Program Details

The PhD in Health is offered as a full time residency program. Students who have completed a thesis-based Masters are eligible for two-year residency during which the student must reside in Halifax and pay full fees and tuition to Dalhousie University while completing required coursework and Comprehensive Exams. Subsequently, continuing fees will be paid as students complete research and prepare their dissertation (generally two additional years).

Students with a non-thesis based or entry to practice Masters are eligible for three-year residency.  These students will complete research experience courses which include a small-scale research/pilot project in their first year.  These must be completed before the student pursues the regular (two-year) program requirements.  

At this time there is no distance or part time option for the PhD in Health program.

Program Objectives

  • Prepare students to answer questions critical to improving health and social well-being locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Recognize and respond to the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
  • Provide a focussed, research intensive program of study contextualized within the broader health perspective.

Two-Year Residency Timeline

For students who have completed a thesis-based Masters*.

Requirement Expected Completion Date
  • Common Health Seminar and Research courses (6 credits) 
  • advanced Research Methods/Statistics elective (3 credits) 
  • two additional electives (6 credits) 15 credits total
End of Year 1
Comprehensive Exams After coursework has been completed
Thesis Proposal End of Year 2
Research and Dissertation Completion
End of Year 4/5
*Students with non-thesis Master’s degrees may be eligible for the two-year program if they can demonstrate independent research.  Following the guidelines provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, ways to demonstrate equivalency include a major research paper, presentation at scholarly conferences, publications in journals, etc.

Three-Year Residency Timeline

Requirement Expected Completion Date
  • Research Project I and II (6 credits)
  • Additional advanced Research Methods/Statistics elective (3 credits)
End of Year 1
All coursework including required courses as per two-year requirements (15 credits) 24 credits total End of Year 2
Comprehensive Exams After coursework has been completed
Thesis Proposal  End of Year 3
Research and Dissertation Completion End of Year 5/6


Additional Requirements

  • present at a local (e.g., The Crossroads Interdisciplinary Student Health Research Conference) or other scholarly conference at least once.
  • produce at least 2 peer-reviewed publications.
  • apply for at least one funding/scholarship award either prior to or during their program