For the most up-to-date application opening and closing dates, please visit the APPLICATION DEADLINES page. Please note that some programs have earlier deadlines specified on their website and in the online application system.


Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical methods to scientific research in areas such as medicine, epidemiology, public health, occupational and environmental health, genetics, and ecology. Biostatisticians play key roles in designing studies—from helping to formulate the questions that can be answered by data collection to the decisions on how best to collect the data—and in analyzing the resulting data. Our biostatistics faculty work in close collaboration with epidemiologists, clinicians, public health specialists, basic scientists, and other health researchers. They also develop new statistical methods for such data. Students will take courses, and may conduct research on topics such as:

  • generalized linear models;
  • longitudinal data;
  • mathematical statistics;
  • causal inference;
  • statistical methods for epidemiology; and
  • survival analysis.

The Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health has one of the largest concentrations of Ph.D.-level statisticians in health sciences in any Canadian university. Faculty members may have funding available for students through their research grants. We provide rich research environments at five university-affiliated hospitals, public health agencies, and university research centres. Graduates pursue careers in academia, clinical settings, government agencies, NGOs, and industry.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Biostatistics (Thesis) (45 credits)

M.Sc. Thesis students study a foundational set of courses, and write a thesis on a topic of their choice. Thesis students should have a strong interest in research. These students are well-placed to either continue in a Ph.D. program or to work in academic research in statistics or medicine; they will also have relevant qualifications for the pharmaceutical industry and government.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Biostatistics (Non-Thesis) (48 credits)

The M.Sc. Non-Thesis program is designed to expose students to a wide range of topics including statistical methods for epidemiology, generalized linear models, survival analysis, longitudinal data, and clinical trials. Skills in data analysis, statistical consulting, communication, and report writing are emphasized, and students graduate ready to work in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in government, or in academic medical research.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Biostatistics

Applicants should hold a master’s degree in statistics or biostatistics. Previous coursework in calculus, linear algebra, real analysis, and mathematical statistics is essential. Exposure to data analysis is an asset. Ph.D. students typically work on development of statistical methods, and can specialize in statistical methods for epidemiology, generalized linear models, Bayesian methods, survival analysis, longitudinal data, causal inference, or other topics. Skills in data analysis, statistical consulting, and report writing are emphasized. Ph.D. graduates typically work as faculty in universities, in research institutes, in government, or in the pharmaceutical industry.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 29, 2023).

Biostatistics Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in mathematics or statistics or its equivalent (an honours degree is preferred, but not required). At least three semesters of calculus; two semesters of linear algebra; at least one (but preferably two) semesters of real analysis; and a full-year course/sequence in mathematical statistics, preferably at an honours level, e.g., MATH 356/MATH 357. Exposure to data analysis is an asset.


Students admitted into the M.Sc. program will, in general, meet the requirements above. Transfer to the PhD program is possible after the first year, please see the academic information policy page.


Students with the above qualifications, in addition to an M.Sc. degree in Statistics or Biostatistics, will be considered for Ph.D. admission. Exceptional candidates who do not hold an M.Sc. may apply to directly the Ph.D. program. Students applying directly from an undergraduate degree are also encouraged to apply to the M.Sc. program where, as noted above, transfer is possible after the first year. Students who are not accepted into the Ph.D. program can only be considered for the M.Sc. program if they have applied to both programs.

Complete details on the Biostatistics programs are available on our departmental website at

Language Requirement

The minimum TOEFL score required, when applicable, is 100 on the Internet-based test. The minimum score for IELTS is 6.5.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Completed applications, with all supporting documents, must be uploaded directly to the McGill graduate admissions system by the application deadlines.

Please see our website at for information on required application documents.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at

Information on application deadlines is available at

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2023-2024 (last updated Mar. 29, 2023).
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