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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2014-2015 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MDBC
Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MDBC
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G329
Program number: 403.220.8306
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based


  • Bioinformatics
2. Admission Requirements

All master’s thesis and doctoral students are considered full-time. In exceptional circumstances part-time status may be considered and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Medicine requirements, the Department requires:

a) A minimum admission grade point average over the last two years (minimum 20 half-course equivalents) of 3.30 (B+) on a four-point scale or equivalent.

b) Normally, a four year Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent.

c) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test), or 100 (Internet-based test), or a minimum IELTS score of 7.50, or a MELAB score of 84, or a minimum PTE score of 70.

d) Master’s applicants are required to submit two reference letters and two corresponding reference forms, PhD applicants are required to submit three reference letters and three corresponding reference forms which follow the reference guidelines posted on the program’s prospective student website.

e) A current curriculum vitae.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of required documents for international applicants:

April 1 for September admission
August 1 for January admission
December 1 for May admission
February 1 for July admission

Deadlines for submission of required documents for domestic applicants:

June 1 for September admission
October 1 for January admission
March 1 for May admission
May 1 for July admission

Students applying to the MD/Master’s or MD/PhD program must also apply to the Leaders in Medicine program by completing a supplementary application.

4. Advanced Credit

Any credit to be given for courses completed will be included in the letter of offer for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In general, MSc students will be required to take at least two graduate-level half-course equivalents and PhD students will be required to take at least three graduate-level half-course equivalents.

6. Additional Requirements

Each student is required to participate regularly in journal club and work-in-progress seminar programs administered by the Institute or Research Group to which the student and his/her supervisor belong, and the student will present at least one journal club seminar and one work-in-progress presentation per year.

Attendance at a Research Integrity Day workshop is required for all graduate students.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Courses at the 500 level are not usually considered graduate courses. Students should register in 500-level courses only upon the recommendation of their supervisory committee. Credit will be given for 500-level courses appropriate to a student’s program as long as an equal or greater number of courses at the 600 level or above is included in the program.

8. Time Limit

See “Medicine Programs”.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program has an optional rotation program that may last up to six months. This allows the graduate student and the potential supervisor to learn more about each other’s research interests and available research projects. The student will spend two months in each laboratory of up to three faculty members. After the rotation program, the student will select a permanent supervisor. Alternatively, a student may begin the program with a permanent supervisor, if such arrangements have been made prior to arrival.

Supervisory committees are required for both master’s and doctoral students in the BMB Graduate Program. A permanent supervisory committee must be in place no later than 3 months after the appointment of the supervisor.

Students in the Leaders in Medicine program must have a supervisory committee constituted according to the regulations of the graduate program. In addition, these students are monitored by a Joint Liaison Committee of the Leaders in Medicine program.

10. Required Examinations

See the “Medicine Programs” entry in this Calendar.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

See the “Medicine Programs” entry in this Calendar.

12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance

All students who are accepted into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program will receive a minimum stipend ($21,000 for MSc students and $23,000 for PhD students). Students are encouraged to apply to external agencies for financial assistance from scholarships or studentships. Some of these awards provide stipends in excess of the program minimum. Information on awards can be obtained from the office of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program.

14. Course Information

All Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduate students are required to take either the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology core course Medical Science 721; or Advanced Genetics course Medical Science 641.01 as part of their course work requirement.

Descriptions of courses with biochemistry and molecular biology content at the University of Calgary are included under Biochemistry (BCEM), Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology (CMMB) and Medical Science (MDSC) listings elsewhere in the Calendar. Relevant courses for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduate program include:

500-level Courses – Courses at the 500 level are not usually considered graduate courses. Students should register in 500-level courses only upon the recommendation of their supervisory committee.

Graduate-level Courses
Biochemistry 731 Protein and Metabolic Engineering
Medical Science 604 Integrative Human Physiology
Medical Science 605 Information Storage and Processing in Biological Systems (Computer Science 605)
Medical Science 609.02 Genes and Development
Medical Science 613.05 Regulation of Gene Expression in Bacteria
Medical Science 619.01 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Medical Science 619.03 Developmental Neuroscience
Medical Science 621.01 Basic Principles of Pharmacology
Medical Science 631 Muscle Physiology
Medical Science 639.01 Principles of Immunology
Medical Science 639.02 Cellular and Molecular Immunology
Medical Science 641.01 Advanced Genetics I
Medical Science 641.04 Genomics
Medical Science 671 Techniques in Medical Science
Medical Science 675 Bioinformatics Resources for the Biologist
Medical Science 683.01 Cancer Pathology, Epidemiology and Therapy
Medical Science 683.02 Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer
Medical Science 683.04 Cell Biology of Cancer
Medical Science 721 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Medical Science 751.02 Cellular and Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of Diabetes
Medical Science 751.09 Ion Channel Diseases

15. Other Information

For further information on graduate program application and admission, consult the department website at

16. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Faculty members in the Department are affiliated with one or more of the Cumming School of Medicine’s Institutes and Centres. In addition, faculty research is grouped according to research streams: Molecular and Developmental Genetics, Molecular Biology of Disease, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics and Cell Signalling and Structure.

Research interests of the Groups can be found on the department website at