Apr 15, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2023-2024 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2023-2024

Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology

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The Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology (GDCE) trains physicians, health policy makers, research staff, and graduate students in allied disciplines who need to understand, appraise, and use health research evidence. The four courses of the diploma provide graduate level training in the fundamental concepts and methods of clinical epidemiology without the research intensive focus of a complete MSc degree. The diploma is completely online, offering maximum flexibility for working professionals, students or post-graduate trainees already enrolled in another program, from anywhere in the world.

The GDCE builds on the strengths of the internationally respected Health Research Methodology (HRM) Graduate Programs at McMaster University. GDCE courses are taught by faculty in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI), (formerly the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics), a premier destination for graduate study and research in clinical epidemiology. The four online courses comprising the program are recognized as equivalent to the core HRM courses on the same topics, and are ideal for applicants with an interest in health research methods training without the commitment of an in-class MSc degree.

GDCE students complete coursework in Fundamentals of Health Research and Evaluation Methods (HRM 771), Introduction to Biostatistics (HRM 774), Introduction to Research Methods for Randomized Controlled Trials (HRM 772), and Systematic Review Methods (HRM 773). Students learn to critically appraise the healthcare literature, apply the fundamentals of health-research designs, including randomized controlled trials, conduct and use research syntheses, and understand the application of biostatistics. Graduates attain foundational  knowledge in the tenets of evidence-based medicine and a skill set applicable in clinical, policy, management, and research settings. The graduate diploma is also an opportunity for qualified students to demonstrate their aptitude for training in the HRM MSc program. The GDCE courses may be accepted for credit toward the requirements of the HRM MSc for students who successfully apply to HRM after completing the GDCE.

Gabi Watson, Program Coordinator, GDCE
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext 20473
email: gdce@mcmaster.ca


The GDCE’s admission requirements are the same as the HRM MSc program, including:

• Completion of a four-year honours undergraduate university (Bachelor’s) degree any discipline) or the equivalent
• B+ average (75-79%, equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 grade point average) in the final year of undergraduate study
• Additional evidence attesting to suitability for GDCE study as reflected in work experience, research experience, relevance of academic background, and letters of recommendation.

Meeting the minimum admissions requirements does not guarantee admission into the GDCE. The admissions process is competitive.

Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of proficiency in the use of the English language. An official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English is required. A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (580 on the paper-based TOEFL test or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) is required.

Details of the admission requirements and procedure are available at: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/hei-gdce



GDCE students complete the diploma online on a part-time basis. There is no requirement for students to be available on the McMaster campus. Students must have suitable access to internet and computing, and may be required to participate in online tutorial sessions during business hours on Eastern Standard Time. To be awarded the GDCE, students are required to complete the following four 3.0-unit online courses with minimum B- standing (70%).

1. HTH RS M 771 / Fundamentals of Health Research and Evaluation Methods (Online)  
2. HTH RS M 774 / Introduction to Biostatistics (Online)  
3. HTH RS M 772 / Introduction to Research Methods for Randomized Controlled Trials (Online)  
4. HTH RS M 773 / Systematic Review Methods (Online)  

Program duration is normally 16 months. Except by permission of the program director students may take no more than one course concurrently and must complete the courses in the order listed above. Each course is offered once per academic year. Specific policies and procedures governing the GDCE are provided on the website: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/hei-gdce.

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