Information for

Transfer to Public Health and Health Systems

*NOTE: We are no longer accepting transfer applications for Fall 2018. Please contact an SPHHS academic advisor if you require more information.

If you are currently an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo and wish to apply to a program in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, you will be applying for an internal transfer.

If you are currently an undergraduate student at another university or college you will be applying for an external transfer. Find out how to apply.

Programs offered

The School of Public Health and Health Systems offer an Honours undergraduate program (BSc) in Health Studies and an Honours undergraduate (BPH) in Public Health.


Questions about degree programs in Public Health and Health Systems or in other departments in Applied Health Sciences? Wondering if this is the right degree for you?

Internal transfers must make an appointment with an SPHHS academic advisor to discuss admissibility, the transfer process, and future course plans.

IMPORTANT: Deadline for on-line web form submission:

July 1- for Fall qualifying term* (see Note above)

November 1- for Winter qualifying term

School of Public Health and Health Systems

Step 1: Why do you want to transfer to SPHHS?

A good answer would be, "I have taken Health courses, find the subjects interesting, and a Health program fits with my future career goals."

A bad answer would be, "I have been required to withdraw, need to continue studies at Waterloo in any BSc, so I'll try to transfer to Health Studies."

Students should note the following program and/or faculty-specific questions before proceeding

Arts, Environment, and Recreation- Have the necessary prerequisites been taken in high school and, have these previously been strong subjects, and if Psychology or other Arts courses did not go well in Arts what would be different about the Health Studies or Public Health program where those same subjects are required?

Science, Engineering, Math – Have the necessary prerequisites been taken in high school and, if BIOL and/or CHEM courses did not go well, what would be different about Health Studies where those same subjects are required?

Part of your decision-making will require a target program. Please review the program options, listed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

In all cases, co-op is not guaranteed with a transfer to SPHHS, although students, registered in a co-op program (and not Conditional or 'non-degree') in the term immediately before transferring, can normally maintain co-op.

Step 2: Determine admissibility to SPHHS

Students must review the high school admissions requirements (select the attending or recently graduated from high school option) for the program(s) of interest. If required courses are missing, they must be completed; options include:

  • Independent Learning Centre
  • Adult Learning Centre
  • Waterloo courses where appropriate (e.g. CHEM 120 with minimum grade of 60 in place of Ontario chemistry; ENGL 109 with a minimum grade of 60 in place of Ontario grade 12U English).

Step 3: Review Waterloo academic record

The Waterloo student record is assigned a greater weight than the pre-Waterloo record. A reasonable background in Health is required.

Grades in any completed courses required for your desired degree program will be taken into consideration.

Transfer requirements


Average on at least 5 courses required for target program (incl HLTH)

Average HLTH courses (min 2)

Required courses (min 60%)

BSc Health Studies



CHEM 120

BPH Public Health




  1. If your current grades would not meet the transfer requirements, then a non-degree term or qualifying term of courses will be needed. Course selection is determined by the target program’s required courses and will be determined in your meeting with an SPHHS advisor.
  2. Transfer is dependent upon space in the target program and is not guaranteed. Admission requirements are minimum requirements and higher averages may be required depending upon number of spaces available.

Step 4: Discuss plans with transfer advisor

These conversations cannot be handled easily via email because there are normally many questions, requiring some discussion. Complete this web form which must be submitted before any conversation can take place. An SPHHS advisor will contact you to book a mutually convenient meeting time.

Students who need to complete a qualifying term  must note and accept the following points:

  • Fees are determined by your current faculty. Please review the fee schedule
  • Course selection is guided by target program's required courses
  • Minimum load is five courses, plus any related or appropriate labs with at least two HLTH courses
  • No failing or INC grades permitted in qualifying term
  • Use the Schedule of Classes to compose a time conflict-free schedule, noting the above points, and section limits and reserves
  • Co-op should not be expected, so students must be comfortable completing a SPHHS program in the regular system of study