McMaster University

McMaster University

How to Apply

Admission requirements include:

  • Previous graduate training in a relevant field (for example, social sciences, health professions, policy, business, legal or administrative professions); a Master’s degree is preferred;
  • An A- or higher grade average in past graduate coursework;
  • Completion of at least one graduate-level statistics half-course. Students without this preparation are required to take a graduate statistics course in advance of admission, to ensure they can effectively focus on the required courses for this PhD program;
  • A mature intellectual interest in health policy topics and high scholarly promise;
  • Strong letters of recommendation; and,
  • Meeting or exceeding University requirements for graduate admission, as detailed in the current Graduate Calendar.

Applicants should be prepared to enroll on a full-time basis, only.

Application Procedure

  1. Identify a potential faculty supervisor and contact supervisor(s) of choice well in advance of applying to the program.  This is important to establish that there is mutual interest in a supervisory relationship, to ensure that the faculty member is currently inviting new doctoral students, to get a preliminary assessment of your preparation and relevance of previously completed graduate coursework toward some curriculum requirements for the PhD.  Potential supervisors may request a telephone or in-person interview with prospective applicants.
  2. Complete and submit the following supporting documents:

  3. Begin by logging onto the McMaster University School of Graduate Studies Application Process *All supporting documents are to be uploaded as you proceed through the on-line application system. Your application is complete once you submit the application fee.
    • Your two referees will be asked to complete and electronically submit a Confidential Report on Application for Admission. This will take place only after your application has been fully submitted. They are welcome to provide a separate letter of support, though this does not replace the Confidential Report. It is recommended to select individuals who are most familiar with your academic work.
    • Your 1,000 word Statement of Interest.
    • Upload electronic copies of your transcripts. Original and official transcripts from every college/university you have attended (undergraduate and graduate, including the legend) will also need to be sent directly to the program, from each academic institution.
    • A copy of your current Curriculum Vitae in a conventional format (there is no template for this).
    • A copy of your TOEFL scores completed within the last 2 years, if applicable. Graduate degrees, received from an English medium university, waives the requirement of a TOEFL (or IELTS). A certified copy of your TOEFL scores are to be sent directly to the program, from the testing agency.
    • An Application for Coursework Waiver, if appropriate, along with a complete copy of the course syllabus.

Please ensure to upload your application materials electronically. Hard copy items that are being sent by surface mail, courier, or hand delivered, can be sent to the following address:

Admissions, Health Policy PhD Program
McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, CRL-201
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada

We regret that forms and supporting materials cannot be returned.


Application Deadline

Your complete application, which includes all your supporting materials, as stated above, is due, January 15th of each calendar year. Please note: there is only one admission cycle per academic year, which runs from September to August. Applicant documents are processed throughout January to March, with results typically finalized between April to June of each year.

Prospective students should ensure that their application materials have been received by periodically reviewing the checklist, as applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee only when your file is complete. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed, space permitting, but will have a lower chance of acceptance and be less competitive for scholarship or fellowship funding. Post-Degree applicants must follow the same online application procedure as listed above, and will be informed if space is available once after all PhD applicants have been processed.

Important: The information on this website is frequently updated and may change at any time. Please consult the McMaster Graduate Calendar for policies during the current academic year. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Health Policy PhD Program directly for up to date information.


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