Ph.D. Epidemiology Admission Requirements

Deadline for Receipt of Completed Applications for Fall 2024

December 1, 2023

  • Applicants to the Ph.D. program must hold a Master's degree in Epidemiology, Public Health, or related discipline. Applicants who hold a Master’s degree or professional degree in another area can sometimes be considered. Applicants who are admitted to the Ph.D. Epidemiology program without an M.Sc. in Epidemiology (or equivalent) are expected to ensure that they have sufficient substantive preparation for the Ph.D. level courses. Applicants with insufficient preparation may also consider applying to the M.Sc. Epidemiology program, where there is the opportunity to apply to fast-track into the Ph.D. program at the end of the first year.
  • The Epidemiology Ph.D. program requires substantial quantitative skills. The Admission Committee will look for proof of quantitative proficiency, including good grades in undergraduate-level courses in differential or integral calculus, statistics, and strong results in master’s-level quantitative courses. Although the GRE is not required, GRE results with a strong score (160+) in the Quantitative score may strengthen your application.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): 3.0/4.0 overall or at least 3.2/4.0 over the last two years of study, based on GPA calculations done by the University. Most of our successful applicants have grade point averages well above these minimum requirements.
  • Proof of competency in oral and written English (if applicable).


McGill University embraces the principles of academic freedom, integrity, responsibility, equity, and inclusiveness.

You are invited to include a statement outlining how your background, experience, and prior academic, professional, and personal contributions have demonstrated your commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. This statement is optional.

Diverse perspectives are welcomed. Statements may focus on (but are not limited to) the following perspectives:

  • How you have incorporated elements of equity, diversity, and inclusion in your work, academic career, community service, or other activities;
  • How your experiences of inequity or disadvantage as part of a group that has been excluded, unrecognized, or historically marginalized has influenced your life and/or shaped your perspectives on equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • How graduate training at McGill could enrich your perspectives on equity, diversity, and inclusion.


  • Our department does not require applicants to identify a supervisor before applying. However, applicants who have secured a supervisor may be given preference in the admissions process. We strongly recommend contacting potential supervisors in the department who share your research interests as early as possible to discuss the possibility of supervision and the potential for funding. Please note that the agreement of a faculty member to supervise you does not guarantee admission to the program. A list of faculty members and research interests is available on the departmental website:
  • Satisfaction of general requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission to graduate studies is limited and acceptance is very competitive.
  • At the request of the Admissions Committee, some applicants to the PhD Epidemiology program may be contacted for an on-line interview.

Proof of Competency in Oral and Written English

  • Applicants (including Permanent Residents of Canada) whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), are required to submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English by appropriate exams:
  • TOEFL: a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based test, or a score of 600 on the paper-based version of the TOEFL test (or 250 on the older computer-based test). [TOEFL results are only valid for two years from the date the test was written]. Institution Code: 0935.
  • IELTS: a minimum overall band of 6.5.
  • Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Offices. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable.
  • Although McGill University allows Departments, at their discretion, to accept some other language tests, our Department accepts only the TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not received by the deadline.

Application and Required Documents

All application material and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system. See for information and instructions.

All applicants to the Ph.D. Epidemiology programs must submit the following:

1. Online Application for Admission form:
2. Application fee: Application fees and other charges are listed on the student accounts website.
3. Transcripts: Your complete record of study from each university-level institution you have attended to date. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial; final, official copies will be required upon an offer of admission.
4. Reference letters: On the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of two referees who are familiar with your academic work. It is recommended that your master’s degree supervisor serve as one of the referees. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf. Please note that although you can list public domain addresses such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail on the application form, references uploaded from these addresses will not be accepted by the Department. Therefore, you must list a valid institutional or corporate e-mail address for your referees. 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.
When planning your application submission, please be aware that referees are asked to respond within ten days. As our deadline falls close to the holiday break, please take this into account when communicating with your referees and consider submitting by November 1 to give them ample time to respond. Your file is not considered complete until the referees’ responses have been received.
5. Personal Statement: your statement should be no more than two (2) pages (single-spaced, 12-point font) and should address the following:

  • What are your post-epidemiology training/career objectives?
  • What specific knowledge and skills do you hope to acquire during your epidemiology training?
  • How will this knowledge and these skills enable you to attain your career objectives?
  • Why are you interested in pursuing your doctoral studies at McGill University?
  • What particular area(s), if any, would you like to study in your course work for the program?
  • Have you identified a potential thesis supervisor or faculty working in your area of research interest? If so, have you spoken with them and have they agreed to supervise you?
  • Are there any factors related Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) that you believe should be considered (if applicable)?

6. Curriculum Vitae: an overview of your experience and other qualifications, including employment, academic credentials, publications, contributions, and significant achievements.
7. Quantitative Training Document: A single pdf document including a list of courses that address our quantitative requirement, including course outlines. Course outlines are not required for calculus courses or for McGill courses listed on our quantitative training requirements info sheet.
8. TOEFL/IELTS, GRE results (if applicable): when registering for the test, please ensure that you request that results be sent directly to McGill University. McGill will then receive the results electronically, directly from the testing agency. Institution Code: 0935.
9. Acknowledgement of Supervisor Commitment: Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to have a supervisor at the time of application. However, preference may be given to applicants who have secured a supervisor at the time of application. Please note that the agreement of a faculty member to supervise you does not guarantee admission to the program.
Important note for applicants:
Applicants will be asked to select their primary area of research in epidemiology from the following list:

  •  Clinical Epidemiology & Informatics
  •  Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  •  Epidemiologic Methods
  •  Global Health
  •  Health Services & Health Policy Research
  •  Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  •  Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
  •  Pharmacoepidemiology
  •  Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology
  •  Social Epidemiology
  •  Other (specify)

For further information, please see our research page.

Application Status and Results

Please verify on Slate to see which supporting documents have been uploaded.
You will be informed of your acceptance/non-acceptance by April. Please note that no feedback will be provided regarding the contents of applications or the rationale behind the Admissions Committee’s decision.

Contact Information

Student Affairs Office
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health
McGill University
2001 McGill College - Suite 1250
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1
graduate.eboh [at]
Tel.: 514-398-6269



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