The Bioinformatics Graduate Program at UBC is an inter-disciplinary program which offers the degrees of M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. The Bioinformatics graduate program is administered by an Advisory Committee which is responsible to the Faculty of Science and administered by the Michael Smith Laboratories. Faculty members from many life science and quantitative science departments (Medical Genetics, Genome Science & Technology, Medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Pathology, Computer Science, Math and Statistics) constitute the membership of this program. A representative group of faculty members from these departments form the Bioinformatics Advisory Committee which is responsible for administering the program.

The Bioinformatics program is flexible and intended to accommodate the diverse background of students wishing to enter it. Students who apply for entrance must satisfy the general requirements of the  Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and must be acceptable to the Bioinformatics Admissions Committee and the Department in which their supervisor works. Students entering the program generally have a first class or a high second class bachelor’s degree.

Applications are screened by an admissions committee which bases its decision on academic transcripts, three letters of references, and on the availability of a suitable supervisor. For the latter reason, applicants are urged to correspond with prospective supervisors independently of their application submitted to the departmental admissions committee. Most applicants are informed of their acceptability by April of the prospective year of entry. Students from countries where English is not generally used are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and submit the results before admission. GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) are not required for application to the program.

Application Deadlines to the Bioinformatics Graduate Program (MSc):

Applications must be submitted by the deadlines indicated below. This allows time to meet scholarship application deadlines, and for space and supervisory commitments to be planned. We are, however, open to any inquiries from talented students on a year round basis. International students should be aware that it may require up to four months to process visa applications, so that early submissions are encouraged.

For overseas/international M.Sc. students:

Start Date Application Deadline
September 2024 January 15, 2024

For Canadian (domestic) M.Sc. students:

Start Date Application Deadline
September 2024 January 15, 2024


Application Deadlines to the Bioinformatics Graduate Program (PhD):  

Start Date Application Deadline
January 2024 August 31, 2023 (domestic);

August 31, 20223 (international)

Start Date Application Deadline
May 2024 December 1, 2023 (domestic);

December 1, 2023 (international)

Start Date Application Deadline
September 2024 January 15, 2024 (domestic);

January 14, 2024 (international)

Required Application Documents for the on-line system:

  • CV
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Three strongly supportive academic letters of reference (if the referee prefers to send it to the program coordinator by postal mail, it can be unloaded at this end)
  • Official TOEFL score or equivalent (for students whose first language is not English or have not attended an English-speaking post-secondary institution – University code: 0965  Dept code: 99)
  • Minimum Scores for Tests of English as a Foreign Language:
    • TOEFL (internet-based) overall score of 100
    • IELTS overall band 7


For international transcripts, please see UBC Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies entrance requirements at:


Application Procedures:

1) Applying to the UBC Bioinformatics graduate program directly without a supervisor:

  • Apply on-line through the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral studies by the required deadline.
  • Letters of reference are uploaded electronically by the referee but must be from an institutional URL – no gmail, hotmail, google, etc. They may also be mailed to the program coordinator as long as they arrive by the application deadline.
  • When we receive your completed on-line application form, we will open a file for you and send it to our Admissions Committee.
  • Please indicate in all your email correspondence what program you are applying for at UBC, as program coordinators have several programs to administer.
  • Once your application package has been reviewed by the Admissions committee, the program coordinator will post your application on a secure website for Faculty to review.  You should be actively seeking a supervisor by emailing faculty members directly and attaching your CV (and you can tell them I have your application package to view). If you do not hear back from the program coordinator by the end of April, your application was not selected by a faculty member, and you will not be enrolled in the program.

2) Applying after securing a supervisor:

  • Apply on-line through the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral studies by the required deadline.
  • An email from your potential supervisor to the graduate program coordinator must indicate that they are accepting you as a student and supporting you by paying you a minimum stipend of $27,900 per year.
  • Your application will then be sent to the Admissions committee and you will receive an official acceptance letter once your application has been approved.

Sharon Ruschkowski
Bioinformatics Program Coordinator
100 – 570 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA
V5Z 4S6