Human Genetics

Human Genetics

Location

  • Department of Human Genetics
  • Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building
  • 3640 University Street, Room 315
  • Montreal QC H3A 0C7
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-4198
  • Fax: 514-398-2430
  • Email: dept.humangenetics [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/humangenetics
Administration
Ross MacKay – Student Affairs Advisor
  • Email: ross.mackay [at] mcgill.ca
Rimi Joshi – Student Affairs Coordinator
  • Email: grad.hg [at] mcgill.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.

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;
  • genomic and genetic basis of human diseases.

Detailed information regarding faculty research interests can be found on the Department website.

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

Tuition Assistance Packages

A certain number of tuition assistance packages will be offered to incoming out-of-province/international students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Students who have a CGPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 or above (as converted by McGill GPS guidelines) and who submit online application and documents by March 31 (Fall), or Sept. 10 (Winter) will automatically be considered for assistance.

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
  • 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)

This program is currently not offered.

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

This program is currently not offered.

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 2017-2018 (last updated Jul. 10, 2017).

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 out of 4.0, or 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two full-time academic years;
  • Recent (within the past five years) university-level courses in basic sciences (molecular/cell biology, biochemistry, advanced genetics (preferably human), and statistics) and a minimum of two in psychology;
  • Some experience (either paid or volunteer) working with adults in a counselling or advisory capacity, ideally in a crisis setting.

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

Prerequisites:

  • B.Sc. – minimum CGPA 3.0 out of 4.0, or 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two full-time academic years;
  • A minimum of 6 credits in cellular and molecular biology or biochemistry, 3 credits in mathematics or statistics, and 3 credits in genetics.

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.

Language Requirements

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 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT; 600 on the paper-based test (PBT)), with each component score no less than 20, as the minimum standard for admission.

Application Procedures

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

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Human Genetics and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

M.Sc. Genetic Counselling program* (Non-Thesis)
  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Jan. 15 Jan. 15 Jan. 15
Winter Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
M.Sc. (Thesis) and Ph.D. programs
  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 March 31 March 31 March 31
Winter Term: Feb. 15 Sept. 10 Sept. 10 Sept. 10
Summer Term: May 15 Jan. 15 Apr. 1 Apr. 1

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.

Note: Applications for Summer term admission will not be considered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2017-2018 (last updated Jul. 10, 2017).