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Epidemiology

Epidemiology

The Department offers master's and doctoral programs in both Epidemiology, as well as a Master's of Science in Public Health. The methods learned in these fields are used not only in the study of diseases, but also in clinical research, health services research, public health, program planning and evaluation, and policy development. Our faculty members are at the forefront of their research domains and include epidemiologists, biostatisticians, clinician scientists, medical informatics specialists, public health specialists, health economists, medical sociologists, and health geographers. Research in the Department spans a broad range of areas, including:

  • clinical and public health informatics;
  • environmental and occupational health;
  • health care delivery and organization;
  • infectious diseases;
  • pharmacoepidemiology;
  • population and public health;
  • social epidemiology;
  • epidemiologic methods;
  • chronic diseases;
  • reproductive and perinatal epidemiology;
  • genetic epidemiology;
  • global health;
  • causal inference;
  • and many cross-disciplinary activities.

Faculty members may have funding available for students through their research grants. We provide rich research environments at five university-affiliated hospitals, public health agencies, and university research centres. Graduates pursue careers in academia, clinical settings, government agencies, NGOs, and industry.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Epidemiology (Thesis) (48 credits)

Applicants to the M.Sc. program should hold a bachelor’s degree in the natural and quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics, geography) or social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology), or hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition). Applicants must have an interest in health research, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (differential and integral calculus) at the undergraduate level.

The program leading to a master’s degree is designed to provide training in both theory and practice in the selected discipline. Courses require intellectual and academic rigour, and the program provides students with an opportunity to synthesize the training in the form of a thesis. Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics, in order to design, conduct, and analyze clinical, population-based, environmental, pharmaco-epidemiological, policy, and methodological health-related research. Graduates of the program often go on to do doctoral work or become research associates in public, private, and academic settings. McGill graduates are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence. While their core training is in methods, rather than specific substantive areas, students learn about substantive areas in the context of their research and through elective courses.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Epidemiology (Non-Thesis) — Pharmacoepidemiology (48 credits)

Applicants to the Pharmacoepidemiology Option of the M.Sc. (Non-Thesis) program should hold a bachelor's degree in the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics) or hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, pharmacy). Applicants must have an interest in the epidemiology of medications, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (including differential and integral calculus) at the undergraduate level. The Pharmacoepidemiology Option is designed to provide training in both theory and practice of pharmacoepidemiology. Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics in order to design, conduct, and analyze pharmacoepidemiological research. Courses require intellectual and academic rigour, and the program provides students with an opportunity to obtain specialized training in pharmacoepidemiology, including pharmacoepidemiologic methods, pharmacology for pharmacoepidemiologists, and practical experience in the form of a research project. Graduates of the program often go on to do doctoral work or become research associates in public, private, and academic settings. With a world-renowned reputation for excellence in pharmacoepidemiology, McGill-trained pharmacoepidemiologists are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Public Health (Non-Thesis) (60 credits)

The mission of the Master's of Public Health is to train outstanding public health professionals and future leaders by offering a rigorous academic program in methods, research, and practice. This program may be of interest for students from the natural and quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics, geography), social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology), or the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, physical and occupational therapy, nutrition). Students will study the foundations and principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, as applied to public health research and practice, in order to design, conduct, and analyze clinical, population-based, environmental, policy, and methodological public health-related research. Graduates of the program will serve as public health practitioners, research professionals, and educators, and will possess the competencies and professionalism to carry out broad public health functions in local, provincial, national, and international settings. In exceptional circumstances, the Admissions Committee may take professional experience into account for mid-career or returning/re-entry applicants.

The Master's of Public Health program includes a 14–16 week practicum after the first year, which will provide the student with the opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired in the academic program in a public health practice or research setting. Students who wish to focus on certain specific areas can choose to take all their elective credits in one domain and must complete their practicum in the same area (e.g., global health; health services research; program and policy development and evaluation; environmental health; etc.).

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Public Health (Non-Thesis) - Global Health (60 credits)

Students admitted to the M.Sc. degree in Public Health who have an interest in global health can receive additional recognition for completing the Global Health Option within their degree program. Students in the Global Health Option will undertake global health-dedicated coursework and the M.Sc. Public Health practicum requirement would be related to global health. This additional global health training will provide students with insight into the major global health challenges of today's world. For additional information, visit www.mcgill.ca/globalhealth.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Public Health (Non-Thesis) — Population Dynamics (60 credits)

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.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Epidemiology

This program may be of interest to students from the natural and quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, statistics, economics, geography), social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology), or the health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition). Applicants must have an interest in health research, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (differential and integral calculus) at the undergraduate level.

The Ph.D. program prepares students with the advanced epidemiological research skills needed to undertake original contributions to new knowledge related to the determinants of health and disease, prevention, prognosis, treatment, and outcomes. The program is generally completed in four to five years. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences. They will go on to careers in public health, health planning, and quality monitoring in local, regional, federal, and international health authorities, statistical and technology assessment agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, and in clinical and academic research organizations. McGill graduates are known for their methodological and quantitative rigour and quantitative analytic independence. While their core training is in methods, rather than specific substantive areas, students learn about substantive areas in the context of their research and through elective courses.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Epidemiology - Global Health

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology who have an interest in global health can receive additional recognition for completing the Global Health Option within their degree program. Students can fulfill the requirements for both the Ph.D. and the Global Health Option within the normal Ph.D. timeline. Over and above the core Ph.D. training, students in the Global Health Option will undertake global health-dedicated coursework and the thesis would be of relevance to global health. This additional global health training will provide students with insight into the major global health challenges of today's world. This area of study, research, and practice prioritizes improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. McGill and its affiliated hospitals have close to 200 researchers involved in global health work, from basic biomedical research on tropical diseases to large-scale population studies on the social determinants of health. Students at McGill can be exposed to the work of 20 teams working in all major areas of global health, including Infectious and Tropical Diseases; Global Environmental Health; and Global Mental Health, among others. For more information, visit www.mcgill.ca/globalhealth. With this additional Global Health qualification, Ph.D. graduates will benefit from opportunities for future training or work in those institutions or organizations that are active in global health.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Epidemiology — Pharmacoepidemiology

The Pharmacoepidemiology Option of the Ph.D. Program may be of interest to students from the natural or quantitative sciences (e.g., microbiology, computer science, biostatistics, statistics, economics), Public or Population Health, or Epidemiology, or hold a degree in one of the health professional sciences (e.g., medicine, pharmacy). Applicants must have an interest in the epidemiology of medications, along with strong conceptual, analytic, and quantitative skills (including differential and integral calculus) at the undergraduate level. The Pharmacoepidemiology Option prepares students with the advanced epidemiological research skills needed to undertake original contributions to new knowledge related to pharmacoepidemiology. The program is generally completed in four to five years. In addition to obtaining advanced training in the foundations and principles of epidemiology and applied biostatistics as part of the Ph.D. program, students in the Pharmacoepidemiology Option receive specialized training in pharmacoepidemiology, including advanced pharmacoepidemiologic methods, pharmacology for pharmacoepidemiologists, and practical experience in pharmacoepidemiology through their doctoral thesis. Graduates will be prepared to engage in scientific collaboration, and communicate results to other scientists and diverse audiences. They will go on to careers in pharmacoepidemiology in public, private, and academic settings. With a world-renowned reputation for excellence in pharmacoepidemiology, McGill-trained pharmacoepidemiologists are known for methodological and quantitative rigour, and quantitative analytic independence.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Epidemiology — Population Dynamics

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.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2016-2017 (last updated Jul. 18, 2016).
 

Epidemiology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

The graduate programs in Epidemiology (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) and Public Health (M.Sc.) require substantial quantitative skills. The Admission Committees for these programs require documented proof of quantitative proficiency including good grades in college-level differential and integral calculus.

The GRE is required of candidates who are health professional graduates from universities outside North America.

Master's in Epidemiology

Applicants to the M.Sc. in Epidemiology programs must hold a bachelor's degree in a related area.

Master's of Public Health

Applicants to the Master's of Public Health programs must hold a bachelor's degree. Experience in this field is an asset.

Ph.D.

Applicants to Ph.D. programs must hold a master's degree in Epidemiology or its equivalent. In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, applicants 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.

Complete details on the Epidemiology programs are available on our Departmental website. Information on the Master's of Public Health programs is available here.

Language Requirement

Minimum TOEFL scores required, when applicable, of 100 on the Internet-based test. Minimum score for IELTS: 6.5.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See University Regulations and Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Completed applications, with all supporting documents, must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system by the application deadlines.

Please see our website, www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/epidemiology/applying, for information on required documents.

Additional Requirements

Please consult www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/epidemiology/applying for information on our requirements.

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Dec. 15 Fall: Dec. 15 Fall: Apr. 30
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: Sept. 10
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2016-2017 (last updated Jul. 18, 2016).