University of Waterloo Public Health students studying in a small class setting

Public Health has some of the smallest class sizes in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Waterloo. This means that you will get to know your professors really well—and they'll get to know you too—which will position you for success in your studies.

Gain a new perspective on illness and health

Biology isn't the only thing that determines health... social, cultural, political, and geographical conditions play a pivotal role in individual and population health. In the Public Health program at the University of Waterloo you'll learn how to improve human health by understanding these determinants and seek innovative ways to prevent diseases from occurring in the first place.

We recognize that the world is constantly changing, and so too should the policies, practices, structures, processes, and tools we use to improve health and health care. With this systems-thinking approach, you'll be able to tackle some of the world's toughest health challenges.


Public Health is a direct entry Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) program available through our co-op or regular system of study. You must choose regular or co-op when you apply.

Opportunities for you to focus your studies:

You also have the option to pursue an accelerated master’s degree within the School: Master of ScienceMaster of Public HealthMaster of Health Informatics, or Master of Health Evaluation.

Learn more about

What will I get out of the Public Health program?

  • Understanding of how and why social, political, economic, geographic, and biological factors interact to determine health
  • Skills in using policy, advocacy, human engagement, mediation, communication, and community development and mobilization to implement change
  • Ability to fully participate in the process of knowledge exchange, and to retrieve, interpret, and use research as the foundation for action
  • A well-rounded education that will prepare you for a variety of pursuits when you graduate. Some students may go on to graduate and professional programs (e.g., Master of Public Health) while others will go straight into the workforce

Your first year

The courses listed below will give you an idea of what your first year in Public Health at Waterloo is going to look like. First-year Public Health students can expect between 15 and 20 hours of class per week.


  • HLTH 101: Introduction to Health 1
  • HLTH 103: Biological Determinants of Health
  • AHS 107: Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being
  • Two electives of your choice


  • HLTH 102: Introduction to Health 2
  • HLTH 245: Canadian Health Systems
  • AHS 150: Foundations of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • PSYCH 101: Introductory Psychology
  • One elective of your choice
Public Health is a very flexible program. You can use your electives to specialize within the the School of Public Health and Health Systems, or explore other disciplines at Waterloo. For a list of the courses you'll take throughout your degree, refer to the Undergraduate Calendar.