Take a different approach to fighting disease

A Health Studies student at the University of Waterloo.

Focus on preventing illness, not simply treating people once they get sick. At Waterloo, you’ll learn how to promote healthy lifestyles, improve health care systems, and bring together the science and the social aspects of health.

Whether you opt for the regular or co-op stream, Health Sciences gives you the skills for improving human health, along with lots of room for electives. And with five specializations and dozens of campus-wide minors, you can tailor your studies to your specific areas of interest.

You’ll graduate with the skills to tackle global health pandemics such as COVID-19, transform public health policy, and pave the way for new medical breakthroughs.

Program highlights

  • Science plus. Build a strong foundation in science and learn about human health and disease prevention. You’ll be set for a career in health and professional programs like medicine.
  • Be more than a number. With small tutorial sizes right from first year, you’ll really get to know your classmates — and your world-renowned professors.

Health Sciences at Waterloo

Laavanya chose the program because of its multidisciplinary nature. Since graduating, Laavanya has been admitted to medical school to pursue her goal of becoming a physician. (Health Studies was the previous name for our Health Sciences program. It's the same great degree program, just a new name.)

What will you learn?

First-year courses

You'll take a mix of courses from the Faculty of Health and the Faculty of Science to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, about half your classes will be Health courses.

Learn more about courses you'll take for your Health Sciences degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of these areas of focus in the program.

  • Addictions, Mental Health, and Policy
  • Gerontology
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Research
  • Pre-Clinical Specialization

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus include Gerontology, Psychology, Human Nutrition, Pre-clinical, and Health Research.


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Questions? Ask a student!

Connect with a current student ambassador to learn about their experience in the program.

Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


megaphone icon"My favourite part of the program is the variety of disciplines and subject areas. I've learned about health from a biological, social science, ecological, and public health lens, really opening my eyes to the opportunities available in this field!"Christina, fourth-year student (minor in Gerontology)
megaphone icon"Being in co-op, I've learned so much about careers in health and what I value when looking for a job. But most important, my confidence in interviewing for a job and performing well in the workplace has increased so much over my work terms."Anna, third-year student
megaphone icon"The best part about being a Waterloo student is having diverse opportunities to customize my degree. Through countless clubs and student societies, you can find your niche and community, which is incredibly supportive and open to helping other students!"Xenia, fourth-year student (minor in Psychology)

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Any Grade 12 U Mathematics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Biology (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)

Admission averages: Regular: Low 80s | Co-op: Mid-80s

Advanced Functions and Physics are recommended if you're interested in the Pre-Clinical specialization.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply?

Apply directly to this program on your application.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Contact our Faculty of Health recruitment co-ordinator who can answer questions you have. 

Clare Stevens


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