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Applying to QLS

We welcome applications from individuals who have prior education and/or training in many different fields. Applicants are expected to have strong quantitative skills, such as a background in mathematics, statistics, engineering, physics or computer science. In addition, all potential students must have deep knowledge of at least one life sciences domain, and demonstrate an interest in interdisciplinary research in quantitative life sciences. Applicants who possess prior research experience will be prioritized.

We offer a guaranteed stipend in addition to internal competitions for travel awards and scholarships. Tuition subsidies may also be available to select international students. More information on funding opportunities is available on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

The deadline to apply for Fall admission is January 15.

Admission Requirements:

  1. Applicants are expected to hold an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in one of the following areas: biology, chemistry, physiology, genetics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, statistics, or physics.
  2. A Masters degree is not required, although may be an advantage.
  3. Applicants must have a strong quantitative background. Such a background may be obtained by having taken courses in computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, or engineering. 
    • Specifically, QLS requires at least the following competencies: advanced calculus, linear algebra, programming experience, data structures and algorithms, and statistics.
  4. Applicants must have a strong life sciences background. Such a background may be obtained through coursework or a degree in biology, ecology, neuroscience, genetics, or any other life sciences domain.
    • Applicants who do not have a formal education in life sciences need to have a demonstrated interest for that field (for example in the form of an undergraduate research project or the completion of life-science courses).
  5. Applicants are expected to have attained a high scholastic standing equal to, or greater than, the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.3 (out of 4.0 at McGill University) in ALL levels of study. For applicants applying directly from undergrad, a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.7 is required. 

The following documents must be provided as part of the application:

  • Curriculum Vitae: An overview of the applicant's experience and other qualifications, including employment, academic credentials, publications, contributions, and significant achievements.
  • Personal Statement: An essay in which the applicant describes their reasons for applying to the PhD in Quantitative Life Sciences, and indicating qualifications, qualities, or circumstances the applicant feels to be significant; usually provides information about educational and professional goals, as well as particular research domains of interest (1-2 pages).
  • Research Statement/proposal: A description of the applicant’s previous research experiences and accomplishments (1-2 pages).
  • Two letters of reference: Letters should attest to the candidate’s strong aptitude for research, quantitative skills, and interest in quantitative life sciences.
  • Proof of English Proficiency: International applicants who do not have English as their first language or have not gone to an English University must submit a Proof of English Proficiency
  • Transcripts: A record of study is required from each university-level institution attended (college transcripts are not required). Applicants can upload an unofficial copy of their complete university-level academic record to date through the application portal. If the transcript does not indicate that a degree has been conferred, a copy of the degree certificate (diploma) will also need to be uploaded. If you receive an offer of admission, it is your responsibility to make arrangements for an official copy of each transcript to be sent to McGill University's Enrolment Services. Proof of the awarding of degrees is required by the University and should be indicated on the student’s transcript. International Students require a certified copy of their graduation certificate.

Applications are selected on the basis of the following criteria: superior academic performance, level of relevant research experience, motivation for graduate study, demonstration of a high interest in interdisciplinary research, and awards received for scholarly excellence. Strong letters of support attesting the applicant’s aptitude in conducting research are closely considered.

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