Information for

You are here


Fight illness with a healthy dose of data.

Good health care decisions depend on good data. But there’s a crucial shortage of people with the right skills to make sense of statistical information. Step into that gap with a Biostatistics degree from Waterloo — the only one of its kind in Canada.

In this program, you’ll take the same core courses as Statistics students, but with the addition of specialized upper-year courses designed specifically for Biostatistics students. In addition to math courses, you'll take courses in health studies, including health policy, health informatics, and management.

Learn how to design clinical experiments, analyze health data, and interpret results. You’ll graduate ready to help create advances in diagnostics, medical technology, and treatments.

2 years of work experience

Opt for co-op and get 24 months of paid, on-the-job experience with research and health-related organizations.

Add research to your résumé

Want to go deeper? Work with a professor on a full-time or part-time research project.


Students walking up stairs in math building

Biostatistics at Waterloo is the only program of its kind in Canada and will prepare you for a successful career in the quantitative sector of the health care industry.

About the Biostatistics program

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

Arrow pointing up and clickingApply to Mathematics and choose Biostatistics as your major

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Biostatistics


#11st faculty of mathematics in North America

math tieOffered by the Faculty of Mathematics

globeWaterloo is an international leader in mathematics


Biostatistics admission requirements

We strongly encourage you to participate in the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest and/or the Euclid Mathematics Contest to enhance your admissions status. 

To be considered for entrance scholarships in the Faculty of Mathematics, you must write one or both of the contests. If you complete both contests, we'll use the results of the contest in which you performed best.

First-year Biostatistics courses

You may select advanced-stream courses for algebra, calculus, and computer science if you meet the requirements. 

September to December

MATH 135 - Algebra for Honours Mathematics
MATH 137 - Calculus 1 for Honours Mathematics
Choose one of:
 • HLTH 101 - Introduction to Health 1 
 • BIOL 239 - Genetics
Choose one of:
 • CS 115 - Introduction to Computer Science
 • CS 135 - Designing Functional Programs
1 communication skills course

January to April

MATH 136 - Linear Algebra 1 for Honours Mathematics
MATH 138 - Calculus 2 for Honours Mathematics
Choose one of:
 • HLTH 101 - Introduction to Health 1 
 • BIOL 239 - Genetics
Choose one of:
 • CS 116 - Introduction to Computer Science 2
 • CS 136 - Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
Plus 1 elective


After first year

The majority of your required courses will be statistics courses, with additional courses in mathematics. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year Biostatistics courses

STAT 337 – Introduction to Medical Statistics
STAT 437 – Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Health Research
STAT 436 – Introduction to the Analysis of Spatial Data in Health Research
STAT 430 – Experimental Design

Customize your Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Biostatistics

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve. 

Co-op work/study sequences

  Fall Winter Spring
First year School School Co-op
Second year School Co-op School
Third year Co-op School Co-op
Fourth year School Co-op School
Final year Co-op School  

Fall = September to December, Winter = January to April, Spring = May to August
School = 4-month school term
Co-op = 4-month co-op work term

There are additional work-study sequences where co-op starts in the spring of second year, the fall of second year, or the winter of second year.

Helpful links