Frequently Asked Questions


 

We have presented a few of the more frequently asked questions below to help you.  Please take this time to review the information provided to assist you.

ADMISSIONS / STUDENT PROFILES

What is the background of your MSc in Public Health students?

Our students come from a diversity of academic backgrounds making for a very interesting cohort each year. Many students have recently completed a BSc, while others are returning to academia after a number of years in the workforce, as a researcher or practitioner in a health related field. Applicants may also have a background in Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, or Engineering, among others.

I have taken an introductory statistics course. Will this meet the quantitative requirement?

No. Our program is heavily methodological, and significant quantitative skills are required to succeed in our core epidemiology and biostatistics courses. University level calculus courses and/or exposure to probability theory and linear algebra will assure students have the necessary foundational skills.

What is the typical grade point average of your students?

We receive a large number of applications, so admission is quite competitive and most successful applicants have higher than the minimum requirements. However all applications are reviewed on the basis of the complete dossier. GPA alone is not the deciding factor.

Do I need to submit GRE results?

We do not require GRE results from most applicants. However, we do require GRE results from applicants who are health professionals, and who have trained outside of Canada or the United States. We use the GRE results from these applicants to assess their quantitative skills, as their transcripts do not tend to reflect this.

Where should my referees send their letters of reference?

References are only accepted online. Applicants enter the referee’s email address, and they will receive an automatically generated request for a reference. Referees are asked to respond within ten days.

In the case of international referees, who work or teach in institutions which do not have institutional email addresses, their public domain address may be used. We ask that they upload a PDF copy of their letter of reference on institutional letterhead, and if necessary, if the applicant is offered admission, we may follow up in order to verify the information.

One of my referees does not have an institutional email address. What should I do?

In the case of international referees, who work or teach in institutions which do not have institutional email addresses, their public domain address may be used. We ask that they upload a PDF copy of their letter of reference on institutional letterhead, and if necessary, if the applicant is offered admission, we may follow up in order to verify the information.

I have not yet finished my undergraduate degree, but will graduate next spring. May I still apply for Fall admission?

Yes. You should upload your transcripts to date by the application deadline. You may replace your transcript with a new version containing your Fall grades into mid-January. If you are offered admission, it will be conditional upon successfully completing your undergraduate degree.

 

PROGRAM

Do you have an on-line program?

No, we do not offer on-line courses.

Do I need to speak French to complete this program?

No. All courses are offered in English. While knowledge of French is very useful with regard to securing a practicum in a Montreal or Quebec public health setting, our students complete their practicum requirement in placements across the country and abroad.

Can I be a part-time student in your program? How long does the program take to complete?

We presently offer an MScPH which requires 20 months of full time, residential study. We do not offer a part-time option.

Why is your program an MScPH and not an MPH?

Our MScPH is not equivalent to some of the MPH programs for health professionals offered at other institutions. Our program is a Master of Science because of the level of training in epidemiology and biostatistics our students receive. The first year is almost identical to the coursework for the MSc Thesis in Epidemiology. After the first year of training, MSc Epi students go on to spend at least a year doing research and writing a thesis, whereas the MScPH students not only do a Practicum and write a report, but also take the breadth courses that cover other domains of public health training and knowledge, covering both required and elective disciplinary content.

How long are your practica? Where do they take place?

Our students can do their practicum/internship in a variety of population and public health practice or research settings. The practicum is 14-16 weeks in duration and is followed by a report and a presentation to be completed during the second year. In the past, our students have been placed locally (eg. at the Direction de la Santé Publique), nationally (eg. at the Canadian Public Health Agency and Cancer Care Ontario) and internationally (eg. at the WHO, UNAIDS or various NGOs).

How many credits/and/or courses am I expected to carry each semester as a full time master’s student?

Students typically carry between 10 to 15 credits in any given semester, including the summer between first and second year. A full time course load is 12 credits or more.

 

POST-GRADUATION

Will I find a job after I graduate? Where can I work with my MScPH?

Students graduating from this program can expect to find employment within the governmental public health system at the local, national, and international level as well as the non-governmental sector. Students may work as research assistants, coordinators, program planners, health promotion specialists, consultants, or find employment in managerial level positions.

 

FUNDING

Do you offer funding to students?

We currently do not have financial support for MSc level students. There are a number of opportunities to work as a research assistant etc. on campus, although, we cannot guarantee a position. There are some opportunities for funding available (at the university and external) - but, you must apply. Please visit: https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/funding for more details.