MSc to PhD Transfer Program

For Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research


Students who would like to pursue PhD studies in the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research (CEHCR) concentration, but who have completed a non-thesis Master’s degree program (e.g. MBA, MPH), should apply first to the MSc CEHCR concentration. Students who meet criteria can transfer to the PhD CEHCR concentration within 2 years of registration.

The goal of the PhD CEHCR concentration is to produce clinician scientists who will be competitive for salary support awards from top peer-review agencies.

Successful applicants to the MSc to PhD CEHCR concentration transfer program will initially be enrolled in a Master’s program. In order to be considered for transfer, students must complete the MSc to PhD CEHCR concentration transfer protocol:

  1. Demonstrate strong academic potential by:
    • completing a minimum of 2 courses per term, or 4 courses per academic year; and
    • achieving a minimum of B+ in all courses.
  2. Obtain a letter supporting the transfer from his/her thesis supervisor(s) and the Clinical Epidemiology Program Director.
  3. Submit an 3-5 page outline of a PhD-quality thesis proposal including:
    • The research question(s);
    • Background and a brief literature review indicating the importance of the research;
    • A preliminary research design, including the likely methods to be used;
    • The data source(s); and
    • A preliminary analysis plan.
  4. A proposed timeline for the completion of the Program;
  5. A statement of proposed financial support; and
  6. Students applying for transfer must defend their PhD Proposal at an oral Proposal Defence or at a hospital or research institute based Clinical Epidemiology Rounds (provided your thesis committee and 3 other IHPME faculty members are present, one of whom acts as a reviewer). Details for setting up the rounds are provided in Section 3.5.

The transfer request (which includes all the supporting documentation described above), must be submitted to the Program Director within 24 months of acceptance into the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research concentration.

If the request to transfer is successful, students will be registered in the PhD program immediately following the approval of the request. If the request to transfer is unsuccessful, students will continue in their Masters program.

Students who successfully transfer will have their PhD registration back-dated to the date of entry into the MSc program for purposes of calculating the number of years they are allowed to complete their course work, including the comprehensive examination and to prepare and defend their thesis proposal.

PhD Inter-Departmental Transfers

Students who have been admitted to another department or program in the School of Graduate Studies may apply for an interdepartmental transfer to IHPME in accordance with the regulations established by the School and the department and program in which they are enrolled.

Since internal transfers involve the commitment of funding and supervisory time, applications for internal transfer will normally only be considered during and as part of the Institute’s regular admission cycle, for which the application deadline is November 15.