VIII. Graduate Programs
A PhD program is available in epidemiology. Admission into this program is usually granted to holders of an MSc degree who have demonstrated superior performance, or to MSc students who have not completed their thesis but have performed exceptionally well in courses, shown exceptional aptitude and skill in research, and whose thesis research is suitable for expansion to the doctoral level. For direct transfer, a thesis proposal and strongly supportive letters of reference are required. Infrequently, well qualified DVM or honours degree holders may be accepted directly into the PhD program.
All applicants should submit a one-page statement of research interests and career goals to assist in the identification of a faculty advisor who has the funding necessary to support the thesis research. Students may be admitted into the fall, winter or summer semesters.
The major emphasis in the PhD program is on the preparation of an acceptable thesis. There are no specific course requirements other than the Seminar, POPM*6100, which must be completed twice. However, students are expected to have taken POPM*6200 Epidemiology I (F) and POPM*6210 Epidemiology II, or their equivalent, in their MSc program. It is usual for students, in consultation with their advisory committee, to select a suitable program of prescribed studies and additional courses. Course selection takes into account the student's background, research area, career aspirations, and need to prepare for the qualifying examination.
Courses should normally be completed before the qualifying exam is attempted. The written component of the examination is followed by an oral component (two to four hours), usually one week later. MSc holders must complete the qualifying examination by the end of the fifth semester. Students transferring from the MSc program and those who enter the program directly after their honours or DVM degrees (or their equivalents) must complete the examination by the end of the seventh semester. In addition, the advisory committee is required to confirm that the student has demonstrated ability and promise in research. The PhD program is completed by the successful defence of a thesis.