There are several items to consider before making a formal application for graduate studies in the Department of Population Medicine, and a procedure you should follow. An application package can be obtained by contacting the OVC Graduate Program Assistant. Your submission should indicate the program to which you are seeking admission, and should include a letter of intent stating the area/areas in which you have an interest and your career goals. All supporting documentation must be submitted, as detailed in the application. Note particularly that letters of reference and transcripts must have been sealed at source and must arrive unopened.
Assessing Your Application
Your application will be reviewed to determine how well it matches Departmental requirements and research activities, and the particular research interests of faculty - this is where your letter of intent is particularly important. Applications consistent with Departmental objectives and resources are circulated to faculty working in appropriate areas. The objective is to identify faculty who have ongoing or planned research initiatives in which you might participate and who might be able to advise you in your graduate studies. Studies can only be undertaken if a suitable advisor can be located. When this is achieved your application is forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies with a request that you be considered for admission. Acceptance of this request and satisfactory review of your file by the Faculty of Graduate Studies allows an offer of admission to be made.
Funding Your Program
In order to undertake a graduate program funding support needs to be available to cover graduate fees and living expenses. In some cases a faculty supervisor may have sufficient research funds to provide some, or all, of the necessary support, but in many cases prospective graduate students must arrange their own funding through grant applications, scholarship awards, bursaries and similar mechanisms, or by providing funds from private sources. Monies to cover research costs are generally sought after and acquired by the supervising faculty member.
The University provides conservative estimates of the minimum annual cost for undertaking graduate studies (including living expenses, tuition fees, student fees, and incidentals such as books), for a single person with no dependents. The question of funding is particularly important for international applicants. Tuition fees for Canadian and International Students are outlined here. International students must also join the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), which is mandatory for both international students and their families. Coverage is purchased on a semester basis. Some international academic programs provide acceptable alternative health coverage. Unfunded international students will be required to sign an acknowledgment of the financial commitment they are undertaking by accepting an offer of admission.
International applicants must satisfy minimal requirements for proficiency in the use of the English language by achieving a satisfactory TOEFL or ELTS score. An original certificate, dated within the two calendar years immediately preceding the date of application for admission to the graduate program and attesting to a satisfactory level of success in one of these evaluations, must accompany the application. If the certificate accompanies the application, it must have been sealed at source. Alternatively, the certificate could be forwarded directly from the awarding institution. Satisfactory scores are currently 575 for TOEFL and 7.0 for ELTS. These levels are subject to change.
International applicants can also satisfy English language requirements by completing the University's English as a Second Language Certificate Program, available through the Office of Open Learning. Successful completion of this program can be a condition of the University's offer of admission to graduate studies, and international students who wish to come to Guelph to study can thus take the course in Guelph in the spring of the year in which they wish to enter graduate studies.
International Student Help and Advice
Resources for the guidance of international students are provided on campus through the Office of Intercultural Affairs. The International Student Advisor is Megan Sager, who can assist you with questions you may have about travel to Guelph, study permit/ visa requirements, immigration procedures and requirements, etc. This information should be sought prior to making a decision on whether to pursue academic programs at the University of Guelph.
License to Practice Veterinary Medicine
Questions are frequently asked by prospective graduate students concerning the issue of licence to practice veterinary medicine. For international graduates, the degree of difficulty involved in obtaining a licence to practice veterinary medicine depends greatly on issues of primary degree and academic program. Obtaining a general licence to practice in Canada requires that the National Examining Board (NEB) examinations first be passed. These examinations are offered through the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). Licensure within each province of Canada requires possession of a recognized degree and a passing grade in the NEB examinations. The granting of a licence to practice is solely the responsibility of provincial veterinary associations/colleges (for example, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, CVO), who recognize the examination process provided by the CVMA, but who also require that additional, province-specific, examinations be successfully completed. The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is an academic institution that grants veterinary degrees to undergraduates who successfully complete its academic (DVM) program - it does not issue licences to practice. Licensure by a provincial veterinary association must be obtained by all OVC graduates before they can practice veterinary medicine. Enrolment in a graduate program in Population Medicine does NOT mean a candidate can practice veterinary medicine in Ontario. Successful completion of our graduate program does NOT constitute licensure to practice veterinary medicine in Canada.
International graduate students enrolled in an academic program at the OVC who are required, as part of their academic program, to practice veterinary medicine, can do so only after a Teaching Hospital (OVCTH) academic licence or an educational licence has been issued by the CVO, the provincial regulatory (licensing) body for Ontario. OVCTH-academic/educational licensure must be renewed annually, but terminates at the end of the academic program. The current cost of obtaining this licence is $214.00, including an examination addressing provincial veterinary regulations. For students enrolled in the Department of Population Medicine, academic or educational licensure would be sought, as appropriate, only if the nature of the program of study required that the candidate practice veterinary medicine. This would be true of most DVSc positions, but would be the case only in the minority of MSc and PhD programs in epidemiology. In either case, successful completion of a graduate program in this Department does not constitute adequate or recognized training for the granting of a licence to practice. International graduates would thus still need to proceed with the NEB examinations as the first step in obtaining general licensure.
For admission to one of our graduate programs, we have certain requirements in addition to general University requirements. We require evidence of a strong academic record, adequate references from referees, demonstrated motivation and aptitude for the program, evidence of adequate funding support, and availability of a faculty advisor in the program.
You may submit an application anytime to commence studies in any semester, although most students begin in the fall semester (September). The deadlines for submission of applications is one month prior to start of the semester, although it is preferable to get your applications in earlier. When an application is received, graduate faculty in the student's declared area of interest (e.g. epidemiology, health management) are invited to review the application. If a faculty member agrees to act as an advisor and some funding for the student is available, the application is reviewed by the Department Graduate Studies Committee, and if appropriate, a recommendation for admission is made to University officials. If a faculty member does not express willingness to act as an advisor, we do not recommend admission.
Applications are done online.
Prospective students are advised to contact faculty (either before or soon after submitting an application) to ask them if they are willing to take them on as a graduate student. It is also prudent to discuss potential sources of funding with faculty. Potential sources include scholarships or fellowships (e.g. NSERC, CIHR, or home country sources in the case of international students), and some faculty have funding for graduate students through their research grants. You may identify potential faculty advisors here.
More detailed information on Population Medicine's graduate programs can be found here.