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Information for

Majors, minors and specializations

Your major

BSc Honours Health Studies - With this program, your major is Health Studies. Your major will combine a comprehensive science background with an in-depth investigation of the complex factors that influence health.  As a student, you’ll discover that to make a difference in human health you need to go beyond treating health problems; you must also develop strategies to prevent them.

Honours Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) - With this program, your major is Public Health. Your biology isn’t the only thing that determines illness – social, cultural, political, and geographical conditions play a pivotal role in individual and population health. In Public Health, you’ll learn the skills you need to affect these conditions, and to take action to improve health and health inequalities.

Adding minors, options and specializations

You can further enhance your undergraduate studies in Health by complementing your major with a minor, option, and/or specialization from the School of Public Health and Health Systems or from any other department within the University of Waterloo.

Normally, a student who intends to add an option, minor or specialization plan offered by the School of Public Health and Health Systems must declare the plan as indicated in the plan requirements, or no later than 3B if it is not specified, by completing a Plan Modification Form and submitting it to the SPHHS undergraduate offices.

A minor is generally a grouping of 8-10 courses from one department, or a variety of courses from different departments with a common theme.  The School of Public Health and Health Systems offers the following minor:

An option is generally a grouping of 6 to 8 courses relating to a particular area of study.  Those offered by the School include:

Specializations allow you to tailor your degree to your goals for further graduate or professional education.  The School offers two possibilities:

Specializations in other disciplines

If you are interested in pursuing a minor or option in an area other than Applied Health Sciences, e.g., psychology, biology, you should consult the Faculty sections of the Undergraduate Calendar to see if such a specialization is offered and which courses you would need to take as your electives to complete the requirements.

Joint honours degree

In Health Studies it is possible to combine your existing major with a major in Psychology.  This allows you to concentrate your studies equally and extensively in both areas. This requires pre-approval from both departments and advance course planning with an academic advisor. 

Students typically apply for the Joint Honours Degree at the end of first year (submit a completed Plan Modification Form to your academic advisor).