Public Health and Health Systems - PhD at Waterloo

At a glance:

Application and document submission deadline

  • January 15 (for admission in September)

Considerations for international students before submitting an application:

  • While the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo values international students in our graduate programs, we can only accept a small proportion of these students. 
  • Guaranteed funding packages may not be able to cover all tuition and living expenses incurred during a graduate program and students are encouraged to understand more about the cost of completing their graduate program before applying.
  • Your requested supervisor may also be required to fund your studies for your application to be successful.

Graduate research fields

  • Aging and Health
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Global Health
  • Health and Environment
  • Health Evaluation
  • Health Informatics
  • Work and Health

Study options

  • Thesis

Minimum admission requirements

  • Students applying to the program should have completed a Master’s degree (or its equivalent) with content related to ongoing faculty research in areas such as health, public health, health systems, gerontology, health informatics, global health, occupational health, and evaluation.
  • A minimum 75% average in Master's level coursework.
  • Completion of a Master's degree and evidence of prior research achievements (e.g., Master’s thesis, first author peer-reviewed publication, adjudicated research report).
  • Before applying to the program, students are strongly advised to establish contact with potential supervisors.
  • Students are sometimes accepted for direct admission to the PhD in the SPHS program if they have an Honours Bachelor of Science degree or the equivalent and have exceptional academic and research performance, including evidence of prior research achievements (e.g., adjudicated research report, significant documented contribution as a co-author to a peer-reviewed publication, first author peer-reviewed publication). Directly admitted students will be required to complete 9 (required and elective) graduate courses, graduate milestones and a doctoral thesis.
  • Three academic references 
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable. TOEFL 100 (writing 26, speaking 26), IELTS 7.5 (writing 7.0, speaking 7.0)
    • The School of Public Health Sciences does not consider international applications whose English language proficiency scores fall below the minimum requirements

Approximate tuition, fees, and living costs

  • To determine the tuition and incidental fees per term for your program, visit the Graduate program tuition page on the Finance website. Once you are on the page:
    • Choose your program type: master’s & diploma programs or doctoral programs
    • Choose your residency status: Canadian/permanent resident or international
    • Choose a term (tuition amounts for future terms are posted approximately two months prior to the start of each term and incidental fees are subject to change)
    • Find your program under the appropriate faculty. Tuition amounts are listed per term, with three terms occurring over the course of a year.
  • Review the study and living costs