Frequently Asked Questions

  • First class grades
  • Excellent references
  • Independent research experience
  • Science-related volunteer experience
  • Publications and/or participation in conferences, workshops and professional meetings
  • Thoughtful personal statement demonstrating enthusiasm and motivation for graduate work in Medical Genetics

No. You are not required to secure the commitment of a research supervisor before you submit an admissions application. However, since it can take some time to secure a supervisor, we advise that you start contacting potential supervisors before you apply. (Do not apply or contact potential supervisors unless you meet the admissions requirements.)

If your application meets all of the admissions requirements, and the Admissions Committee subsequently determines that you are admissible, the final step for acceptance to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program and the University of British Columbia is for you to secure the commitment of a research supervisor (see question #9.)  Note: For those students accepted to the Rotation Program, they must secure the final commitment of a research (thesis) supervisor by the end of their third rotation in their second term in their programs.  See the Rotation Program web page for more information.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Read the research interests and publications of prospective Medical Genetics Research Supervisors.
  • Write a brief email to prospective supervisors explaining your interest in their research. Describe your academic training, accomplishments, research projects, and future career goals. More suggestions
  • To identify Medical Genetics faculty who have positions available for graduate students, please go to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Referees should know you well enough to offer constructive comments and ranking on your:

  • academic preparation
  • originality
  • skills at research/in the industry
  • intellectual capacity
  • general ability

Appropriate Referees:

  • Academic (faculty) research supervisors
  • University professors
  • Science-oriented industry employers

Note: Post-doctoral fellows, employers outside of science, and personal physicians and other character references are not suitable referees.

September term start date:
The majority of applicants apply and are accepted to the September intake.  Generally 9-13 students are accepted annually.
January term start date:
Details pending.

See Application Deadlines for more information.

Yes. You can apply, but the Program will require your final grades by the end of April. If you will not have final grades by the end of April then you should not apply at this time.

No. Submitting a GRE test score is optional. However, a GRE score (subject test in Biology) provides beneficial information to the Admissions Committee.

  • Once you submit your on-line application form, your referees will automatically receive an email invitation with a secure link to submit a letter of reference in support of your application. It is your responsibility to make sure they submit their letter before the application deadline. See Application Deadlines.
  • Upload these supporting documents to your application: CV, Statement of Intent, and official copies of all post-secondary transcripts (and degree certificates if applicable), including grading keys.
  • Completed applications are reviewed and ranked by the Medical Genetics Graduate Program Admissions Committee following the application deadline.
  • Applicants will be advised of the Admissions Committee’s decision by email:
    • Low-ranking applications (i.e. do not meet the admissions requirements) will be rejected.
    • High-ranking applications will be deemed admissible and move to the next step:
  • Applicants deemed admissible must finalize securing the commitment of a Medical Genetics Research Supervisor who agrees to provide supervision and financial support. (Exception:  students offered a place in the Rotation Program.)
  • Once the admissible applicant has secured the commitment of a Research Supervisor, they will be recommended for admission to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program and graduate studies at the University of British Columbia and issued an official acceptance letter.

Canadian and International Applicants:

STEP 1:  Applicants scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official post-secondary transcripts and degree certificates (if applicable) to their on-line application form. These are considered "unofficial documents"and are used by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee for the initial evaluation and ranking of each applicant.

Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. However, admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

STEP 2:  Following an OFFER of admission, provide UBC (not the Medical Genetics Graduate Program) with one set of official transcripts for every post-secondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration. Do NOT send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.

Official Transcripts: To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be sent via secure electronic delivery by the issuing institution.

Documents being provided to meet conditions of admission should be sent directly to:
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

Current and former UBC students:  You do not need to submit UBC transcripts as part of your graduate application as this data is already available through the student database system. However, be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).

Documents submitted in support of applications become the property of the University and may not be returned to the applicant or student. Students who submit irreplaceable material may request the return of that material. Such requests must be submitted with the original material. The material will be returned as soon as possible, and not later than six months after the student's graduation or last registration.

Students who are accepted to the Medical Genetics Graduate Program receive:

  • Medical Genetics Rotation Program Award:  Top-ranking September applicants will be offered the opportunity to participate in this Program.  The award is $26,000 for the first year.  The stipend for subsequent years will be no less than $22,000 / year.
  • Bi-monthly stipend. The stipend is generally not sufficient to completely cover the costs of tuition, student fees, living in Vancouver, and additional normal and emergency expenses.
  • Students may apply to work as Teaching Assistants in the Department of Medical Genetics and other UBC departments.

Eligible Canadians and Permanent Residents of Canada may apply for scholarship funding:

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Funding specifically for international students: