Graduate Studies

A Specialization in the History of Medicine and Allied Fields at the University of Calgary

Graduate studies (M.A., M.Sc., PhD) in history of medicine and allied fields (a Specialization) are offered through various graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Most students (M.A., PhD) apply to the Department of History's and the Department of Greek and Roman Studies' graduate programs (both in the Faculty of Arts). However, it is also possible to apply for graduate studies (M.A. in History and Philosophy of Science) with the University of Calgary's History and Philosophy of Science Program (Faculty of Arts), for M.A., M.Sc., and PhD-level studies through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (an Inter-Faculty program), or for M.Sc. and PhD-level studies through the Department of Community Health Sciences' graduate program (Cumming School of Medicine). All of these graduate study programs have different requirements (at entry and with regard to their course work: methodology, languages, courses to be taken etc.). Potential applicants are strongly advised to get in contact with one of the following faculty members to receive further information about the program requirements and to begin an exchange about their individual needs and expectations regarding the various graduate programs offered. Please email: Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch(; Dr. Peter Toohey ( ); or Dr. Mark Humphries ( to receive further information and assistance.

It is also possible, in principle, to apply to the combined MD/PhD (History of Medicine and Health Care concentration) stream through the program "Leaders in Medicine" at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. If you are interested in receiving more information about this special program, please go to: Leaders in Medicine, Graduate Program Administrator

The University of Calgary is one of Canada's leading research universities, which has grown to serve nearly 25,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students. Calgary is a modern and very vibrant city of ca. 1.2 million people and offers many cultural attractions (major museums and collections, opera, philharmonic orchestra, fringe music and theatre festivals, etc.), as well as a splendid outdoor environment (Banff and Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains are located about one hour away from the city centre). Calgary International Airport is a major hub, directly connecting many North American East Coast and West Coast centres, as well as London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris in Europe.

The University of Calgary has graduate student scholarships and research support that is well above the average North American public universities. Excellent residential and recreational facilities are also provided. There are many resources within the University of Calgary and the City of Calgary itself that relate to research in the history of medicine; for instance, the collections of the Glenboe Museum (Western Canada and aboriginal health); the Calgary Military Museums; the Nickle Arts Museum (with its ancient coins collection); the Alberta Health Services Archives in Calgary; the University of Calgary Archives (collections on the history of the Cumming School of Medicine, the Calgary General Hospital, the military history archives, the rare book collection, and the Canadian Architectural Archives with hospital collections from all over Canada); the Mackie Family Collection in the History of Neuroscience; the Chicksands Military Collection (History of Military Medicine Sections); and substantial library holdings (including the Dr. Peter Cruse and Dr. Earle P. Scarlett Collections of the Health Sciences Library). Most required research publications may be accessed through a very efficient Interlibrary Loan System that connects with many major libraries world-wide. The Red Arrow Shuttle bus line connects the University of Calgary with the city of Edmonton, thus facilitating access of the University of Alberta's substantial antiquated collections and archives as well as the Provincial Archives of Alberta

Areas of Specialization and Supervision (reflecting faculty members’ research interests): History of Neuroscience; History of Psychiatry; History of Neurology; Canadian, North-American and European Clinical Medicine (esp. Germany and France); Military Medicine and Health Technologies; Shell Shock; Paediatrics and Ophthalmology; Medicine, Gender and Reproduction; History of Eugenics; Public Mental Health; Visualizations in Medicine; History of the Life Sciences; Medical Epistemology; Ancient History of Medicine; Melancholy; Treatment of Mental Health Patients.

Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch, Associate Professor (Community Health Sciences and History) has current research focus on questions and interdisciplinarity in the neurosciences, knowledge transfer through migration processes of scholars, and the contemporary history of public mental health. Supervision can be provided, should research projects require comparative contexts; also, health services and public health, particularly the psychiatric applications in historical perspective and problems of knowledge transfer. See potential supervisor's page from the Department of Community Health Science's graduate program and the research and supervisory page from the Department of History's graduate program. In addition, Dr. Stahnisch is the Coordinator (History) of the Calgary History and Philosophy of Science Program and has been an examiner and committee member for graduate students in both Greek and Roman Studies and the Science and Technology Studies Program.

For the supervisory activities and areas of Dr. Peter Toohey (UofC Department of Greek and Roman Studies) and Dr. Mark Humphries (MRU Department of Humanities), please click on the "Research" tab on the top row.

The Calgary Area (including the UofC, MRU, the UofL, and Red Deer College) has an increasingly vibrant community of scholars in the History of Medicine and Health Care, the History and Philosophy of Science, as well as the Science and Technology Studies. All of these programs provide many resources for potential graduate students within these fields.