Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to master’s and doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The School of Population and Public Health offers a research-oriented PhD program that enables students with a masters degree to advance their knowledge and skills in epidemiological and biostatistical methods. Students will further their research training by applying these methods to independent thesis research under the supervision of a faculty member. Students can pursue thesis research in a wide variety of topics related to the health of populations and the delivery of health services.

 
 
 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 57 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $38,939.
  • 24 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 24 students was $6,707.
  • 38 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 38 students was $18,770.
  • 17 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 17 students was $5,352.
  • 57 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 57 students was $10,782.
  • 22 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 22 students was $28,705.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

60 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 3 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 56 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (16)
Simon Fraser University (5)
University of Toronto (2)
University of California - San Diego (2)
Ryerson University (2)
University of Saskatchewan
Queen's University
University of Kentucky
Oregon State University
Carleton University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Public Health Agency of Canada
Abbvie Corporation
Samsung
Redwood Outcomes
Alberta Health - Government of Alberta
BioClin Health Research, Inc.
National Cancer Institute
Public Health Ontario
Genentech
Queensway Carleton Hospital
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Epidemiologist (2)
Physician
Oncologist
Senior Epidemiologist
Senior Statistician
Executive Director
Senior Researcher
Outcomes Research Scientist
Investigator
Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
This program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications3741524042
Offers1621222219
New Registrations1213161611
Total Enrolment9191918476

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 70% based on 66 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 36 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 2.39 years and the maximum time is 9.59 years with an average of 5.73 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Amri, Michelle (Global Health Ethics; normative nature of health equity)
  • Anis, Aslam (cost effectiveness of AIDS treatments; drug assessments – pharmacoeconomics; health care economics; health regulations, Health economics, rhematoid arthritis, biologic therapies)
  • Bansback, Nick (inform policies and practices in health through the application of)
  • Black, Charlyn (Public and population health)
  • Brauer, Michael (Environmental and occupational health and safety; Health sciences; Public and population health; air pollution; built environment; Community Health / Public Health; environmental health; environmental epidemiology; healthy cities; remote sensing)
  • Brussoni, Mariana (Developmental psychology; Psychosocial, sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health; Population health interventions; injury prevention; Children's outdoor play; Risky play; Parenting; health behaviour change; Implementation Science)
  • Bryan, Stirling (Economics of health care, policy, from UK)
  • Cox, Susan (Other medical sciences; Sociology and related studies; Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music), architecture and design)
  • Davies, Hugh William (Environmental and occupational health and safety; Health sciences; Public and population health; Antineoplastic drug hazards; Community Health / Public Health; environmental health; Exposure Assessment; Noise and Health; Occupational Health; Occupational Safety and Health)
  • Deering, Kathleen (Medical, health and life sciences)
  • Dummer, Trevor (health geography, cancer prevention, environmental exposures, health inequalities, geographic information science, obesity, risk factors, Environmental epidemiology and environment and health interactions, with specific emphasis on cancer etiology and cancer prevention)
  • Elango, Rajavel (Protein Nutrition, Maternal-Fetal Nutrition, Childhood Malnutrition, Amino Acid Metabolism, Human Nutrition )
  • Frank, Erica (Health sciences; Public and population health; Other education; Free accredited education; Preventive Medicine; Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Holocaust studies; Exile Reintegration)
  • Gadermann, Anne (Social determinants of health; Housing and homelessness; Quality of)
  • Gilbert, Mark (Public and population health; Development, implementation, evaluation and scale-up of innovative sexual health programs; Gay men’s sexual health, including sexual health literacy; Synergistic and integrated dynamics of infectious diseases, mental illness and other conditions)
  • Greyson, Devon (Health-related information practices of youth, parents, and families; Intersection between information practices and health behavior,; Cannabis use decision making in pregnancy and lactation; Vaccine confidence and decision making about vaccination; Disinformation in social media support communities; Online communication among young parents)
  • Guhn, Martin (Developmental psychology; Psychosocial, sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health; social context and child development/well-being; Population health; social determinants of health)
  • Henderson, Sarah (Environmental and occupational health and safety; wildfire smoke; air pollution; Extreme weather events; environmental health; radon gas; Food safety; Water quality)
  • Janssen, Patricia (Health sciences; Public and population health; Gestation / Parturition; health of marginalized women; Lifestyle Determinants and Health; maternal child health; mobile health for pregnancy and parenting; Perinatal Period; social determinants of health)
  • Joseph, K.S. (Pregnancy complications, preterm birth, fetal growth, infant mortality, neonatal)
  • Kalua, Khumbo (Population health interventions; Infectious diseases; Global health; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); Neglected Tropical Eye Diseases; Global Eye Health; Cluster Randomized Trials; Implementation Science; International Global Health; Community Based Research; Clinical trials)
  • Karim, Ehsan (Biostatistical methods; Survey methodology and analysis; Statistical learning; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); Public and population health, n.e.c.; Causal inference; Biostatistics; Statistics; Machine Learning; data science; Survey data analysis; multiple sclerosis)
  • Kassam, Rosemin (Medical, health and life sciences; Child Health, Malnutrition, Adult Chronic Disease, Geriatrics)
  • Kazanjian, Arminee (Cancer Survivorship, Knowledge Exchange and, Translation, Psychosocial oncology, Palliative care in cross-cultural context, Vulnerable populations, including women)

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Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2024 Dr. Gill examined how different types of childhood poverty experience affect children's development, health, and school success from kindergarten to high school graduation in British Columbia, and how these relationships differ by the child's immigration background. This work can inform intervention and policy to reduce harms related to poverty.
2024 Should patients with coronary artery disease consider stenting if they must wait for bypass surgery? Dr. Hardiman compared treatment results of delayed surgery and readily available stenting, finding that patients who underwent surgery fared better. His study will inform future treatment decisions and policy in cardiac care.
2024 Dr. Cassidy-Matthews explored how Indigenous People who use drugs in BC experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and examined influences on vaccine uptake and acceptability. She found that a few relational principles underpinned most health decisions and experiences. These included emotional and spiritual connection, environmental stability, and equity.
2024 Dr. Yuchi studied air pollution, green space and dementia risk in Canada. Her work underscores the importance of further improvements to the built environment and air quality to reduce the burden of dementia in settings where air pollution levels are relatively low. Urban planning to incorporate greenery and parks may help to reduce dementia risk
2024 Dr. Nikiforuk studied how the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 infects cells in the upper human respiratory tract to find that people's risk of infection varies. This finding will be useful in controlling coronavirus transmission and designing new treatment strategies.
2024 Dr. Randall explored long-term patient satisfaction with total knee replacement. She found that 12% of participants were dissatisfied, particularly those with ongoing symptoms and unmet expectations. The main concern for patients was how well their new knee supported their daily lives. These findings have both clinical and research implications.
2024 Dr. Musoke evaluated the impact of two interventions to improve access to medicines in Uganda. He found that the benefits of such interventions were maintained over a long duration when implemented nationally. This knowledge will aid in the design of future interventions to improve access to medicines in Uganda and other countries.
2023 Dr. Desai revealed that despite better CF prognosis in recent years, people with CF still face substantial burden from lung impairment and other complications. Rising healthcare costs due to expensive medications pose additional challenges. These findings will help improve their service planning and resource allocation in the future.
2023 Dr. Nisingizwe investigated access to Hepatitis C testing and treatment in Rwanda and internationally. Her dissertation described HCV cascade of care, and patients' barriers to HCV care in Rwanda. Globally, she highlighted countries and regions with high and low access to HCV medicines and the effect of COVID-19 on HCV drug utilization.
2023 Dr. Chen unravelled relationships between diabetes medications and breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer risk, suggesting potential risk variations with common diabetes medications. Her study underscores the significance of understanding the long-term health impacts of prescription medications, advocating more research.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

The School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) offers both research-oriented and professional/course-based graduate programs.

Professional programs
  • The Master of Public Health focuses on illness prevention and health promotion and integrates learning in epidemiology; biostatistics; the social, biological and environmental determinants of health; population health; global health; disease prevention and health systems management with skill-based learning in a practicum setting.
  • The Master of Health Administration is a professional program for clinicians, administrators, researchers and managers who are seeking solutions to today’s complex health delivery issues. Take courses with a multi-disciplinary perspective in health systems, policies and management along with foundational business skills
  • The Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc OEH) program provides the skills and knowledge to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control chemical, physical and biological hazards in workplace and community environments.
Research-based Programs
  • Master of Health Science (MHSc) applicants must have an MD or equivalent, including dentistry or veterinary medicine, and will learn skills that can be applied to their academic and clinical interests, bolstering their research abilities and opportunities.
  • The Master of Science in Population and Public Health program teaches core knowledge and skills in epidemiological and biostatistical methods and allows students to gain research experience by applying methods to a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Students can pursue thesis research in a wide variety of topics related to the health of populations and the delivery of health services.
  • The PhD program at SPPH is intended for students who wish to obtain advanced research training that will enable them to conduct independent investigative research.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-W0
 
 
 
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