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Advanced Diploma Program Full-time Advanced Diploma 5670advdip

Overview

 
BCIT's Clinical Genetics Technology program is one of two programs of its kind in Canada, and the only one in Western Canada. Our program is taught with the small class sizes and high quality instructors for which BCIT is known.

Clinical genetics technology trains you to investigate genetic diseases like Down syndrome and sickle cell disease. Working in hospitals and private clinics, clinical genetics technologists use sophisticated equipment and techniques to solve complex genetic problems.

About the program

  • A 13-month, full-time advanced Diploma program
  • Lectures and labs give practical experience to advance your existing BSc knowledge
  • A seven-month clinical experience in clinical sites, working with the latest cytogenetic, FISH, and molecular technologies

Want the hands-on learning you need to start your career? See Program Details for more information.

Who it's for

This program is for students who:

  • Enjoy working independently and in teams
  • Are interested in honing their troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • Have a BSc in cell biology (with courses in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular genetics)

Does this sound like the right program for you? Visit Program Entry to learn how to apply.

What grads can do

Our grads are in demand. Our program gives you the applied learning you need to enter the workforce from day one. See Graduating and Jobs to learn what a future looks like in clinical genetics technology.

Program Entry

Application processing

Applications accepted November 1st* to March 4th.*

*or next business day

Note: This program does not accept applications from international students. View programs that do

Entrance requirements

Competitive Entry: Three-step process

Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Academic grades above the minimum
  • Requirements completed within the last five years
  • Related experience*
  • Additional post-secondary academic courses*

*Applicants with preferred entrance requirements are to submit transcripts and supporting documentation with their online application.

Step 1: Meet the following entrance requirements

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Applicants currently enrolled in the last term of their degree/diploma must be on track to complete by May. To apply, submit both of the following documents from your post-secondary institution:

  • Transcript of completed courses
  • Confirmation of enrolment letter verifying your current course enrolment and registration in the final term of your degree/diploma

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

*BSc: BCIT gives preference to applicants who have, as part of their BSc, courses in genetics (preferably human genetics or cytogenetics), molecular biology, or molecular genetics and biochemistry. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed their degree within the last five years and/or have significant relevant work experience.

Note: Due to the limited number of seats and the large number of applicants, the program accepts only the most suitable applicants. The process is competitive. First priority will be given to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants that are BC residents (minimum residency 12 months). If space in the program still remains after all applications from qualified BC residents have been considered, second priority will be given to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants from outside BC. Second priority candidates, please contact Program Head Irene Dorocicz for additional information if you are interested in applying to this program.

Step 2: Requirements for selected applicants

  • Multiple Mini Interview Process (MMI)
    All complete applications will be reviewed by the program and shortlisted applicants will be required to complete the Multiple Mini Interview Process (MMI) in person, taking place at the BCIT Burnaby campus. During this process, applicants will be assessed for their suitability for this profession. Selection into the program will be based on the results of the MMI assessment.
    Note: The MMI is usually held at the end of March.

Step 3: Conditionally selected applicants

If you have been conditionally accepted to BCIT you will be notified and the following information will be required in order to be accepted into the program:

Once these and any other outstanding conditions have been met, you will receive notification of your full acceptance.

Clinical requirements

Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times through the flu season prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

Apply to program

Note: This program does not accept applications from international students. View programs that do

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Online

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.

myCommunication

Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

$1,160
(general estimated cost, subject to change)

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.

Courses

Program matrix

Didactic Term
Level 5 (15 weeks, including exam week)
Credits
  CLGT 5501 Cytogenetics Technology 1 6.5
  CLGT 5502 Chromosome Analysis 1 6.0
  CLGT 5503 Seminar Topics 1 2.0
  CLGT 5504 Computer Assisted Analysis/Image Reproduction 1 1.0
  CLGT 5505 Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH) Technology 1 5.5
  CLGT 5506 Molecular Technology 1 15.0
  CLGT 5507 Chromosome Microarray Technology 1 1.0
 
Level 6A (10 weeks, including exam week) Credits
  CLGT 6601 Cytogenetics Technology 2 4.0
  CLGT 6602 Chromosome Analysis 2 3.5
  CLGT 6603 Seminar Topics 2 1.5
  CLGT 6604 Computer Assisted Analysis/Image Reproduction 2 1.0
  CLGT 6605 Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH) Technology 2 3.5
  CLGT 6606 Molecular Technology 2 10.0
  CLGT 6609 Chromosome Microarray Technology 2 1.5
and
  BHSC 6201 Professional Practice and Communication 1.5
 
Practicum Term
Level 6B (30 weeks)
Credits
  CLGT 6607 Practicum in Cytogenetics/FISH 21.0
  CLGT 6608 Practicum in Molecular Genetics 21.0
The practicum spans 30 weeks and is divided between cytogenetics/FISH technology and molecular technology. It exposes students to the clinical applications of cytogenetics, FISH and molecular technology, and to the pace and environment of a working genetics laboratory, while allowing for the enhancement of personal and technical skills. The practicum period requires a time commitment Monday to Friday, eight to nine hours per day.
 
Total Credits: 105.5

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Clinical genetics technology involves the detailed analysis of the human genome by several distinct but similar technologies: chromosome analysis of banded metaphase chromosomes; fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on interphase/metaphase chromosomes; and molecular diagnostic techniques involving DNA itself. The newest technology is called chromosome microarray, for high-resolution analysis of deletion, duplication, and single nucleotide exchanges, and uses sophisticated software and an advanced scanner. All four technologies can be used on a wide variety of human tissues.

Chromosomes are the packaged form of the human genome and are visible under the microscope. Modern clinical cytogenetics was established in the early 1970s with the use of banding techniques that allowed for the identification of individual chromosomes. Any change in the structure or number of chromosomes present may have a deleterious effect on the individual. FISH techniques allow for a more rapid examination of suspected chromosome abnormalities in living, fixed, and frozen specimens.

More recently, diagnostic molecular technology has given physicians and scientists additional tools to look further into the human genome to detect genetic diseases. Diagnosis of single-gene defects associated with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the fra (X) syndrome is now routine. The diagnosis and treatment of various cancers and leukemias also use chromosome analysis, FISH, molecular technology, and microarrays to determine the status of abnormal clones after treatment.

The program

The training program spans 13.5 months, and consists of three terms. The first two terms are didactic (instructional), 15 and 10 weeks in length respectively, and involve lectures and laboratory study at BCIT. The third term is a 30-week practicum spent at one or more of the practical sites affiliated with BCIT. The time spent in the practicum is divided into cytogenetics, FISH and molecular technologies. After successful completion of each of the three terms, graduates are eligible to write the Certification Examination of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS), which leads to the qualification of Registered Technologist (RT) in Clinical Genetics, the nationally recognized qualification for employment in the field.

Watch the Clinical Genetics program video.


Clinical site partners:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority:
    • Vancouver BC Cancer Agency
    • Vancouver BC Children's and Women's Hospital
    • Vancouver General Hospital
  • Fraser Health Authority:
    • Royal Columbian Hospital - New Westminster
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority:
    • Victoria General Hospital - Victoria
  • Alberta Health Services:
    • Alberta Children's Hospital
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority:
    • Diagnostic Services of Manitoba

Note: Although all BC students will spend at least part of their practicum assignment in a clinical lab in the Lower Mainland, due to space limitations, some of the practicum assignments are outside the Lower Mainland. These assignments will be made at random and must be accepted by the applicant to be admitted into the program. Student input is sought for placement to the remaining partner sites as listed above, but final selection is made by the program (end of Term 1).

Accreditation

The Clinical Genetics Technology program is fully accredited until December 31, 2020 with the Canadian Medical Association’s Conjoint Accreditation Services.

As the program strives to keep current, courses are subject to change without notice.

Graduating & Jobs

Our graduates get work

Our Clinical Genetics Technology program students can complete the Certification Examination of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) as soon as they graduate. Once complete, they are then qualified as registered technologists in clinical genetics. Our grads get hired; most are employed within the first two months of graduating.

Career opportunities

Our grads can work as registered technologists in clinical genetics in major hospitals, private clinics, and research labs across Canada. Salaries start at approximately $54,000 annually.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2013-2015 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2012-2014 graduates and for Degree 2010-2012 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Full time

Irene Dorocicz, PhD., MB(ASCP)cm
Program Head
Email: Irene_Dorocicz@bcit.ca

Part time

Mandy Crichton, BSc, RT
Instructor
Email: mcrichton@bcit.ca

Farzad Kassam, BSc, RT
Assistant Instructor, Clinical Coordinator/Instructor
Email: Farzad_Kassam@bcit.ca

Brenda Lomax, BSc, RT
Instructor
Email: Brenda_Lomax@bcit.ca

Michelle Srdanovic, M.A., RCC
Assistant Instructor
Email: Michelle_Srdanovic@bcit.ca


Advisory committee

  • Dr. Helene Bruyere, VGH
  • Melinda Carrier, Children's & Women's Health Centre BC
  • Dr. Patrice Eydoux, Children's & Women's Health Centre BC
  • Grazyna Karpinska, VGH
  • May He, BC Cancer Agency
  • Kathryn Hepburn, Children's & Women's Health Centre BC
  • Dr. Monica Hrynchak, Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Dr. Ali Karsan, BC Cancer Research Centre
  • Michelle Kelsey, Children's & Women's Health Centre BC
  • Linda Lagan,Victoria General Hospital
  • Cheryl McCullough, BC Society of Laboratory Science
  • Bhushan Verma, Royal Columbian Hospital

Contact Us

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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