Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology

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Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

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.

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 by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The comprehensive examination is a written examination. The objective is to assess the degree to which students have been able to assimilate and apply the principles of epidemiologic research. Examinations held twice yearly.

    Terms: Summer 2018

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2017-2018 academic year.

  • EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Essential skills for thesis writing and defence, including essential elements of research protocols, formulation of research objectives, the design, and strategies.

    Terms: Fall 2017, Winter 2018

    Instructors: Michael Kramer, Michal Abrahamowicz (Fall) Michael Kramer, Michal Abrahamowicz (Winter)

    • Note: Required for Ph.D. students.

  • EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design (2 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : This course will provide an overview of the concepts and principles underlying epidemiologic study design. Focus will be on the importance of appropriately formulating the research question, identifying the target population, defining the relevant entities, and on how these factors affect the validity of study findings. Examples from the published literature will be extensively used to illustrate the crucial points and will be discussed in class.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Olga Basso (Fall)

    • Restriction(s): Registration in the Ph.D. Epidemiology program, or permission of the instructor.

  • EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epidemiologic Methods 1 (4 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Estimation of epidemiologic effect measures and their confidence intervals in a variety of different study designs. Emphasis on analysis of sample data sets using regression models, graphical and tabular presentation of results, causal interpretation of effect estimates, writing reports for scientific publications, and sensitivity analyses for violated assumptions.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Jay Kaufman (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 603 and EPIB 621 or equivalent

    • Restriction(s): Open to Ph.D students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics programs only.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 604.

  • EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epidemiologic Methods 2 (4 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The course has a conceptual and analytical causal inference perspective. The nature of specific study biases resulting in non-causal components in the observed association between exposure and outcome are discussed, including endogenous selection bias, measured and unmeasured confounding, and measurement error. Methods to recover the causal effect with such biases are presented. Causal mediation analysis is discussed. Models for survival analysis are discussed as well as the problem of- and some solutions to missing data. A brief overview of genetic epidemiology principles is covered.

    Terms: Winter 2018

    Instructors: Claire Infante-Rivard, Jonathan Chevrier (Winter)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 704

    • Restriction(s): Open to Ph.D. students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics programs only.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 608.

  • EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar in Epidemiology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : This course aims to provide an opportunity to students who have completed the Epidemiology course series in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, to optimize their training in ways that will be helpful to their thesis research and to the development of their career as epidemiologists. The content of this interactive course and the delivery of the material is primarily determined by students based on the knowledge gaps that they identify. The course will allow students to expand their methodological tool box, explore controversies in epidemiology, and gain experience synthesizing and communicating complex concepts to an informed audience.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Jonathan Chevrier (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 701

    • Restriction(s): Enrolment in PhD Epidemiology or permission or instructor.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 609.

  • EPIB 707 Research Design in Health Sciences (3 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Lectures and discussions and student oral and written presentations with the aim of providing guidance and experience in the development of objectives, background and methods for both the formulation of, and the constructive peer criticism of, research protocols in the health sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Christina Wolfson (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 701

    • Restriction(s): Registration in the PhD program in Epidemiology.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 623.

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.

Faculty of Medicine—2017-2018 (last updated Aug. 23, 2017) (disclaimer)