Ph.D.: Program Requirements

Ph.D. Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the patterns and causes of disease in human populations. It forms the core discipline of public health by identifying excess illness and by gaining the etiologic understanding to intervene toward the improvement of population health. The PhD program in epidemiology at McGill trains scientists and health professionals to design and conduct studies, analyze health data and effectively communicate scientific results, and to gain novel insights into the causes and prevention of diseases at the population level. Epidemiologic work at the doctoral level involves a thorough integration of biological knowledge of pathogenesis, statistical knowledge of quantitative analysis and causal inference, and sociological knowledge to place these insights in the context of dynamic and interconnected human populations. Major areas of strength at McGill include epidemiologic methods, clinical epidemiology, infectious diseases, social epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, public and population health, global health, environmental epidemiology, chronic diseases and aging, and perinatal epidemiology.

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 25 credits of Ph.D. courses.

In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, excluding thesis research course(s), as determined by the Department.

Thesis

A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (16 credits)

EPIB 701 Ph.D.Comprehensive Examination
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epib Methods 1 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epid Methods 2 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar:Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 707 Res Design in Health Sci 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (9 credits)

9 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, with a minimum of 3 credits in biostatistics, 3 credits in a substantive topic (normally related to the thesis topic), and 3 credits in epidemiology. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s supervisor and/or the degree program’s director or adviser.

These courses can be chosen from the Department’s current offer of more than 40 courses in epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health as well as from other McGill Departments. To assist you in your course selections see the Ph.D. Epidemiology Electives Guidelines page.

Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701)

Students will normally take the Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701) within 12 to 24 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program. The Comprehensive Exam is held once a year in June. The exam is intended to test students’ ability to synthesize and integrate epidemiological knowledge. For details on the Comprehensive Exam, see the course outline for EPIB 701. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Fail”. Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Protocol Defense (EPIB 702)

The comprehensive exam and the above required courses are usually completed before submitting and defending the thesis research protocol in EPIB 702. For details on the Protocol Defense, see the course outline for EPIB 702. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Provisional Pass” or “Fail”.

Students with a “Provisional Pass” (some deficiencies noted but not enough to stop progress on the thesis) are recommended to undertake (in consultation with their supervisor), specific remedial steps to address the areas of weakness identified in the exam. These could include additional courses, essays, assignments, and short courses. After satisfactory completion of these remedial steps the student will be considered to have a “Pass” on the Comprehensive Exam/Protocol Defense. Students are permitted to continue with their normal progression through the program.

Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Thesis Research

Thesis research is normally actively undertaken following the comprehensive Exam. It is expected that students will complete their degree within 48 to 60 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program.

Program Advisor:
seungmi.yang [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Yang)

Program Director:
sam.harper [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Harper)

Ph.D. Global Health Option

This option will provide enhanced training in global health to graduate students registered in the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Global Health degree program at McGill. Students will become familiar with topics of global health relevance and incorporate this into their core coursework and thesis research. The thesis must be relevant to global health and approved by the Global Health Coordinating Committee. Contextualizing the core training students receive in epidemiology and in their respective substantive discipline within the global health research domain will enhance their academic experience. Graduates of this option will be prepared to pursue further training in global health or to undertake a variety of career opportunities in global health in Canada or internationally.

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Global Health degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 31 credits of Ph.D. courses.

In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Global Health degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, excluding thesis course(s), as determined by the Department.

Thesis

A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain. The thesis must be relevant to global health and approved by the Global Health Coordinating Committee.

Required Courses (22 credits)

EPIB 681 Global Health: Epid. Research 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 701 Ph.D.Comprehensive Examination
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epib Methods 1 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epid Methods 2 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar:Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 707 Res Design in Health Sci 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 511 Fundamentals of Global Health 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (9 credits)

6 credits of coursework at the 500 level or higher, with a minimum of 3 credits in biostatistics, and 3 credits in epidemiology. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor and/or the degree program's director or adviser.

3 credits of coursework at the 500 level or higher from this list, or any other course approved by the Global Health Option Committee that have not been taken to satisfy other program requirements.

GEOG 503 Advanced Topics in Health Geog 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

NUTR 501 Nutrition in Dev Countries 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 525 HlthCare Systems in Comp Persp 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 527 Econ for Hlth Serv Res&Policy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 529 Global Env Hlth&Burden/Disease 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 513 Soc Aspects HIV/AIDS in Africa 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 519 Gender and Globalization 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 545 Sociology of Population 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701)

Students will normally take the Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701) within 12 to 24 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program. The Comprehensive Exam is held once a year in June. The exam is intended to test students’ ability to synthesize and integrate epidemiological knowledge. For details on the Comprehensive Exam, see the course outline for EPIB 701. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Fail”. Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Protocol Defense (EPIB 702)

The comprehensive exam and the above required courses are usually completed before submitting and defending the thesis research protocol in EPIB 702. For details on the Protocol Defense, see the course outline for EPIB 702. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Provisional Pass” or “Fail”.

Students with a “Provisional Pass” (some deficiencies noted but not enough to stop progress on the thesis) are recommended to undertake (in consultation with their supervisor), specific remedial steps to address the areas of weakness identified in the exam. These could include additional courses, essays, assignments, and short courses. After satisfactory completion of these remedial steps the student will be considered to have a “Pass” on the Comprehensive Exam/Protocol Defense. Students are permitted to continue with their normal progression through the program.

Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Thesis Research

Thesis research is normally actively undertaken following the comprehensive Exam. It is expected that students will complete their degree within 48 to 60 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program.

GH Advisor:
madhukar.pai [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20Global%20Health%20Option%20inquiry) (Dr. M. Pai)

Program Advisor:
seungmi.yang [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Yang)

Program Director:
sam.harper [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Harper)

Ph.D. Pharmacoepidemiology Option

This program provides in-depth training for graduate students on pharmacoepidemiologic methods and the application of these methods to study the population effects (benefits and harm) of pharmaceutical products. Students will acquire the skills to become independent investigators and conduct original research in pharmacoepidemiology. Career opportunities for graduates are multiple and include work in industry, government, or academia. Students will be required to participate in the Pharmacoepidemiology Journal Club. Research topics must be related to pharmacoepidemiology and approved by the program coordinating committee.

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Pharmacoepidemiology degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 28 credits of Ph.D. courses.

In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, excluding thesis course(s), as determined by the Department.

Thesis

A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (25 credits)

EPIB 639 Pharmacoepidemiologic Methods 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 654 Pharmacoepidemiology 4 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 661 Pharmacoepidemiology 3 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 662 Pharma Basis of Pharmacoepidem 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 701 Ph.D.Comprehensive Examination
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epib Methods 1 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epid Methods 2 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar:Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 707 Res Design in Health Sci 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (3 credits)

3 credits of coursework in biostatistics at the 500 level or higher. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s supervisor and/or the degree program’s director or adviser.

These courses can be chosen from the Department’s current offer of more than 40 courses in epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health as well as from other McGill Departments. To assist you in your course selections see the Ph.D. Epidemiology Electives Guidelines page.

Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701)

Students will normally take the Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701) within 12 to 24 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program. The Comprehensive Exam is held once a year in June. The exam is intended to test students’ ability to synthesize and integrate epidemiological knowledge. For details on the Comprehensive Exam, see the course outline for EPIB 701. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Fail”. Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Protocol Defense (EPIB 702)

The comprehensive exam and the above required courses are usually completed before submitting and defending the thesis research protocol in EPIB 702. For details on the Protocol Defense, see the course outline for EPIB 702. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Provisional Pass” or “Fail”.

Students with a “Provisional Pass” (some deficiencies noted but not enough to stop progress on the thesis) are recommended to undertake (in consultation with their supervisor), specific remedial steps to address the areas of weakness identified in the exam. These could include additional courses, essays, assignments, and short courses. After satisfactory completion of these remedial steps the student will be considered to have a “Pass” on the Comprehensive Exam/Protocol Defense. Students are permitted to continue with their normal progression through the program.

Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Thesis Research

Thesis research is normally actively undertaken following the comprehensive Exam. It is expected that students will complete their degree within 48 to 60 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program.

PE Advisor:
robert.platt [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epi.%20Pharmacoepidemiology%20Option%20inquiry) (Dr. R. Platt)

Program Advisor:
seungmi.yang [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Yang)

Program Director:
sam.harper [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Harper)

Ph.D. Population Dynamics Option

The Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is a cross-disciplinary, cross-faculty graduate program offered by the Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD) as an option within existing master’s and doctoral programs in the Departments of Sociology, Economics, and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health (EBOH) at McGill University. Students who have been admitted through their home department or faculty may apply for admission to the option. The option is coordinated by the CPD, in partnership with participating academic units.

Thus, in addition to the rigorous training provided in the Department of EBOH, graduate students who choose this option become Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD) student trainees. This affiliation notably offers opportunities for interdisciplinary research and supervision. The option also provides a forum whereby graduate students bring their disciplinary perspectives together and enrich each other's learning through structured courses, a weekly seminar series, and informal discussions and networking.

With interdisciplinary research being increasingly important to understanding complex social and biological processes, CPD student trainees benefit from both a strong disciplinary foundation from their departmental affiliations, as well as from the sharing of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries through CPD activities.

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Population Dynamics degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 31 credits of Ph.D. courses.

In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Population Dynamics degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, excluding thesis research course(s), as determined by the Department.

Thesis

A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (22 credits)

EPIB 701 Ph.D.Comprehensive Examination
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design 2 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epib Methods 1 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epid Methods 2 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar:Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 707 Res Design in Health Sci 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 545 Sociology of Population 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 626 Demographic Methods 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (9 credits)

9 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, with a minimum of 3 credits in biostatistics, 3 credits in epidemiology, and 3 credits from courses approved for the Population Dynamics Option from the list below:

ECON 622 Public Finance 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 634 Economic Development 3 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 641 Labour Economics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 734 Economic Development 4 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 741 Advanced Labour Economics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 742 Empirical Microeconomics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ECON 744 Health Economics 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 648 Methods in Social Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 681 Global Health: Epid. Research 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 525 HlthCare Systems in Comp Persp 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 528 Economic Eval of Hlth Programs 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 529 Global Env Hlth&Burden/Disease 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PPHS 615 Intro:Infectious Disease Epid 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 502 Sociology of Fertility 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 512 Ethnicity & Public Policy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 513 Soc Aspects HIV/AIDS in Africa 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 520 Migration and Immigrant Groups 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 525 HlthCare Systems in Comp Persp 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 535 Sociology of the Family 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SOCI 588 Biosociology/Biodemography 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor and/or the degree program's director or adviser.

Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701)

Students will normally take the Comprehensive Exam (EPIB 701) within 12 to 24 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program. The Comprehensive Exam is held once a year in June. The exam is intended to test students’ ability to synthesize and integrate epidemiological knowledge. For details on the Comprehensive Exam, see the course outline for EPIB 701. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Fail”. Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Protocol Defense (EPIB 702)

The comprehensive exam and the above required courses are usually completed before submitting and defending the thesis research protocol in EPIB 702. For details on the Protocol Defense, see the course outline for EPIB 702. The exam is graded “Pass” or “Provisional Pass” or “Fail”.

Students with a “Provisional Pass” (some deficiencies noted but not enough to stop progress on the thesis) are recommended to undertake (in consultation with their supervisor), specific remedial steps to address the areas of weakness identified in the exam. These could include additional courses, essays, assignments, and short courses. After satisfactory completion of these remedial steps the student will be considered to have a “Pass” on the Comprehensive Exam/Protocol Defense. Students are permitted to continue with their normal progression through the program.

Students with a “Fail” must repeat the exam the following year.

Thesis Research

Thesis research is normally actively undertaken following the comprehensive Exam. It is expected that students will complete their degree within 48 to 60 months of entry into the Ph.D. degree program.

PDO Advisor:
amelie.quesnelvallee [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epi.%20Population%20Dynamics%20Option%20inquiry) (Dr. A. Quesnel-Vallée)

Program Advisor:
seungmi.yang [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Yang)

Program Director:
sam.harper [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Ph.D.%20Epidemiology%20inquiry) (Dr. S. Harper)