What are the core competencies of public health professionals in Canada?
The Public Health Agency of Canada "Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada, Release 1.0 informs on the required knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to practice public health in Canada. The 36 core competencies represent the foundation on which effective public health practice is built, and are organized into 7 categories: (1) Public Health Sciences; (2) Assessment and Analysis; (3) Policy and Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation; (4) Partnerships, Collaboration and Advocacy; (5) Diversity and Inclusiveness; (6) Communication; and (7) Leadership. Note that these core competencies form the basis of evaluation in our Master of Public Health programs (including programs with Thesis or specializations).
Please review the document carefully to learn about the core competencies for public health practice in Canada to understand what is expected of students and professionals in the field of public health: https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/php-psp/ccph-cesp/pdfs/cc-manual-eng090407.pdf
Master of Public Health programs, with the exception of specific course requirements for the Master of Public Health with Specialization in Nursing with Nurse Practitioner Electives, may be completed through Distance Education on a Flexible full-time basis; those wishing to complete the Master of Public Health program on a Full-time basis must apply to the on-campus program.
- For those studying at a distance (flexible full-time basis), the program is delivered using a combination of Zoom videoconferencing technology for real-time scheduled classes, and of Desire2Learn (D2L), a secure password-protected learning environment (e.g., for course resources, e-mail, and online discussions). The connectivity using Zoom allows students to have direct audio and visual contact with the course instructor and with other graduate students during class time and while working together on shared course assignments. In some classes, break-out sessions are structured into the course so that students have both large-and small-group learning experiences.
- While it is possible to complete in 3 years, we do not guarantee that students can finish in that time
Applicants must indicate their areas of interest for a thesis when applying to the program and are encouraged to seek out a potential supervisor prior to applying. Admittance to the Thesis option is dependent on faculty availability from among full-time faculty of the Department of Health Sciences; otherwise, students are admitted to the course-based option.
Students admitted to the course-based option may apply to the Admissions Committee to transfer to the Thesis option after their first term of study, and once final marks are available. Students must contact the Graduate Coordinator for additional details on the process and required forms.
All students in the Master of Public Health program must complete a total of 7 full course equivalents (FCEs), of which 3.5 FCEs are required courses, and 1.5 FCEs consist of a 400-hour Practicum.
Students registered in the course-based Master of Public Health program must also complete four (4) elective half-courses (2 FCEs) at the graduate level. Graduate level elective courses that are not Public Health courses must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.
Students registered in the thesis-based Master of Public Health program do not have any elective courses to complete as the thesis carries a weight of 2 FCEs.
The list of program requirements is provided below. Please cross-reference the courses listed on this page with the University Course Calendar for any course and program updates.
Master of Public Health Program Requirements
Note: Each course requires 15 to 20 hours per week
HESC 5010: Foundations of Public & Population Health
HESC 5013: Social and Ecological Determinants of Health
HESC 5030: Introduction to Biostatistics
HESC 5070: Epidemiology I
HESC 5210: Health Promotion and Illness Prevention
HESC 5213: Environmental and Occupational Public Health
HESC 5510: Program Planning and Evaluation
Required courses normally offered in the Fall term
- HESC 5010: Foundations of Public & Population Health
- HESC 5013: Social and Ecological Determinants of Health
- HESC 5070: Epidemiology I (Note: HESC 5030 is not a pre-req of HESC 5070)
- HESC 5510: Program Planning and Evaluation
Required courses normally offered in the Winter term
- HESC 5030: Introduction to Biostatistics (Note: HESC 5030 is not a pre-req of HESC 5070)
- HESC 5210: Health Promotion and Illness Prevention
- HESC 5213: Environmental and Occupational Public Health
Required courses normally offered in the Spring/Summer term - Electives
- Electives are offered throughout the academic year on a rotational basis
For more information, see the Program Plan (Course option). Note that students who elect to deviate from the Program Plan Layout are responsible for ensuring that they meet all program requirements in a timely fashion.
Note: Graduate level elective courses that are not HESC Public Health courses must have prior approval of the Graduate Coordinator.
About the Practicum & Report
HESC 5805: Practicum and Report is normally completed once all required and elective courses are complete. Thesis students must be appropriately advanced in their thesis to be considered for the placement; ie, the thesis proposal defense and submission to ethics must both be complete.
All students in the Master of Public Health program complete a 400-hour practicum and report, worth 1.5 FCEs. Students must complete both the 400-hour practicum placement and associated report in order to receive credit for this course. Students will register in a 'placeholder' course in each term that they are working on the practicum and report. Please refer to our Practicum Information page.