The program information below is valid for the fall 2019 term (September 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Graduate research fields

  • Population Health
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Program type 
    • Doctoral
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • Students applying to the program should have completed a Master’s degree (or its equivalent) with content related to ongoing faculty research in areas such as health, public health, health systems, gerontology, health informatics, global health, occupational health, and evaluation.
    • A minimum 75% average in Master's level coursework.
    • Completion of a Master's degree and evidence of prior research achievements (e.g., Master’s thesis, first author peer-reviewed publication, adjudicated research report).
    • Before applying to the program, students are strongly advised to establish contact with potential supervisors.
    • Students may be allowed to transfer into the PhD program directly from the SPHHS Master’s programs. Such students must have completed all Master’s coursework requirements, have demonstrated a superior academic record, and have evidence of prior research achievements (e.g., adjudicated research report, significant documented contribution as a co-author to a peer-reviewed publication, first author peer-reviewed publication).
    • Students are sometimes accepted for direct admission to the PhD in the SPHHS program if they have an Honours Bachelor of Science degree or the equivalent and have exceptional academic and research performance, including evidence of prior research achievements (e.g., adjudicated research report, significant documented contribution as a co-author to a peer-reviewed publication, first author peer-reviewed publication). Directly admitted students will be required to complete 9 (required and elective) graduate courses, graduate milestones and a doctoral thesis.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé/Curriculum vitae
    • Supplementary information form
      • Indicating reasons for pursuing graduate studies (e.g., discuss how a graduate degree maps onto your career plans) and outlining research interests.
    • Transcript(s)
    • Writing sample
      • Students must submit a copy of previous academic work, such as copies of preprints, reprints, or master's thesis, or other evidence of written scholarly work.
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • 9 one-term graduate courses beyond the Bachelor's degree, including at least 4 courses (2 required and 2 electives) beyond the Master's degree, is the normal minimum requirement.

    • Required courses (2)

    • 1 of the following required methods courses:

    • Elective courses (2)

      • 1 methods elective course at the 600-or 700-level, selected in consultation with the supervisor (may include courses outside the School of Public Health and Health Systems (SPHHS), or courses offered by SPHHS, including additional courses from the required course list.

      • 1 additional elective, selected in consultation with the supervisor. Students without a background in public health and health systems, and focusing in research areas other than Health Informatics, should take HLTH 601 Lifespan Approaches to Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Students focusing in Health Informatics may choose to take HLTH 611 The Health Care System or an equivalent course approved by the SPHHS Graduate Officer.

    • Plus other free electives as may be required

      • It is important to keep in mind that these are minimum requirements. Many students complete at least three courses within their area of research interest, which may require the addition of one or more extra courses to the minimum coursework requirement.

    • At a minimum, students must obtain an average of 75% or higher in aggregate on the courses presented in fulfilment of the degree requirements. Grades on all courses presented to fulfill the degree requirements must be 70% or higher. A grade below 70% in any course or failing to maintain an average of 75% will necessitate a review of the student's status by the School and may result in a student being required to complete additional coursework or being required to withdraw from the program. The School reserves the right to stipulate additional coursework if it is necessary for the student's preparation.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • Students are required to meet the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements outlined in the “Minimum requirements for the PhD degree” section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (GSAC), with certain noted differences that are specific to the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements:
      • Comprehensive examination purpose: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements. Note: In the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, the novel research topic is tested through a separate thesis proposal process.
      • Timing: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Committee: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements with the exception that in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, the composition of the comprehensive examining committee will be approved by the Associate Chair or Director, Graduate Studies for the student’s Department/School, as delegated by the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. 
      • Who Chairs an examination: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Format / Content: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
      • Academic integrity: Consistent with University-level minimum requirements.
    • In addition to the University-level and Faculty-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements, students in the PhD in Public Health and Health Systems program must also note the following:
      • The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to test the breadth and depth of the candidate’s comprehension of the methodological and theoretical aspects of their field of study. The process is designed to enable candidates to acquire a solid grounding in their core area of public health research that will provide a foundation for undertaking dissertation research. The examination will also test the candidate’s ability to critically evaluate the literature and synthesize information from sources to identify knowledge gaps and recommend solutions.
      • The comprehensive examination consists of three written questions followed by an oral examination. The written questions must be completed within eight weeks from the start date and the oral defence should be completed within four weeks of submission of the written examination.
  • PhD Thesis
    • A PhD thesis on an approved topic is required, which is to be defended in an oral examination. The research is to be conducted under the supervision of the student's supervisor and the advisory committee. The PhD thesis advisory committee consists of at least three members, with the supervisor and at least one other committee member being faculty from within the School of Public Health and Health Systems. The proposal will be defended before the thesis committee; however, upon completion of the thesis, the final document will be defended before a five person Examination Board.