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Epidemiology Programs Canada: Fall 2016


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Hey guys!

I saw lots of MPH forums but not one specific for epidemiology. As far as I know UofT is the only Ontario epi program that's an MPH rather than MSc, so I thought I'd make us our own discussion.

I'm a fourth year Biomedical Science undergrad from University of Guelph, applying for epi programs next year. I included the schools & statuses below. My stats are a 2 year GPA of about ~3.71, experience in academic epidemiology (undergraduate thesis in population medicine), work experience in public health epi (position was health data analyst), and good reference letters (coordinator of Guelph's MPH program and a medical officer of health). However, I haven't been published yet and haven't presented at any major conferences, which I'm worried about. Toronto's MPH (epi stream) is my top choice, but judging from last year's forums I'm not expecting to hear until late april or early may, which sucks :( Any other epi applicants in here?? I'm getting antsy waiting to hear back. Good luck everyone!

Toronto MPH Epidemiology: Under Review

Western MSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics: had interview on Feb 29th, still waiting to hear back but I'm not optimistic (they wanted me to have OGS funding...)

Ottawa MSc Epidemiology: Under Review

Guelph MSc Epidemiology: my prof has agreed to work with me again

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi!

Thank you for creating this thread. I was looking for a discussion exclusively related to MPH Epi. I too have applied to Univ. of Toronto MPH Epi., Univ. of Alberta MPH  Epi., MSc Public Health at McGill. I got an admit from McGill. As far as I know, McGill`s curriculum is mostly oriented towards Epidemiology so, I am of the view that it will give me equal edge with a MPH Epi. graduate from another University. What`s your view towards it?

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Hi! 

This is great that you created this thread. I also applied to MPH epi at U of T, but also to the MSc Public Health & Health Systems degree at Waterloo. With this degree at UW, you can still gear it towards epidemiology (granted, not an official option in the sense that it won't appear on the degree). But I have been told that the bottom line is that regardless of the degree name, it's what your training that really matters. So if you can get all the appropriate epi/stats courses as well as having your thesis be epi-focused, that's what's important! 

Anyone else contemplating between an MPH and MSc. versions of epidemiology? 

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On 3/25/2016 at 3:34 PM, Achillies_MPH said:

@And1 I do feel so but, I think MPH Epidemiology offers more courses that are geared towards epidemiology  than MSc Public Health.  

 

@Achillies_MPH @COGSCI I agree with both of you! I've always contemplated between thesis-based and course-based epidemiology programs over the past couple years. Of course, if funding is a big factor for anyone then thesis-based programs usually provide pretty good funding, while MPH does not (although you have practicum placements to buffer the hit a little). 

The practicum placements are great and provides not just great experience but connections to find jobs after graduation. While I worked at PHAC for my coop, I managed to meet a few MPH U of T Epi students there doing their placements. Their jobs sounded super interesting and they really got to apply their epi knowledge/skills. 

At the same time, whenever I talk to academic faculty about epidemiology programs, they recommend an MSc over MPH... Has anyone ever come across this too? Perhaps some bias among faculties as they did thesis-based programs, but who knows. I personally believe whether you do an MSc or MPH in epidemiology, you still have potential for a great future in this field. But then again, what do I know since I'm still just an undergrad :P 

Also, if any of you wanted to talk to any current/former students from the grad programs you're interested in, I suggest using LinkedIn to find them (just search the name of the program and school in the search bar and the right people will show up). I was just polite and reached out to them asking whether if it was okay to ask them questions about the program, and all of them were super open to it and helpful! Several offered to do Skype calls for more help and went totally beyond what I was expecting. 

Anyways, good luck everyone! 

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2 hours ago, And1 said:

@Achillies_MPH @COGSCI I agree with both of you! I've always contemplated between thesis-based and course-based epidemiology programs over the past couple years. Of course, if funding is a big factor for anyone then thesis-based programs usually provide pretty good funding, while MPH does not (although you have practicum placements to buffer the hit a little). 

The practicum placements are great and provides not just great experience but connections to find jobs after graduation. While I worked at PHAC for my coop, I managed to meet a few MPH U of T Epi students there doing their placements. Their jobs sounded super interesting and they really got to apply their epi knowledge/skills. 

At the same time, whenever I talk to academic faculty about epidemiology programs, they recommend an MSc over MPH... Has anyone ever come across this too? Perhaps some bias among faculties as they did thesis-based programs, but who knows. I personally believe whether you do an MSc or MPH in epidemiology, you still have potential for a great future in this field. But then again, what do I know since I'm still just an undergrad :P 

Also, if any of you wanted to talk to any current/former students from the grad programs you're interested in, I suggest using LinkedIn to find them (just search the name of the program and school in the search bar and the right people will show up). I was just polite and reached out to them asking whether if it was okay to ask them questions about the program, and all of them were super open to it and helpful! Several offered to do Skype calls for more help and went totally beyond what I was expecting. 

Anyways, good luck everyone! 

Thank you for give such a nice information :)

What do you feel about McGill MSc PH program ? Does it provide equal edge in the job market on par with MPH epi. graduates ?

 

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2 hours ago, Achillies_MPH said:

Thank you for give such a nice information :)

What do you feel about McGill MSc PH program ? Does it provide equal edge in the job market on par with MPH epi. graduates ?

 

@Achillies_MPH No problem! And from my understanding, universities in Quebec do not offer MPH but instead MScs in Public Health, and are considered equivalent. I've only heard great things for the McGill MSc in Public Health, and it is well-reputable. Here is a paper on public health-related programs in Canada, although you will need to use your school library to gain full access to the article: http://php.sagepub.com/content/1/3/134.abstract 

Also, while I was at PHAC I had to scan hundreds of public health job postings to try to examine any trends and gaps. One trend I distinctly remember is that no job will ever say that they require solely a Master of Public Health. Instead, they will always say something like "a Master's degree in public health, epidemiology, or a related field". So, safe to say we are technically qualified for any of the jobs that MPH grads would apply to if we pursue an MSc. BUT, they are likely obliged to say that in the postings and the employer may actually prefer someone with an MPH (or MSc), and that we will never know. Either way, whether an MSc or MPH (especially from reputable schools such as the ones you applied to), I think there's good jobs out there for us :) 

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Hi! 

I am interested in the MPH program at Western, but I read a not so nice comment on here and was wondering if anyone had any knowledge/experience of the program, or what opinions are of it? Is it not considered on the same level as other MPH programs?

Thanks!

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Hello,

Long time looker on the forum, just signed up!

I have been accepted to Queen's MScHQ program, but I am also awaiting for a reply from University of Toronto for MPH in epidmieology. 

Queen's request I accept or decline by mid April, but from I researched, it seems like UT sends acceptances around June. 

What do you think i should do? 

Thank you!

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11 hours ago, ducky68 said:

Hi! 

I am interested in the MPH program at Western, but I read a not so nice comment on here and was wondering if anyone had any knowledge/experience of the program, or what opinions are of it? Is it not considered on the same level as other MPH programs?

Thanks!

Hi there! 

First off, what did the "not so nice" comment entail? Anyways, the common issue people seem to be concerned about Western is that it is still a relatively new MPH program (started in Fall 2013). Their program is rather different since it is only one year, although the tuition is around $30K. While I worked at PHAC for my coop, I did meet a Western MPH student doing her practicum there. I was very surprised to find that she was not getting paid for her placement, while other MPH practicum students from Toronto were. Of course, I have no idea if that's common among Western MPH students as that was only just one student. 

I recall seeing in a thread on MPH 2016 applicants where a current Western MPH student posted about the program, and the student didn't seem like s/he was the happiest about it. Is that the post you're referring to perhaps? I think it'd be best to reach out to the student if you haven't already. 

In all, I really wouldn't know too much about the program to comment on its quality. And realistically, for the most part you can only trust those who actually have attended the program, since us outsiders can only say stereotypical things like "it's new so they have kinks to work out still". I believe Western is a great school and I'm sure the program has potential. But it's up to you to do some more digging about the program by messaging current students! It's a lot of investment after all if you choose to commit :)

Where else have you applied to? 

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4 hours ago, cartuner48 said:

Hello,

Long time looker on the forum, just signed up!

I have been accepted to Queen's MScHQ program, but I am also awaiting for a reply from University of Toronto for MPH in epidmieology. 

Queen's request I accept or decline by mid April, but from I researched, it seems like UT sends acceptances around June. 

What do you think i should do? 

Thank you!

Hi! I saw this on the other thread and I believe you got your answer. But I was wondering if the MSc program at Queen's requires you to have a thesis supervisor? If so, and you have already lined up with one, that would be harder to pull out of if you choose to go to Toronto instead! 

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22 hours ago, And1 said:

Hi! I saw this on the other thread and I believe you got your answer. But I was wondering if the MSc program at Queen's requires you to have a thesis supervisor? If so, and you have already lined up with one, that would be harder to pull out of if you choose to go to Toronto instead! 

Hi And1, it's course-based and they have not told me anything about requiring a supervisor... I am guessing I don't need it? Clearly, I need to do more research on it ahaha

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Is anyone else going to Western for M.Sc Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the fall? I accepted my offer! I was hoping to go to Toronto, but they send out offers so late, and I couldn't pass on that Western graduate funding. Anyways, I'd love to meet some future classmates :) 

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On 3/29/2016 at 6:43 PM, cartuner48 said:

Hello,

Long time looker on the forum, just signed up!

I have been accepted to Queen's MScHQ program, but I am also awaiting for a reply from University of Toronto for MPH in epidmieology. 

Queen's request I accept or decline by mid April, but from I researched, it seems like UT sends acceptances around June. 

What do you think i should do? 

Thank you!

I was in the same situation, but I had to let Western know by last monday so I ended up accepting their offer. However, if you have until mid april maybe wait it out? Judging by the UofT website we'll hear back on April 15th at the very earliest, so who knows! You might end up being glad you waited :) 

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On 4/1/2016 at 8:54 PM, Epi16 said:

Is anyone else going to Western for M.Sc Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the fall? I accepted my offer! I was hoping to go to Toronto, but they send out offers so late, and I couldn't pass on that Western graduate funding. Anyways, I'd love to meet some future classmates :) 

Congrats! If you don't mind me asking, do you know what your thesis work will revolve around? I'm assuming you already had a supervisor lined up. And yes, I hear Western usually provides pretty good funding :P

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12 hours ago, And1 said:

Congrats! If you don't mind me asking, do you know what your thesis work will revolve around? I'm assuming you already had a supervisor lined up. And yes, I hear Western usually provides pretty good funding :P

Thank you! As far as I know I'm going to be working on intersectionality research, looking at how intersections in identity (ex. racial minority + minority sexual orientation) impact different dimensions of health. That's one of a couple possibilities, I'll learn more in the fall :) But I'm very excited! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys, I just got my acceptance to U of T epidemiology! I'll be turning it down because of the Western graduate funding, but I'm really sad about it. I so wanted to go :( 

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@Epi16 Hi, Congrats on your acceptances! I was just wondering if you knew the class sizes ( like the class of 2018, not like individual course classes) for MPH at U of T and other schools like Queen's, Guelph & Western. Thanks!

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16 hours ago, Epi16 said:

Hey guys, I just got my acceptance to U of T epidemiology! I'll be turning it down because of the Western graduate funding, but I'm really sad about it. I so wanted to go :( 

Oh man I'm in the same situation! I also got accepted to U of T epi, but will be heading to UW instead for their MSc in Public Health. I also obtained a lot of guaranteed funding so that was one big factor, and I also want to open my doors for possibly working in academia. I'm still gearing my MSc degree towards epidemiology by taking multiple epi and biostats courses (and my supervisor is an epidemiologist), but I suppose if I don't end up liking epi too much I can always switch around my electives :)

Anyways, I do understand your position, since MPH epi at U of T is always the hot topic around this forum and many students want to get in. But shows that you have a lot of research/academic potential considering that acceptance rate to that program is slightly under 10%! You should be proud :) Also, I think the end result will be the same, and I'm sure you'll be successful whichever school/program you attend! Good luck 

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2 hours ago, Troy&Abed said:

@Epi16 Hi, Congrats on your acceptances! I was just wondering if you knew the class sizes ( like the class of 2018, not like individual course classes) for MPH at U of T and other schools like Queen's, Guelph & Western. Thanks!

Hey! I believe U of T MPH Epi roughly admits around 35 students, so if we assume pretty much all of them graduate without any delays, that should be a good estimate. I think all other MPH programs are a bit smaller though! Don't quote me on that though haha

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7 hours ago, Troy&Abed said:

@Epi16 Hi, Congrats on your acceptances! I was just wondering if you knew the class sizes ( like the class of 2018, not like individual course classes) for MPH at U of T and other schools like Queen's, Guelph & Western. Thanks!

Hey, thank you!! I believe Western is similar to Toronto, about 30-35 students. Not sure about the others. 

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