Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is Epidemiology and Biostatistics?

Epidemiology is the study of the determinants and distribution of diseases and application of this knowledge to control health problems. the objectives of epidemiology are to:
  1. Determine extent of disease in a community;
  2. Identify patterns and trends in disease occurrence;
  3. Identify causes of disease (etiology);
  4. Determine the natural history and prognosis of disease;
  5. Evaluate interventions that prevent and treat disease;
  6. Evaluate methods of delivering health services;
  7. Provide a foundation for public policy and regulatory decisions.

Applicants to this field come from a wide variety of backgrounds including (but not restricted to) biological, social and health sciences, and health care disciplines. An aptitude for quantitative statistical methods is integral to success in this field.

Biostatistics is an area of research in which new statistical methods for collecting, analyzing and interpreting data arising from medical and epidemiological research are developed and evaluated. Applicants to this field should have a mathematical statistics background and hold a degree from a department of statistics, mathematics or applied mathematics.

How long does the Master's graduate program take to complete?

For full-time Master's students, a typical registration period is 2 years. Part-time Master's students will typically take twice the amount of time.

How long does the Doctoral graduate program take to complete?

Full-time Doctoral students typically require 4 years to complete the program. We do not offer the Doctoral program part-time.

Is there a direct-entry Doctoral Graduate program?

We do not offer a direct-entry Doctoral program. High-performing Master's students with confirmed support from their supervisors may apply to transfer to the Doctoral program during their Master's. For details on the transfer process, please see the Master's registration and progression page.

What is the tuition cost for the graduate program?

Tuition is handled by the Office of the Registrar in conjunction with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For specific tuition amounts, please refer to the fee information page on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

What are the other costs associated with living in London?

The various approximate costs of living in London are available on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies financial planning page.

What kind of funding is available to students?

Please view the department Student Finances page for the most up-to-date, detailed information.

A funding package is available to eligible students, which can be a combination of Graduate Fellowships, Research Assistantships, Scholarships and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (as determined by the department and depending on the availability of positions). 

The actual value of a funding package will vary based on supervisor, but will increase should the student succeed in securing a scholarship. All students are expected to apply for all scholarship competitions for which they are eligible. Any successful scholarship applications will be factored into existing funding packages.

More details regarding funding opportunities are outlined on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Student Finances page.

Does the department have any student resources?

The department provides both a graduate and an undergraduate computer lab for students in our programs. Graduate students will receive shared office space within the department as well. Additionally, graduate students have access to our thesis library containing a copy of all completed theses from within the department.

Where can I learn more about Epidemiology and Biostatistics graduate courses?

Basic descriptions of our courses are available on our course description page. If more detailed information is necessary, inquiries should be directed to the instructor(s) of the specific course.

Admissions Eligibility Questions

What background do I need for this program?

In general however, our graduate program requires students to have had a recent course in statistics (within the past four years). If more than four years have elapsed since you have taken statistical courses, we recommend that you include in your application, concrete examples of how you use statistical theory in your regular role at work.

Our admissions requirements page specifically addresses degree eligibility.

Do you accept international applicants?

We consider all applications, domestic and international. The requirements for international applicants differ slightly from the domestic requirements so please review the details for eligibility on our admissions requirements page.

Admissions Applications Questions

How can I apply to this program?

The admissions requirements page outlines who is eligible and how to apply to our graduate programs.

When is the deadline to apply for this program?

Our admissions deadline is January 15.

Can I submit a late application?

Yes, however, please be aware that late applicants will only be considered after the Admissions Committee has reviewed applications received by the deadline. Also, please note that any applications received after January 24th, will not be eligible to receive an Ontario Graduate Research Scholarship.

How many students are admitted each year?

We receive over 125 applications per year and accept approximately 20-25. Please note that meeting our eligibility requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission to the program.

What are the differences from the regular Master’s program if I apply with an Honors Specialization undergraduate degree from the department?

Students who graduate from our Honours Specialization module will have a reduced and tailored course load in our graduate program that is currently being developed by the Graduate Affairs Committee.

Do I need a supervisor lined up before applying to the graduate program?

All applicants are encouraged to review the Faculty Listing, Supervisor Listings for Applicants, and Research Cluster pages on our website to determine which faculty members' areas of research are most compatible with the applicant's academic interests.

Our application encourages applicants to select and rank up to three potential supervisors with whom they would like to study, and up to three research clusters describing their academic interests. Please note that applicants are not required to connect with supervisors prior to selecting them in the application, nor is selecting a supervisor a guarantee that an applicant will be matched with the individual(s) selected.

Where do I submit my admissions documents?

We require a statement of interest and a CV as part of the application. Both items must be uploaded through the application system. We will not accept e-mailed documents.

How may I submit additional documents (ie. papers, presentations)?

We are not able to accept additional documents outside of the requested documents in the application. If you are in contact with a supervisor, you may offer to provide any supporting documentation you wish.

What happens if my documents are received after the January 15th deadline?

Applications that are not complete by January 15th will be held as ‘pending’ until the submission of all documents. Only completed applications are circulated to the Admissions Committee for consideration so it is in your best interest to ensure your referees submit by the January 15th deadline. A delay may result in your application not being considered for the first round of offers.

Am I able to submit a non-academic reference?

Yes. Although an academic referee is preferred, a non-academic referee (e.g. an employer) will be accepted.

Is it possible to receive special consideration to waive the English language proficiency requirements for my application?

We are not able to grant waivers for our English language proficiency minimums. All applicants who have indicated that English is not their native language and who have not completed a minimum 2-year degree program from a North American institution are required to submit proof of English language proficiency meeting the minimums provided on our admissions requirements page. This applies to applicants who have completed studies abroad where the courses were taught in English but the native language is not English.

Applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL, IELTS or test of English proficiency requirement if they have at least two full-time years of post-secondary education in an English speaking institution which is located in a country whose primary language is English.

The list of eligible countries is as follows: Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

For more information on the English language proficiency requirement, please see the How to Apply page at SGPS.

Do I require a GRE for this program?

No. GRE scores are not requirement of this program.

How is the admission average calculated for the Master's program?

Master's program applicants will have the last two full-time years of education used to calculate their admissions averages. Students who completed studies on a part-time basis will have the last 10.0 full credits (or equivalent) used for the calculation. Where possible, the calculations will be weighted using the provided course weights listed on the transcript(s). Transcript assessment is done by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

International applicants should note that the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies uses an internal  12-point GPA scale for conversion purposes.

How is the admission average calculated for the Doctoral program?

Doctoral program applicants will have all grades issued for graduate-level course work used to calculate their admissions averages. Where possible, the calculations will be weighted using the provided course weights listed on the transcript(s). Transcript assessment is done by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

International applicants should note that the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies uses an internal  12-point GPA scale for conversion purposes.

How will I know when I am accepted?

You will be notified as soon as a decision is made. If you have not heard back from the department, it is because the Admissions Committee has not yet decided whether to extend you an offer. Given the volume of applications, we will not be able to respond to telephone or e-mail inquiries regarding the status of your application. All applicants may view the current status of his/her application in the admissions system.