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Biostatistics BIST
Contact Information

Department of Mathematics and Statistics:

Location: Math Sciences Building, Room 462
Program number: 403.220.6299
Fax: 403.282.5150
Email address: gradapps@math.ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: math.ucalgary.ca/graduate

Department of Community Health Sciences:

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G345C
Program number: 403.210.7051
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address: chsgrad@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: ucalgary.ca/communityhealthsciences
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

The University offers an interdisciplinary specialization in Biostatistics at the master’s and doctoral levels through the following Faculties and graduate programs:

  • Cumming School of Medicine; Community Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Science; Mathematics and Statistics

The student will receive the degree offered by the home program:

  • Master of Science in Mathematics and Statistics (thesis-based)
  • Master of Science in Community Health Sciences (thesis-based)
  • PhD in Mathematics and Statistics
  • PhD in Community Health Sciences
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the home program requirements, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • In the case of the MSc Biostatistics Specialization, a bachelor's degree in statistics, or its equivalent, is usually required.
  • In the case of the PhD Biostatistics Specialization, a master's degree in statistics, or its equivalent, is usually required.
  • Students must also have a letter from a faculty member in the home program indicating an agreement to supervise the applicant. Students are strongly encouraged to approach potential supervisors in advance of applying for entry into the home program and Biostatistics specialization.
3. Application Deadline

The deadlines for applying for admission into the Biostatistics Specialization are those of the home graduate program. See Mathematics and Statistics or Community Health Sciences program descriptions.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant should make requests for advanced credit at the time of application, as part of the admissions process. See Advanced Credit for further information.

5. Program Requirements

MSc (thesis-based)

Doctor of Philosophy

In addition, PhD students in the Mathematics and Statistics program must pass two Preliminary Examinations in Statistics based on material for two of the following courses: Statistics 701, 721, 631, 635641.

N.B. PhD required courses (or equivalents) are based on courses taken across graduate studies; i.e., if the student has taken equivalent courses in an MSc program, they are not required to retake these courses. However, the elective requirements cannot be waived.

List A: Epidemiology and Health

Relevant topics courses and directed study courses may be approved by the graduate program director in consultation with the supervisor.

List B: Biostatistics / Statistics

Relevant topics courses and directed study courses may be approved by the graduate program director in consultation with the supervisor.

6. Additional Requirements

Students in the Community Health Sciences program must attend all CHS departmental seminars.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

See requirements of home program.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for full-time students in a thesis-based master's program and four years in a doctoral program.

The maximum completion time allowed for a thesis-based master’s program is four years. The maximum completion time allowed for a doctoral program is six years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

See requirements of home program.

10. Required Examinations

See requirements of home program (Mathematics and Statistics or Community Health Sciences), and the Faculty of Graduate Studies (Academic Regulations).

11. Financial Assistance

See home program.

12. Faculty Members / Research Interests

Faculty members associated with the Biostatistics specialization have wide-ranging research interests. A non-exhaustive list of research areas available to work in is given by:

  • statistical learning
  • data science and "big data" problems
  • computational statistics and Monte Carlo methodology
  • clinical trials
  • population health/ecology
  • statistical genetics
  • bioinformatics infectious disease modeling
  • disease surveillance
  • longitudinal data analysis 
  • survival analysis
  • experimental design 
  • Bayesian statistics
  • spatial and spatio-temporal data analysis.

Research topics for thesis-based MSc and PhD applicants should be decided in discussion with supervisors.