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Health Studies

Health Studies student with Professor Mielke

As a Waterloo Health Studies student you'll be working with world-class professors that are making a difference in health in Canada and worldwide.

Health Studies is shifting the focus of traditional health

At the University of Waterloo, you'll study human health in a non-traditional way. Rather than a focus on treatments after diagnosis, we have a larger vision: to find strategies for preventing disease, promoting health, and improving health care services to make them more integrated and responsive.

Be prepared to tackle health challenges and look for the keys to transforming the health of individuals, communities, and health care systems in Canada and around the world.

Health Studies is a direct entry Bachelor of Science (BSc) program available via the Co-op or Regular System of Study. You must choose Regular or Co-op when you apply.

Graduate success

With your Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Studies, you'll be well prepared for careers in public health, research, and health policy, as well as in health professions such as medicine, physiotherapy, dentistry, and pharmacy.

Over the past few years, here’s what our Health Studies grads have been up to one year after their graduation:

60% » Professional or graduate programs

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Master's Programs: Epidemiology, Public Health, Health Informatic​s

34% » Starting a career

  • Scientific Evaluator, Health Canada
  • Research Clerk, Cancer Care Ontario
  • Registered Nurse, University Health Network
  • Clinical Research Project Assistant, The Hosptial for Sick Children
  • Research Assistant, Canadian Red Cross

4% » Travel and other pursuits

2% » Job searching

Meet Health Studies graduates

Check out profiles of Health Studies grads to see what they did with their Health Studies degrees and how they're making a difference today! 

What will I get out of the Health Studies program?

  • A focus on human health that combines a strong science foundation with an in-depth look at multiple factors influencing human health
  • Skills to investigate real-world health challenges, and strategies to solve or prevent them - starting in your first-year with small tutorials
  • Access to optional specializations in Pre-Health Professions, Gerontology, Aging StudiesHealth Informatics, or Health Research, and more than 30 Health electives, allowing you to tailor a program that’s right for you
  • A well-rounded education that will prepare you for a variety of pursuits when you graduate. Some students go on to graduate and professional programs (e.g., medicine) while others go straight into the workforce

Your first year

The courses listed below will give you an idea of what you first year in Health Studies at Waterloo is going to look like. First-year Health Studies students can expect between 16 and 19 hours of class per week.


HLTH 101 » Introduction to Health 1

BIOL 130 » Introductory Cell Biology

BIOL 130L » Cell Biology Lab

​CHEM 120 » Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter

CHEM 120L » Chemical Reaction Lab 

AHS 107 » Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being


HLTH 102 » Introduction to Health 2

HLTH 245 » Canadian Health Systems

PSYCH 101 » Introductory Psychology

2 Winter term electives of your choice.

Note: Labs (e.g., BIOL 130L, CHEM 120L) are normally worth 1/2 the academic weight of a lecture course.

Health Studies is a very flexible program. Beginning in second year, you can focus your courses in an area of specialization or examine different areas of the field. You can also use your electives to complement your program with courses from other disciplines. For a list of the courses you'll take throughout your degree, refer to the Undergraduate Calendar.

Questions? Ask our AHS student ambassadors!