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Thoughts On Mph Degrees Across The Country


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News about med schools will come soon, and if I get rejections from the UofA and the UofC, I will probably apply for a master's degree in something like Public Health (be it global health, health policy, etc etc). Canada has quite a few degrees for this and I would like to call all those who have any experience with any university in Canada to share their thoughts on their program. If, for some reason, you are not part of a program but you know lots about it, please feel free to share as well.

I am doing this because I sincerely do not know much about how these programs work. I have a B.Sc. in Neuro, so I am kind of stepping out of that a little bit. Some programs have much more legit-ness than others, it seems. For example, Uvic offers a mostly online MPH, which immediately kind of raises some perhaps completely unreasonable suspicions in me. Considering that this is a stepping stone towards medicine, but one that I am more than willing to take (since I already have quite a strong foundation in research, having gotten an NSERC USRA opportunity and having done many independent studies), should I keep on focusing on thesis-based degrees, or will course-based degrees work just fine? Please share all your knowledge :D Cheers!

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News about med schools will come soon, and if I get rejections from the UofA and the UofC, I will probably apply for a master's degree in something like Public Health (be it global health, health policy, etc etc). Canada has quite a few degrees for this and I would like to call all those who have any experience with any university in Canada to share their thoughts on their program. If, for some reason, you are not part of a program but you know lots about it, please feel free to share as well.

I am doing this because I sincerely do not know much about how these programs work. I have a B.Sc. in Neuro, so I am kind of stepping out of that a little bit. Some programs have much more legit-ness than others, it seems. For example, Uvic offers a mostly online MPH, which immediately kind of raises some perhaps completely unreasonable suspicions in me. Considering that this is a stepping stone towards medicine, but one that I am more than willing to take (since I already have quite a strong foundation in research, having gotten an NSERC USRA opportunity and having done many independent studies), should I keep on focusing on thesis-based degrees, or will course-based degrees work just fine? Please share all your knowledge :D Cheers!

Nothing wrong with doing an MPH online,  MPH in general is used as a stepping stone by many people. It's honestly what you put into the degree that you'll get out of it.  If you just want a degree and a check-box, then doesn't matter. 

 

If you want an alternate career, then you'll need to put in work, do co-op/field placements/internships and such. 

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So I just finished my MPH in global health like, a week ago, from UofA.

 

Overall, it was an awesome time. I looked around at a few schools when I was applying (McMaster, UofT, UofA) and really liked how UofA's had a little bit of everything: mostly coursework (like all of them), a 4 month in-field placement where you actually go and work (great for picking up a job afterwards), and a capstone project (basically a mini-thesis).

 

I can't comment on any other programs, but I'd highly recommend the UofA MPH program. Profs treat you as colleagues, not students; lots of events and mixers throughout the year; and a really cohesive groups all around.

 

Regarding med ambitions, I'll warn you: many many people who plan on doing med post-MPH often change their minds because they find public health is what they wanted all along. However, there are still lots of poeple who get accepted into med/dent/law right after their MPH. I would say that it is immensely helpful for your application. Not only do you walk away with a highly sought after Masters (just look up tons of executive medical staff. Most have an MPH or MSc next to the MD), but since you get a field placement, you get work or research experience on top of that. Moreover, since its such a tight group of students + faculty, there are lots of opportunities to further other interests. I probably get 5 emails a week with job offers, research opportunities, or funding.

 

If you have any other questions regarding program specifics, working abroad, or the various streams, let me know!

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So I just finished my MPH in global health like, a week ago, from UofA.

 

Overall, it was an awesome time. I looked around at a few schools when I was applying (McMaster, UofT, UofA) and really liked how UofA's had a little bit of everything: mostly coursework (like all of them), a 4 month in-field placement where you actually go and work (great for picking up a job afterwards), and a capstone project (basically a mini-thesis).

 

I can't comment on any other programs, but I'd highly recommend the UofA MPH program. Profs treat you as colleagues, not students; lots of events and mixers throughout the year; and a really cohesive groups all around.

 

Regarding med ambitions, I'll warn you: many many people who plan on doing med post-MPH often change their minds because they find public health is what they wanted all along. However, there are still lots of poeple who get accepted into med/dent/law right after their MPH. I would say that it is immensely helpful for your application. Not only do you walk away with a highly sought after Masters (just look up tons of executive medical staff. Most have an MPH or MSc next to the MD), but since you get a field placement, you get work or research experience on top of that. Moreover, since its such a tight group of students + faculty, there are lots of opportunities to further other interests. I probably get 5 emails a week with job offers, research opportunities, or funding.

 

If you have any other questions regarding program specifics, working abroad, or the various streams, let me know!

Just a counterpoint, many of people received the MPH after they were already MDs and simply "needed" it due to credentialism and needing "extra" degrees to work as hospital admin. Not because it was necessarily "highly sought" after.   Very different than doing it before medical school and/or picking it up during residency because you're interested in it.  My PI right now is doing exactly just that, so they can transition into administration.  Doing an online MPH with very little effort being put into it.

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I am a current UofA MPH student and I would highly recommend the program. Completely agree with everything said by gottawannit.

 

I even caught myself thinking that I was fortunate to have been rejected from Med. I've grown so much as a person and a professional because of MPH, and I am certainly more prepared for medicine.

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Nothing wrong with doing an MPH online,  MPH in general is used as a stepping stone by many people. It's honestly what you put into the degree that you'll get out of it.  If you just want a degree and a check-box, then doesn't matter. 

 

If you want an alternate career, then you'll need to put in work, do co-op/field placements/internships and such. 

 

As much as you mean well.... MPH degrees online kind of defeats the purpose of learning public health... in the public

 

The second statement is completely correct and that's true for any higher degree... you can be a mediocre grad student or an extraordinary one. 

 

I'm willing to help answer some questions as well. I'm a UofA MPH graduate in 2015. 

 

- G 

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MPH grad from the U of T Epidemiology program. I don't know much about the online degrees, but the in-class program gives you a lot of opportunities for networking and ECs, which can only help your med application. When comparing course-based and thesis-based masters (with the ultimate goal of going to med school), there are a few things to keep in mind: 1. U of T will generally not consider you in the graduate pool with a course-based masters; 2. You are essentially guaranteed to finish a course-based masters on time, which is not always the case with an MSc. If you do want to be considered in the graduate pool as an MPH student, you will need a 1st author publication from your practicum or capstone project, which is entirely possible but will require planning and initiative.

 

The practicum experiences were a highlight and really helped me to secure a FT job after graduation. If public health is something you're interested in, there are great job prospects for an MPH grad.  I don't agree that an MPH is generally a stepping stone - the majority of people in my cohort joined the work force directly after graduating. A minority applied to PhD or MD. However, the situation may be different for Clin Epi degrees during or after residency - I can see how that may be viewed as a stepping stone in someone's career (to get a job at an academic centre or as an administrator, for example). 

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MPH grad from the U of T Epidemiology program. I don't know much about the online degrees, but the in-class program gives you a lot of opportunities for networking and ECs, which can only help your med application. When comparing course-based and thesis-based masters (with the ultimate goal of going to med school), there are a few things to keep in mind: 1. U of T will generally not consider you in the graduate pool with a course-based masters; 2. You are essentially guaranteed to finish a course-based masters on time, which is not always the case with an MSc. If you do want to be considered in the graduate pool as an MPH student, you will need a 1st author publication from your practicum or capstone project, which is entirely possible but will require planning and initiative.

 

The practicum experiences were a highlight and really helped me to secure a FT job after graduation. If public health is something you're interested in, there are great job prospects for an MPH grad.  I don't agree that an MPH is generally a stepping stone - the majority of people in my cohort joined the work force directly after graduating. A minority applied to PhD or MD. However, the situation may be different for Clin Epi degrees during or after residency - I can see how that may be viewed as a stepping stone in someone's career (to get a job at an academic centre or as an administrator, for example). 

Thank you for this post and congrats on finishing the MPH program at UofT. Can you comment on the admission requirements for UofT epidemiology? What kind of GPA did you have in your last 5.0 credits at the senior level, how strong were your references and resume, did you have any research experience prior to doing the course based masters? In terms of FT jobs after graduation, is there potential for growth or is one limited unless they do a PHD. How are the working conditions for particular jobs that you've completed post MPH thus far?

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Thank you for this post and congrats on finishing the MPH program at UofT. Can you comment on the admission requirements for UofT epidemiology? What kind of GPA did you have in your last 5.0 credits at the senior level, how strong were your references and resume, did you have any research experience prior to doing the course based masters? In terms of FT jobs after graduation, is there potential for growth or is one limited unless they do a PHD. How are the working conditions for particular jobs that you've completed post MPH thus far?

 

My last 5.0 credits from undergrad were around 3.75, but I had strong references from individuals connected to the program, research experience, and work experience. I also performed well in my statistics prereq. 

 

In terms of job growth, it depends. At an academic research centre, there isn't a lot of room for advancement or promotion without a PhD. In more applied settings, I think there's more opportunity for MPH grads to advance. 

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As much as you mean well.... MPH degrees online kind of defeats the purpose of learning public health... in the public

 

The second statement is completely correct and that's true for any higher degree... you can be a mediocre grad student or an extraordinary one. 

 

I'm willing to help answer some questions as well. I'm a UofA MPH graduate in 2015. 

 

- G 

More so meant that for the didactics, you don't need to do it in person.  There are a handful of popular, and world renowned online MPHs delivered, and people seem to do just fine - so long as they seek out the in-person internships and relevant work experience.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I could really use some advice!! 

 

I was recently accepted into both the UofA MPH Global Health program as well as the McMaster MSc Global Health program. I am wondering if anyone can offer insight into both of these programs. 

 

I know that UofA is one of the (if not the) best programs in Canada in this field. I have also heard great things about the McMaster program from friends who have completed it and I was also offered a Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15,000).

 

Just wondering what program may be best long term for medicine. If I go with UofA I will get IP resident status after 1 year. The McMaster program is also less than a year so I would be able to apply within the next cycle. 

 

Appreciate any help or insight!! I feel completely lost as there are so many pros/cons for both programs and have to give UofA an answer by Friday. 

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I could really use some advice!! 

 

I was recently accepted into both the UofA MPH Global Health program as well as the McMaster MSc Global Health program. I am wondering if anyone can offer insight into both of these programs. 

 

I know that UofA is one of the (if not the) best programs in Canada in this field. I have also heard great things about the McMaster program from friends who have completed it and I was also offered a Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15,000).

 

Just wondering what program may be best long term for medicine. If I go with UofA I will get IP resident status after 1 year. The McMaster program is also less than a year so I would be able to apply within the next cycle. 

 

Appreciate any help or insight!! I feel completely lost as there are so many pros/cons for both programs and have to give UofA an answer by Friday. 

 

Pm'd you. 

 

- G

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I could really use some advice!! 

 

I was recently accepted into both the UofA MPH Global Health program as well as the McMaster MSc Global Health program. I am wondering if anyone can offer insight into both of these programs. 

 

I know that UofA is one of the (if not the) best programs in Canada in this field. I have also heard great things about the McMaster program from friends who have completed it and I was also offered a Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15,000).

 

Just wondering what program may be best long term for medicine. If I go with UofA I will get IP resident status after 1 year. The McMaster program is also less than a year so I would be able to apply within the next cycle. 

 

Appreciate any help or insight!! I feel completely lost as there are so many pros/cons for both programs and have to give UofA an answer by Friday. 

Hey congrats, Im not sure about the rankings of MPH programs but if living in alberta during your 1 year of alberta MPH gets you in as a resident for applications, that seems to be the logical decision. however, I thought uofa has a rule that they dont count IP residents if you were enrolled in alberta because of school? I apologize if im misinformed. ALso, just wondering what you were your grades and reference letters and did you do the GRE for the MPh program and MSC program? 

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My last 5.0 credits from undergrad were around 3.75, but I had strong references from individuals connected to the program, research experience, and work experience. I also performed well in my statistics prereq. 

 

In terms of job growth, it depends. At an academic research centre, there isn't a lot of room for advancement or promotion without a PhD. In more applied settings, I think there's more opportunity for MPH grads to advance. 

Have you heard of anyone getting into the program with a 3.5 gpa in the last 5.0 credits without research experience on their resume? I wonder what my chances are if I have such a gpa, with no research experience and hopefully a good GRE score. How much does resume and references truly matter for MPH, is there any advice you could give me on how I could strength my MPH references or find better opportunities to volunteer within public health? The only thing I can "sell" about my application is that I have a bit more quantitative background than perhaps the average ( im generalizing here) pre-med student with my math and statistical background. 

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Have you heard of anyone getting into the program with a 3.5 gpa in the last 5.0 credits without research experience on their resume? I wonder what my chances are if I have such a gpa, with no research experience and hopefully a good GRE score. How much does resume and references truly matter for MPH, is there any advice you could give me on how I could strength my MPH references or find better opportunities to volunteer within public health? The only thing I can "sell" about my application is that I have a bit more quantitative background than perhaps the average ( im generalizing here) pre-med student with my math and statistical background. 

 

Are you interested in an MPH in a more quantitative subspecialty like biostatistics or epidemiology? You'd make a better sell from there. 

 

- G

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Hey congrats, Im not sure about the rankings of MPH programs but if living in alberta during your 1 year of alberta MPH gets you in as a resident for applications, that seems to be the logical decision. however, I thought uofa has a rule that they dont count IP residents if you were enrolled in alberta because of school? I apologize if im misinformed. ALso, just wondering what you were your grades and reference letters and did you do the GRE for the MPh program and MSC program? 

 

 

The UofA program is 16 months whereas the McMaster program is 10-11 months so I would miss the next application cycle with UofA but gain residency in 2 years. I think that only counts for students who are on a study permit as an international student but I definitely will be looking more into that. 

 

I didn't have to do the GRE for either of these programs. I was fortunately enough to have been able to do a lot of undergraduate research so I used my supervisors as references and I'm at an 89% for grades. I think for UofA you need 1 academic reference and 2 work and for McMaster they prefer academic.  

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Are you interested in an MPH in a more quantitative subspecialty like biostatistics or epidemiology? You'd make a better sell from there. 

 

- G

Thank you for the response, yes, epidemiology in particular. I would look more into biostatistics if I complete harder math courses like Real analysis but the extent of my math and stats background is 4 statistics courses( 2 in probability,  observational data, and 1 in anova/regression/parametric equations). my math course background is pretty much a CR option in Linear Algebra and multivariable calculus. I was going to complete a more quantitative background but haven't done so as of yet. I also had dropped math/stat courses in the past (withdrawn) so Im not to sure if my application would be as strong as I initially eluded to. How do MPH programs score their applicants who've completed more than the minimum statistics course requirement? 

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