Doctor of Philosophy

Our PhD program immerses students in advanced research in health sciences, and equips them with the skills, expertise, and critical-thinking to succeed in academia and beyond. Our interdisciplinary approach to research encourages cross-functional collaboration on pressing issues, like global health, environmental health and toxicology, maternal and child health, epidemiology and disease prevention, chronic and infectious diseases, population and public health, mental health & addiction, social inequities and health outcomes, adolescent and child development, reproductive health, and health policy.

Study: Full time

Length: Minimum of three years

Workload: Full time

Coursework: Minimum of 6 units

Cost: $1,985/term x 9 terms = $17,865 minimum total tuition, plus $455/term in ancillary fees. See this breakdown of the typical costs per term for graduate domestic and international students, and try the cost of living calculator.

All PhD students in the Faculty of Health Sciences receive financial support either from scholarships, teaching appointments, or professors' research grants. The minimum PhD stipend is $21,000 per year for three years. More information is available in the full policy.

There are a variety of awards for incoming students, and deadlines are usually prior to program entry. Learn more


All PhD candidates complete a minimum of 6 units of graduate coursework.

Typical PhD course plan

Core requirements Exams & proposals Thesis
  • Interdisciplinary Seminar in Health Sciences 1 (three units) in Term 1

  • Interdisciplinary Seminar in Health Sciences II (three units) in Term 2

  • Comprehensive exams

  • Thesis proposal

  • Both are typically completed by the end of term 4

  • PhD thesis

Comprehensive exam

The comprehensive paper can include a critical review of the literature relevant to your research question, discussion of theoretical frameworks, or an in-depth analysis of the specific content area. You will choose your question or topic in collaboration with your supervisory committee.

Thesis proposal

You will prepare a written research proposal that integrates theory, current research and methods in fields related to your research problem. Normally, the proposal reviews the relevant research literature, reflects original work and describes methodology appropriate to the principal research question(s).


A written thesis is the final requirement of the PhD program. Typically, it will include an introduction to your research, research materials and methods, result and analyses, and discussion. You must pass the formal thesis defence to earn your degree.

Ask a student

Do you have questions about becoming a graduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences? Email one of our current students if you'd like more information about student life in our programs.