Transfer to Public Health Sciences

Applications for Fall 2023 Qualifying Term are CLOSED. Applications for Fall 2024 will open Winter 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 offer 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 program options, listed on the Undergraduate Calendar - Faculty of Health Majors page.

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

Step 1: 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."

Step 2: 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:

  • Independent Learning Centre
  • Adult Learning Centre
  • UWaterloo courses, with minimum grade of 60, where appropriate (e.g. CHEM 120 in place of Ontario grade 12U Chemistry; BIOL 130 in place of Ontario grade 12U Biology; Any 100-level MATH in place of Ontario grade 12U Mathematics; ENGL 109 in place of Ontario grade 12U English).

Step 3: Review UWaterloo academic record

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 requirements


Average on at least five courses required for target program (incl HLTH)

Average HLTH courses (min two)

Required courses (min 60%)

BSc Health Sciences



CHEM 120

BPH Public Health




  1. Students need to complete a Qualifying Term in the Fall term with courses required by the SPHS advisor. Course selection is determined by the target program’s required courses and will be determined in your meeting with a SPHS advisor.
  2. 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.

Step 4: Submit SPHS Internal Transfer Application

IMPORTANT: Deadline for Internal Transfer Application submission is May 31 at noon (12 p.m.) ETD for Fall 2023 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.