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Epidemiology: Program Requirements

M.Sc.

Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics, in order to design, conduct, and analyze clinical, population-based, environmental, policy, and methodological health-related research. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences.

For eligible clinicians: there is the possibility of completing the program in one year. Please see "M.Sc. intensive for clinicians" tab.

Thesis Course (24 credits)

EPIB 690 M.Sc. Thesis 24 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Required Courses (22 credits)

Students exempted from any of the courses listed below must replace them with additional complementary course credits.

EPIB 601 Fundamentals of Epidemiology 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 602 Foundations of Population Hlth 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 603 Intermediate Epidemiology 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 605 Critical Appraisal in Epid 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 607 Inferential Statistics 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 613 Intro to Statistical Software 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 614 Basics of Measurement in Epi 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 621 Data Analysis in Health Sci 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Course (2 credits)

2 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, chosen in consultation with the student's academic adviser or supervisor.

Core learning objectives

This document Core Learning Objectives MSc Epidemiology [.pdf] outlines objectives of the core program for all M.Sc. students registered in the epidemiology program. The document was designed to facilitate the planning of courses and other learning activities, and to help students identify learning objectives. The objectives presented here may be met in a variety of ways: course work, the conduct of the thesis or non-thesis M.Sc. project, other research and participation in other academic activities such as departmental seminars.

Students in the thesis program complete 24 credits of coursework and submit a thesis (24 credits). A thesis for the Master's degree must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to carry out research and to organize results. The thesis must be expressed in good literate style. An exhaustive review of work in the particular field of study is not necessarily required, nor is original scholarship necessarily expected. As an alternative to the traditional thesis format, the thesis can consist of one or more papers of which the student is an author or co-author. If this option is chosen, all components must be integrated into a cohesive unit with a logical progression from one chapter to the next; connecting text that provides logical bridges preceding and following each manuscript is mandatory.

M.Sc. theses involving human participants, animal subjects, microorganisms, living cells, biohazards, and/or radioactive materials, must include the appropriate compliance certification. Supervisors may add students directly to their existing approved IRB protocols. IRB approval (or a waiver from a McGill IRB committee) is required for graduation.

Students will need to identify (and have approved) an academic supervisor and thesis committee no later than 15 February of their first year of study. If a supervisor is identified who is outside the department, a department-based co-supervisor is required. Completed progress and tracking forms are also required to demonstrate satisfactory progress in the M.Sc. program (see website for details: www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/grad/progresstracking).

M.Sc. theses will be read and evaluated by an external examiners and will be given a pass-fail grade. If the examiner has given a failing grade to the M.Sc. thesis, full instructions on how to proceed will be sent to the candidate, the supervisor and the unit head by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

A public presentation of the M.Sc. thesis work (at a scientific conference or at a seminar at McGill or elsewhere) is strongly recommended for all M.Sc. thesis students.

Program Advisor:
amelie [dot] quesnelvallee [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. A. Quesnel-Vallée )
Tel.: 514-398-2758

Program Director:
christina [dot] wolfson [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. C. Wolfson)
Tel.: 514-934-1934x44739

M.Sc. Intensive for Clinicians

Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics, in order to design, conduct, and analyze clinical, population-based, environmental, policy, and methodological health-related research. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences.

Thesis Course (24 credits)

EPIB 690 M.Sc. Thesis 24 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Required Courses (22 credits)

Students exempted from any of the courses listed below must replace them with additional complementary course credits.

EPIB 601 Fundamentals of Epidemiology 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 602 Foundations of Population Hlth 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 603 Intermediate Epidemiology 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 605 Critical Appraisal in Epid 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 607 Inferential Statistics 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 613 Intro to Statistical Software 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 614 Basics of Measurement in Epi 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 621 Data Analysis in Health Sci 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Course (2 credits)

2 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, chosen in consultation with the student's academic adviser or supervisor.

Core learning objectives

This document Core Learning Objectives MSc Epidemiology [.pdf] outlines objectives of the core program for all M.Sc. students registered in the epidemiology program. The document was designed to facilitate the planning of courses and other learning activities, and to help students identify learning objectives. The objectives presented here may be met in a variety of ways: course work, the conduct of the thesis or non-thesis M.Sc. project, other research and participation in other academic activities such as departmental seminars.

Students in the thesis program complete 24 credits of coursework and submit a thesis (24 credits). A thesis for the Master's degree must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to carry out research and to organize results. The thesis must be expressed in good literate style. An exhaustive review of work in the particular field of study is not necessarily required, nor is original scholarship necessarily expected. As an alternative to the traditional thesis format, the thesis can consist of one or more papers of which the student is an author or co-author. If this option is chosen, all components must be integrated into a cohesive unit with a logical progression from one chapter to the next; connecting text that provides logical bridges preceding and following each manuscript is mandatory.

To be considered for admission, students interested in the intensive M.Sc. for clinicians option must have identified a Departmental supervisor or co-supervisor as well as a thesis topic at the time of application. The proposed thesis must use data already collected to allow for the completion of all the requirements for the M.Sc. by the end of August of the year after admission to the program. It is also expected that successful applicants will not be required to have any clinical duties during the 12 month period of study.

Applicants to the intensive M.Sc. for clinicians option must contact Dr. Pierre Ernst (see contact details below) for further information and to assure that the planned research program meets all requirements of the M.Sc. thesis program.

M.Sc. theses involving human participants, animal subjects, microorganisms, living cells, biohazards, and/or radioactive materials, must include the appropriate compliance certification. Supervisors may add students directly to their existing approved IRB protocols. IRB approval (or a waiver from a McGill IRB committee) is required for graduation.

Completed progress and tracking forms are required to demonstrate satisfactory progress in the M.Sc. program (see website for details: www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/grad/progresstracking).

M.Sc. theses will be read and evaluated by an external examiners and will be given a pass-fail grade. If the examiner has given a failing grade to the M.Sc. thesis, full instructions on how to proceed will be sent to the candidate, the supervisor and the unit head by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

A public presentation of the M.Sc. thesis work (at a scientific conference or at a seminar at McGill or elsewhere) is strongly recommended for all M.Sc. thesis students.

M.Sc. Intensive Advisor:
pierre [dot] ernst [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. P. Ernst )
Tel.: 514-340-8222 X3636

Program Advisor:
amelie [dot] quesnelvallee [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. A. Quesnel-Vallée )
Tel.: 514-398-2758

Program Director:
christina [dot] wolfson [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. C. Wolfson)
Tel.: 514-934-1934x44739

Ph.D.

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 27 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, 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 (15 credits)

EPIB 604 Epidemiologic Analysis 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 608 Advanced Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 609 Seminar on Adv Methods in Epi 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 610 Adv Methods: Causal Inference 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 623 Res Design in Health Sci 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

Complementary Courses (12 credits)

12 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, with a minimum of 3 credits in ethics (medical/public health/research), 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 following Guidelines: Guidelines Required Elective PhD 20131115 [pdf].

See the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar, and Courses & Timetables for details of courses being offered.

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 mid-June to mid-July. 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”.

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:
sam [dot] harper [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. S. Harper)
Tel.: 514-398-2856

Program Director:
james [dot] brophy [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. J. Brophy)
Tel.: 514-934-1934 x36564

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; Polulation Dynamics degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 33 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, 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 (21 credits)

EPIB 604 Epidemiologic Analysis 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 608 Advanced Epidemiology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 609 Seminar on Adv Methods in Epi 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 610 Adv Methods: Causal Inference 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

EPIB 623 Res Design in Health Sci 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

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 (12 credits)

12 credits of coursework, at the 500 level or higher, with a minimum of 3 credits in ethics (medical/public health/research), 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 525 Health Care Sys in Comp Persp 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

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

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

EPIB 615 Intro:Infectious Disease Epid 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

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 Health Care Sys 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.

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 following Guidelines: Guidelines Required Elective PhD 20131115 [pdf].

See the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar, and Courses & Timetables for details of courses being offered.

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 mid-June to mid-July. 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”.

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 [dot] quesnelvallee [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. A. Quesnel-Vallée )
Tel.: 514-398-2758

Program Advisor:
sam [dot] harper [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. S. Harper)
Tel.: 514-398-2856

Program Director:
james [dot] brophy [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. J. Brophy)
Tel.: 514-934-1934 x36564