The Master of Science Program

The FHS MSc program is a research degree that is designed to incorporate a focus on one or more of the thematic areas of research expertise within FHS and to introduce students to interdisciplinary concepts in health sciences research.

The program prepares graduates for research careers in one of the signature areas that either have been developed or are currently under development within the faculty including: global health; environmental and occupational health; toxicology; maternal and child health; epidemiology and biostatistics; health promotion and disease prevention; infectious diseases; chronic diseases and aging; mental health and substance use; social inequities and health; adolescent and child development; reproductive health; and health policy.

The available courses and directed research experiences available will cover health issues from the level of cells, organisms, systems, communities and populations, encompassing and transcending strictly individual or clinical perspectives.


All MSc students complete a minimum of 12 units of graduate coursework, complete a thesis proposal, and write and defend their MSc thesis.

We offer a range of electives to our students, which you will need to select in consultation with your senior supervisor. Additional courses may be taken at SFU or, in select cases, at other universities that participate in the Western Dean’s Agreement

You can view the six term plan for upcoming elective options.  

The thesis proposal

All FHS MSc students must develop and present a research proposal that integrates theory, current research, and methods in fields related to the selected research problem to their supervisory committee before the end of the first year.  Normally the proposal reviews the relevant research literature, reflects original work and describes methodology appropriate to the principal research question(s). 

The thesis

A written thesis is based on the candidate's original contribution to research in the field of his/her expertise, and is the final requirement for completion of the MSc program. The thesis will typically include a background/introduction section, research materials and/or methods, results and analyses, and discussion. Students must note in the thesis that the appropriate ethics, bio-safety, and animal care and use approvals were obtained prior to conducting their research work.

All MSc candidates must pass the formal thesis defence which is conducted in accordance with SFU's Graduate General Regulations 1.9.2 and 1.10.1. The candidate will be recommended for the award of an MSc degree in Health Sciences upon successful defence of the thesis.

Transferring to a PhD program

If you demonstrate your ability to carry out innovative, independent and original PhD level research in your field and have your senior supervisor’s support, you might be eligible to transfer directly into a PhD program in FHS.  All MSc to PhD transfers need to meet SFU graduate regulation 1.3.4.

Some of our students and their work

Martha's MSc research focused on the improving prenatal care for historically marginalized women through collaborative strategies.

You can view a poster she created about differing experiences of pre-natal care here.

Brendan's MSc research focused on the relation between in utero exposure to environmental chemicals and elevated autistic behaviours in children.

You can view his thesis defense information here (thesis coming soon).

Natalie is a current MSc student, who is conducting research into how the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) adapts in order to evade the immune system.

You can read about some of her research here & view the related article here.

Tuition, fees and funding

Tuition and fees are subject to change, provincial legislation, and Board of Governor's approval.  Normally, tuition rates will increase by 2% each academic year and are assessed on the same basis for graduate domestic and international students.  The rates provided above are based on the 2018-2019 academic year. 

All graduate students are required to maintain basic medical insurance coverage, and are automatically enrolled in graduate extended health and dental benefits plan.  Learn more about the medical insurance requirement.

Funding and costs

All new MSc admissions in FHS are covered by the funding policy, with a minimum stipend of $18,500 for the first two years of the program to help support your tuition, research and/or living expenses. See this breakdown of the typical costs per term for graduate domestic and international students, and try the cost of living calculator. You can see what funding and scholarships are available for incoming students on the funding your graduate experience page.

Sound like you?

If our MSc program sounds like a good fit for you, and you would like to apply you can find more information about our admission requirements, and our application procedure, and then apply to become a member of our next MSc cohort.

Admission for the Fall 2019 cohort will be open from October 1, 2018 and will close on January 15, 2019.