Health Sciences - Public Health specialization (MSc)

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Length of program

Full-time: 24 months Part-time: 48 months

Mode of delivery


Program consists of:

  • Thesis
  • Coursework
  • Co-op (optional)




Fall and Spring

Program description

The MSc Health Sciences - Public Health Specialization program builds on the success of our undergraduate Public Health BHSc. The program has been designed to give students the advanced skills they need for competitive entry into the public health workforce as program managers, program evaluators, infectious disease control analysts, and policy analysts, among other positions, and also provides excellent preparation for a health-related Ph.D. 

Year One: Coursework 

These courses are delivered online through a real-time, synchronous program with the exception of HMGT 5430 & Writing 5850, which are in-person/blended learning. None of these courses will take place in person on campus.

Required Courses1

PUBH 5000 – Applied Public Health Research Methods
PUBH 5001 – Biostatistics I
PUBH 5002 – Advanced Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
PUBH 5003 – Advanced Epidemiology

Elective Courses

PUBH 5004 – Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research 
PUBH 5005 – Advanced Public Health Policy and Ethics
PUBH 5006 – Applied Infectious Diseases
PUBH 5500 – Biostatistics II
PUBH 5501 – Advanced Public Health Practicum
HMGT 5430 – Health Systems with a Global Perspective (blended course delivery at the Calgary Campus)
WRITING 5850 – Essentials for Scholarly Communication (This course is delivered in-person)

Graduate Practicum

You will also have the opportunity of integrating academic study at the Master’s level with a graduate public health practicum (1 course elective – PUBH 5501). This hands‐on experience will strengthen your competitiveness for advanced positions in the public health field. A graduate-level practicum placement will build your leadership skills in an area of public health you seek to have a career in – like epidemiology, biostatistics, infectious disease control, program evaluation, policy analysis, environmental health, or health promotion.

1 Some courses have prerequisites.

Please note public health students are eligible for paid or unpaid placements, this varies agency to agency.  It is a requirement of certain governmental agencies like Public Health Agency of Canada to offer paid placements for students.  These government agencies follow the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat ‘s Directive on Student Employment which provides the requirements for student employment within government agencies.  Please connect with the Internship Specialist for more information on applying for potential placement.

Year Two: Thesis Research 

In Year Two, students will complete an MSc thesis under the direction of a faculty member in Public Health.

Why a Thesis Matters

Employers are looking for professionals who have more than textbook learning. Research is a skill that requires advanced study and hands-on experience. A thesis gives you the research experience you need to compete for advanced positions in public health in government, not-for-profit, and industry. Our program takes you beyond the classroom, through direct experience conducting research for your MSc thesis. You will have the opportunity to work on active research studies in the faculty. You will gain hands-on experience designing, carrying out, and analyzing data for complex research studies with human populations. Scientific publishing dramatically increases your competitiveness in the workforce. We will teach you how to write concise, plain language thesis chapters for practical use through scientific publication and dissemination to the community. Check out some of the thesis chapters published by MSc students supervised by Public Health faculty:

In case of discrepancies between this page and the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue, the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue shall prevail.​

Finding a supervisor

​Students are required to secure a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application for this program.​ For further information please visit our Search Supervisors page.

"Unlike most other public health programs, this program offers a well-balanced course selection that prepares you for your future career, a practicum option to get hands-on experience at a local or an international workplace of your choice, and if you want to further your education and do a PhD, it prepares you for that with the master’s thesis you are doing. It is rare to find a graduate course that offers all these three options together.” ~ student Ransi Nayakarathna | Read more