For a while now, the demand has been on the rise for skilled professionals in the field of Public Health. Like any other field, Public Health provides its Master’s degree holders with the most senior and high-paying job positions. A Master’s degree in the field is offered at most universities in Canada, which claims the fifth spot among all countries in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. Below you’ll find a list of the seven best universities offering a Master’s degree in Public Health in Canada.

Universities in Canada with a Master’s Degree in Public Health

1. University of Toronto

With a student population north of 90,000, the University of Toronto is the most populous university in the Great White North. It is one of the world’s top 30 universities and the best one in the country, according to multiple major international university rankings. The university has three campuses, with its main campus – known as the St. George Campus – located in the heart of Toronto and two satellite campuses sited in Mississauga and Scarborough of the state of Ontario. It is the alma mater of six Nobel laureates and four Canadian prime ministers.

Toronto, through its Dalla Lana School of Public Health, offers Master of Public Health degree in Canada in six specialized areas. These areas are Epidemiology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational and Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Health Sciences (Health Promotion), Family and Community Medicine, and Indigenous Health. The MPH program can be completed in 16 to 24 months by a full-time student and within six years by a part-time student.

2. McGill University

Founded nearly 200 years ago, McGill University ranks 35th globally and 2nd nationally in the QS World University Rankings 2020. It also is one of the Canadian universities offering Master’s in Public Health. The Montreal-based university currently offers higher education to over 40,000 students. So far, it has produced eight Nobel laureates, three Canadian PMs, six Academy Award winners, and four Pulitzer winners.

At McGill, the Master’s degree in Public Health is known as Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH). It is a full-time, two-year program offered by the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health. The program has three components: Core Courses, Complementary Courses, and Practicum. After completing the core courses, students are allowed to specialize by picking complementary courses or by registering in either the Population Dynamics Option or the Global Health option.

3. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a 111-year-old university that has its two main campuses positioned in Vancouver and Kelowna. The total enrolment stands at around 65,000, out of which over 17,000 are international students representing more than 160 nationalities. Current Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, two of his forerunners, and eight Nobel laureates have graduated from this university.

UBC’s Master of Public Health is a practicum-based, non-thesis program administered by the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the Vancouver campus. It integrates areas like Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Disease Prevention and Health Systems Management, Population Health, and Global Health. Three academic terms of the two-year MPH program consist of coursework, while one term is devoted to a practicum, which is a 12-week supervised experience carried out in Canadian or international health agencies.

4. McMaster University

The next university in Canada with a Master’s in Public Health is McMaster University. Established in 1887, McMaster University is a research-intensive university with over 31,000 students. Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 has recognized it as one of the world’s top 75 universities. Its main campus encompasses 300 acres of land in Hamilton, Ontario. It is the alma mater of multiple Nobel laureates, including physicist Donna Strickland and economist Myron Scholes.

McMaster offers its Master of Public Health program through the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI). The program equips students with the knowledge, research skills, and practical experience in areas like Epidemiology, Health Policy Analysis, Population Health, and Health Service Management. Its nominal duration is two years in full-time format and four years in a part-time format. It is currently available in on-campus delivery mode only.

5. University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is an Edmonton-based university that came into being in 1908. According to multiple international university rankings, it is one of Canada’s top five universities. The university has a student population north of 40,000. It is the alma mater of Nobel laureate Richard E. Taylor and former Canadian PM Joe Clark.

Alberta’s School of Public Health offers its Master of Public Health program that is available in both full-time and part-time formats. Students get to pick any of the seven areas of specialization to earn the degree. These areas are Epidemiology, Health Promotion, Environmental and Occupational Health, Applied Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Global Health, and Food Safety. While the MPH program is primarily coursework-based, it also includes an 11-week practicum. The minimum duration of the program is 20 months. The School of Public Health also offers a research-intensive, thesis-based Master of Science degree in the field. It is a better option for students hoping to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the future.

6. University of Waterloo

Beginning its journey in 1957 with only 74 students, the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) has grown into a university with over 40,000 students. Its main campus occupies 1000 acres of land in Waterloo, Ontario. Maclean’s, an annual ranking of Canadian universities, has recognized it as the country’s most innovative university for 27 years in a row.

At UWaterloo, the School of Public Health and Health Systems offers a Master of Public Health program whose curriculum is primarily coursework-based with no research or thesis option. But it includes a community-based applied practicum running for 12 to 16 weeks. Students may pick Environmental Health Sciences stream as the area of concentration or go for the general program which offers a broad understanding of Public Health and increases specialized knowledge and skills in areas like Heart Health, Smoking Prevention, Cancer Prevention, and Nutrition. The MPH degree can be earned in two years in full-time study mode and in four years in part-time study mode. Additionally, the same school also offers a Master of Science in Public Health and Health Systems degree which can be earned through a research-based program.

7. Queen’s University

Finally, Queens University is the last university in our list of universities in Canada with Master’s in Public Health Degrees. Queen’s University is a 177-year-old higher education institution located in Kingston, the original capital of Canada. It has a student population north of 29,000, including over 2,000 international students hailing from more than 100 countries. It ranks sixth in the country for graduate employability, according to the QS World University Rankings 2019.

At Queen’s, students can earn the Master of Public Health degree in 16 months in a full-time format. It is also possible to take it on in part-time format. The coursework-based program consists of nine courses (six core and three elective), a 400-hour practicum, and the Public Health Professional Development Course. A 12-month Accelerated Master of Public Health degree is also available for the students who already have a minimum of two years cumulative paid work experience in Public Health or a relevant field.


I hope that this article on Canadian universities offering a Master’s in Public Health was helpful.  Make sure to check out the Available Master’s Programs for International Students!