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Graduate Studies Calendar 2022-2023 Program Descriptions Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Graduate Science Education, G341A
Program Number: 403.210.5712
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degree Offered

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

This degree is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) and allows graduates to qualify for the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists' Assistants (CCCPA) examinations.

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

2. Admission Requirements

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

a) Qualifications

  • Four-year BSc degree in biological sciences, or its equivalent.
  • A minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 (on the University of Calgary four-point system; equivalent to a "B+") based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 60 units.

b) English Language Proficiency

See Medicine Programs.

c) Immunizations

See Medicine Programs.

d) Additional Requirements

  • Applicants are required arrange for the submission of two reference letters. References must follow the guidelines posted on the program’s website for prospective students.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Ability to perform the Essential Functions of a Pathologists' Assistant, as described in the Pathologists' Assistant Student Handbook.

Suggested Preparatory Courses

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, pathology, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, clinical laboratory medicine and histology.

3. Application Deadline

For application deadline, see the Future Students website:

4. Advanced Credit

In consultation with the Graduate Program Director, advanced credit may be requested in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations (see 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. 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 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:

  1. Medical Science 751.43
  2. Medical Science 620
  3. Medical Science 703
  4. Medical Science 744
  5. Medical Science 515
  6. Medical Science 745
  7. Medical Science 748.01 
  8. Medical Science 748.02 
  9. Medical Science 749.01 
  10. Medical Science 749.02 
  11. Medical Science 747
  12. Medical Science 750.01 
  13. Medical Science 750.02 
  14. Medical Science 746

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 an online medical terminology course.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

Students admitted to the graduate programs in the Cumming School of Medicine will not be allowed to request the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course that is applicable to their degree; or apply any course awarded a grade of CG towards their graduation requirements.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Additional Requirements

Police background check and vulnerable service search are required 90 days before starting the second year practicum.

Research Integrity Day and Sex and Gender Training Module

See Medicine Programs.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

With the exception of Medical Science 515, credit will not be given for courses taken below the 600-level.

8. Time Limit

It is highly recommended that the program be completed in two years on a full-time basis. It may also be completed on a part-time basis with the Director's approval.

9. Supervisory Assignments

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

10. Financial Assistance


11. Other Information

A program fee applies to this program. See Tuition and General Fees.