Program Overview

DNAThe Department of Medical Genetics, through Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at the University of British Columbia, offers a unique two-year graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Genetic Counselling.

Based in the heart of Vancouver at Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia — the tertiary care provider for clinical medical genetics services — UBC’s MSc in Genetic Counselling program is one of only five programs in Canada, and one of the largest. The diversity of the students and faculty is reflective of the broad range of ethnicities and cultures within Vancouver.

The program balances strong academic grounding, direct clinical experiences and independent research to prepare graduates for the dynamic field of genetic counselling. Academic coursework is concentrated in the first year of study, followed by a focus on experiential learning in the second year of study. With only eight students accepted into the program every year, students receive close mentorship and one-on-one support from award-winning faculty in the Department of Medical Genetics.

The program has full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). Students, upon graduating, will be eligible to apply for “Active Candidate” status for both the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) and the Canadian Board of Genetic Counsellors (CBGC) certification exams. The cumulative board examination pass rate for first-time test takers for the Classes of 2020 – 2022 is 94%. Overall ABGC board examination pass rate for test takers from 2020 – 2022 is 100%. For first-time CBGC test takers in 2019 – 2022, the pass rate for the board exam was 100%. The program has a 0% attrition rate for the past five years.

Graduates of the program have gone on to pursue stimulating careers, both in Canada and internationally, in genomic research, private industry, public and private clinical services, as well as policy development. Many alumni and faculty have become international leaders in the field, including President of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), as well as board members on the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), CAGC, and NSGC.