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The Department of Health, Aging & Society provides a graduate experience that promotes scholarly activity, close mentorship, and research collaboration with our faculty members.

Our Department is the ideal place to complete Masters and Doctoral work in the study of health and/or aging. Grounded in the Social Sciences, we engage critically and combine insights from an array of disciplines; we offer a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and a research-intensive environment. We maintain a small and collegial department so that students and faculty experience the type of intellectual interaction, supervision, and research collaboration that is essential during graduate level training.

Application Deadline: January 15 for September admission

The Department of Health, Aging & Society offers three graduate programs

Our programs emphasize the interdisciplinary study of social, cultural, and political aspects of health and/or aging.

These programs allow students to develop and pursue broader research interests that may be outside the typical biomedical focus in health and/or aging studies.

 Students can choose to focus on either health or aging (or both) in their graduate work.


Our faculty members maintain active research programs and have been successful in competing for research funding from granting agencies such as Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Our strength is the quality of our faculty

We offer a research-intensive environment in the Department of Health, Aging & Society.  Our faculty members are actively involved in a wide range of research areas, including:

Our Faculty and Complete Areas of Research


Funding is available to full-time students on a competitive basis.  At McMaster University, doctoral students receive a guaranteed minimum funding package of full-time tuition plus $13,500 per year for four years.  The Department of Health, Aging & Society offers competitive funding packages that may include financial support such as teaching assistantships, university graduate scholarships, as well as external scholarships and bursaries. 

Each PhD student and many Master’s students in the Department of Health, Aging & Society are offered a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship in lieu of a Teaching Assistantship valued at approximately $11,839.

Scholarships and Other Funding

Graduate Student Life

Here in the Department of Health, Aging & Society, we have a vibrant graduate student community.  Over the years, our students have had the opportunity to actively engage and connect within and across departments and faculties; host casual social and community events; develop/apply for funded research projects; attend conferences; and stay up-to-date on health and/or aging related topics through a monthly journal club.

Graduate Student Life

Graduate Alumni

See what our alumni have to say about our programs as well as the career paths they have taken

Graduate Alumni

“The interdisciplinary composition of Health, Aging and Society, provides exposure to a broad range of theories and disciplinary perspectives. More importantly, the department is genuinely committed to supporting its students and establishing meaningful relationships between its graduate students, staff and faculty members.”  -- Brian Budd, 2014

“The Department of Health, Aging & Society is a wonderful department, with an inspiring group of faculty members dedicated to supporting you through the journey.”  -- Melissa Dawn McVie, 2012

Read more about our alumni

Contact Us

photo of Michel Grignon

Michel Grignon

Professor | Graduate Chair of the Department of Health, Aging & Society | Associate Scientist of Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Èconomie de la Santé | Editor-in-chief of Health Reform Observer - Observatoire des Réformes de Santé

Connect with our students

Please contact our current graduate student representatives, Peter DeMaio and Alicia Clifford, to find out more about graduate student life in our department.