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Rural and Northern Health (PhD)

Doctoral research training focused on rural and northern health issues. Study from anywhere via synchronous remote delivery.


Take part in Canada’s only PhD program dedicated to researching rural and northern health issues.

The Rural and Northern Health PhD program prepares you to utilize your research to contribute to the well-being and health of communities in rural and northern Canada and tackle the unique health challenges they face. You’ll enhance and promote the quality and quantity of research focused on rural and northern health and learn from experienced research faculty from across the health sciences, social sciences, basic sciences, and humanities.

Choose from two fields of study, health services and health policy, each offering a breadth of supported research in Indigenous health, epidemiology, children’s health, population health in vulnerable populations, health administration, as well as health policy, promotion, and services, and environmental, mental, and occupational health.

You’ll gain training and expertise through core courses, a comprehensive exam process, and the development and defense of a thesis. While core courses are offered in English, you can complete some graduate electives in French, conduct your research and write your thesis in either English or French.

Throughout the program, you’ll also have the opportunity to promote the growth and development of health research expertise in the north and strengthen partnerships with community health organizations. You’ll work closely with other Laurentian University research centres, such as the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR), the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH), and the Laurentian Research Institute for Aging (LRIA).

The program is offered full-time and part-time in a synchronous remote format via Zoom.   Students are most welcome to take on-campus electives from other programs, study on campus, conduct their research and meet with supervisory faculty locally.


Application Deadline:

The application deadline for September 2025 start is January 31, 2025.

Note: The program encourages applications from students looking to study full-time. The admissions committee reviews applications from full-time applicants first, then reviews applications from individuals interested in studying part-time if space remains.

Key Features

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Study remotely with courses delivered in real-time via Zoom. You can also take on-campus electives from other programs, study on campus, conduct your research and meet with supervisory faculty locally.
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Take core courses in English and electives in French. Conduct your research and write your thesis in either English or French.
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Study full-time and benefit from a guaranteed Graduate Teaching Assistantship.

Career Opportunities

Graduates can rest assured knowing there is a multitude of career options they can explore post-graduation. Some career options include, but are not limited to: health administration, public health, research and academics. 

Many careers can be found in the public and private sectors.

Click here to Read about the successes of our Alumni!

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Take an in-depth look at program details, courses, and degree options!

Program Details

Faculty Members

Graduate students in this program experience the distinct advantage of their thesis research being guided by a personal Supervisor. Access to dedicated supervisors is intended to enhance progress and expedite program completion.

Thus, all applicants must have a potential supervisor before applying. The supervisor can also provide guidance on the application process, and the proposed program of research, and is required to sign the Supplementary Application Form to confirm their review of your application and commitment to supervise. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors early to discuss common research interests and potential for supervision.

The program is supported by many faculty members from a variety of disciplines.

**The list of potential supervisors is found here.*



To find a supervisor, review their profiles (or look them up on Google Scholar) and see if any match your areas of research interests and then reach out to them to see if they would be interested in supervising you. Be sure to tell them what it is you are interested in researching for your graduate program as they will want to know that.  It is strongly recommended that you not just tell the potential supervisor that you are interested in researching whatever you found in their profile - they will want to know YOUR research passion!