Advance your career as a health professional
The Master of Public Health (MPH) program provides a broad understanding of public health and the knowledge, tools and skills for leadership roles in public health settings. The program highlights evidence-informed practice in public health, sociobehavioural health, environmental health and public health informatics.
Offered online, the MPH provides flexibility for the working professional and can be completed in two to four years. On-campus attendance is required for two 2-week block courses and students complete a 12-week professional practicum.
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 18 to allow adequate time to upload supporting documents and ensure that your referees are aware of this firm deadline.
NOTE: Due to the competitive nature of the professional programs at the University of Waterloo the ideal GPA for admission is based on the current pool of applicants and the previous years GPA cut-off. The minimum Graduate Studies application standard for admission is a CGPA of 3.0 or 75%. Successful applicants in the professional programs in 2020/2021 had an average GPA of 78%.
Gain the skills and knowledge necessary to take a leadership role in public health and tackle complex public health issues.
Learn to evaluate and assess the health status of communities, anticipate and act to prevent health problems, protect populations from health hazards and promote health and well-being.
- Engage with prominent faculty who share their real-world research, theory and practice experience in the classroom.
- Apply the knowledge, tools and skills you learn in a professional public health setting through the experiential practicum.
- Cater your degree to your needs. The MPH is flexible for the working professional and conducive to a full- or part-time workload.
The MPH program is mainly a course-based curriculum. In order to graduate, students are required to complete the following:
- Foundations course (on campus for two weeks at the beginning of the program)
- Nine core courses
- Two elective courses
- One 12-16 week practicum course (420 hours)
- Capstone course (on campus for two weeks at the end of the program)
There is no research/thesis option.
Course offerings and program sequence
Click on the links below to view the course offerings and program sequence for part- and full-time students. These sequences are subject to change but can be used as reference for planning your future terms.
Gain relevant experience by completing a 420-hour professional practicum at a public health unit, provincial or federal governmental agency or non-governmental organization. You will work closely with the Practicum Coordinator to find a meaningful practicum that will provide you with an opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in a professional setting and connect with future employers.
The practicum can be completed on a full-time basis over one term or part time over two terms.
Examples of previous practicum sites and projects:
|Southwestern Public Health||Coordinated approach to developing fulnerability assessment|
|Public Health Ontario||Creation of the Peel Public Health Strategic Plan|
|Region of Peel Public Health||A vaping environmental scan|
|Canadian Cancer Society||Climate change and cancer risk|
|Indigenous Services Canada||Reporting on performance indicators of First Nations community-based health programs and services|
Working at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for her practicum placement as part of her Master of Public Health program, Melissa Chao has had the opportunity to broaden her understanding of data collection and governance and its challenges in practice.
Funding and awards
A variety of scholarships, assistantships, and other forms of financial aid are available for graduate students in any professional graduate program. Most of these awards are for full-time graduate students only.
We've compiled the answers to the most common questions about the MPH program. Read through for helpful information about admissions, the practicum and more.
Can someone tell me if I am eligible for the MPH program before I submit my application?
What do you mean by public health experience?
How should I demonstrate my public health experience in my application?
Can I be accepted into the program with a 3-year general degree?
My overall average is below 75%, can I be accepted into the program?
Can the MPH program be completed entirely online?
I completed my post-secondary education many years ago; do I still need to provide an academic reference?
Do I need to submit GRE scores as part of the admission requirements?
How much is tuition?
May I complete an international practicum?
Is the practicum paid?
Do I need to find a supervisor before I apply to the program?
What kind of work do students find after they graduate the MPH program?
We do not read your application materials before you submit them, and cannot confirm if you will be eligible for acceptance. You need to apply online for your application to be formally assessed.
For purposes of the MPH admission requirements, we define public health experience as work with a whole community or population of people, and which is preventive in nature. Work within health care or research per se is generally not public health work. Public health research that impacts or has the potential to have an impact on communities or populations may be considered public health experience.
It will be your responsibility to argue how your work experiences are related to public health in your resume, 500-word application essay and the letters from your referees. You should also use the essay to demonstrate your understanding of public health concepts and to show your commitment and passion for working in this field.
The admission requirements for the program state that applicants must have a 4-year Honours degree, with a minimum average of 75% to apply. The 4-year requirement is set by the University of Waterloo for all graduate programs. If you have completed your undergraduate studies over 10 years ago, and have extensive public health experience, we might be able to petition to accept you on a probationary, non-standard admission. This is done on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee of acceptance. You will need to formally apply with a full application before we can decide your eligibility into the program.
When calculating GPAs, we first calculate the overall average. If the overall degree average does not meet the 75% requirement, then we will calculate the last two year average. If the last two years of study meet the 75% requirement, then this admission requirement is fulfilled. If your final two years do not meet the 75% requirement, but your final year of study is 78% or above and you have 3 years of public health work experience then we may be able to offer a probationary admission.
No. The Foundations and Capstone course each include 2 weeks of on-campus classes. The Foundations course is completed at the beginning of the program in the middle two weeks of August; the Capstone course is the final course of the program completed in the spring term (the on-campus portion of the capstone course is normally held the middle two weeks of June). The remaining required and elective courses are completed online.
Applicants who have completed their post-secondary education 5 or more years ago do not need to provide an academic reference; you may provide two professional references instead. You need to ensure that one of those referees is able to comment on your academic ability, readiness for graduate studies, and comment on any workshops/extra courses/training/etc. you have completed. It is your responsibility to ensure that they know this is required of them. Applicants who have completed their education less than 5 years ago should provide an academic reference.
We do not require GRE scores for admission into the MPH, MHE or MHI programs.
You can find tuition information and admission requirements on the Master of Public Health program page.
Yes. However, the same requirements must be met as for practicums completed in Canada.
The practicum details are negotiated between the student and their practicum host. Some practicum hosts pay the student a stipend.
You do not need to find a supervisor. The MPH, MHE and MHI programs do not have a thesis or research component, and students are not assigned supervisors. However, when students start the program they are assigned an academic advisor.
The field of public health is a very broad area and the employment opportunities for our graduates depend largely on their specific interests, their previous academic and public health experiences, and the courses they choose to focus on in our program. The Master of Public Health program will enhance your opportunities in finding relevant employment, by providing you with knowledge, competitive skills and experience.
Graduates of our Master of Public Health program find work in areas of public health both locally, nationally and internationally. This includes opportunities at the municipal, provincial or federal levels of the government, in non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and others. The Centre for Career Action at the University of Waterloo can provide workshops and individual appointments for career exploration and job searching. This service is free to all students enrolled at the University of Waterloo.