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What’s unique about SEPH?

Written by: Amin Zahrai and Shannon Thompson


Are you interested in epidemiology and public health? Are you curious what research looks like in these fields? Well, the School of Epidemiology and Public Health (SEPH) at the University of Ottawa may be the right program for you!


The SEPH graduate program offers research programs at the master’s and doctorate levels. Within the master’s program, you can choose between a master’s in Public Health, master’s in Epidemiology that is either thesis-based stream (6 full-time terms) or the research paper stream (4 full-time terms). For more information on the difference between a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology, and the difference between the two M.Sc. epidemiology streams, please see our blog “MPH vs. MSc and Research Paper vs. Thesis: Which one’s right for me?”. Whichever you choose, you will receive a high-level education and invaluable research experience. There’s a large range of research focuses within the department, from global health to clinical epidemiology, health technology assessment and communicable and chronic diseases, and much more.


The MPH program builds on SEPH’s existing strengths in global health, population health risk assessment, and empirical public health sciences. Partnered with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), the MPH program offers enhanced policy training to its students with a policy stream that is unique in Ontario. Students of the program can also experience international placements in public health.


SEPH students also get to learn about current areas of epidemiological research as they participate in weekly, department approved seminars in community medicine, clinical epidemiology and more delivered by SEPH faculty, visiting speakers or students!


With 35 faculty and >125 cross-appointed and adjunct members, SEPH is dedicated to applied health research that positively impacts the lives of patients and populations. Some of these members are fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and have Canada research chairs, well-known across the country and worldwide!


Why SEPH? Being located in the nation’s capital provides SEPH with the unique advantage of fostering strong collaborations with governmental agencies at the local (e.g., Ottawa Public Health), provincial (e.g., Public Health Ontario), and national level (e.g., Public Health Agency of Canada); this offers ample opportunity for graduate students to work with or alongside public health officials. SEPH’s interdisciplinary and inclusive research platform SEPH has a very successful graduate program, with graduates getting employed in research fields or accepted in various higher education programs.


SEPH also has Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committees that ensure a fair process for students, staff and organizations affiliated with its research environments, with the goal of demonstrating internationalization, social accountability and global health.

Epidemiology is a scientific core of public health and preventive medicine, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as being the methodological basis for clinical and community health research and sets the stage for the evaluation of health services.


We hope this gives prospective students some insight into the unique features of the SEPH program at the University of Ottawa!


Please see the following website for more information about SEPH and its programs: https://med.uottawa.ca/epidemiology/.


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