Take a different approach to fighting disease

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 Studies – similar to Health Science programs at other universities – 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.

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.

Friends for life

Make lasting bonds through the Health Living-Learning Community, mentorship programs, and health-related student clubs.


Questions? Ask our student ambassadors

Learn why our Health Studies student ambassadors chose their program... and ask them any questions about what it's like!

Health Studies at Waterloo

Laavanya chose the program because of its multidisciplinary nature. Since graduating, Laayanya has been admitted to medical school to pursue her goal of becoming a physician.

Graduation cap iconOn average, 57% of Health Studies grads are in professional or graduate school within one year of graduating

5Specializations and options to customize your degree

brief case iconAvailable as a co-op and regular program


Health Studies admission requirements

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

  • Any 4U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Any 4U 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

The following courses are recommended: Advanced Functions, Physics (for students interested in the Pre-Health Professions specialization)

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


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First-year courses

In your first term, BIOL 130L and CHEM 120L together count as one course. You’ll have five courses each term.

September to December

January to April


After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Health courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

HLTH 310Development, Aging, and Health
HLTH 341 – Principles of Pathobiology
HLTH 443 Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases
HLTH 461 – Experimental Methods in Psychoneuroimmunology


Arrow iconApply directly to this program on your application

Living Learning CommunityJoin the Health Studies Living-Learning Community


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Genetic counselling assistant
  • Healthy women project coordinator
  • Health promotion assistant
  • Patient flow facilitator
  • Clinical research assistant
  • Health and safety specialist

Sample co-op employers

  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • University Health Network
  • Trillium Health Centre
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Regional Municipality of Peel

Customize your Bachelor of Science in Health Studies degree

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

  • Gerontology 
  • Aging Studies
  • Health Informatics
  • Pre-Clinical Specialization 
  • Health Research

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

What can you do with a degree in Health Studies?

Your degree lays the foundation for a career in health professions such as medicine, clinical research, epidemiology, and occupational health. Or, go on to pursue an accelerated master’s degree in our School of Public Health and Health Systems.

Sample careers

  • Family Physician - London Lambeth Medical Clinic
  • Health Promotion Specialist - Region of Peel
  • Tobacco Cessation Specialist - Canadian Cancer Society 
  • Epidemiologist - University Health Network
  • Clinical Research Coordinator - The Centre for Dermatology
  • Policy Analyst - Employment & Social Development Canada
  • Speech Language Pathologist - Peel District School Board

Learn about the future of careers in health and helping professions.

Further education

While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, these are common areas where graduates pursued a master's, PhD, or other professional program.

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Speech language pathology
  • Law
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health
  • Health informatics  

Ready to learn more?