You are here

Aging, Health and Well-being (PhD)

Program overview

The Collaborative PhD program in Aging, Health and Well-being provides students registered in any department/school in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences with an interdisciplinary platform upon which to develop a broad understanding of issues related to the health and well-being of our aging population. The program affords the opportunity to cross departmental boundaries to access courses and resources including dissertation committee members who can add different perspectives to penetrating research problems.

The program prepares doctoral students for careers in academic institutions as well as in the private sector and related non-university settings such as hospitals, research and policy institutes.

Admission requirements

Interested students should first apply to the AHS department/school of their choice (School of Public Health and Health Systems, Department of Kinesiology, or Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies) via the regular online application form. Minimal requirement for admission to the collaborative PhD program in Aging, Health and Well-being is normally a Master’s degree in a field that is relevant to the area of aging, health and well-being (normally kinesiology, recreation and leisure studies or health/gerontology, but other degrees in life and social sciences could be suitable as well). Applications of students who indicate an interest in the Aging, Health and Well-being program and who have been deemed admissible by the relevant home department will be circulated to an executive committee composed of one member from each of the three home departments.

Degree requirements

Students must fulfill the minimum requirements of their home department (including period of enrolment, continuous enrolment, comprehensive examination, dissertation submission and defence, etc.). See the Graduate Studies Calendar for further information:

The PhD program may be completed either on a full-time or part-time basis, but must be completed within the following time periods from completion of the MA degree unless an extension has been granted (See Graduate Studies Calendar, Academic Regulations, Time Limits):

  • Full-time - 12 terms
  • Part-time - 18 terms

Course requirements

Students must obtain credit for each of the courses listed below. They will normally complete a minimum of four half (0.50 credit) courses, consisting of a core/fundamentals course, a graduate level statistics/research methods course, and two electives which will be related to aging, health, and well-being. In addition, students will participate in the doctoral research seminar in aging, health, and well-being.

  • Fundamentals of Aging, Health and Well-being
  • Graduate level statistics/research methods course
  • Two electives related to aging, health and well-being
  • Aging, health and well-being seminar

Student evaluation

A review of each student's progress takes place during the month of May each year. Students are evaluated on several criteria, including performance in courses, progress with regard to the comprehensive examination and thesis work and, where appropriate, reports submitted by the students regarding their research and teaching assistantship activity. A grade average of at least 75% must be maintained.

Comprehensive examinations

Students will complete the comprehensive examinations as required by their home department. At least one of the comprehensive examination committee members will be appointed from a department other than the home department but within the collaborative program in Aging, Health, and Well-being. The comprehensive examinations will normally occur on completion of the students' course work and will begin during the fourth term of their program.


The PhD dissertation will be on a topic in an area relevant to aging, health, and well-being.