General Admissions Questions
When can I apply? What is the deadline for Winter admission?
Our department only admits new students in the Fall semester. The application period is from September 15th to December 15th to be considered for admission to the following Fall term.
Do I need to secure a supervisor when applying?
Our department does not require candidates to identify a supervisor before applying. However, if you have an idea of the area of research you wish to pursue, a list of our faculty and their research interests is available on our website and you are encouraged to contact potential supervisors. Please note that the agreement of a faculty member to supervise you does not guarantee admission to the program.
Can I apply while my current degree is in progress?
Yes. Applicants often apply while their current degree is still in progress. Any offer of admission would be based on your results to date and would be conditional upon the successful completion of your current program before beginning your studies with us.
I am interested in the Biostatistics programs but my undergraduate degree is in another area, should I apply?
Most successful applicants to the Biostatistics programs hold a degree in Mathematics or Statistics. Applicants with degrees in other areas can be considered provided they have taken ALL of the prerequisite courses listed under the admissions requirements section of our website. https://www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/biostatistics/applying
Medicine is not an appropriate background for the Biostatistics program. Unless you also hold a degree in Mathematics or Statistics, you are unlikely to be offered admission.
Do you offer courses or programs in the evening, online, or part-time?
All of our programs are offered full time and on campus. Our courses are scheduled during the day and the lectures are not recorded. Graduate programs in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health are very demanding and require a substantial time commitment.
If I send you my transcripts or other documents, can you tell me my chances of being admitted?
We do not review admissions documents in advance of application. Administrative staff can answer general question regarding admissibility however, the file review is a complex and thorough process conducted by an admissions committee. If you wish to be considered for admission, you must apply.
My country/university has a tough grading system, how will this affect my application?
At McGill, we work very hard to be fair to all applicants and to correctly evaluate each applicant’s file. The uApply system has a built in GPA conversion tool that is university specific in most cases or country specific if that is not possible. Information on how international credentials are evaluated by McGill can be found here: https://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/international/apply/equivalency
I have a lower GPA, does that mean I shouldn’t apply?
Given the high numbers of applications we receive each year, compared to the limited number of spaces we have in our program, a low GPA does reduce your chances of admission. However, our admissions committee looks at all aspects of the student's file, including not only past grades, but also letters of reference, the full CV, the personal statement and any past related work experiences, publications and research experience.
Letters of Reference
When are my letters of reference due?
All of your supporting documents are due by the December 15th application deadline. You should contact graduate.eboh [at] mcgill.ca in the case of extenuating circumstances.
My referee does not have an institutional email, what should I do?
We understand that the requirement for an institutional email may be problematic for some of our international applicants. In the case of international referees, who work or teach in institutions which do not have institutional email addresses, their public domain address may be used. We ask that they upload a PDF copy of their letter of reference on institutional letterhead. If the applicant is offered admission, we may take steps to authenticate the reference.
I have been in the workforce for several years, can I provide professional references?
Academic references are strongly preferred. For thesis programs, at least one letter must be from an academic. In a situation where an applicant is returning to academia after working for a number of years, we understand that it would indeed be a challenge to get a reference from a professor. A professional referee who holds an academic post would be ideal in this case – the admissions committee is looking for someone who is familiar with academia and who can speak to your likelihood to succeed in a challenging academic environment.
Tuition Fees and Funding
How much will my degree cost?
This is dependent on many factors such as your residency status within Canada and the province of Quebec as well as whether you are enrolled in a thesis or non-thesis program, at the MSc or Ph.D. level. Information regarding tuition and fees can be found on the Student Accounts website. For MSc students, assume a minimum of three terms of full time registration.
Is funding available for Ph.D. students?
The Department, jointly with the Ph.D. student's supervisor, offers an annual funding package valued at a minimum of $25,000 CAD for a maximum of four years. For international Ph.D. students, the Department will use different mechanisms such as Deferential Fee Waivers, to cover the International Differential tuition so that they pay tuition at the same level as Canadian students. Financial support is conditional upon academic performance and efforts made to apply for all external/internal graduate fellowship funding for which students are eligible for, including CIHR, FRQS, SSHRC, NSERC, etc., as well as the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Hospital Research Institute competitions. Details regarding individual funding offers are included with the offer of admission.
Is funding available at the MSc level?
Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee funding for students at the Master’s level.
Funding may come directly from your supervisor if he or she can provide it. Please see our faculty/research page for a list of faculty and their research interests: https://www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/people
Our department also sends out a list of available teaching assistant and research assistant positions to newly admitted students before the start of the Fall term.
Please see the graduate studies funding page for a list of opportunities for which you may be eligible. http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/funding. Many of our MSc Thesis students are successful in their application to the FRQS, CGSM as well as hospital studentship awards.
Canadian non-thesis students can apply for student aid through their respective provincial programs. American and other international students should consult their government student loan programs.