Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)

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.

 
 

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

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

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

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.

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:

100
22
21
22
21
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
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.

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 supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding 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.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 18 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 18 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 18 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 18 January 2021

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* 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

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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.

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.

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 direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

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 Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator 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

 20192018201720162015
Applications3833433846
Offers1718211619
New registrations117141010
Total enrolment7679776156

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 19 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 2.66 years and the maximum time is 6.66 years with an average of 4.65 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. 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 [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

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.

  • Karim, Ehsan (Epidemiology, Pharmacoepidemiology, Statistics and Probabilities, Data mining, Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference, Community Health / Public Health, Model Building, Computer Science and Statistics, Causal inference, Biostatistics, Statistics, Machine Learning, data science, Survey sampling)
  • Kassam, Rosemin (global health, access and use of medicines and health services among vulnerable populations, community readiness, improving patient/client self-efficacy to engage effectively in their health care processes and decision-making, implementation and evaluation of patient care and health promotion programs, and capacity building of current and future frontline health professionals)
  • Kazanjian, Arminee (Cancer Survivorship, Knowledge Exchange and, Translation, Psychosocial oncology, Palliative care in cross-cultural context, Vulnerable populations, including women)
  • Kershaw, Paul (child care, parental leave, work-life balance, social policy, social citizenship, responsibilities and rights, gender and politics, income assistance, child benefit package, social inclusion, neighbourhood effects on child development, Canadian federalism, Citizenship, detrimants of Health, social care)
  • Koehoorn, Mieke (Occupational health, injury, compensation policies, Worksafe BC, Gender Work and Health)
  • Kopec, Jacek Andrzej (Epidemiology, Arthritis / Osteo-Arthritis)
  • Law, Michael (Pharmacoeconomics, Pharmacoepidemiology, Health Policies, Global Health and Emerging Diseases, Pharmaceutical policy, Program evaluation, Observational studies, Global Health, Health Policy)
  • Lima, Viviane Dias (Biostatistics, Epidemiological Methods, Epidemiology of HIV Disease, Epidemiology of HCV Disease, Public Health, Health care utilization, Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases)
  • Lovato, Chris (Health promotion, population health and program evaluation, impact of health programs and policies, particularly in the areas of cancer prevention and health services)
  • MacNab, Ying (Bayesian paradigm, foundations of statistics, space-time statistics, structured statistical models, taxonomic models, item response theory, inductive reasoning, Bayesian burden of disease methodology, Geometics, Health service and population health geoinformation system, and meta-data innovation in medical and health research)
  • Manges, Amee (Epidemiology, Molecular epidemiology, Public health)
  • Masse, Louise (Obesity, Health Promotion, Nutrition, Films, Membranes and Multiphase Polymers, Childhood obesity with specific interests in prevention and treatment using lifestyle modification, Physical Activity)
  • McGrail, Kimberlyn (aging and health care services use; health care costs; health care financing; primary care; health care policy, Variations in health care services use across patients, providers and regions, and their relationship to population health, Aging and the use of health and social services, Personal, economic, and social factors that produce health at an individual and population level, and the role of the health care system in that process)
  • McLeod, Christopher (occupational heath and the social epidemiology of the working life course.)
  • Milloy, Michael-John (how experiences for illicit drug users hinder or promote HIV/AIDS treatment)
  • Mitton, Craig (Health Policies, Health care resource allocation)
  • Morgan, Steven (Health Policies, Access to medicines, Pharmacare, Pharmaceutical pricing, Prescribing appropriateness)
  • Murphy, Rachel (Nutrition, Nutrition and Cancer, Community Health / Public Health, Obesity, Cancer prevention, Aging)
  • Naus, Monika (Communicable disease outbreak, control, vaccine, immunization, tuberculosis)
  • Oberlander, Timothy (Population epidemiological studies that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity)
  • Ogilvie, Gina (Sexually transmitted infections, human papillomavirus, HIV in women and care for marginalized populations)
  • Oviedo-Joekes, Eugenia (public health and substance use, with a focus on testing alternative approaches to expand and diversify the treatments offered; treatment needs of patients)
  • Patrick, David (Antibiotics and Resistance, Pharmacoepidemiology, Response to Emerging Infectious Diseases, Responding to the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance at Population Level)
  • Poon, Brenda (Population-level early identification and early intervention for children with special needs; Complex systems of coordinated service delivery and supports; Family-centered services; Integrated child health information systems; Community-based research regarding social determinants of children)

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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
2019 Dr. Rugel created a model of natural spaces such as parks, street trees, and beaches across Vancouver. She applied it to prescription and survey data to identify how specific forms of nature influence our mental health and social connections. Her work advances our understanding of how best to integrate nature into healthy urban policies and designs.
2019 Tuberculosis remains a disease of public health importance in Canada. Dr. Guthrie used genomics to understand the person-to-person spread of TB over a decade in BC. Her research provided important insights into transmission, including risk factors related to the spread of TB. This work will inform public health strategies to prevent transmission.
2019 Dr. Kennedy found that use of supervised drug consumption facilities helps to prevent serious harms, including violence and premature mortality. She also found that involving people who use drugs as staff enhanced the effectiveness of this service. This research has provided important evidence to improve health services for people who use drugs.
2019 Dr. Adu's research focused on the systemic factors, which create barriers to tuberculosis prevention and control in an increasingly connected world. Dr. Adu found evidence of an association between globalization and tuberculosis and further showed how systemic factors drove tuberculosis incidence among healthcare workers in South Africa.
2019 Measuring past pesticide exposure for farmers has many challenges. Dr. Garzia developed a new method to estimate past exposures, and compared it to other existing methods. She then applied the new method to assess pesticide exposure in relation to multiple myeloma risk in BC. Her findings also provide advice for future research in this area.
2019 Dr. Gamontle demonstrated that healthcare workers in Botswana were of the perspective that occupational health and infection control measures used in preventing Tuberculosis in the hospital environment were not adequate. Improving such measures can contribute to protecting the health of healthcare workers which in turn can improve patient care.
2018 Dr. Trenaman evaluated patient decision aids, which are tools designed to help patients make better quality health care decisions. He found that patient decision aids for individuals considering total hip and knee replacement improved outcomes and reduced costs. His research will help policy makers invest in cost-effective tools for patient-centred care.
2018 Dr. Andrusiek studied the role of 'chain of survival' interventions used for resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. He used non-experimental designs and different analytic techniques to identify benefits and harms, and showed that there is a critical need for definitively evaluating these interventions using a randomized trial design.
2018 Dr. Roth examined the role of ecological and climate factors in driving patterns of West Nile Virus incidence in western Canada using data from BC and Saskatchewan. The results of this work were used to develop a practical decision support tool to aid resource allocation and disease prevention in the BC context.
2018 Dr. Muraca examined the risks to mothers and babies following forceps, vacuum, and cesarean delivery. Though increased use of forceps and vacuum is recommended to reduce cesarean delivery rates, Dr. Muraca argues that each of these procedures have associated risks and suggests an evidence-based, collaborative approach to selecting an intervention.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program 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
 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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