Transfer to Public Health or Health Sciences

Applications for a Fall 2024 qualifying term will open February 1, 2024.

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 Sciences (SPHS), you will be applying for an internal transfer.

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

Programs offered

The School of Public Health Sciences offers Honours undergraduate programs in Health Sciences (BSc) and Public Health (BPH).

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 Sciences 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 Sciences where those same subjects are required?

Part of your decision-making will require a target program. Please review the Health Sciences (Bachelor of Science - Honours) and Public Health (Bachelor of Public Health - Honours) plans in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Co-op is not guaranteed with a transfer to SPHS. Students registered in a co-op program (Satisfactory standing or higher) in the term immediately before transferring may be able to maintain their co-op status. This should be discussed with an advisor during a qualifying term.

Transferring to School of Public Health Sciences (SPHS)

Why do you want to transfer to SPHS?

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 Sciences."

Determine admissibility to SPHS

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:

The UWaterloo student record is assigned a greater weight than any previous academic records. A reasonable background in Health is required.

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

Transfer process

  1. Submit internal transfer application between February 1 and May 31 noon (12:00 p.m. EDT).
    1. Assessment and approval of student's request for a Fall qualifying term will be based on the student's current transcript which includes relevant courses and academic standing.
    2. Submission of an online application does not mean immediate approval for a Fall qualifying term
  2. SPHS Advising reviews applications early June
  3. SPHS Advising provides qualifying term offer decisions mid-June via email
  4. Approved students pursue Fall qualifying term
  5. Qualifying term students submit Plan Modification Form (current SPHS students) or Faculty Transfer Form (non-SPHS students) to complete transfer request
  6. SPHS Advising provides admission decisions in January
    1. 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

What is a Qualifying Term?

A qualifying term is like a try-out where students pursue courses required for their desired SPHS program. Students need to complete a qualifying term in the Fall term with courses required by the SPHS advisor. Courses will be determined based on the target program’s required courses and will be determined in your meeting with an SPHS advisor.

  • Note: Qualifying terms are only offered in Fall. 

Qualifying Term minimum grade transfer requirements

Program Average on at least five courses required for target program (incl HLTH) Average HLTH courses Average non-HLTH required courses
BSc Health Sciences




BPH Public Health




Submit SPHS Internal Transfer Application

IMPORTANT: Deadline for Internal Transfer Application submission is May 31 at noon (12 p.m.) ETD for Fall 2024 Qualifying Term

We are unable to know in advance how many Qualifying Term spaces will be available to internal transfer candidates. Please complete the Internal Transfer Application, and we will contact you after the deadline with more information.


Questions about degree programs in the School of Public Health Sciences? Wondering if this is the right degree for you? What courses would you be taking during the Qualifying Term? These conversations cannot be handled easily via email because there are normally many questions, requiring some discussion.

Schedule an appointment with Ms. Kolmel to discuss admissibility, the transfer process, and future course plans.