Interested in a career in Genetics Technology?
What is Genetics Technology?
Genetics Technology utilizes laboratory techniques and instrumentation to explore the genetics of the cell. Specifically, genetics' testing involves the study of chromosomes (Cytogenetics) as well as the analysis of DNA and RNA (Molecular Genetics). These investigations are performed on various human specimens including blood, amniotic fluid, bone marrow, tumours and fibroblasts (including fetal tissue). Genetic technologists perform laboratory tests and procedures to provide critical information which enable physicians to diagnose, treat and monitor a patient's condition. Results have direct impact on patient care, family counseling, and future medical care.
What does a Genetics Technologist do?
Genetics Technologists are Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) health professionals. They perform laboratory analyses which are used to diagnose and treat patients, as well as monitor and prevent disease.
Genetics technologists operate a variety of instrumentation. They must have good motor skills, hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. In addition to technical skills, they must have a strong attention to detail in order to detect subtle change to the microscopic appearance of chromosomes. Genetics Technologists must also evaluate the validity of the results they obtain, which requires analytical and critical thinking. Genetics Technologists work in a dynamic laboratory environment working both independently and as a member of a team. They must be organized, able to manage time efficiently, accurate at transcribing information and able to communicate professionally with other members of the health care team.
Why become a Genetics Technologist?
Genetics Technology is a constantly evolving and rewarding career. The lab of today is a far more complicated one than the lab of just ten years ago. As new discoveries advance scientific knowledge, the Technologist's role will continue to change and expand. Even now, we can see the impact of future tests that may be developed for diagnosing such health problems as cancer or genetic disorders.
Leading Edge: Genetics Technologists are involved in a profession that is fast moving and on the leading edge of diagnostic testing.
Variety: Genetics Technologists perform tests in two different disciplines and have a wide range of career options. Every day brings a different challenge and new problems to solve.
Job Satisfaction: Genetics Technologists help patients and families by utilising cutting edge technology in areas such as prenatal diagnosis, congenital abnormalities, familial and hematologic and other malignancies. The results produced by the genetics technologist provide information that physicians, patients and families use to make important decisions about their health and medical care.
Find out what inspired others like yourself to pursue a career in the applied health sciences at www.FutureHeroes.ca.
The College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO) accepts graduates from this program as MLTs with competencies in both cytogenetics and molecular genetics.
Many of our graduates are employed in hospital laboratories, but other opportunities exist, including:
Laboratories in an academic and/or research facility
Education, management, or sales
How long does it take?
Genetics Technology is a 17 month program. The program begins with two semesters of lectures and labs followed by a 12 week semester of clinical simulation at the Michener Institute (September 2014 to July 2016). Semesters 4 and 5 are a 20 week hospital based clinical education in Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics (September 2015 to January 2016). There are 2 on-line courses taken over the 17 month study period.
Graduates receive Michener's Graduate Diploma in Genetics Technology and are eligible to write the Clinical Genetics national certification examination conducted by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS); successful completion qualifies you to seek employment across Canada.
1. Canadian certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) with at least two university-level genetics courses (one in Human Genetics and one in Molecular Genetics) with a minimum grade of 70%. At minimum, each of these courses must be equivalent to one semester of study.
CGPA will be calculated using entire undergraduate degree. Minimum CGPA of 75% must be attained in order to be considered.
2. Bachelor of Science degree with at least two university-level genetics courses (one in Human Genetics and one in Molecular Genetics) with a minimum grade of 70%. At minimum, each of these courses must be equivalent to one semester of study. These courses must have been completed within the last 10 years.
CGPA will be calculated using entire undergraduate degree. Minimum CGPA of 75% must be attained in order to be considered.
NOTE: If you are submitting a Molecular Cell Biology course as a Human Genetics course you must provide course outlines for review and approval.
Applicant Experience Checklist *This will be posted in this section in mid-January 2014*
To assess your experience, ALL applicants are asked to fill out an Applicant Experience Checklist and to submit the requested supporting documents along with the form. Please note that this document must be submitted in person or by mail to the Admissions Office at The Michener Institute, 222 St. Patrick St. Room 500, Toronto, ON M5T 1V4.
*The PowerPoint presentation that must be reviewed while completing the Applicant Experience Checklist can be found here.
Admissions to the Genetics Technology program will be determined by an assessment of academic achievement, CGPA, (35 %), professional and academic experience (15 %) and the Multi Mini Interview (50%).
Students must have access to a computer that meets the minimum system requirements, and access to the Internet.
Applicants for whom English is a second language must provide proof of an English language assessment. Deadline for submission of the English language assessment is February 14, 2014.
Internationally Educated Applicant
If you are an internationally educated applicant living in Canada as a landed immigrant or permanent resident, please be aware that you must have a full Course by Course evaluation of your transcripts by the World Education Service(WES) or a Comprehensive evaluation from the International Credential Assessment Service(ICAS). A document-to-document evaluation or the general evaluation offered through OntarioColleges(OCAS) is not sufficient. Documents must be evaluated to Canadian standards. Please note that WES does not do a course by course evaluation of High School documents. In order to have your International Education included in our initial admissions assesment we must receive all your documents by February 14, 2014.
The Genetics Technology program is a 17 month program with 5 semesters (semester 5 is only 4 weeks). Fees are assessed on an annual basis. Year 1 tuition covers the two in-class semesters and the summer clinical simulation semester. Year 2 tuition covers the clinical placement semester.
The fee policy for Canadian students can found on the Canadian Tuition Fees web page.
The fee policy for International Students can found on the International Student tuition fees web page.
How do I apply?
Step 1: Submit the following to ontariocolleges.ca
- Completed application
- All Official Post-Secondary academic transcripts and official copies of all certification documents. Official Notarized copies will also be accepted.
- Non-refundable application fee
Applicants must submit the application to ontariocolleges.ca using one of the following 2 methods:
1. Apply online at: www.ontariocolleges.ca College code: MICH
Program code: GE222
2. By paper application at: ontariocolleges.ca
60 Corporate Court
P.O. Box 810
Guelph, ON N1G 5J3
Tel: (519) 763-4725 or Toll-free: 1-888-892-2228
Step 2: Candidates must supply the following directly to The Michener Institute: Click here for Admissions contact information.
- A list of all relevant continuing education courses (if applicable), including final grades
- Applicants for whom English is a second language must provide proof of an English language assessment by February 14, 2014.
- All applicants will be mailed a Supplementary Application with an invitation to review, and sign off on important program specific material. This signed Supplementary Application must then be returned to Michener's Admissions Office with the applicable fee.
- Top ranked applicants to the Genetics program will be invited to attend the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), the final phase of our admissions process.
What is MMI?
For more information on the application process please visit Michener's Admissions page.
Application Process for International Applicants
All International students (on a study permit/work permit in Canada, or residing overseas) have a separate application process. Please apply directly to The Michener Institute. For more information please refer to the International Admissions page.
February 1, 2014
What will I learn?
Michener's Genetics Technology program provides educational experiences in both cytogenetic and molecular genetic techniques. Cytogenetics encompasses the microscopic analysis of human chromosomes; molecular genetics involves the analysis of DNA and RNA.
- Study the theory of genetic testing
- Develop your skills in tissue culture, slide preparation, staining, microscopy, chromosome analysis, computer imaging techniques, extraction of nucleic acid, sequencing, MLPA southern blotting, PCR, RT-PCR and real time PCR
- Gain hands on experience in diagnostic laboratories
Semester 1 - Fall
Semester 2 - Winter
Semester 3 - Summer
Semester 4 - Fall
Semester 5 - Winter
Length: 20 weeks
You will be assigned to clinical placement site(s) through Michener’s Office for Clinical Education. This process begins with an information session in the first semester of your program.
As clinical education is a major component of all Michener programs, our affiliated clinical sites are integral to your education. They include teaching hospitals across Canada. Working closely under the supervision of Genetics Technologists, you will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills into practice during the clinical phase of your program. Clinical placements give you hands-on experience in work environments and the opportunity to network with potential employers.
You may be placed in more than one clinical site during your clinical placement period, based on the required clinical competencies for your program and the range of services at the clinical sites.
Clinical partner sites are subject to change, therefore, specific geographic regions may not be available at the time of your placement; other regions may be added. Please note that when you accept a seat in the program, you will also accept to go to any of the program’s affiliated clinical sites available at the time of your placement.
In addition, when you accept a seat in the program, you agree to comply with the following mandatory requirements which must be completed prior to the start of your clinical placement:
- First Aid and CPR Certification for Health Care Providers
- N95 Mask Fit Testing
- Updated Vulnerable Persons Check (also required upon admission)
- Updated TB Test (also required upon admission)
The Genetics Technology program is a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited program.
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that programs enable their students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to function as competent health practitioners for the benefit of all Canadians. Accreditation, an external validation of program quality, is the public recognition that an educational program has met national standards (CMA 2006)
Graduating from an accredited program means that:
- your education has met national standards (SCMLS Clinical Genetics competency Profile)
- your program has patient care and student welfare at the forefront
- your education is relevant to current medical practice
- your have access to professional registration
- you have attained the competencies required for entry to practice
- your education is recognized by employers and the public
- you have greater mobility as a health science practitioner