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biochemical genetics

Human Genetics

Human Genetics

Location

  • Department of Human Genetics
  • Stewart Biological Sciences Building
  • 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, N5/13
  • Montreal, QC H3A 1B1
  • Canada
Administration
Kandace Springer – Administrative Assistant
  • Email: kandace [dot] springer [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Ross Mackay – Graduate Program Coordinator
  • Email: ross [dot] mackay [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Laura Benner – Assistant Graduate Program Coordinator
  • Email: laura [dot] benner [at] mcgill [dot] ca

About Human Genetics

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Degrees in Human Genetics

The Department of Human Genetics offers a clinical master’s program in Genetic Counselling, as well as research training at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. Both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. research programs require the completion of a thesis, which is the major focus of the student's effort. A minimal amount of coursework is required, but specific course choices are flexible and vary according to the student's previous training and current research interest. The Department also offers a Bioinformatics option. Information on the Bioinformatics option can be found at: www.mcgill.ca/mcb/academic/graduate.

Most of the faculty of the Human Genetics Department are located in McGill teaching hospitals, reflecting the medically learned knowledge at the core of human genetic studies.

Faculty have a wide variety of research interests, which embrace: cancer genetics, cytogenetics, reproductive biology, neurogenetics, and genomic and genetic basis of human diseases. Detailed information regarding faculty research interest can be found on the Department web page at www.mcgill.ca/humangenetics/prospective-students/supervision.

Students accepted into the Human Genetics research graduate program will receive a minimum stipend of $15,000, plus tuition and fees.

Tuition Differential Fee Waivers

A certain number of tuition differential fee waivers will be offered to incoming out-of-province/international students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Students who have a CGPA of 3.5/4.0 or above (as converted by McGill GPS guidelines) and who submit online application and documents by Jan. 31 (Summer), March 31 (Fall), Sept. 30 (Winter) will automatically be considered for a tuition waiver.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Human Genetics (Thesis) (45 credits)
The Department of Human Genetics provides a unified curriculum of study in genetics. Areas of specialization include: biochemical genetics, genetics of development, animal models of human diseases, cancer genetics, molecular pathology, gene therapy, genetic dissection of complex traits, genetics of infectious and inflammatory diseases, non-mendelian genetics, bioinformatics, behavioural genetics, neurogenetics, bioethics, and genomics. Many of our faculty hold cross-appointments in various departments (including: biochemistry, biology, cardiology, medicine, microbiology, immunology, neurology, pathology, paediatrics, pharmacology, psychiatry) within the Faculties of Science and Medicine. This enables numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. The Department conducts research on all sites of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, the McGill Life Sciences Complex, the McGill University-Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, the Biomedical Ethics Unit, and the Centre for Genomics and Policy.
Master of Science (M.Sc.); Human Genetics (Thesis) — Bioinformatics (45 credits)

Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option at the M.Sc. level will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field. Bioinformatics research lies at the intersection of biological/medical sciences and mathematics/computer science/engineering. The intention of the Bioinformatics Option is to train students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases and the use of algorithms and statistics.

Enrolment in the Bioinformatics option can only be approved after a student has been admitted into the Department. There is an agreement for the option that must be signed by the student, supervisor, and Department, and enrolment in the option is subject to space availability and other constraints that the Department cannot assess at the time of admission. For more information, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Human Genetics (Thesis) — Bioethics (45 credits)
McGill University offers specialized education in bioethics to graduate students in the Faculties of Medicine, Religious Studies, and Law, and the Department of Philosophy. The Master's degree Specialization in Bioethics is an interdisciplinary academic program that emphasizes both the conceptual and the practical aspects of bioethics.
Master of Science (M.Sc.); Genetic Counselling (Non-Thesis) (48 credits)
The M.Sc. in Genetic Counselling program provides the academic foundation and clinical training required for the contemporary practice of genetic counselling. Genetic counsellors are health professionals who provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. Genetic counsellors investigate the problem present in the family, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence, and review available options with the family. Some counsellors also work in administrative and academic capacities, and many engage in research activities. The curriculum includes a variety of required courses in human genetics and other departments, and 40 weeks of supervised clinical training spread over four semesters. Graduates will be eligible to sit for both the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors and the American Board of Genetic Counselling certification examinations. Upon completion of the M.Sc. in Genetic Counselling program, students will demonstrate competence in, or satisfactory knowledge of: principles of human genetics, including cytogenetics, biochemical, molecular, and population genetics; methods of interviewing and counselling, and the dynamics of human behaviour in relation to genetic disease; and social, legal, and ethical issues in genetics. Enrolment will be limited to four students.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Human Genetics
The Department of Human Genetics provides a unified curriculum of study in genetics. Areas of specialization include: biochemical genetics, genetics of development, animal models of human diseases, cancer genetics, molecular pathology, gene therapy, genetic dissection of complex traits, genetics of infectious and inflammatory diseases, non-mendelian genetics, bioinformatics, behavioural genetics, neurogenetics, bioethics, and genomics. Many of our faculty hold cross-appointments in various departments (including: biochemistry, biology, cardiology, medicine, microbiology, immunology, neurology, pathology, paediatrics, pharmacology, psychiatry) within the Faculties of Science and Medicine. This enables numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. The Department conducts research on all sites of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, the McGill Life Sciences Complex, the McGill University-Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, the Biomedical Ethics Unit, and the Centre for Genomics and Policy.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Human Genetics — Bioinformatics

Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option at the Ph.D. level will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field and have the capability of developing an independent Bioinformatics research program. Bioinformatics research lies at the intersection of biological/medical sciences and mathematics/computer science/engineering. The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics.

Enrolment in the Bioinformatics option can only be approved after a student has been admitted into the Department. There is an agreement for the option that must be signed by the student, supervisor, and Department, and enrolment in the option is subject to space availability and other constraints that the Department cannot assess at the time of admission. For more information, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

Human Genetics Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

M.Sc. in Genetic Counselling

Prerequisites: Bachelor's or medical degree – minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.0 in the last two full-time academic years. Recent (five years or less) university-level courses in basic sciences (molecular/cell biology, biochemistry, advanced genetics (preferably human), and statistics) and a minimum of two in psychology.

Applicants must have obtained some experience (either paid or volunteer) working with adults in a counselling or advisory capacity, ideally in a crisis setting.

Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must submit a TOEFL score of 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test (or 100 on the Internet-based test), with each component score no less than 20, as the minimum standard for admission.

M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Human Genetics

Prerequisites: B.Sc. – minimum CGPA 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.0 in the last two full-time academic years. Applicants must have a minimum of 6 credits in cellular and molecular biology or biochemistry, 3 credits in mathematics or statistics, and 3 credits in genetics. Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must submit a TOEFL score of 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test (or 100 on the Internet-based test), with each component score no less than 20, as the minimum standard for admission.

Admission is based on acceptance by a research director who has agreed to provide adequate funding for the duration of the academic program and on an evaluation by the Graduate Training Committee.

Prospective graduate students should complete the online application form and indicate at least three faculty members they are interested in working with.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Application Deadlines

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
M.Sc. Genetic Counselling program* (Non-Thesis) M.Sc. (Thesis) programs Ph.D. programs M.Sc. Genetic Counselling program* (Non-Thesis) M.Sc. (Thesis) programs Ph.D. programs  
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: March 31 Fall: March 31 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: March 31 Fall: March 31 Fall: N/A
Winter: N/A Winter: Sept. 30 Winter: Sept. 30 Winter: N/A Winter: Sept. 30 Winter: Sept. 30 Winter: N/A
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A** Summer: Jan. 31 Summer: N/A Summer: N/A** Summer: Jan. 31 Summer: N/A

Applications for thesis programs submitted after these deadlines may be considered, if a suitable supervisor can be secured. However, these applications will not be considered for departmental funding or entrance awards.

* The M.Sc. Genetic Counselling program accepts applications for the Fall term only. No late applications or applications for Summer or Winter terms for the Genetic Counselling program will be considered under any circumstances.

** The Department of Human Genetics is not willing to consider any applications to the M.Sc. (Thesis) for the Summer term.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

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