing generates complex and novel genomic counselling issues: results that are difficult to interpret and incidental findings that can have family-wide and health service implications. Essentially, there is a growing and urgent need for genetic counsellor-led research to address the important societal issues that intersect with the broader scale implementation of precision health.

This program, first of its kind in the world, will develop researchers who generate knowledge through empirical research that will advance and inform evidence-based practice in the genetic counselling profession, resulting in improved health outcomes.

Program Structure

Students much complete 18 credits, which include

  • MEDG 596 - Advanced Research Topics in Genetic and Genomic Counselling (6 Credits)
  • MEDG 548 – Directed Studies (6 Credits)
  • Approved Electives (6 Credits)
 
 

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 competitive 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: 90

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

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

Applicants need to be graduates from an accredited MSc/MS training program in genetic counselling.

Other Requirements

Applicants need to be board eligible/certified with the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselling or American Board of Genetic Counseling or equivalent. Reasonably comparable training and certification/experience from international students will be considered.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

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.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Genetic and Genomic Counselling (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.

Citizenship Verification

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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Financial Support

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

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

Career Options

The program will develop graduates who are thought leaders utilizing their training to advance the field of genetic counselling in academic research and education, industry, ethics and health policy.

The field and profession of genetic and genomic counselling is rapidly expanding. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted a 29% growth rate for genetic counselling jobs between 2014 and 2024, compared to an average rate of 7% across all occupations.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Genetic and Genomic Counselling (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
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Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Genetic and Genomic Counselling (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.
 
 

Further Information

Conduct empirical research that will advance the profession and practice of genetic and genomic counselling.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDGENC
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form.

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