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Graduate Program

Programs offered

The Department (SSOM) offers graduate studies in three programs:

  • one in medical anthropology given jointly with the Department of Anthropology
  • one in medical history, given jointly with the Department of History, and
  • two  in medical sociology, given jointly with the Department of Sociology.

In each program, the student may work towards the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. All degrees are awarded by the relevant Faculty of Arts department. For further information regarding these departments, please consult Anthropology, History, or Sociology sections.

The Department (SSOM) is interdisciplinary, having faculty in the fields of medical anthropology, medical history, and medical sociology. In its programs of graduate studies, it attempts to provide two things: a training that is solidly grounded in the discipline of the chosen program, i.e. in anthropology, history or sociology; and, through seminars and interaction with Department members and other graduate students, an exposure to the other disciplines that are represented in the Department. The Department aims to instill in its graduates a combination of disciplinary competence and interdisciplinary perspective.

Admission requirements

M.A. in Medical Anthropology

The program is open to students with backgrounds in the social sciences, the medical professions, or the medical sciences.

M.A. in the History of Medicine

Candidates must have a background in either history (Honours BA in History, or equivalent) or a degree in one of the health professions.

M.A. in Medical Sociology

The program is open to students with a background in social sciences, health professions or health sciences. It aims to prepare candidates for a career of teaching and research in medical sociology, and there is consequently a preference for applicants with the potential to proceed to the doctoral degree.

Ph.D. Programs

Candidates for a Ph.D. will normally have taken their M.A. in the same field. Please refer to the appropriate Department - Anthropology, History, or Sociology.

Application procedures

M.A. in Medical Anthropology

Admission is granted by a joint admissions committee made up of representatives from Anthropology and SSOM. For details concerning applications, teaching assistantships, fellowships, etc. see Department of Anthropology.

M.A. in the History of Medicine

Application is made directly to the History Department. For details see Department of History including for information on applying to  Faculty Major Fellowships.

M.A. in Medical Sociology

Admission is granted by representatives from Sociology and SSOM. For details concerning applications, teaching, assistantships, fellowships, etc., see Department of Sociology.

Ph.D. Programs

Please refer to the appropriate Department - Anthropology, History, or Sociology.

Program requirements

Click course title for course credit weight and term information.

Search the Class Schedule by term for course sections offered. This includes class times, locations and instructors.

Please note: not all courses are offered each year.

M.A. in Medical Anthropology

For Anthropology courses, see Department of Anthropology. For SSOM seminars, see below.

M.A. in Medical Anthropology (Thesis) (48 credits)

Required Courses (42 credits)

HSSM 605 Medical Anthropology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Offered Fall 2012
ANTH 615 Sem in Medical Anthropology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


ANTH 694 M.A. Thesis Tutorial 1 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


ANTH 695 M.A. Thesis Tutorial 2 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


ANTH 699 M.A. Thesis 24 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (6 credits)
Two Anthropology courses.

M.A. in History of Medicine

The M.A. degree in Medical History does not have a thesis option. The program requires the completion of 45 credits, composed of required courses, graduate seminars, plus a major research paper. The program is normally completed in three terms, or one calendar year (Fall, Winter and Summer).

M.A. in History of Medicine (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

Required Courses (27 credits)

HIST 684 Research Proposal 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 685 Directed Research 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 686 Bibliography Tutorial 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 687 MA Paper 1 9 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 688 MA Paper 2 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (18credits)

18 credits at the 500-level or higher comprised of the following

6-12 credits in History of Medicine courses below:

HIST 619 Course not available


HIST 620 Course not available


HIST 636 Medieval Medicine Seminar 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 637 Medieval Medicine Seminar 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 640 Modern Medicine Seminar 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HIST 641 Modern Medicine Seminar 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HSSM 604 History of Medicine 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

6-12 credits in History (non-Medicine) courses

0-6 credits may be taken outside the department

Candidates for MA degree follow an individual program approved by the Department

M.A. in Medical Sociology

Students may choose between two programs: MA thesis or non-thesis. For Sociology courses, see Department of Sociology. For SSOM seminars, see below.

M.A. in Medical Sociology (Thesis) (48 credits)
This includes 18 credits of course work and a research thesis that is based on original research (30 credits).

Required Courses (12 credits)

SOCI 504 Quantitative Methods 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 540 Course not available


SOCI 580 Social Res Design&Practice 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 652 Current Sociological Theory 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (6 credits) one of the following two courses:

SOCI 515 Medicine and Society 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 538 Sel Top in Soc of Biomed Know 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


plus one course in the History of Medicine

Thesis Component - Required (30 credits)

SOCI 690 M.A. Thesis 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 691 M.A. Thesis 2 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 692 M.A. Thesis 3 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 693 M.A. Thesis 4 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 695 M.A. Thesis 6 15 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

M.A. in Medical Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)
This includes 27 credits of course work and a research paper based on original research (18 credits).

Required Courses (36 credits)

SOCI 504 Quantitative Methods 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 540 Course not available


SOCI 580 Social Res Design&Practice 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 603 Bibliographic Methods 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 604 Bibliographic Methods 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 652 Current Sociological Theory 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 696 Research Paper 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 697 Research Paper 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 699 Research Paper 4 12 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


* All students must have taken SOCI 504, 540, 580 and 652, or take them during the first year of the program. Students granted an exemption from any one or more of these courses by the Graduate Studies Committee must substitute another substantative seminar in its place.

Complementary Courses (9 credits)
3 credits, one of the following courses:

SOCI 515 Medicine and Society 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


SOCI 538 Sel Top in Soc of Biomed Know 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

3 credits, one graduate-level course in the History of Medicine

3 credits, one graduate-level course in Social Studies of Medicine

PH.D PROGRAMS
For information on the doctoral programs, please refer to the appropriate Department - Anthropology, History, or Sociology

SSOM Courses

Students preparing to register should consult the Web at www.mcgill.ca/minerva (click on Class Schedule) for the most up-to-date list of courses available; courses may have been added, rescheduled or cancelled. Class Schedule lists courses by term and includes days, times, locations, and names of instructors.

Courses with numbers ending D1 and D2 are taught in two consecutive terms (most commonly Fall and Winter). Students must register for both the D1 and D2 components. No credit will be given unless both components (D1 and D2) are successfully completed in consecutive terms.

Click course title for course credit weight

HSSM 604 History of Medicine 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HSSM 605 Medical Anthropology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HSSM 606 Course not available


HSSM 610 Sociology of Medicine 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


HSSM 611 Course not available