FAQ: Current Students
What are Directed Studies courses?
Directed Studies courses are designed by an Instructor to meet the needs of one or more students in an area that is not addressed in the current curriculum. Students need to make an arrangement with a particular Instructor for a Directed Studies course.
Can I transfer credits from another institution to the MPH program?
Yes, up to 40% of the total number of credits required for the MPH program. Equivalencies will be assessed by course instructors and then an application made to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to transfer credits. In some cases students may be granted exemption for courses. This means that the student does not need to take the course but will not be granted equivalent credits, i.e. the credits will need to be obtained from other courses.
Can I take a course outside of the School of Population and Public Health at UBC?
Yes. You may take courses outside of our School that count towards the MPH, with the approval of the Program Director.
Can I take a course outside of UBC during the MPH?
Through the Western Deans' Agreement, courses taken at any Western Canadian university will be given credit at no extra charge to the student. The content must similar to that required for the MPH program and have the approval of the MPH Program Director and relevant course instructor.
Can I take any undergraduate courses?
UBC graduate students can take up to 6 credits of undergraduate studies. As SPPH 400 is a required course, MPH students have 3 credits remaining.
Can I audit a course?
Yes, SPPH students can audit courses. You need to complete the Change of Registration Form before the deadline and request permission from the Instructor. The form then needs to be submitted to the academic Program Manager for final appoval from the Program Director. This request must be complete by the deadline as set out in the UBC Calendar.
Will I keep the advisor that I am initially assigned to?
The Program Director will try to match students to advisors with appropriate expertise, but students are welcome to request other faculty to be their advisor.
Does the student select his or her own practicum site?
Normally students apply from a list of available practicum sites. The faculty advisor can help the student choose a practicum site. The student may also consult with the Practicum Director.
I am already working in a public health agency – can I complete my practicum there?
In consultation with the Practicum Director, this choice may be available but will depend on the student working in a different area to develop new skills related to public health. Students will not be able to get credit for the practicum simply by maintaining their current job.
Are students paid for their work at practicum sites?
A number of organizations can offer a stipend or hourly rate to students but not all have the ability to do so. Students who are not receiving funding (or are receiving little funding) from their placement site can apply to the Practicum Director for a stipend of up to $2,500.
Leave Of Absence (LOA)
I need to take a leave of absence. How do I do this?
Read the Faculty of Graduate Studies policy on LOAs, then send a rationale to the MPH Program Director, noting the specific type of leave and how the dates you will need to be away from the program.
Do I have to pay tuition if I'm on a Leave of Absence?
Tuition does not need to be paid for the number of approved terms of LOA, although there is a Faculty of Graduate Studies administration fee of approximately $95 per term.
When do I apply for graduation?
UBC students can graduate in May or November. The application is done on the SSC. Check the UBC Calendar for the application deadlines of each convocation. Emails will also go out to all SPPH students when the deadline is approaching.
When do I pay my last fees for the program?
You pay 3 installments a year, in September, January and May. The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires that full-time students pay a minimum of 3 installments.
If you complete all of your program requirements by December 31st of your second year, we'll make a note of that on the form we send to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FoGS) and you won't have to pay the January & May installments of your second year.
If you complete all of your program requirements by April 30th of your second year, we'll make a note of that on the form we send to FoGS and you won't have to pay the May installments of your second year.
If you take longer than 2 years to complete the program, you will keep paying the tuition fees each term that you are still enrolled in the program.
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