Site Navigation
Welcome
Important Notice and Disclaimer
Faculty of Graduate Studies General Information
Graduate Students' Association (GSA)
Academic Schedule
Faculty of Graduate Studies Degrees Information
Admissions
Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students
Tuition and General Fees
Academic Regulations
Program Descriptions
Anthropology ANTH
Archaeology ARKY
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape SAPL
Art ART
Biological Sciences BISI
Biomedical Engineering BMEN
Chemistry CHEM
Communication and Media Studies CMMS
Computational Media Design CMD
Computer Science CPSC
Data Science and Analytics DATA
Drama DRAM
Economics ECON
Education Graduate Programs
Engineering Programs ENGG
Engineering, Chemical and Petroleum ENCH
Engineering, Civil ENCI
Engineering, Electrical and Computer ENEL
Engineering, Geomatics ENGO
Engineering, Leadership in Engineering and Advanced Practice LEAP
Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing ENME
English ENGL
French, Italian and Spanish FISL
Geography GEOG
Geoscience GEOS
German GSEA
Greek and Roman Studies GRST
Haskayne School of Business: Management MGMT
History HIST
Information Security and Privacy ISEC
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program IGP
Kinesiology KNES
Languages, Literatures and Cultures LLAC
Law LAW
Linguistics LING
Mathematics and Statistics MTST
Medicine Programs
Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MDBC
Medicine, Biomedical Technology MDBT
Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences MDCV
Medicine, Community Health Sciences MDCH
Course-Based Degrees
Thesis-Based Degrees
Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Medicine, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases MDMI
Medicine, Neuroscience MDNS
Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Medicine, Medical Science MDSC
Military and Strategic Studies CMSS
Music MUSI
Nursing NURS
Philosophy PHIL
Physics and Astronomy PHAS
Political Science POLI
Psychology PSYC
Public Policy PPOL
Religious Studies RELS
Social Work SOWK
Sociology SOCI
Sustainable Energy Development SEDV
Veterinary Medical Sciences VMS
Engineering, Environmental
Interdisciplinary Specializations
Courses of Instruction
Student and Campus Services
About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2020-2021 Program Descriptions Medicine, Community Health Sciences MDCH Thesis-Based Degrees
Thesis-Based Degrees
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

a) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
b) Master of Science (MSc)

Specializations

  • Biostatistics (see Interdisciplinary Specializations for further information)
  • Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare Epidemiology
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Health Economics
  • Health Services Research
  • Medical Education
  • Population/Public Health

Within the thesis-based programs, the student must select a specialization from the list above.

Descriptions of each specialization and its requirements are found on the website at: cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/programs/community-health-sciences.

Part-time/Full-time Study

Students in thesis-based degree programs (PhD and MSc) may register as part-time students with the permission of the department and the Graduate Program Director.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the program requires:

a) Minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 on a four-point scale over the last two years consisting of a minimum of 60 units.

b) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in the English language:

See Medicine Programs.

c) A statement outlining the applicant’s interest and reasons for choosing the program.

d) A letter from a faculty member of our Department indicating interest in supervising the applicant.

e) Work and/or research experience in the health system, community rehabilitation and/or disability studies is highly recommended.

f) Two letters of reference.

3. Application Deadline

The deadlines for the submission of complete applications are available on the Future Students website:

Master of Science (thesis-based): ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/community-health-sciences-master-science-thesis-based

Doctor of Philosophy: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/community-health-sciences-doctor-philosophy-thesis-based

Students applying to the MD/MSc or MD/PhD program must apply individually to each program and complete a supplementary application for the Leaders in Medicine Program.

4. Advanced Credit

Open Studies Students may take courses before applying for admission to a graduate program. However, these students are not eligible to enrol in the Block Week course: Introduction to Community Health Sciences (Community Health Sciences 600) and three core courses, Essentials of Biostatistics (Community Health Sciences 610), Fundamentals of Epidemiology (Community Health Sciences 640) and Health Research Methods (Community Health Sciences 681). A maximum of 6 units, completed at a satisfactory level (minimum "B+") and within three years of admission to the graduate program, may be credited toward a student's degree requirements. Completing courses does not guarantee admission into the program.

5. Program/Course Requirements
Master of Science

Biostatistics

See Interdisciplinary Specializations for further information.

Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (CRDS) - Minimum of 24 units
Core Course
Community Health Sciences 600

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Rehabilitation 630
6 units in CRDS
Minimum of 3 units in quantitative research methods
Minimum of 3 units in qualitative research methods
A minimum of 6 units (two 3-unit specialization courses) determined with the supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Practicum/Internships
Arranged in conjunction with supervisor.

Epidemiology - Minimum of 21 units
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 611, 740

Electives
At least one 3-unit graduate course appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with the supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Clinical Epidemiology - Minimum of 27 units
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 611, 641, 647, 741

Electives
At least one 3-unit graduate course appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Healthcare Epidemiology - Minimum of 27 units
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 611, 649, 643
Medical Science 611 or 613.02

Electives
At least one 3-unit graduate course appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend weekly Infectious Diseases Rounds, and the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Practicum
Practice half-time (i.e. about 15– 20 hours/week) in an infection control capacity for a period of 3–6 months.

Health Economics - Minimum of 21 units
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Two of the following three courses (minimum of 6 units):
Community Health Sciences 661, 662, 663

Electives
At least one 3-unit graduate elective appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with the supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the monthly Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment seminars and the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Health Services Research - Minimum of 21 units
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 660

Electives
At least two graduate electives (6 units) appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with the supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Medical Education - Minimum of 18 units 
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 627, 628, 629, 630, 631

Electives
None required. Students may take additional graduate courses appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic and agreed upon with supervisor.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the weekly Medical Education Journal Series and the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Population and Public Health - Minimum of 24 units 
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600, 610, 640, 681

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 680, 683

Electives
Minimum of two graduate courses (6 units) appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with the supervisor.

Additional Courses
Students will be advised in their offer of admission if any courses in addition to the 24 units of required coursework listed above are deemed necessary; the admissions evaluators will determine this in consideration of the student's prior learning (transcripts), experience, and their intended research focus.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Doctor of Philosophy

Biostatistics
See Interdisciplinary Specializations for further information on program requirements.

Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (CRDS) - Minimum of 6 units
Core Courses
All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core courses required at the master's level. If they have not completed the core courses, they must either complete them during the PhD program, or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Rehabilitation 730
Courses appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic are required. These are selected in consultation with Supervisor/Committee, must be approved by the Graduate Program Director, and may include the Required Courses for Specialization at the Master's level if not previously completed. Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Practicum/Internships
Arranged in conjunction with the student's supervisor/committee.

Epidemiology - Minimum of 9 units 
Core Courses
All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core courses required at the master's level. If they have not completed the core courses, they must either complete them during the PhD program, or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Required Courses for Specialization
Other courses appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic. These are selected in consultation with Supervisor/Committee, require Graduate Program Director approval and must include the Required Courses for Specialization at the Master's level if not previously completed. Suggested courses for consideration include:
Community Health Sciences 661, 664741. Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Health Economics - Minimum of 24 units 
Core Courses
All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core courses required at the master's level. If they have not completed the core courses, they must either complete them during the PhD program, or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Courses will be selected with the supervisor and receive Graduate Program Director approval depending on the student's master's training and as appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic.

Required Courses for Specialization
Students are expected to have completed the required courses for the Health Economics specialization at the Master's level. If they have not completed the required courses, incoming students are expected to complete two of the three courses (6 units) as required for the specialization at the Master's level.

Electives
At least four electives (12 units, including advanced methods courses) appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic and agreed upon with the Supervisor. Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the monthly Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment seminars and the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Health Services Research - Minimum of 9 units 
Core Courses
All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core courses required at the master's level. If they have not completed the core courses, they must either complete them during the PhD program, or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Courses will be selected with the supervisor and receive Graduate Program Director approval depending on the student's master's training and as appropriate to the advancement of the thesis research topic.

Required Courses for Specialization
Students are expected to have completed the required course for the Health Services Research specialization at the Master's level or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.
In consultation with the supervisor, and with the Graduate Program Director's approval, students are expected to complete at least three (9 units) advanced methods courses (at the 600 or 700 level) either from the following list (Community Health Sciences 611, 664, 683, 741, 761) or from another department.

Electives
Electives appropriate to the advancement of thesis research topic and agreed upon with the supervisor. Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Medical Education - Minimum of 12 units 
Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600

All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core course required at the master's level. If they have not completed the course, they must either complete it during the PhD program, or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Required Courses for Specialization
All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the specialization courses or equivalents required at the master's level.

Complete a minimum of 9 units of coursework, including: (i) Community Health Sciences 730 (6 units), and (ii) a graduate level methods course (3 units) appropriate to the student's dissertation work, available within the Cumming School of Medicine or elsewhere on campus, that has been agreed upon by the supervisor and/or supervisory committee.

Electives
Students may elect to take additional courses which benefit their needs and interests.
Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the weekly Medical Education Journal Series and the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

Population and Public Health - Minimum of 9 units of core and specialization courses.

All incoming PhD students are expected to have completed the core courses required at the master's level. If they have not completed them, they must either complete the core courses in the PhD program or request an exemption from the Graduate Program Director based on completing equivalent courses at another university.

Core Courses
Community Health Sciences 600 and 680

Required Courses for Specialization
Community Health Sciences 681 (or 3 units of relevant advanced research methods coursework as approved by the Graduate Program Director).

Additional Courses
Students will be advised in their offer of admission if any courses in addition to the 9 units of required coursework listed above are deemed necessary; the admissions evaluators will determine this in consideration of the student's prior learning (transcripts), experience, and their intended research focus.

Electives
Any electives are to be determined in consultation between the student and their Supervisor/Supervisory Committee.
Note: All course work must be completed prior to the PhD Candidacy Examination.

Additional Seminars
Students are required to attend the CHS-OIPH weekly seminar. Additional seminars may be recommended by the student's supervisor/committee.

6. Additional Requirements

Each student is required to attend and participate regularly in the weekly scheduled Friday CHS-OIPH seminars and first years students will be responsible for introducing a scheduled speaker at these seminars and lead the Question & Answer session.

Research Integrity Day and Sex and Gender Training Module

See Medicine Programs.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

The program does not normally give credit for undergraduate courses.

8. Time Limit

Completion times follow the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations (see Time Limits):

  • Maximum completion time for a thesis-based master’s program is four years. Expected completion time is two years. 
  • Maximum completion time for a doctoral program is six years. Expected completion time is four years.
9. Supervisory Assignments

The selection of a graduate supervisor must be by mutual agreement between the student and the faculty member concerned at the time of the application to the program and approved by the Graduate Program Director. Supervisors must commit to supporting the student for the duration of their graduate studies, before admission is recommended.

Supervisory committees, required for both master’s and doctoral students, are established based upon the needs of the student and the expertise of the committee members, following discussions between the student and the supervisor and approved by the Graduate Program Director. A supervisory committee, consisting of a supervisor and co-supervisor (if applicable), plus two additional members, must be in place no later than 3 months after the student's first registration in the program.

10. Research Proposal Requirements

The supervisory committee must approve the formal Thesis Proposal prior to students commencing their research. MSc research proposals should be submitted and approved within 12 months of the start of program.

For PhD students, approval takes place via a supervisory committee meeting, no later than 25 months from initial registration. Details about the thesis proposal requirements and approval meeting are provided in the CHS Candidacy Policy Effective September 2018, at cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/programs/community-health-sciences/current-students/thesis-based-program-requirements.

After approval by the student’s supervisory committee and before commencement of data collection, all proposals are submitted to the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board for ethical review, and some are submitted to the appropriate committee for impact review.

11. Required Examinations

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the program requires:

Candidacy

Doctoral students must complete a written thesis proposal, a Written Field of Study examination and an Oral Field of Study Examination. For complete details of the candidacy requirements, see CHS Candidacy Policy Effective September 2018: cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/programs/community-health-sciences/current-students/thesis-based-program-requirements.

Thesis Examination

All students in thesis-based programs (MSc and PhD) must successfully pass the Final Thesis Oral Examination (see Thesis Examinations). The examination will consist of a public seminar followed by an open oral examination.

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the supervisory committee must have reviewed the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Examination Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

12. Financial Assistance

Students will receive a graduate stipend as outlined in the Cumming School of Medicine Funding Policy found at cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/current-students/scholarships.

Funding opportunities can be found at grad.ucalgary.ca/awards and wcm.ucalgary.ca/gse/programs/community-health-sciences.