- About Master of Public Health
- Areas of concentration
- Administration | Professors
- Funding | Tuition
- Frequently asked questions
Advance your career as a health professional.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) program provides a broad understanding of public health and the knowledge, tools, and skills for management/leadership roles in public health settings. The program highlights evidence-informed practice in public health, sociobehavioural health, environmental health, and public health informatics. Offered online, the MPH offers flexibility for the working professional and can be completed in two to four years. On-campus attendance is required for two 2-week block courses and students complete a 12-week field practicum.
Program overview and highlights
Transdisciplinary approach designed to enable you to take a leadership role in public health, and tackle existing and future complex public health issues.
You will learn to evaluate and assess the health status of communities, anticipate and act to prevent health problems, protect people from health hazards, and promote health and wellbeing.
- You will learn from faculty who lead research in public health sciences and public health intervention design and evaluation.
- Through the experiential learning of a practicum position, you will experience what it is like to use the knowledge, tools, and skills learned in the MPH Program in a real public health setting.
- The MPH program is flexible for the working professional and can be completed online or as a blend of both online and on-campus formats.
- Deadline for applications for Fall enrolment is February 1.
Areas of Concentration
The MPH sociobehavioural sciences stream:
- Prepares health professionals to plan, implement, and evaluate population health promotion and disease prevention programs
- Increases specialized public health knowledge and skills in areas of particular strength in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, such as smoking prevention, cancer prevention, heart health, and nutrition
MPH environmental health sciences stream:
- Prepares public health professionals to assess and manage risks to public health associated with environmental exposures to physical, chemical and microbial contaminants.
Or choose the MPH general program, which:
- Provides opportunity for a broad understanding of public health
- Prepares health professionals for management/leadership roles in public health settings
The MPH program is mainly a course-based curriculum. In order to graduate, students are required to complete the following:
- Foundations course (on-campus for two weeks)
- Seven core courses
- Three elective courses
- One 12-16 week practicum course (consisting of 420 hours) - PHS 641
- Capstone course (on-campus for two weeks)
There is no research/thesis option.
MPH course offerings and program sequence
Click on the links below to view the course offerings and program sequence for part-time and full-time students. These sequences are subject to change but can be used as reference for planning your future terms.
- Master of Public Health program provides opportunities for students to gain relevant practical experience by completing a 12-16 week community-based applied practicum, working within a local public health unit, provincial and federal governmental agency, or non-governmental organization.
- Students work closely with the Program Director and a field supervisor from the practicum site to set up specific arrangements. With special permission from the MPH Program Director students may be able to take one final course while completing the practicum term.
- The practicum is generally completed on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) over a minimum of 12 weeks, or 420 hours. Part-time practicum placements may be arranged over two terms, however, students must log a minimum of 420 hours of work over the two terms.
- The placement may involve any of the activities or functions of public health: surveillance, policy development, program evaluation, communications etc.
Graduate Student Resources
Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone tell me if I am eligible for the MPH program before I submit my application?
We do not read your application materials before you submit them, and cannot confirm if you will be eligible for acceptance. You need to apply online for you application to be formally assessed.
What do you mean by public health experience?
For purposes of the MPH admission requirements, we define public health experience as work with a whole community or population of people, and which is preventive in nature. Work within health care or research per se is generally not public health work. Public health research that impacts or has the potential to have an impact on communities or populations may be considered public health experience.
How should I demonstrate my public health experience in my application?
It will be your responsibility to argue how your work experiences are related to public health in your resume, 500-word application essay and the letters from your referees. You should also use the essay to demonstrate your understanding of public health concepts, and to show your commitment and passion for working in this field.
Can I be accepted into the program with a 3-year general degree?
The admission requirements for the program state that applicants must have a 4-year Honours degree, with a minimum average of 75% to apply. The 4-year requirement is set by the University of Waterloo for all graduate programs. If you have completed your undergraduate studies over 10 years ago, and have extensive public health experience, we might be able to petition to accept you on a probationary, non-standard admission. This is done on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee of acceptance. You will need to formally apply with a full application before we can decide your eligibility into the program.
My overall average is below 75%, can I be accepted into the program?
When calculating GPAs, we first calculate the overall average. If the overall degree average does not meet the 75% requirement, then we will calculate the last two year average. If the last two years of study meet the 75% requirement, then this admission requirement is fulfilled. If your final two years do not meet the 75% requirement, but your final year of study is 78% or above and you have 3 years of public health work experience then we may be able to offer a probationary admission.
Can the MPH program be completed entirely online?
No. The Foundations and Capstone course each include 2 weeks of on campus classes. The Foundations course is completed at the beginning of the program in the middle two weeks of August; the Capstone course is the final course of the program completed in the spring term (the on campus portion of the capstone course in normally held the middle two weeks of June).
I completed my post-secondary education many years ago; do I still need to provide an academic reference?
Applicants who have completed their post-secondary education 5 or more years ago do not need to provide an academic reference; you may provide two professional references instead. You need to ensure that one of those referees is able to comment on your academic ability, readiness for graduate studies, and comment on any workshops/extra courses/training/etc. you have completed. It is your responsibility to ensure that they know this is required of them. Applicants who have completed their education less than 5 years ago should provide an academic reference.
Do I need to submit GRE scores as part of the admission requirements?
We do not require GRE scores for admission into the MPH, MHE or MHI programs.
How much is tuition?
You can find tuition information on the University of Waterloo Finance website. Be sure to look at the most recent term under Online Professional Graduate Programs for either Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident or International student.
May I complete an international practicum?
Yes. However, the same requirements must be met as for practicums completed in Canada.
Is the practicum paid?
The practicum details are negotiated between the student and their practicum host. Some practicum hosts pay the student a stipend. Students who do not receive a stipend from their practicum are eligible to apply for a monetary Practicum Award from the School.
Do I need to find a supervisor before I apply into the program?
You do not need to find a supervisor. The MPH, MHE, MHI programs do not have a thesis or research component, and students are not assigned supervisors. However, when students start the program they are assigned an academic advisor.
What kind of work do students find after they graduate the MPH program?
The field of public health is a very broad area and the employment opportunities for our graduates depend largely on their specific interests, their previous academic and public health experiences, and the courses they choose to focus on in our program. The Master of Public Health program will enhance your opportunities in finding relevant employment, by providing you with knowledge, competitive skills and experience.
Graduates of our Master of Public Health program find work in areas of public health both locally, nationally and internationally. This includes opportunities at the municipal, provincial or federal levels of the government, in non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and others. The Centre for Career Action at the University of Waterloo can provide workshops and individual appointments for career exploration and job searching. This service is free to all students enrolled at the University of Waterloo.