Why do your PhD in Epidemiology & Health Research at Dal?

Find solutions to today’s complex health issues

Today’s complex health issues call for a new generation of PhD level researchers who possess both depth and breadth in epidemiology. As a PhD student in epidemiology and applied health research, you will develop deep expertise in a specialized area in one of three domains in applied health research disciplines:

  • epidemiology and biostatistics
  • patient and population health
  • health services and outcomes

Seek academic rigor and real world relevance

You will master theories, methodological concepts, and substantive knowledge integral to all three domains. To realize this vision, during four years of the program, you will undertake a variety of learning experiences, including:

  • coursework
  • a placement in a clinical, governmental, or non-governmental setting
  • a comprehensive examination
  • a dissertation

Improve health through generating evidence

Graduates of the program will become independent investigators who will generate evidence through rigorous multidisciplinary epidemiologic and applied health research that contributes to improved health locally, nationally and globally.

Program Details

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology & Health Research

Identify a research supervisor

Start communicating with faculty members at the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Identify a supervisor who is willing to support you educationally and, if you do not obtain outside support, financially.

Program structure

The PhD program begins in September.

Year one

  • complete a two-term (six credit hours) compulsory PhD course called Epidemiology & Applied Health Research
  • complete the comprehensive exams at the end of your first year

Year one to two

  • defend a thesis proposal in the fall
  • complete an additional six credit hours through electives you select in consultation with your supervisor

Year two

  • attend a non-credit professional development seminar 
  • complete a non-credit course on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Year two or three

  • conduct a non-credit, three-month placement in an appropriate clinical, governmental or non-governmental organization to experience public health, health policy and health services delivery in action

Year two to four

  • participate in departmental teaching and collaborative research

Year four

  • complete your thesis

Comprehensive exams

Comprehensive exams assess your breadth of knowledge of the field of epidemiology and applied health research, as well as your suitability to become an expert in a specialized area within the field.

The comprehensive exams consist of:

  • three questions answered in essay style
  • an oral exam, in which you and examiners discuss one of your essays

The exams take place during the summer at the end of your first year of study.

PhD thesis

You are expected to defend a thesis proposal in the fall of your second year and complete the thesis by the end of your fourth year in the program.

Application deadlines

  • September 1 (for start in September of next year) id the deadline for completed applications from those who wish to apply for scholarships
  • December 1 (for start in September of next year) is the deadline for completed applications