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Master of Arts in Health & Aging

The M.A. in Health & Aging is an interdisciplinary study of social and cultural aspects of health and aging. Complementing an attention to key conceptual and methodological debates in the social sciences, this degree highlights a number of key research fields in the study of health and/or aging, such as: social-cultural dimensions of health and aging; systems, services and policy; and environments and health inequalities.

M.A.Master of Arts in Health & Aging

The M.A. in Health & Aging is an interdisciplinary study of social and cultural aspects of health and aging. Complementing an attention to key conceptual and methodological debates in the social sciences, this degree highlights a number of key research fields in the study of health and/or aging, such as: social-cultural dimensions of health and aging; systems, services and policy; and environments and health inequalities.

The M.A. program in Health & Aging allows students to advance their education and training in social scientific research practices. The program emphasizes the importance of formulating and conveying a critical analysis of contemporary issues and challenges with regard to health and/or aging.  Students are encouraged to develop an independent program of research in health studies, aging studies or at the intersection of the two areas of study.

Upon admission, students will be accepted into the one-year course work and research paper option. Students must apply for the two-year course work and thesis option during their first term of studies.

Students will have two options for completing their M.A.:

I.  M.A. 1-year Program

This option takes 12 months to complete. It features two terms of course work (six courses) and a Major Research Paper completed under the supervision of a faculty member. Students accepted into the Master's program are placed in the 1-year MA option by default.

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 2016:

Students will be required to complete six (6) half courses, including:

  1. HLTH AGE 701/Social Science Perspectives on Health and Aging

  2. ONE of: HLTH AGE 716/Quantitative Research Methods in Studies of Health & Aging OR HLTH AGE 714/Qualitative and Historical Methods in Studies of Health & Aging

  3. Four elective courses offered by the Department of Health, Aging and Society or by another department or academic unit (provided that permission has been obtained from those departments or academic units). Only two of the four elective courses may be taken in a department or academic unit other than Health, Aging and Society.

  4. A research paper (7500-8500 words, excluding references) supervised by a core or associate faculty member. The research paper will be read by the supervisor and another faculty member. (If the supervisor is an associate member, then the second reader must be a core faculty member selected by the supervisor in consultation with the student).

II.  M.A. 2-year Program

Once accepted into the Master's program, students MAY APPLY for the two-year degree option that requires course work in the first year (four courses) and a thesis (in the second year) that is based on original research under the supervision of a faculty member.

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 2016:

Students will be required to complete four (4) half courses, including:

  1. HLTH AGE 701/Social Science Perspectives on Health and Aging

  2. ONE of: HLTH AGE 716/Quantitative Research Methods in Studies of Health & Aging OR HLTH AGE 714/Qualitative and Historical Methods in Studies of Health & Aging

  3. Two elective courses offered by the Department of Health, Aging and Society or by another department or academic unit (provided that permission has been obtained from those departments or academic units). Only one of the two elective courses may be taken in a department or academic unit other than Health, Aging & Society.

  4. A thesis that involves original and independent research (20,000 - 25,000 words excluding references) supervised by a core faculty member or an associate member if approved by the graduate committee. The thesis will be orally examined by a committee including the supervisor and two other faculty selected by the thesis supervisor in consultation with the student.

Admission Requirements:

  • Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a related field
  • An average of B+ or better in the final two years of full-time undergraduate studies (or equivalent)
  • Strong interest in health and/or aging studies

Only COMPLETE applications will be reviewed by the Department.

NOTE:  Applicants to the MA program in Health & Aging are strongly encouraged to apply for the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's 2016-17 Competition (Scholarship Competition Deadline: December 1, 2016), provided they meet the eligibility requirements.  For more information, visit the School of Graduate Studies: Awards & Funding

Required Application Documents:

Graduate Studies Online Application

  • Each applicant is required to complete the Graduate Studies Online Application which opens in November each year

  • In addition to the online application, applicants must also submit the required documents listed below.

  • NOTE: Some required application documents must be submitted through your online application (see below for details). 

Official Academic Transcripts

  • Academic transcripts for ALL post-secondary studies completed or in progress at the time of application
  • Transcripts from institutions where you completed courses on Letter of Permission and/or as part of Student Exchange Programs must also be included
  • Transcripts must be sent DIRECTLY from the issuing institution to the Department of Health, Aging & Society (mailing address below)

Academic References

  • Two (2) confidential reference reports from instructors most familiar with your academic work
  • McMaster University uses an Electronic Referencing System (e-Reference).  By entering the email address of your reference through your online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf
  • IMPORTANT: The system will send the e-Reference request to your references ONLY AFTER YOU SUBMIT your online application. This means that you will need to have completed AND uploaded your Statement of Interest, Writing Sample, and CV/resume to your online application BEFORE you can click “Submit”. References may require 3-4 weeks to complete a reference report. References MUST complete their reference report BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE OF FEBRUARY 15. Please keep this in mind when you are working on your application.
  • If, for some reason, you are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the Reference Form and send to your references for completion.  Downloaded reference forms must be sent by the reference DIRECTLY to Kristine Espiritu by e-mail (espirit@mcmaster.ca) or to the mailing address below.

Statement of Interest

  • Must be uploaded as a PDF document through your online application
  • Maximum 2 pages, double-spaced
  • References page(s) should be single-spaced and do not count towards the maximum 2-page limit
  • Your Statement of Interest should clearly communicate:
    • Your specific research interests and focus
    • The relevance of your specific research to health and/or aging studies
    • The approach/methods used to tackle your research problem
    • Your academic preparedness to undertake and complete your research, and predicted training outcomes

Sample of Writing

  • Must be uploaded as a PDF document through your online application

Resumé/CV

  • Must be uploaded as a PDF document through your online application

English Language Proficiency (if applicable)

  • If English is not your native language, an official copy of your English Language Proficiency score or other evidence of competency in English is required.  Applicants whose university studies were completed at an institution where English is deemed the official language of instruction may be exempted from this requirement (official letter from the institution is required)
  • The English Language Proficiency exam must have been completed within 2 years of the application due date
  • The most common English Language Proficiency exams:
    • TOEFL: minimum score of 92 (internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based), minimum of 20 per band. Please use TOEFL department code 080 (Other Social Sciences).
    • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each section
  • Other English Language Proficiency exams may be accepted. Please visit the School of Graduate Studies: How to Apply web site and click “Language Requirements” for more information

How to Apply:

Each applicant is required to complete the Graduate Studies Online Application which opens in November each year and submit the required application documents listed above to complete the application.

Please send all (hard copy) supporting documents to:

Department of Health, Aging & Society

c/o Kristine Espiritu

Kenneth Taylor Hall 226

McMaster University

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4

Canada

Application Deadline:

  • February 15

The majority of Health, Aging & Society graduate students at McMaster receives competitive funding packages that may include financial support such as teaching assistantships, university graduate scholarships, as well as external scholarships and bursaries.

For information about major scholarships and awards competitions, please visit School of Graduate Studies: Awards & Funding  

The awards listed below are open to CURRENT McMaster University graduate students who meet the eligibility requirements.  Eligible students should apply through Mosaic and submit the required documents specified in the application. Note the application deadline indicated on Mosaic each academic year.

The Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award

The Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award was established in 1999 by Barbara Bayne to honor Dr. Ronald Bayne's valuable contribution to the study of Gerontology at McMaster University.  This scholarship is to be awarded to any GRADUATE STUDENT in the FACULTIES OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES conducting RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF AGING.

The E.B. Ryan Scholarship

The E.B. Ryan Scholarship was established in 1997 using funds raised by a performance of the play "Letter from Wingfield Farm".  This scholarship is to be awarded to in-course GRADUATE STUDENTS from the FACULTIES OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HEALTH SCIENCES conducting RESEARCH ON AGING.

Faculty Supervisor

  • All Health, Aging & Society graduate students should discuss course selection, MRP/thesis, and any other academic related questions with their supervisor.

Graduate Chair

  • The department’s graduate chair is also available to provide additional support to Health, Aging & Society graduate students

MA in Health & Aging Handbook 

  • HLTH AGE 701 / Social Science Perspectives on Health and Aging
  • HLTH AGE 703 / Social Systems, Services and Policy: Critical Perspectives
  • HLTH AGE 704 / Special Topics in Aging
  • HLTH AGE 705 / Special Topics in Health
  • HLTH AGE 706 / Independent Study
  • HLTH AGE 707 / Reading Course
  • HLTH AGE 708 / Health and Aging in a Global and International Context
  • HLTH AGE 709 / Socio-Cultural Aspects of Health and Aging
  • HLTH AGE 710 / Health, Aging and the Media
  • HLTH AGE 711 / The Health Care System and the Older Person
  • HLTH AGE 712 / Globalization and Health
  • HLTH AGE 713 / Critical Perspectives on Aging
  • HLTH AGE 714 / Qualitative and Historical Methods in Studies of Health and Aging
  • HLTH AGE 715 / Critical Perspectives in Health Studies
  • HLTH AGE 716 / Quantitative Research Methods in Studies of Health and Aging
School of Graduate Studies Graduate Calendar Graduate Supervisors Paying Your Fees MA in Health & Aging Handbook Apply Now
For more information:
Department of Health, Aging & Society c/o Kristine Espiritu
Kenneth Taylor Hall 226
(905) 525-9140, ext. 27035
espirit@mcmaster.ca
Length:
1 year: Course Work plus Major Research Paper OR 2 years: Course Work plus Thesis
Required Credential:
Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a related field
Program Type:
Course Work plus Major Research Paper; Course Work plus Thesis
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September
Current Deadline:
February 15