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 an 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 Ph.D. program.
What is the Capstone Practicum?
The capstone practicum takes place during the final semester of the program. During the practicum, you will integrate and apply all of the knowledge you have gained throughout the program in a professional setting. The capstone practicum is the only time 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. During the laboratory-stream practicum, students will work full-time with a host organization/supervisor, focusing on a project of significance to the practicum partner in the field of Medical Genomics. Clinical-stream students will engage in a self-directed placement in Clinical Medical Genomics. During the clinical-stream practicum, students will engage with a project directly related to their specific clinical interests.
Is there a thesis at the end of this program?
No, this is a course-based Master’s program that 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 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.
What does an ideal applicant look like?
Students with either a medical or laboratory background move through the program together in the same cohort, 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. Relevant and positive references back their experience.
How many years of undergraduate studies are required for admission?
We require students to have obtained a Bachelor's 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 may or may not have practical experience in a lab (wet or dry). There are many undergraduate specialties and majors that are appropriate and relevant for applicants to the medical genomics program, including molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, human biology, cell and systems biology, genome biology, immunology, and microbiology. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of acceptable majors - if you're not sure about your specific background, feel free to reach out!
Should I apply for the Laboratory Professional or Clinical stream?
Only licensed pharmacists, medical doctors, genetic counsellors, 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 to apply for this program. As part of your application package, you will be asked to fill out a transcript summary form, which helps the admissions committee interpret your transcript(s). 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 in order to apply to the clinical stream?
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 need to be a licensed pharmacist in order to apply to the clinical stream?
You are not required to be licensed, but you need a PharmD or equivalent degree in Pharmacy or Pharmacology.
We do welcome applications from licensed pharmacists as well!
Do I need to be registered as a nurse practitioner with the College of Nurses to apply to the clinical stream?
No, but you need to be registered as a nurse, be in good standing with a recognized College of Nurses, and complete your nurse practitioner graduate work. Please include your registration number in your CV.
We do welcome applications from licensed nurse practitioners 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 are done entirely 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, we must receive your transcripts by the application deadline for the admissions committee to review your application. If the committee feels that they need to look at your final marks before deciding, we will contact you.
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 your referee(s) only has an unofficial/non-institutional email address, please email the department (firstname.lastname@example.org) providing the unofficial/non-institutional email address for your referee(s). We will add this information manually 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 student.
When will I know the status of my application?
Applications are reviewed and applicants are 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.
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?
Students enrolled in the Medical Genomics program may be eligible to apply for the Professional Master's Financial Aid Allocation - a needs-based bursary that will be advertised to our students yearly.