Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Location

  • Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
  • 1020 Pine Avenue West
  • Montreal QC H3A 1A2
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-6258
  • Email: graduate.eboh [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh

About Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The Department offers master's and doctoral programs in both Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as a Master's of Science in Public Health. The methods learned in these fields are used not only in the study of diseases, but also in clinical research; health services research; public health; program planning and evaluation; and policy development. Our faculty members are at the forefront of their research domains and include epidemiologists, biostatisticians, clinician scientists, medical informatics specialists, public health specialists, health economists, medical sociologists, and health geographers.

Research in the Department spans a broad range of areas, including:

  • biostatistics;
  • clinical and public health informatics;
  • environmental and occupational health;
  • health care delivery and organization;
  • infectious diseases;
  • pharmacoepidemiology;
  • population and public health;
  • social epidemiology;
  • epidemiologic methods;
  • chronic diseases;
  • reproductive and perinatal epidemiology;
  • genetic epidemiology;
  • global health;
  • causal inference;
  • and many cross-disciplinary activities.

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.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).

Epidemiology

The Department offers master's and doctoral degrees in Epidemiology. The methods learned in these fields are used not only in the study of diseases, but also in clinical research, health services research, public health, program planning and evaluation, and policy development. Our faculty members are at the forefront of their research domains and include epidemiologists, biostatisticians, clinician scientists, medical informatics specialists, public health specialists, health economists, medical sociologists, and health geographers. Research in the Department spans a broad range of areas, including:

  • clinical and public health informatics;
  • environmental and occupational health;
  • health care delivery and organization;
  • infectious diseases;
  • pharmacoepidemiology;
  • population and public health;
  • social epidemiology;
  • epidemiologic methods;
  • chronic diseases;
  • reproductive and perinatal epidemiology;
  • genetic epidemiology;
  • global health;
  • causal inference;
  • and many cross-disciplinary activities.

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.) Epidemiology (Thesis) (45 credits)

Applicants to the M.Sc. program should preferably hold a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences (e.g., chemistry, microbiology, human genetics), quantitative sciences (e.g., computer science, statistics), or social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, economics, geography), or hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition). Applicants must have an interest in health research, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (e.g., differential and integral calculus, statistics) at the undergraduate level.

The program leading to a master’s degree is designed to provide training in both theory and practice in the selected discipline. Courses require intellectual and academic rigour, and the program provides students with an opportunity to synthesize the training in the form of a thesis. Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics, in order to design, conduct, and analyze clinical, population-based, environmental, pharmaco-epidemiological, policy, and methodological health-related research. Graduates of the program often go on to do doctoral work or become research associates in public, private, and academic settings. McGill graduates are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence. While their core training is in methods, rather than specific substantive areas, students learn about substantive areas in the context of their research and through elective courses.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Epidemiology (Non-Thesis): Environmental & Occupational Health (48 credits)

This program provides in-depth training in methods used in Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) and the application of these methods to study the effects of environmental and occupational exposures on human health. Students will be provided with tools to critically evaluate studies in EOH and be able to participate in these studies; learn how to apply specific methods to environmental and occupational problems; and understand how to apply research results to public health or policy. Career opportunities exist in academia, industry, and the public health sectors. Each student will be assigned a supervisor to provide guidance for their project. Research topics must relate to environmental and occupational health and receive approval from the program coordinating committee.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Epidemiology (Non-Thesis): Pharmacoepidemiology (48 credits)

Applicants to the Pharmacoepidemiology Option of the M.Sc. (Non-Thesis) program should hold a bachelor's degree in the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., chemistry, microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics) or hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, pharmacy). Applicants must have an interest in the epidemiology of medications, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (e.g., differential and integral calculus, statistics) at the undergraduate level. The Pharmacoepidemiology Option is designed to provide training in both theory and practice of pharmacoepidemiology. Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics in order to design, conduct, and analyze pharmacoepidemiological research. Courses require intellectual and academic rigour, and the program provides students with an opportunity to obtain specialized training in pharmacoepidemiology, including pharmacoepidemiologic methods, pharmacology for pharmacoepidemiologists, and practical experience in the form of a research project. Graduates of the program often go on to do doctoral work or become research associates in public, private, and academic settings. McGill has a world-renowned reputation for excellence in pharmacoepidemiology, and McGill-trained pharmacoepidemiologists are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology

This program may be of interest to students from the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics, geography), quantitative social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology), or the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition). Applicants must have an interest in health research, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (e.g., differential and integral calculus, statistics) at the undergraduate and master's levels.

The Ph.D. program prepares students with the advanced epidemiological research skills needed to undertake original contributions to new knowledge related to the determinants of health and disease, prevention, prognosis, treatment, and outcomes. The program is generally completed in four to five years. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences. They will go on to careers in public health, health planning, and quality monitoring in local, regional, federal, and international health authorities, statistical and technology assessment agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, and in clinical and academic research organizations. McGill graduates are known for their methodological and quantitative rigour and quantitative analytic independence. While their core training is in methods, rather than specific substantive areas, students learn about substantive areas in the context of their research and through elective courses.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology: Global Health

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology who have an interest in global health can receive additional recognition for completing the Global Health Option within their degree program. Students can fulfill the requirements for both the Ph.D. and the Global Health Option within the normal Ph.D. timeline. Over and above the core Ph.D. training, students in the Global Health Option will undertake global health-dedicated coursework and their thesis will be of relevance to global health. This additional global health training will provide students with insight into the major global health challenges of today's world. This area of study, research, and practice prioritizes improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. McGill and its affiliated hospitals have close to 200 researchers involved in global health work, from basic biomedical research on tropical diseases to large-scale population studies on the social determinants of health. Students at McGill can be exposed to the work of 20 teams working in all major areas of global health, including Infectious and Tropical Diseases; Global Environmental Health; and Global Mental Health, among others. For more information, visit www.mcgill.ca/globalhealth. With this additional Global Health qualification, Ph.D. graduates will benefit from opportunities for future training or work in those institutions or organizations that are active in global health.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology: Pharmacoepidemiology

The Pharmacoepidemiology Option of the Ph.D. Program may be of interest to students from the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, biostatistics, statistics, economics), Public or Population Health, or Epidemiology, or who hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, pharmacy). Applicants must have an interest in the epidemiology of medications, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (e.g., differential and integral calculus, statistics) at the undergraduate level. The Pharmacoepidemiology Option prepares students with the advanced epidemiological research skills needed to undertake original contributions to new knowledge related to pharmacoepidemiology. The program is generally completed in four to five years. In addition to obtaining advanced training in the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics as part of the Ph.D. program, students in the Pharmacoepidemiology Option receive specialized training in pharmacoepidemiology, including advanced pharmacoepidemiologic methods, pharmacology for pharmacoepidemiologists, and practical experience in pharmacoepidemiology through their doctoral thesis. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences. They will go on to careers in pharmacoepidemiology in public, private, and academic settings. With a world-renowned reputation for excellence in pharmacoepidemiology, McGill-trained pharmacoepidemiologists are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology: Population Dynamics

The Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is a cross-disciplinary, cross-faculty graduate program offered by the Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD) as an option within existing master’s and doctoral programs in the Departments of Sociology, Economics, and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health (EBOH) at McGill University. Students who have been admitted through their home department or faculty may apply for admission to the option. The option is coordinated by the CPD, in partnership with participating academic units.

Thus, in addition to the rigorous training provided in the Department of EBOH, graduate students who choose this option become Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD) student trainees. This affiliation offers opportunities for interdisciplinary research and supervision. The option also provides a forum whereby students bring their disciplinary perspectives together and enrich each other's learning through structured courses, a weekly seminar series, and informal discussions and networking.

With interdisciplinary research being increasingly important to understanding complex social and biological processes, CPD student trainees benefit from both a strong disciplinary foundation from their departmental affiliations, as well as from the sharing of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries through CPD activities.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).

Public Health

The Department offers a Master of Science in Public Health. Students apply the methods they learn to the study of diseases, clinical research, health services research, public health, program planning and evaluation, and policy development. Our faculty members are at the forefront of research in epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical medicine, biomedical informatics, public health, health economics, medical sociology, and health geography.

Faculty members in the Department draw on extensive contacts in the public health community locally, nationally, and internationally to facilitate practicum placements in many areas, including:

  • urban public health practice;
  • clinical and public health informatics;
  • environmental and occupational health;
  • health care delivery and organization;
  • infectious diseases;
  • maternal and child health;
  • aboriginal health;
  • global health.

Graduates are highly sought after for careers in government agencies, NGOs, clinical settings, research, and industry.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Public Health (Non-Thesis) (60 credits)

The mission of the Master of Science in Public Health is to train outstanding public health professionals and future leaders by offering a rigorous academic program in methods, research, and practice. This program may be of interest for students from the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics, geography), social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology), or the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, physical and occupational therapy, nutrition). Through a core series of courses, a wide range of electives, and a practicum, students will acquire knowledge and skills in all the core competencies of public health, including public health sciences; assessment and analysis; policy and program planning, implementation and evaluation. Graduates of the program will serve as public health practitioners or research professionals and will possess the competencies and professionalism to carry out broad public health functions in local, provincial, national, and international settings. In exceptional circumstances, the Admissions Committee may take professional experience into account for mid-career or returning/re-entry applicants.

The Master of Science in Public Health program includes a 14–16 week field-based practicum after the first year, which will provide the student with the opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired in the academic program in a public health practice or research setting.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).

Epidemiology & Public Health Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

The graduate programs in Epidemiology (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) and Public Health (M.Sc.) require substantial quantitative skills. The Admission Committees for these programs will look for proof of quantitative proficiency such as good grades in undergraduate-level courses in differential or integral calculus or in statistics (for M.Sc. applicants) and in master's-level courses (for Ph.D. applicants).

The GRE is required of candidates who are health professional graduates from universities outside North America.

Master's in Epidemiology

Applicants to the M.Sc. in Epidemiology programs must hold a bachelor's degree in a related area.

Master's of Public Health

Applicants to the Master's of Public Health programs must hold a bachelor's degree. Experience in this field is an asset.

Ph.D.

Applicants to Ph.D. programs must hold a master's degree in Epidemiology or its equivalent. In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, applicants admitted to the Ph.D. degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, as determined by the Department.

Complete details on the Epidemiology programs are available on our Departmental website. Information on the Master's of Public Health program is available here.

Language Requirement

Minimum TOEFL scores required, when applicable, of 100 on the Internet-based test. Minimum score for IELTS: 6.5.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

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 admissions processing system by the application deadlines.

Please see our website, www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/epidemiology/applying, for information on required documents.

Additional Requirements

Please consult www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/epidemiology/applying for information on our requirements.

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 www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada Current McGill Students (any citizenship) Special, Visiting & Exchange Students
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 April 30
Winter Term: Feb. 15 N/A N/A N/A Sept. 10
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).

Biostatistics

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 do research, on topics such as:

  • generalized linear models;
  • longitudinal data;
  • mathematical statistics;
  • causal inference;
  • statistical methods for epidemiology;
  • 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 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).

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.

M.Sc.

Students admitted into the M.Sc. program will, in general, meet the requirements above.

Ph.D.

Students with the above qualifications, in addition to an M.Sc. degree in Statistics or Biostatistics, will be considered for Ph.D. admission.

Complete details on the Biostatistics programs are available on our departmental website at www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/biostatistics.

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 www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

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 www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/biostatistics/applying 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 www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada Current McGill Students (any citizenship) Special, Visiting & Exchange Students
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 April 30
Winter Term: Feb. 15 N/A N/A N/A Sept. 10
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2020-2021 (last updated Aug. 24, 2020).
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