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How to Apply

Applications are accepted from November 14, 2022 to February 15, 2023.

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Admission Requirements

This program seeks candidates who show high scholarly promise, and who have a strong graduate background in global health or a related interdisciplinary field. Students applying to the PhD program in Global Health require a minimum B+ average.

Program applicants are generally required to have a thesis-based masters’ degree. Applicants with course-based masters’ will be reviewed by the admissions committee with particular consideration of additional professional or research experience. Successful applicants must also meet all School of Graduate Studies admissions requirements. For further details of admissions requirements for PhD degree and for a cotutelle PhD degree, please refer to Section 2.1.2 and Section 2.1.5 of the Graduate Calendar.

Only under exceptional circumstances will the program consider for admission any student who has taken two prior degrees from McMaster University. Acceptance into our program requires both meeting the academic eligibility requirements and research supervisor matching by the applicant.

Please note: International applicants are responsible for arranging their own study permits within the appropriate timelines. The program is not involved in this process and applicants must ensure they have left enough time to obtain all required documentation for entry.

Applications will be accepted from November 14, 2022 to February 15, 2023.

Global Health Doctoral applications submitted by February 15, 2023 will be given priority review by the Admission Committee. The application portal for international applicants will close at 11:59 PM EST on February 15, 2023. Domestic applications submitted after this deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until admission places are filled.

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Application Instructions

Applications are made online via the McMaster University Application site. Applicants are required to upload the information below as PDFs to the online application form.


Please provide details of all post-secondary study you have undertaken, including current studies, even if a degree has not been awarded.

Begin with the most recent (or current) institution attended and continue in reverse chronological order.  You will be required to provide a copy of the transcript for each institution (including exchange or continuing education, etc) for your application to be assessed.

  • Please do not include your high school academic history.
  • Unofficial transcripts should include your full name and the name of the issuing institution.
  • If you attended an institution outside of Canada, an unofficial electronic transcript is sufficient for the application stage.
  • If a transcript is not in English, you are responsible for providing an official translated version. In this case, both the original untranslated transcript and the official translation are required. The only exception to this requirement is where the official translation is done by the institution (university) issuing the transcript.
  • WES documents are not required or other standardized testing such as GMAT, GRE, MCAT, etc. for the Doctoral application process. 

Electronic documents are required for the online application process and unofficial transcripts are acceptable (e.g. photos, scans etc). Official transcripts will be required from the issuing institution if an offer of admission is accepted.

Illegible documents can cause an applicant’s file to be dismissed before review, so please check your files before submitting your application.

Mailing address for official documents if an offer of admission is made:

Global Health Office, Faculty of Health Sciences
Attn: PhD in Global Health Program
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West, MDCL 3500
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1

Applicants are asked to submit a Statement of Research Interest as a PDF to the Upload Materials page in the online application. The personal statement is your opportunity to provide us with insight into your motivation and interest in pursuing doctoral studies in Global Health.

The Statement of Interest should (1000 words maximum):

  • Describe your global-health-related experiences including coursework and independent research completed at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels, as well as professional and volunteer experiences.  Explain how these experiences have influenced your interest in global health and your proposed area of research.
  • Discuss your proposed area of research and dissertation plans.
  • Describe any educational and/or professional experience that indicates your capacity to undertake research-oriented doctoral studies in your proposed research area.
  • Indicate a proposed supervisor and describe the alignment between your research interests and the proposed supervisor’s expertise. A list of supervisors associated with the Global Health Program can be found on the program webpage. In exceptional circumstances, the program will consider proposed supervisors not currently associated with the Global Health Program.


Please include a full academic CV uploaded as a PDF to the Upload Materials page in the application.

A crucial step to successful completion of graduate studies is choosing a supervisor. While we assume that many applicants will already have an idea of what they want to study and/or which faculty member they want to work with, we know that many applicants have not made this decision at the time of application. We encourage candidates to contact prospective faculty members to inquire about accepting new students, the mutual suitability of research interests, and approach to doctoral supervision.

You are required to identify at least one and up to three potential supervisors on the online application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to correspond with potential supervisors well in advance of the application. Letters from faculty member(s) indicating willingness to supervise, interactions to date and appropriateness of match given the applicant’s intended research interests, are encouraged. Letters of support from potential supervisors can be uploaded as an optional addition material to the Upload Materials page on the online application. A letter of support from a potential supervisor does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

It is important to determine mutual interest of a potential supervisor and establish their availability to provide this support for the duration of your time of planned study. A list of supervisors associated with the Global Health Program can be found on the program webpage. In exceptional circumstances, the program will consider proposed supervisors not currently associated with the Global Health Program.

You will need to submit two confidential academic references and will be required to indicate an email address for each referee.

Your referees will receive an email message asking them to complete an eReference immediately after the ‘Send to Recommender’ button is clicked. You may wish to click on this button just before you submit the application.

Referees have two weeks after the application deadline to submit their references.

If you need to change your reference or referee email address after submitting your application, you may do so through the Application Status Portal.

  • References should come from professors or faculty members who have supervised you as part of a course. Examples include: an instructor, a thesis supervisor, or supervisor for a major research paper. A professor with whom you worked on research as employment would be considered a professional reference.
  • We encourage you to submit the application early to allow referees sufficient time to complete the electronic forms, which will be sent via email directly to the referee’s email address you have provided.
  • Referees also have the option to upload additional documentation (i.e. PDF reference letter) to supplement the e-reference form.

If you have been out of an academic setting for five years or more (as of September 2022), you are permitted to submit one academic and one professional reference (in lieu of the two academic references typically required).

Applicants must submit an academic writing sample in English of up to 25 pages uploaded as a PDF to the Upload Materials page in the application. Preferably this will be a publication in which the applicant was the sole or lead author. A writing sample from course work is acceptable. No particular format is required.

Applicants whose first language is not English or whose previous degree was completed in a language other than English, will be required to upload a language proficiency test result as a PDF to the ELP page in the application.

Language requirements as outlined by the School of Graduate Studies can be found here.

Finalize your application

Applicants must submit the completed application online with the (non-refundable) application fee of $110 CAD.

Begin your McMaster University Application

Once you have paid for and submitted an application, you can monitor you application status here.