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 gives you the skills for improving human health, along with lots of room for electives. And with 5 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 epidemics, 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.


Laavanya chose Waterloo’s Health Studies program because of its multi-disciplinary nature. Since graduating, Laayanya has been admitted to medical school to pursue her goal of becoming a physician.

About the Health Studies program

Breif CaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies


5Specializations and options to customize your degree

AHS brain symbolOffered by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Living Learning CommunityJoin the Health Studies Living-Learning Community


Health Studies admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Biology (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • The following courses are recommended: English (ENG4U), Advanced Functions, Physics (for students interested in the Pre-Health Professions specialization)
  • Admission averages: Regular: Low 80s | Co-op: Mid-80s
  • An Admission Information Form is recommended
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

For September 2020, any Grade 12 U English or equivalent (minimum final grade of 70) AND any Grade 12 U mathematics or equivalent (minimum final grade of 70) will also be required. This change to admission requirements does not affect September 2019 applicants.

First-year Health Studies courses

In your first term, BIOL 130L and CHEM 120L together count as one course. You’ll have 5 courses each term.

September to December

HLTH 101 - Introduction to Health 1
AHS 107 - Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being
BIOL 130/BIOL 130L - Introductory Cell Biology
CHEM 120/CHEM 120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter

January to April

HLTH 102 - Introduction to Health 2
HLTH 245 - Canadian Health Systems
PSYCH 101 - Introductory Psychology
2 electives


After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Health Studies 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 320 – Psychosocial Perspectives on Lifespan Development and Health
HLTH 341 – Principles of Pathobiology
HLTH 352 – Sociology of Aging
HLTH 442 – Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases

Customize your Bachelor of Science in Health Studies degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including a minor or one of the specializations in Health Studies.

  • Minor in Gerontology 
  • Option in Aging Studies
  • Health Informatics Option
  • Pre-Clinical Specialization 
  • Health Research Specialization

Gain relevant work experience through co-o

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

What can you do with a degree in Health Studies?

Your Health Studies 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.

Recent graduates

  • 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

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  

Learn more about Health Studies