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Pathologists' Assistant

Master of Pathologists' Assistant (MDPA)

Course-based program

Program overview

The Master of Pathologists’ Assistant program is a course-based professional master’s degree that can lead to direct employment within a pathology laboratory as a Pathologists’ Assistant. Our program is one of two NAACLS accredited programs offered in Canada; this allows our graduates to qualify for the ASCP and CCCPA examinations required to apply for jobs across North America. Through hands on experience in high paced medical laboratories students learn to perform tasks, such as the dissection of surgical specimens and autopsies, under the direct supervision of a Pathologist. Attention to detail, problem solving and collaborative skills are essential to successful completion of the course-based program.

Completing this program

  • Course topics may include systems pathology, human anatomy, human pathology, human histology, surgical pathology practicum and more.
  • Sex & Gender Module: Students are required to complete one of the CIHR sex and gender online training modules found at in the first year of their program.
  • Research Integrity Day: Research Integrity Day is a Research Ethics session offered several times each year. All graduate students in the Cumming School of Medicine are required to attend Research Integrity Day in the first year of their program as part of their course requirements. See the Graduate Science Education for details and to register for the Research Integrity Day session.


Graduates of this program go on to careers in healthcare, medical laboratories, laboratory management, pathology and forensic pathology.

A course-based master’s degree in pathologists assistant is usually considered a final degree.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full-time


No supervisor is required

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A BSc in Biological Sciences or equivalent.

Work samples



A current C.V.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: February 28 application deadline
  • International students: February 28 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Pathologists' Assistant - Graduate Studies

Graduate Science Education (Foothills Campus)
HSC G345A, 3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Cumming School of Medicine

Health Sciences Centre
Foothills Campus, University of Calgary
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

Visit the Cumming School of Medicine website

Learn more about UCalgary by taking a virtual tour

Related programs

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