T-imageThe curriculum for the PhD in Population Health Sciences strives to strengthen and formalize students’ breadth of foundational knowledge and skills in population health (the common core training), and, at the same time, enhance and inform depth of knowledge and skills (Field of Study training).

The program requirements include:

  • completion of courses that are common across the program and that are required within the student’s Field of Study and Area of Specialization;
  • participation in research assistantships and teaching fellowships;
  • successful completion of program-wide and field of study assessments (e.g. qualifying exam), dissertation prospectus, and dissertation and oral defense.

For a more detailed overview of all our degree requirements, you can refer to our Student Handbook.

Program-wide Training

Program-wide training is delivered by courses, seminars, and workshops. Themes include:

  • conceptual foundations of population health;
  • research methods;
  • ethics of scientific research;
  • scientific communication and pedagogy (in writing, speaking, visual presentation, and teaching)

Field of Study Training

Training specific to a student’s Field of Study (and Area of Specialization) is delivered through a variety of methods. The distribution of required methods courses, research assistantships, assessments, and seminars, etc. varies according the Field of Study.


Each student will be expected to complete a body of original research of publishable quality. This may take one of two forms: (a) a minimum of three individual publishable papers, or (b) a traditional thesis-style submission with at least three original and innovative chapters, including an introduction and a conclusion that cogently ties it all together. Papers do not have to be published as single-author papers in order to fulfill dissertation requirements. The dissertation must be successfully defended before three examiners.