Program Content

What is the difference between the professional Master’s and the regular Master’s program?
The professional Master’s program in Medical Genomics is a terminal degree. Upon successful completion, you will be awarded a professional Master’s in Health Science Degree (M.H.Sc.). This program is geared towards working professionals who want to increase their knowledge of genetics and genomics, and apply that knowledge to advance their professional careers. There is no thesis component to this program, instead students will enroll in courses and complete a capstone practicum project in the final semester of the two-year program.
In contrast, students enrolled in the traditional Master’s program in Molecular Genetics are awarded a M.Sc. degree, where conferment of this degree is contingent upon students completing a thesis. The majority of students enrolled in the M.Sc. in Molecular Genetics program will reclassify to the PhD program.

What is the Capstone Practicum?
The capstone practicum takes place during the final semester of the program. During practicum you will integrate and apply all of the knowledge you have gained throughout the program. The capstone practicum is the only time in the program that the lab and clinical stream students will split into two separate courses. The lab stream students will enroll in the Practicum in Modern Genomics. In this course students work in the laboratory where they will isolate genomic DNA, perform next-generating sequencing and analyze data in the context of human disease. The clinical stream students will enroll in the Practicum in Patient Management where they will engage in hands-on exercises to prepare them to integrate genomics into their clinical practice.

Is there a thesis at the end of this program?
No, this is a course-based Master’s program which does not involve thesis research. The program culminates instead with the Capstone Practicum.

Can this program be done part-time?
No - this program is currently available exclusively as a full time two-year program.

What skills will I acquire through this program?
Graduates of both streams will graduate with the knowledge and ability to:

  • Apply genetic and genomic knowledge to address to biomedical questions
  • Collaborate with physicians, pharmacists and scientists to answer biomedical questions
  • Bioinformatically analyze genomic data
  • Construct and interpret genetic testing reports
  • Communicate genetic information to a wide variety of audiences
  • Understand the current legal and ethical implications of genomic research and testing in Canada

Graduates of the laboratory stream will:

  • Graduate with the training to generate genomic sequencing data in the laboratory and analyze the results.

Graduates of the clinical stream will:

  • Graduate with the knowledge and confidence to incorporate genetics and genomics into their clinical practice.
  • Leave with a better understanding of how to communicate to patients about the implications of genetic testing.

 

Admission

What does an ideal applicant look like?
In the same cohort, students with either a medical or laboratory background move through the program together, adding their unique insights to the discussions and assignments.
Ideal applicants have demonstrated an interest in pursuing medical genomics, and candidates with experience in molecular biology and statistics have an advantage in the course work.

How many years of undergraduate studies are required for admission?
We require students to have obtained a Bachelor degree, completed at least one year of Medical School or the coursework (theoretical and practical) to become a pharmacist, dietitian or nurse practitioner.

Is there an undergraduate program of study that is most suitable for admission to the M.H.Sc in Medical genomics?
Preferred candidates have a background in molecular biology, genetics or a related field and have practical experience in a lab, have completed at least one years of Medical School, or have completed the coursework (theoretical and practical) to become a pharmacist, dietitian, nurse practitioner.

Should I apply for the Laboratory Professional or Clinical stream?
Only licensed pharmacists, medical doctors, nurse practitioners or dietitians, or students who have completed at least one year of Medical School or the coursework (theoretical and practical) to become a pharmacist, dietitian or nurse practitioner can apply for the clinical stream. Students with a B.Sc. degree should apply for the laboratory professional stream.

I didn’t major in genetics as an undergrad - can I still apply for this program?
Yes! You do not have to have majored in the life sciences in order to apply for this program. As part of your application package, you will be asked to fill out a transcript summary form; however, there are no required prerequisite courses and previous research experience is not compulsory. That said, we do recommend that students have taken courses in molecular biology or a related field.

Do I need to be licensed with a College of Dietitians?
No, but you need to have completed the theoretical and practical training. The Master's in Medical Genomic's practicum in patient management does not count towards your practicum for dietitian training! 
We do welcome applications from licensed dietitians as well!

Do I ned to be a licensed pharmacist?
You are not required to be licensed, but you do have to completed a PharmD or equivalent degree in Pharmacy or Pharmacology.
We do welcome applications from licensed dietitians as well!

Do I need to be registered as a nurse practitioner with the College of Nurses?

No, but you need to be registered as a nurse, and be in good standing witha recognized College of Nurses, and have completed your nurse practitioner graduate work. Please include your registration number in CV.
We do welcome applications from licensed dietitians as well!

Do I require transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions attended?

Yes, you must scan and upload transcripts for all the post-secondary institutions you have attended. Applicants who attended universities outside North America must provide official English translations to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English.

How do I know if my documents have been received?
Application and document submission is done completely online. You can check your online application regularly to ensure that your referees have submitted their references.

My transcripts do not show my final year marks since my courses are still in progress. Should I wait until after my marks are on my transcripts before I order them?
No, your transcripts must be received by us by the application deadline in order for the admissions committee to review your application. If the committee feels that they need to look at your final marks prior to making a decision, you will be contacted.

Are there reference forms?
Applicants are not responsible for sending reference forms to their referees. All referees that applicants have provided contact information for will receive an automated e-mail requesting the submission of a reference letter for you. The e-mail will include a link to an e-form that they will submit electronically.

My referee(s) do not have an institutional email address, should they send a reference via regular mail?
No. If you referee(s) only has an unofficial/non-institutional email address, please email the department providing the unofficial/non-institutional email address for your referee(s). We will add the information to your application. If you are admitted to the program, we will follow-up with your referee.

My referee(s) have told me that they have submitted the reference online, but my records say that the letters are still pending.
If your referees have tried to submit their references online but your records show that the references have not been received, the documents were not uploaded properly. Ask your referees to re-submit the references. You can send a reminder via your online application.

Who is considered an international student?
Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and will be studying in Canada with a study authorization is considered an international students.

When will I know the status of my application?
Applications are reviewed and applicants informed within two months of the application deadline.

Why was I not accepted into the program?
Admission is competitive due to the limited size of the cohort. We cannot guarantee admission to the graduate program.

 

Finances

What is the tuition?
Tuition is defined by the University of Toronto Graduate School, and may change depending on the year. Tuition costs for the year(s) in question will be communicated directly to successful applicants.

Will I receive a graduate stipend?
No, because this is a course-based professional Master’s program, students will not receive a graduate stipend.

Does the University offer any financial aid and support?
Information on financial aid can be found here.