The School of Public Health and Health Systems is a division of the Faculty of Health
Creating a healthier future at the University of Waterloo
As part of the School of Public Health and Health Systems, you will be immersed in leading research, and gain the skills to tackle some of the biggest health concerns of today. Besides our leading researchers, you will learn how to integrate perspectives from multiple disciplines as well as discover how to use research to design, implement, and evaluate health programs, policies and services.
Complete applications must be submitted by January 15
In order for an application to be considered, all required documentation, including academic references, must be submitted on or before this date. Please aim to apply by January 1st to allow adequate time to upload supporting documents and ensure that your referees are aware of this firm deadline.
- Trans-disciplinary approach to addressing public and population health challenges in Canada and around the world
- You'll learn how to use research to improve the management and accountability of health promotion programs, and health or healthcare systems.
- PhD students in the School of Public Health and Health Systems can pursue a designated field to exemplify an area of expertise within their broader program. Fields include epidemiology and biostatistics, health evaluation, health informatics, health and environment, global health, aging and health and work and health.
- The University of Waterloo's unique Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Policy #73 grants ownership to the inventor.
- The Faculty of Health is committed to providing guaranteed funding over four years to support new domestic doctoral students as part of its PhD funding initiative. Students may also be eligible for additional scholarship and funding opportunities.
- Our alumni lead careers in research (industry, government and academia), health promotion, health planning, policy and health information analysis, research management, healthcare coordination, epidemiology, program evaluation, and other professions.
- Research-based, on campus
- 12 terms | 4 years (Full-time from Master's level)
- 24 terms | 8 years (Part-time from Master's level)
- Doctoral thesis
- Collaborative water specialization also available
Finding a supervisor
- Students are encouraged to review the profiles of faculty members in their areas of interest.
- Applicants do not need to secure a supervisor before applying to the program. However, a supervisor must be secured before an applicant is eligible to receive an offer of admission.
- When approaching a potential supervisor to express interest, inquire about whether they are accepting new students to supervise. Review other key topics for discussion with potential supervisors.
Faculty research expertise
Faculty in the School of Public Health and Health Systems are experts in a broad range of research areas, including:
Health and aging - Integrative approach to the biological, psychological, social, and environmental determinants of health and wellness focused on the life-course trajectory of aging in individuals.
Food and water safety, security, and governance - Examining the global health impact of food and water safety and security through epidemiology of food and waterborne disease, nutrition management, and medical geography.
Health and environment - Investigating the impacts of the built environment, environmental degradation, urbanization, globalisation on population health.
Chronic disease prevention and management - Interdisciplinary research to analyse and improve national and international health policies and regulations of chronic disease through understanding and altering social, economic, political, and cultural determinants.
Health policy and health systems - Investigating and evaluating health care systems and improving their integration and efficiency through the design of diagnostics, treatment, and analytic and assessment tools.
Health informatics - Health sciences and information technology converge to support and improve the status of individual and community health.
Healthy workplaces - Examining occupational health and safety risks and designing interventions to improve health and wellness in the workplace and develop more effective safety management systems.
Global health - Examining how globalizing processes impact economic development, health, healthcare, and education.
Health neuroscience and cognitive epidemiology - Examining reciprocal relationships between lifestyle, lifespan development, and sociodemographic factors and brain health on the level of whole populations.
Full- or part-time | On campus | Thesis based
Global water issues are becoming increasingly complex and often require a collaborative approach across the breadth of disciplines. The PhD Public Health and Health Systems offers a water specialization.
Facilitated by the University of Waterloo's Water Institute, this collaborative approach provides access to more than 140 faculty members involved in water research across Waterloo's campus. The program allows you to develop specialist expertise in public health and health systems, while matching the knowledge and skills required to communicate across disciplines and within interdisciplinary teams in the water sector.
Graduate student resources
As part of her doctoral research, Lesley Johnston is investigating ways in which community well-being in Mongolia and Zambia are affected by Canadian-sponsored mining operations.
Learn more about Lesley and other students in the School of Public Health and Health Systems on our graduate student profile page.