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Overview

The Genome Science and Technology graduate program is a trans-disciplinary program that combines genomic research with leading-edge technology development in genome sciences for students pursing an M.Sc. or Ph.D. This program is intended to accommodate the diverse background of students and the broad nature of genomic research in human, animal, plant, microbes, and viruses.

Program Objectives

  • Generate a culture of innovation and discovery by exposing trainees at all levels to important and timely scientific problems being addressed using emerging technologies.
  • Enable researchers to effectively work at the nexus of biology, engineering, and physical sciences by providing a unified training program including joint seminars, cross-disciplinary rotations, and hands-on training in new technology and methodology.
  • Provide enriching professional development programs to assist the transition of trainees into both the academic and industrial workforces.
  • Foster close interactions, collaborations, and intellectual exchange with other laboratories nationally and internationally.

Our goal is to be among the top 10 graduate programs in genome sciences & technology in North America.

What makes the program unique?

The Ph.D. program in Genome Science and Technology (GSAT) incorporates an innovative rotation program that allows students to access multiple highly skilled research faculty during their graduate program. These rotation opportunities allow student to learn the latest advances in genomic sciences and high through-put technologies. Rotations also allow valuable relationships to form for future collaborative opportunities.

The GSAT program has collaborative associations with both the Centre for High Through-put Technology and the Michael Smith Laboratories. Faculty members associated with the program have diverse backgrounds in genomics and proteomics, bio-engineering, systems biology, chemical biology,device and instrumentation development, and engineering.

 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

Students who are selected for the GSAT rotation scholarship will not need to secure a supervisor before they are enrolled in the program. All other 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.

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: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

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 must have a Life-Sciences degree, with significant experience in a quantitative science OR a Computer Science/Math/Engineering/Physics degree with significant experience in Life Sciences. Although work experience may be taken into consideration if the degree is outside these areas.

Document Requirements

CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
05 March 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 August 2024
Referee Deadline: 30 August 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 August 2024
Referee Deadline: 30 August 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
28 February 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 October 2024
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 October 2024
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2024

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
31 March 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2024
Referee Deadline: 14 December 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2024
Referee Deadline: 14 December 2024

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 Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

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.

Research Information

Research Focus

Systems biology, Genomics and proteomics, Chemical biology, Bioengineering, Device and instrumentation development, Computational biology

Program Components

Students who have been selected for the GSAT rotation scholarship will have the opportunity to rotate through three GSAT-Faculty laboratories before they make the final decision on their thesis supervisor.

Research Facilities

GSAT faculty are spread throughout the UBC campus, with most occupying the Michael Smith Laboratories building. A small number of GSAT faculty may reside off-campus at the BC Cancer Research Centre or hospital research labs and Institutions.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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. 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.

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

All students accepted by a faculty member and enrolled in the program will be paid a minimum stipend of $24,300/year.  Students who have been selected for the GSAT rotation scholarships will also have their tuition paid for the first two years of study.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 25 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $35,866.
  • 8 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 8 students was $10,737.
  • 22 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 22 students was $19,516.
  • 2 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 2 students was $2,135.
  • 25 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 25 students was $12,019.
  • 3 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 3 students was $25,556.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
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

Graduates find career opportunities in both the private and public sector involving genomic and proteomic technology development. Employers from biotechnology companies, government institutions and academia all seek graduates from the GSAT program. 

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (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
Applications1110111716
Offers25334
New Registrations14233
Total Enrolment3743394038

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 95% based on 21 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 19 graduating students from the 2011 - 2014 admissions cohort the minimum time to completion is 3.75 years and the maximum time is 7.85 years with an average of 5.6 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
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. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

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 Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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.

  • Adams, Keith (Molecular evolution, genome evolution, and gene expression)
  • Andersen, Raymond (Chemicals produced by marine organisms)
  • Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
  • 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)
  • Blakney, Anna (Biomedical materials; Medical molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins; Gene and molecular therapy; Gene delivery; RNA; Biomaterials; Immunoengineering)
  • Bohlmann, Joerg (plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions)
  • Bouchard-Cote, Alexandre (machine/statistical learning; mathematical side of the subject as well as in applications in linguistics and biology)
  • Brooks-Wilson, Angela (Bioinformatics; Clinical oncology; Genetic medicine; Genomics; cancer families; cancer genetics; genetic susceptibility; human genetics; longevity; Super seniors)
  • Brown, Carolyn Janet (Bioinformatics; Clinical oncology; Genetic medicine; Genomics; Health counselling; Applied Genetics; Chromosomes: Structure / Organization; DNA methylation; Epigenetic control of gene expression; Gene Regulation and Expression; Genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation; Long non-coding RNAs; X-chromosome inactivation; XIST RNA)
  • Brumer, Harry (Biochemistry; Chemical sciences; Genomics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; biomass; carbohydrates; cellulose; Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis; Enzymes; microbiota; plant cell walls; polysaccharides)
  • Carleton, Bruce (Pediatrics, clinical pharmacology, outcomes research, drug policy evaluation, health services research, drug safety and adverse drug reactions)
  • Chi, Kim Nguyen (Thrombosis in cancer patients, methemoglobinemia, hemolysis, anticancer drugs, prostate cancer, chemotherapy, cell cancer, breast cancer)
  • Collins, Colin (translational genomics where mathematics, genomics, computer science, and clinical science converge in diagnostics and therapeutics)
  • Conibear, Elizabeth (Other basic medicine and life sciences; Protein trafficking in cell biology; Molecular genetics; Functional genomics; Membranes; Enzymes and Proteins; Vesicle Trafficking; Molecular Genetics; Neurodegenerative diseases; Protein Palmitoylation; Cell Signaling and Cancer)
  • Cote, Helene (HIV Infection, blood research, infectious diseases)
  • Dao Duc, Khanh (Genomics; Mathematical biology; Neurocognitive patterns and neural networks; Agricultural spatial analysis and modelling; combine mathematical,computational and statistical tools to study fundamental biological processes; regulation and determinants of gene expression and translation; Machine Learning for Biological Imaging and Microscopy; Database development and management; Biological and Artificial Neural Networks for geometric representation)
  • de Boer, Carl (Gene regulation)
  • Dennis, Jessica (Bioinformatics; Genetic medicine; Administrative health data; Complex Trait Genetics; Electronic health records; Epidemiology; genetic epidemiology; Genetics of Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases; Machine Learning; Mental Health and Psychopathology in Children and Youth; Precision Health; statistical genetics)
  • Eltis, Lindsay (Biochemistry; Genomics; Immunology; Microbiology; Bacterial catabolism of steroids and lignin; biocatalyst development; Enzymes and Proteins; Metabolism (Living Organisms); Mycobacterium tuberculosis)
  • Finlay, B Brett (Infectious agents, bacteria, microbial infections and how humans react to it)
  • Foster, Leonard (Biochemistry; Genomics; Agriculture; antigen presentation; Bioinformatics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Biotechnology; Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases; Honey bees; host-pathogen interactions; Immune System; Microbiology; Proteomics; Systems Biology)
  • Friedman, Jan Marshall (Other clinical medicine; Genetic medicine; Genomics; Health counselling; Application of whole genome sequencing to diagnose genetic disease; Birth defects epidemiology; Clinical genomics; Developmental Genetics; Genetics and Heredity; Neurofibromatosis)
  • Gsponer, Joerg (Protein-DNA, protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions)
  • Hallam, Steven (Microbiome; Microbial ecology; metagenomics; Biological engineering; Synthetic biology; Bioinformatics; Machine Learning; Entrepreneurship)
  • Hancock, Robert E (Medical, health and life sciences; cationic peptides as anti-biofilm agents; systems immunology)

Pages

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2024 Dr. Herberts developed a noninvasive blood profiling technology for patients with metastatic prostate cancer, enabling expedited discovery of treatment resistance mechanisms to common cancer drugs, and helping clinicians select treatment tailored to patient's unique tumor biology. This test is now being evaluated in two Canadian clinical trials.
2024 Dr. Bacon used DNA sequencing to explore genomic associations with poor disease outcomes in patients with genitourinary cancers. His work has demonstrated the role of circulating tumour DNA as a tool for predicting survival in patients with kidney cancer, as well as the prognostic utility of specific gene alterations in patients with bladder cancer.
2024 Dr. Noonan developed various tools and methodologies enabling the high-throughput testing and engineering of metabolisms in bacteria and microalgae, with the objective of applying microbial metabolisms to support sustainable industrial practices.
2024 Dr. Takemon developed a computer-based method to examine cancer gene functions and identify cancer cell-specific vulnerabilities. Using this method, they found several vulnerabilities that can be exploited to selectively kill cancer cells using existing FDA approved drugs. Dr. Takemon's research illustrates a model for improving future precision cancer medicine.
2024 Dr. Dong studied the epigenetic role in evolution. He discovered the important role of DNA methylation in population specificity and evolutionary conservation, especially in terms of their genetic basis and functional relevance. His findings can provide new evolutionary insights into the roles of epigenetics in cellular functions and human health.
2023 Recent advances in genetic engineering and stem cell research have paved way for new approaches to studying and treating disease. Dr. Braam applied these complementary approaches to advance the field of diabetes research with respect to stem cell differentiation, cell safety, and disease modelling.
2023 Dr. Ritch developed ways to use the DNA in blood samples from cancer patients to personalize their treatments. He used this technology to identify and study DNA defects that sensitize prostate cancers to specific therapies and integrated his methods into screening programs for Canadian prostate cancer patients.
2022 Dr. Warner performed genomic profiling of metastatic prostate tumors using tissue and blood-derived DNA. He showed that mutational heterogeneity exists not only between different prostate tumors, but also across regions of a single tumor. This research will aid in development of cancer treatment strategies that are personalized for each patient.
2022 Dr. Ramirez discovered and characterized genes and regulatory DNA sequences critical for cerebellum development and function. His findings expand our understanding of the genetics of normal brain development and will inform the eventual treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.
2022 Dr. Shalev developed genomic resources for western redcedar and found low genetic diversity despite remarkable responsiveness to natural and artificial selection in this important tree species. These resources were used to find genomic areas associated with multiple traits of interest for the application of genomics to operational forestry.

Pages

Further Information

Genome Science and Technology combines training in genomics, with intensive training in new leading-edge genome science technologies, such as high-throughput techniques that acquire information from DNA sequence (genomics), protein expression and interactions (proteomics), and gene expression patterns (transcriptomics) to exploit information for a better understanding of biology.

Research Areas

  • systems biology
  • genomics and proteomics
  • chemical biology
  • bioengineering
  • device and instrumentation development
  • computational biology

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-LE

Classification

 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
05 March 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 August 2024
International Applicant Deadline
15 August 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
28 February 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 October 2024
International Applicant Deadline
31 October 2024

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
31 March 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2024
 
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