PhD Degree Requirements


The current course requirements are as follows:

  • The equivalent of one and one-half 700-level full courses, as the minimum course requirement. Students may be required to take additional graduate or undergraduate courses if requested by their supervisor, the Assistant Dean of the HRM program, or by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences).

The specific recommended courses would depend on the student's field of specialization, their interest in exploring focused areas in depth, and advice from their supervisor. These courses could be taken from the following list:

  • Philosophy of Science HRM 700
  • Biostatistics HRM 723 and HRM 731, HRM 739, HRM 714
  • Health Economics HRM 737 and HRM 787, or HRM 788 and HRM 791
  • Health Policy HRM 738
  • Measurement HRM 727
  • Clinical Epidemiology HRM 733 and HRM 743
  • Qualitative Methods HRM 745 and HRM 758
  • Special Topics HRM 722
  • Independent Study HRM 705
  • Program Evaluation HRM 762
  • Population Health HRM 748
  • Research Ethics HRM 742
  • Health Technology Assessment HRM 740


Additional “Make-up” courses:

Admission to the PhD program normally assumes that a student has a background in the core principles of health research methods at the MSc level, as would be obtained by students who have completed or transferred from the HRM MSc program.  Students who have not completed relevant course work may be required to complete HRM courses to make-up these core competencies.  These “make-up” courses are additional to the required minimum of 3 courses.  All students are expected to have completed introductions to health research methods (equivalent to HRM 721) and biostatistics (equivalent to HRM 702) and health research methods (HRM 730 or HRM 751). Other required course equivalents are listed in the course requirement table below. Students who believe that they have obtained the required competencies in ways that are not reflected in their previous graduate coursework may, with the written support of their supervisory committee, request to the Assistant Dean, HRM that the requirement for a make-up course be waived


PhD Degree Requirement Summary

Required Course and Training for All Graduate Students

All HRM MSc students (course and thesis) must successfully complete SGS 101 and SGS 201. Refer to the SGS Graduate Calendar for additional information:

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination process within the HRM PhD Program aims to assess the ability of students to integrate ideas that reflect the current state of knowledge in the five HRM fields (clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, health services research, population and public health, and health technology assessment), and other areas, as appropriate.

Effective September 2007, the comprehensive examination process for the HRM PhD Program has been revised. Students enrolled in the HRM PhD Program after August 2006 will complete the new comprehensive examination process (Comprehensive Examination Booklet).


Candidates for the doctoral degree must complete a dissertation or thesis on an approved topic which must be based on research carried out within the program and defend the thesis at a final oral examination. The thesis will demonstrate the student's ability to develop new methodology, or to advance one or several competing existing methodologies in a challenging new area of health care/health services research.

Other Requirements

Students are expected to attend the rounds of the department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and other research groups to which their supervisor belongs. Students may be asked to meet additional requirements of the program, including participation in special seminars or colloquia.

Maximum Time Allowed To Complete The Degree

Full-time Ph.D. students who enter with a Master's degree are expected to complete their course work in the first year and the requirement for the comprehensive examination between 12 and 24 months after entry. The degree should be completed in four years. After four years’ students are not eligible for scholarship funding and are permitted only two more years before the School of Graduate Studies will advise you to withdraw due to time limits.

Part-time Ph.D. students who enter with a master's degree are expected to complete their course work by the end of the second year and the comprehensive requirement by 36 months after entry. The time for completion of the degree on a part-time basis is normally limited to eight years.

General Regulations

All the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies apply to these programs and students should consult the current Graduate Calendar.

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