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Academic Training


Your PGY3 level begins with a two-month placement in a local Public Health agency. This placement will allow you to explore possible careers in PHPM and the professional aspects of the discipline. Following this placement, you will engage in academic studies focused on the core disciplines of Public Health. You may choose to complete a selection of courses, or to begin work on a graduate degree in the field. 

Your academic studies can take a variety of forms:

  • Non-degree path: Minimum eight months of course work in the Queen’s Department of Public Health Sciences (begin PHPM rotations immediately afterwards).
  • Complete a Master in Public Health (MPH) at the Queen’s Department of Public Health Sciences (16 months; no thesis requirement) or another university.  For the MPH at Queen's, residents are required to take seven core courses and three elective courses, and complete a practicum of 16 weeks.  
  • Complete a Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Queen’s Department of Public Health Sciences (two years; thesis required) or another university.  For the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at Queen’s, residents are required to take four core courses and three elective courses, and prepare and satisfactorily defend a thesis. The M.Sc. in Epidemiology involves completing a thesis in an area related to PHPM. A typical resident wanting to complete the thesis would spend two three-month elective periods dedicated to thesis development and write-up. You are encouraged to select a thesis topic that can be directly applied in the field and to incorporate the data collection and analysis components of your thesis into suitable field placements.
  • Complete a graduate degree in a related field at Queen’s or elsewhere, pending approval from the PHPM Program Director.

If you choose to pursue a graduate degree, you may need to use elective time from PGY4 or PGY5 to complete the requirements. You will receive your regular resident salary during your course work, but you are responsible for your tuition fees. Some residents choose to take an unpaid leave from residency to complete longer degree programs (e.g., M.Sc., Ph.D.).

For detailed information about these graduate degree programs, please visit the Queen's Department of Public Health Sciences website.

What if I already have an MPH, M.Sc. (Epidemiology) or equivalent degree?

If you already hold an MPH or M.Sc. (Epidemiology) you will receive advanced standing credit and will then be eligible to complete the PHPM residency program in four years, beginning your PHPM rotations immediately after PGY2. 

If you hold a degree that could be considered equivalent to an MPH or M.Sc. (Epidemiology), please contact the Program Director to discuss if it would be eligible for credit.