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Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Contact Information

Location: Graduate Science Education, 330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Faculty Number: 403.210.6689
Fax: 403. 210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Pathologists’ Assistant (MPath), course-based

This course-based program is a combination of courses in anatomy, physiology, and pathology, and practical rotations in histology, autopsy, surgical pathology, and paediatric pathology, to train Pathologists’ Assistants.

All students are considered full-time. Part-time status may be considered and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Master of Science with a Pathologists’ Assistant specialization is also offered as a thesis-based program. Contact the Medical Science Graduate Program for further information.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the MPath program requires:

a) a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, or its equivalent

b) a minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 (on a four-point system; equivalent to a "B+") based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents

c) proof of proficiency in the English language (if required):

  • a minimum TOEFL ibt score of 105, or TOEFL pbt score of 600, or
  • a minimum IELTS academic version score of 7.5, or
  • a minimum MELAB score of 86, or
  • a minimum PTE academic version score of 75

d) two reference letters and reference forms

e) current Curriculum Vitae (CV)

f) a Letter of Intent (no more than one page in length) outlining the applicant's understanding of the field of pathology, and the role of a pathologist’s assistant, and why their application should be considered

g) ability to perform the Essential Functions of a Pathologists' Assistant, as described on the program website.

3. Application Deadline
  • March 30 for the following September.

Please note applications are accepted for September admission only.

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the program requires all Pathologists' Assistant students to successfully complete 45 units (7.5 full-course equivalents):

  1. Medical Science 751.43 (3 units)
  2. Medical Science 620: Topics in Systems Physiology (3 units)
  3. Medical Science 703 (3 units)
  4. Medical Science 744 (6 units)
  5. Medical Science 515 (3 units)
  6. Medical Science 745 (3 units)
  7. Medical Science 748.01 (3 units)
  8. Medical Science 748.02 (3 units)
  9. Medical Science 749.01 (3 units)
  10. Medical Science 749.02 (3 units)
  11. Medical Science 747 (3 units)
  12. Medical Science 750.01 (3 units)
  13. Medical Science 750.02 (3 units)
  14. Medical Science 746 (3 units)

It is required that all PA students will successfully complete (minimum "B-") all Fall and Winter courses prior to beginning their practicum.

In addition to the courses listed above, students must complete a medical terminology course.

6. Additional Requirements


7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses


8. Time Limit

It is highly recommended that the program be completed in two years on a full-time basis. Part-time students will only be considered in extenuating circumstances.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The Graduate Program Director will serve as interim supervisor for all newly admitted students. In the course-based Pathologists’ Assistant program, there is no official requirement for students to have a supervisor. We do recommend, however, that students have a faculty supervisor and/or a mentor within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

10. Required Examinations


11. Research Proposal Requirements


12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance


14. Other Information

A program fee applies to this program.

Suggested prerequisites: Principles of Genetics (Biology 311 or equivalent), Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (Biology 331 or equivalent), Introduction to Biochemistry (Biochemistry 393 or equivalent), and senior-level course work in at least two of the following subject areas: anatomy, physiology, or molecular biology.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Please visit: