Public Health Sciences: Public Health Sciences PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program prepares students for research and academic careers. Fieldwork and research enhance theoretical studies and expose students to the full breadth and depth of their public health science disciplines. Applicants apply and may be admitted to one of the following fields:

  • Biostatistics

  • Epidemiology

  • Occupational and Environmental Health

  • Social and Behavioural Health Sciences

The PhD program may be completed on a full-time or flexible-time basis.

With the approval of the graduate chair, some applicants may be admitted to a flexible-time PhD program. This program will benefit mature students with career obligations, and applicants must demonstrate that they are practising professionals. Degree requirements for the flexible-time program are identical to those for the full-time PhD program. Students are required to register full-time for the first four years of their program, after which they may register part-time. A plan of study and research activities will be negotiated at initial registration, to be reviewed and updated annually.

 

Field: Biostatistics

PhD Program (Full-Time and Flexible-Time)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Dalla Lana School's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in a public health science-related discipline from a recognized university, with a minimum A– standing.

  • Demonstrated educational and/or professional experience that indicates a capacity to undertake research-oriented doctoral studies.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Completion of 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5005H Introduction to Public Health Research

    • 1.0 FCE: CHL 5208Y Advanced Laboratory in Statistical Design and Analysis

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5209H Survival Analysis I

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5210H Categorical Data Analysis

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5250H+ Special Topics in Biostatistics (seminar)

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5260Ho Doctoral Seminar Series in Biostatistics

    • 1.0 FCE: STA 2112H and STA 2212H Mathematical Statistics

    • 0.5 FCE: elective course that relates to the student’s area of study.

    • Students who have taken their MSc in the department may have taken some or all of these courses already. In this case, their program of study will be designed with consultation of the program director at the time of admission.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in statistics or research methods.

  • A written qualifying examination in biostatistics.

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation proposal.

  • Writing of a PhD dissertation under the supervision of an approved dissertation committee (supervisor plus two additional faculty members).

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation prior to the SGS Final Oral Examination.

  • A final oral defence of the dissertation before an examination committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 6 years flexible-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 8 years flexible-time

 

Field: Epidemiology

PhD Program (Full-Time and Flexible-Time)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Dalla Lana School's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in a public health science-related discipline from a recognized university, with a minimum A– standing.

  • Demonstrated educational and/or professional experience that indicates a capacity to undertake research-oriented doctoral studies.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Completion of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5005H Introduction to Public Health Research

    • 1.0 FCE: CHL 5404H and CHL 5408H Research Methods

    • 1.0 FCE: CHL 5406H and CHL 5424H Quantitative Methods

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5423H0Doctoral Seminar in Epidemiology

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5428H Epidemiological Methods for Causal Mediation Analyses

    • 0.5 FCE: elective courses that relate to the student’s area of study.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in statistics or research methods.

  • A written qualifying examination in epidemiology.

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation proposal.

  • Writing of a PhD dissertation under the supervision of an approved dissertation committee (supervisor plus two additional faculty members).

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation prior to the SGS Final Oral Examination.

  • A final oral defence of the dissertation before an examination committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 6 years flexible-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 8 years flexible-time

 

Emphasis in the PhD Program

Students in the Epidemiology field of study have the option to complete an emphasis by completing appropriate coursework in a given area. The emphasis requirements will also count toward, but may exceed, the 4.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) field requirement.

Emphasis: Artificial Intelligence and Data Science

  • Students must complete 1.5 FCEs from the following list:

    • CHL 5212H Predictive Modelling in the Health Sciences

    • CHL 5213H Methods for Analysis of Microbiome Data

    • CHL 5229H Modern Biostatistics and Statistical Learning

    • CHL 5230H Applied Machine Learning for Health Data

    • CHL 5429H Advanced Analytic Methods for Bias in Epidemiologic Studies

    • CHL 3020H Ethics and Artificial Intelligence for Health

    • HAD 5306H Introduction to Health Services Research and the Use of Health Administrative Data

    • MHI 2012H Introduction to Big Data for Health: Foundations and Methodologies

    • other course(s) approved by the Program Director.

 

Field: Occupational and Environmental Health

PhD Program (Full-Time and Flexible-Time)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Dalla Lana School's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in a public health science-related discipline from a recognized university, with a minimum A- standing.

  • Demonstrated educational and/or professional experience that indicates a capacity to undertake research-oriented doctoral studies.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Completion of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5005H Introduction to Public Health Research

    • 0.5 FCE in either occupational or environmental health

    • 1.0 FCE in advanced research methods (including biostatistics)

    • 0.5 FCE: doctoral seminar in occupational and environmental health

    • 1.0 FCE: elective courses that relate to the student’s area of study.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in statistics or research methods.

  • A written qualifying examination in occupational and environmental health.

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation proposal.

  • Writing of a PhD dissertation under the supervision of an approved dissertation committee (supervisor plus two additional faculty members).

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation prior to the SGS Final Oral Examination.

  • A final oral defence of the dissertation before an examination committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 6 years flexible-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 8 years flexible-time

 

Field: Social and Behavioural Health Sciences

PhD Program (Full-Time and Flexible-Time)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Dalla Lana School's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in a public health science-related discipline from a recognized university, with a minimum A- standing.

  • Demonstrated educational and/or professional experience that indicates a capacity to undertake research-oriented doctoral studies.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Completion of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5005H Introduction to Public Health Research

    • 0.5 FCE: CHL 5101H Social Theory and Health

    • 0.5 FCE: either CHL 5804H Theories for Health Promotion and Public Health Intervention or CHL 5102H Social and Political Forces in Health

    • 1.0 FCE in approved research methods courses

    • 1.0 FCE: elective courses that relate to the student’s area of study.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in statistics or research methods.

  • A written qualifying examination in social and behavioural health sciences.

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation proposal.

  • Writing of a PhD dissertation under the supervision of an approved dissertation committee (supervisor plus two additional faculty members).

  • A departmental defence of the dissertation prior to the SGS Final Oral Examination.

  • A final oral defence of the dissertation before an examination committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 6 years flexible-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 8 years flexible-time

 

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.
0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.