Canada is one of the world’s strongest economies, investing significant funds into research and health development and health studies. This makes it a great destination for studying for a Master’s in Public Health.
Although the cost of studying in Canada is much higher than in European or Asian countries, this can be offset by generous scholarships and fellowships available to the best students in the field, as well as need-based financial aid offers.
Finally, studying in Canada gives you a great multicultural environment, a high standard of living, and the opportunity to attend some top-rated universities at a global level.
The best universities offering a Master’s in Public Health in Canada are below.
Cost of Studying MPH in Canada
Canadian universities’ tuition fees for a Master’s in Public Health range from just over $5,000 per year (e.g. University of Victoria), to as much as $50,000 per year (e.g. Western University Ontario). This is why it’s worth understanding the facilities and specializations offered by each university, as the costs can be quite different.
You will also need to consider the cost of living – including health insurance, bills etc. The average monthly accommodation costs can be just under $1,000 for rent only, for example.
Finally, note that some universities (such as McMaster University) differentiate between Canadian citizens and residents, and international students, in terms of tuition fees. The fees for domestic students can be as low as 10% of the ones for international students by comparison. However, there are many scholarships available.
Requirements to Study Master’s in Public Health in Canada
In order to apply for a Master’s in Public Health in Canada, you need to take the GRE test and have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in a science topic (Mathematics, Sciences, Statistics, Computer Science etc.). Usually, you’ll need to ensure you have a minimum GPA (varies by university).
If your first language is not English, you will also need to be able to prove fluency in English as part of the admissions process.
In What Languages Do You Study MPH Courses in Canada?
Canadian universities teach in English so you’ll need to be proficient and prove this with test scores.
Universities in Canada with Master’s in Public Health
1. University of Toronto – Dalla Lana School of Public Health
The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s best higher education institutions. It was founded as far back as 1827 and was the first institution of higher learning in the British colony of Upper Canada at the time. It is regarded as the best university in Canada with Master’s in Health Program.
The Dalla Lana School of Public Affairs began as one of the Schools of Hygiene started by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1927. It has been instrumental in the development of vaccines, insulin, and other pharmaceutical products, while it was home to Connaught Laboratories.
As of 2014, the School absorbed the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. As a result, it now offers different options for Master of Public Health: Epidemiology, Family and Community Medicine, Indigenous Health, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational and Environmental Health, and Social and Behavioral Health Sciences (Health Promotion).
2. University of British Columbia – School of Population and Public Health
The second-best university in Canada for studying Master’s in public health, the University of British Columbia dates its history back to 1908 and has consistently ranked among the top three in the country overall. Its Faculty of Medicine houses the School of Population and Public Health, offering a Master of Public Health program.
This program focuses on the way that health promotion is done in ministries of social, economic, and environmental work. The ultimate goal is to look at illness prevention and health promotion, in complement to health studies undertaken in medicine. The program runs over two years and doesn’t require a thesis. Three semesters are dedicated to taught courses and one to practical experience called “practicum” – a 12-week supervised experience in health agencies within Canada or internationally.
3. McGill University
McGill University is based in Montreal and has been teaching students since 1821. It is known as a research university and its MSc in Public Health aims to “put the science into public health.” They focus on training those who will ultimately become public health professionals, whether in the public sphere or as educators and researchers.
McGill has a great international reputation and therefore attracts a large number of international students. The Master’s program here is two years long and has a strong focus on research. There are also 9 additional streams of specialization available: Epidemiology, Global Health, Population Dynamics, Health Policy and Ethics, Infectious Disease, and Environmental Health.
4. University of Ottawa – School of Epidemiology and Public Health
This bilingual public research university is located in Ottawa, Ontario. The School of Epidemiology and Public Health is part of the Faculty of Medicine and teaches a Master of Public Health degree in English, either over 4 terms, or for 5 terms with language training added.
Within the program, there is also an experiential training component, i.e. practicum. Students finish with a “culminating experience” – Applied Public Health Capstone Project. In order to focus your learning, you may select one specialization area from: Public Health Practice, Public Health Policy, Global Health, and Population Health Risk Assessment.
Finally, the School has partnered with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs to offer enhanced policy training and a policy stream unique to Ontario.
If you choose to enroll in this Master’s in Public Health program in Canada with language training, you can also choose to take language courses in French, English, Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.
5. McMaster University – Faculty of Health Sciences
The Master of Public Health at McMaster University is offered by the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) within the Faculty of Health Sciences. This is a research-heavy program building on the HEI’s expertise in health policy analysis and research.
You can choose to have a Thesis pathway where you can finish the program in 20-24 months, or a Practicum pathway where you will be enrolled for 16 months only, but you’ll be completing a 4-month full-time practical placement.
6. Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University offers a highly interdisciplinary program in Public Health where you have the flexibility to focus the curriculum around your personal interests. It is a full-time program taught over 5 terms, including a 13-week practicum experience and a master’s project. Alternatively, a thesis can be researched for and submitted instead of a master’s project. If you choose the thesis path, you’ll be expected to complete six or more terms, having to defend your research proposal and then your thesis too.
7. University of Alberta
The last university in Canada with MPH program is the University of Alberta. Located in Edmonton, Alberta, the School of Public Health within the University of Alberta focuses on combining theoretical and hands-on learning and prepares practitioners for key public health functions. They boast a 94% employability rate of past graduates, in positions from policymaking to research and education, as well as local and regional governments, within Canada and abroad.
The MPH program at Alberta can be focused on different specializations: Applied Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Global Health, Food Safety, Health Policy and Management, and Health Promotion. All students must complete a practicum field placement over a minimum of 11 weeks, with a relevant organization working on public health issues.
I hope that this article on Master’s in Public Health universities in Canada was helpful. If you are interested, visit the MPH Category!
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé