Population Dynamics Option

The Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is a cross-disciplinary, cross-faculty graduate program offered as an option within 5 existing Master’s and doctoral programs in the departments of Sociology, Economics, and Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health (EBOH) at McGill University. 

The 5 programs are:

HOW TO REGISTER: Students enter the option through one of the participating departments and must meet the Master’s or Ph.D. requirements of that unit. While students are encouraged to enter the option at the time of registration into their MA or PhD program, they may also enter the option after they have begun their program, provided they are able to meet all of the option requirements. Details on how to register.


  • Required courses, as per the program through which the student enters the PDO. See below required courses per program.
  • Attendance at least five of the talks per term given in the Social Statistics and Population Dynamics Seminar;
  • Dissertation (for Ph.D. students), Research Paper/Project (for Master’s students) and MScPH practicum must be on a topic relating to population dynamics, approved by the PDO coordinating committee.


  • Specialized training in population research
  • Annotation on your transcript demonstrating that you completed this specialized option in Population Dynamics


Graduate students in SOCIOLOGY and EBOH will take two required courses in Sociology (SOCI 626: Demographic Methods and SOCI 545: Sociology of Population. Students are also required to take one course from the following approved list of courses in Sociology, Economics, or EBOH, all of which are worth three credits each. If you are unable to take one of the approved courses below, and would like to substitute another course, please contact the chair of the CPD graduate committee (see below). For students who are able to study in french, CPD option courses are available through UdeM and INRS, see Inter- University Option Classes for details.


Class Number Class Title

SOCI 502

Sociology of Fertility

SOCI 512

Ethnicity & Public Policy 

SOCI 513

Social Aspects HIV/AIDS in Africa 

SOCI 520

Migration and Immigrant Groups 

SOCI 525

Health Care Systems in Comparative Perspective 

SOCI 535

Sociology of the Family 

SOCI 588


Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health 

See also Master's of Public Health: Population Dynamics Option or PhD Epidemiology Population Dynamics Option. See below for MScPH practicum requirements.

Class Number Class Title
EPIB 501 Population Health and Epidemiology 
EPIB 525 Health Care Systems in Comparative Perspective 
EPIB 527 Economics for Health Services Research and Policy 
EPIB 528 Economic Evaluation of Health Programs 
EPIB 615 Introduction to Infectious Disease Epidemiology 
EPIB 648 Methods in Social Epidemiology 
EPIB 675

Global Environmental Health and Burden of Disease 

EPIB 681 Global Health: Epidemiological Research 

Note: Only students outside of EBOH are eligible to take EPIB 501: Population Health and Epidemiology

Population Dynamics option (PDO) requirements of the MScPH practicum

The population option is situated at the intersection of population dynamics and population health. As such, many public health topics pertaining to population health could lend themselves to this option but clinical or lab-based public health projects are likely not eligible topics for a PDO practicum. Ideal PDO practicums would include projects for which quantitative analysis of health processes related to or contributing to population dynamics is a key component of practicum research or activities. For instance, projects that take into consideration social or economic determinants of health, notably those stemming from the other main research axes of the Centre on Population Dynamics, namely family, migration, aging, and education and labour markets. Students are required to write a short paragraph describing their practicum for approval from the graduate committee chair, which for 2017-18 is amelie.quesnelvallee [at] mcgill.ca (subject: MScPH%20practicum) (Professor Amélie Quesnel-Vallée).


See also M.A. Population Dynamics Option Non-thesis

Class Number Class Title
ECON 622 Public Finance 
ECON 634 Economic Development 3 
ECON 641 Labour Economics 
ECON 734 Economic Development 4 
ECON 741 Advanced Labour Economics 
ECON 744 Health Economics 

REQUIRED COURSES: Graduate students in the M.A. (non-thesis) program in ECONOMICS are unable to take more than 3 credits outside of the department of Economics. Thus, they will take one required course in Sociology (SOCI 626: Demographic Methods), a required course in microeconomics relevant for population studies (ECON 742: Empirical Microeconomics), and required courses in Economic Theory (ECON 610 and ECON 620). In addition, they will take one course from the approved list of population dynamics courses in Economics, also all worth 3 credits each.


Contact amelie.quesnelvallee [at] mcgill.ca (subject: CPD%20Population%20Dynamics%20Option) (Prof. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée), the chair of the CPD graduate committee for any questions regarding the Population Dynamics option. Alternatively, you can talk to the Graduate studies director of your department or a CPD member. Departmental graduate studies contacts: graduate.economics [at] mcgill.ca (Economics), gradadmin.eboh [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Population%20Dynamics%20option) (Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health), graduate.sociology [at] mcgill.ca (subject: graduate%20option%20in%20Population%20Dynamics) (Sociology)

To register for the Population Dynamics Option

  1. Go to Graduate forms HERE
  2. Click on "for students in Graduate Programs
  3. Choose "Request for a Program Change" form
  4. Select Department
  5. Select "Concentration only" (as well as "term" and "year" you would like the option to take effect)
  6. Then "Add concentration"
  7. Then type in "Population Dynamics Option" etc.
  8. Fill in the rest of the form and submit.


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