• Degree offered: Graduate Diploma
  • Registration status options: Full-time; Part-time
  • Language of instruction:
    • French
    • English

Note: The core courses are offered in English.

Program Description

Population health risk assessment is the comprehensive assessment of health risks in the general population based on environmental, genetic, economic, social and behavioural determinants of health. This leads to evidence-based population health risk policy analysis, and ultimately, cost effective population health risk management decisions.

The Graduate Diploma in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management is specially designed for those individuals employed and/or interested in population health analysis and risk assessment. The diploma aims to provide the professional skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in both the public and the private sectors.

Other Programs Offered Within the Same Discipline or in a Related Area

  • Master of Science Epidemiology (MSc)
  • Master of Science Epidemiology Specialization in Biostatistics (MSc)
  • Doctorate in Philosophy Epidemiology (PhD)

Fees and Funding

  • Program fees:

The estimated amount for university fees associated with this program are available under the section Finance your studies.

International students enrolled in a French-language program of study may be eligible for a differential tuition fee exemption.


  • Programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.
  • In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have the right to complete their assignments, examinations, research papers, and theses in French or in English.

Program Contact Information

Graduate Studies Office, Faculty of Medicine

451 Smyth Road, Room RGN 2016

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5800 x5215


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For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

To be eligible, candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in with honours in science, health sciences and/or social sciences with a minimum average of 75% (B+).

Note: International candidates must check the admission equivalencies for the diploma they received in their country of origin.

Language Requirements

Applicants must be able to understand and fluently speak the language of instruction (French or English) in the program to which they are applying. Proof of linguistic proficiency may be required. The core courses are offered in English.

Applicants whose first language is neither French nor English must provide proof of proficiency in the language of instruction.

Language tests recognized by the University of Ottawa:

  • TOEFL: 550 (paper-based) – 79-80 (internet-based); or
  • IELTS: 6.5 Overall – 5.0 Individual (paper-based or internet-based); or
  • An equivalent language test.

Note : Candidates are responsible for any fees associated with the language tests.


  • The admission requirements listed above are minimum requirements and do not guarantee admission to the program.
  • Admissions are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.
  • Candidates holding credentials that may not exactly match these standards but who meet the Graduate Studies minimum admission requirements may be admitted based on having demonstrated knowledge and skills obtained through relevant training and/or experience. Proficiency in English is required. Ideally, applicants would have successfully completed EPI 5240 and EPI 5242 prior to their admission. Students who have not completed courses in biostatistics and epidemiology will be required to attend a non-unit one-week each intensive courses at the end of August. These courses are offered by the University of Ottawa.
  • A maximum of three units in equivalencies or advanced standing may be granted. To be eligible, the units in question must not have counted towards the requirements of a previous diploma or degree. Candidates who have already successfully completed some of the compulsory units may be allowed to replace those units with elective units.

Documents Required for Admission

In addition to the documents required for graduate and postdoctoral studies, candidates must submit the following documents:

  • A resume
  • A letter of intent or motivation or statement of purpose

Letter outlining your professional goals and proposed research area.

  • Two confidential letters of recommendation from professors who have known the applicant and are familiar with their work. 

You are strongly encouraged to contact your referee(s) prior to submitting your application in order to confirm their email address and their availability to complete your letter of recommendation.

  • Transcripts from all universities attended:
    • You must submit official transcripts from all the universities you have attended.
      This applies to all courses and programs at any university you attended, including regular programs (completed or not), exchanges, letters of permission, online or correspondence courses, courses taken as a special student or visiting student, etc.
    • If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English or French, a certified translation (signed and stamped/sealed) must be submitted.

Note: Documents that are not required for admission will not be consulted, conserved or returned to the student. These documents will be destroyed according to our administrative procedures.

Information about how to apply to this program is available under the Apply Now section.

Students should complete and submit their online application with supporting documentation (if applicable) by the deadline indicated above.

Graduate Diploma

Students must meet the following requirements:

Compulsory Courses:
PHR 5181Population Health Risk Assessment I3 Units
PHR 6182Population Health Risk Assessment II3 Units
PHR 6101Risk Management in Government3 Units
6 optional course units from:6 Units
Health Technology Assessment
Health Economic Evaluation
Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Epidemiology II: Advanced Epidemiology
Measurement in Health
Social Aspects of Epidemiology
Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis
Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Advanced Clinical Trials
Pharmaco Epidemiology
Governance and Ethical Management in Health Care Organizations
Population Health and Epidemiology
Health Economics
Introduction to Health Informatics
Directed Studies in Population Health Risk Assessment
Practicum in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management
Community Psychology
Psychosocial Stress Research
Psychology and Health
Field Research in Social and Community Interventions
Program Evaluation

Transfer from Graduate Diploma to Master’s

Students who have completed the Graduate Diploma in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management may request admission to the MSc in Epidemiology. Admission to the MSc is competitive and the number of candidates admitted is limited. If admission is granted, some units from the Graduate Diploma may be retained in the MSc. This evaluation is made on a case-by-case basis by the Epidemiology Program Committee.

Minimum Requirements

The passing grade in all courses is C+.

Students who fail six units or the same course twice must withdraw from the program.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Medicine

“The Faculty of Medicine has a long history of conducting both basic and clinical research of the highest quality. Many of our high profile research projects are conducted in partnership with affiliated-teaching hospitals and research institutes. These partnerships lead to biomedical discoveries that have a significant impact on health care. In the process they educate the next generation of Canadian scientists. Our research activity also attracts significant investment, which stimulates the Ottawa economy.”

- Dr. Bernard Jasmin, Vice-Dean, Research

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Medicine

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

PHR 5181 Population Health Risk Assessment I (3 units)

National and international policy frameworks for health risk assessment and management, including determinants of population health; epidemiological, clinical, and toxicological methods for identifying health hazards; population health surveillance; methods of population health risk assessment; regulatory, economic, advisory, and technological approaches to population health risk management; community action and social marketing; selection of risk management strategies; risk perception and risk communication. Lectures and case studies. Preparation of term paper on a current issue in population health risk assessment. Courses EPI 5181, PHR 5181 cannot be combined for units.

Course Component: Lecture

Exclusion: EPI 5181.

PHR 6101 Risk Management in Government (3 units)

Study of risk management frameworks, guidelines and principles for decision makers; review of ethical grounding and risk evaluation techniques and follow-up. Written report to be submitted by the student on a current risk management project.

Course Component: Lecture

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PHR 6182 Population Health Risk Assessment II (3 units)

Scientific methods for population health risk assessment; characterization of population health risks, and attendant uncertainties; risk modeling; combining risk information from different sources; risk acceptability; principles of risk management decision making; evidence-based risk management policy development; audit and evaluation of risk interventions; priority setting; case studies on current population health risk assessment issues. Term paper on a current methodological issue in population health risk assessment required.

Course Component: Lecture

Prerequisite: PHR 5181. PHI 6182 and EPI 6182 cannot be combined for units.

PHR 6900 Études dirigées en évaluation du risque en santé des populations / Directed Studies in Population Health Risk Assessment (3 crédits / 3 units)

Recherche et rédaction d'un travail sur un sujet lié à l'évaluation du risque en santé des populations, tel que le risque ayant trait à l'environnement, aux facteurs sociaux, à la génétique et au système de soins de santé, le tout sous la direction d'un professeur membre de la faculté. Le sujet doit être approuvé par le directeur de programme. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). / Opportunity to conduct research and write a paper on a current topic in population health risk assessment, including risk issues related to the environment, social factors, genetics or the health system, under the direction of a faculty member. Topic must be approved by the Program Director. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Cours PHR 6910 et PHR 6900 ne peuvent pas être combinés pour des fins de crédits. / PHR 6900 and PHR 6910 cannot be combined for credits.

PHR 6910 Stage en évaluation et gestion du risque en santé des populations / Practicum in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management (3 crédits / 3 units)

Stage (10 heures/semaine) dans un milieu de politiques de la santé au sein d'une organisation d'accueil, approuvée par un membre du Conseil consultatif du diplôme. Expérience dans le domaine des politiques et de la gestion de l'évaluation du risque. L'étudiant doit soumettre un rapport sur l'application de l'évaluation des risques. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant) par un membre de la faculté en consultation avec le superviseur de stage. / Placement (10 hours/week) in a health policy setting in a host organization approved by a faculty member of the Diploma Advisory Board. Hands-on experience in the risk policy and evaluation field. Written report to be submitted by the student on the application of risk assessment. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory) by a faculty member in consultation with the placement supervisor.

Volet / Course Component: Stage / Work Term

Préalables : EPI 5181. Cours PHR 6910 et PHR 6900 ne peuvent pas être combinés pour des fins de crédits. / Prerequisites: EPI 5181. Courses PHR 6910 and PHR 6900 cannot be combined for units.