Why study in the Faculty of Health Sciences?

Learn in a progressive, interdisciplinary setting that's changing the face of health research.

The Faculty of Health Sciences strives for excellence through the inclusion of interdisciplinary perspectives, progressive scholarship and active community engagement and partnership. We are committed to social justice, and addressing social and health inequities. Our graduate programs give you the skills to make a difference in the health and well-being of individuals and populations nationally and globally. This includes addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council.

FHS offers three graduate programs, allowing a diverse approach to an advanced education in health sciences.

A dynamic education in a unique, non-departmentalized setting

As a leader in integrated research, we offer some of the most comprehensive health sciences graduate programs in Canada. We take a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, and our faculty has a strong reputation for producing world-class, innovative research.

Our Master of Public Health offers students a professional degree that prepares them to enter the workforce, while our research-intensive MSc and PhD programs prepares students for success in academia and beyond.


Experiential learning

Students are given experiential, hands-on learning in our classrooms and around the world. We encourage learning opportunities beyond the university, including our international experiential learning course, available in South Africa and the Mexico/US border.


Master of Public Health

Our MPH program is a practice-based graduate degree that equips students with practical skills to help improve population health and respond to ongoing and emerging public health challenges. The program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and is run by faculty with extensive experience in population and public health.

Our driving goal is to improve health, and reduce health inequities locally, nationally and globally. Graduates of the MPH program carry this forward in their work.

Learning about so many different topics in health and looking at disparities and inequities within countries sparked an interest for me to examine how health systems are different across the world. The curriculum at SFU supported me and nurtured me into realizing what my passion is—strengthening health systems across the globe.

Nicola Toffelmire, MPH ’17, Consultant at World Health Organization

MSc in Health Sciences

Our MSc program takes a scientific, research-based approach to improving global human health. It prepares students for further research in health sciences, with the aim of reducing health inequity. Our faculty and staff are experts in their fields, and work collaboratively to form a network of professionals who will be on hand to lead you through your MSc program.

Through our interdisciplinary approach, MSc students gain exposure to a wide variety of disciplines, leading to a robust understanding of public health.

Combining the lab science and social science gives you more perspective on sciences in general. It helps you see how what you’re working can be applicable to other areas of research as well.

Robert Payer, MSc student

PhD in Health Sciences

Our PhD program connects students to our world-class research team. PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers at SFU combat some of the most challenging problems and questions in contemporary health sciences, in a wide variety of specialist fields.

Graduates from our program benefit from cross-disciplinary research, analytical and critical thinking skills to excel in academic and professional careers in health sciences.

Program comparison at a glance


A professional, practice-based degree for those interested in entering or advancing careers in public health.

  • Full-time program, completed in 5 terms

  • Learning primarily through coursework, completing 46 credits

  • Gain experience through a practicum and capstone

  • Learn with a cohort of 40 students

  • Self-funded


An academic, research-based degree for those interested in research careers in academia or industry.

  • Full-time program, usually completed in 6 terms

  • Engaged in research with a faculty supervisor, while completing 12 credits of coursework

  • Complete a research proposal and master’s thesis and oral defence

  • Work independently or on research teams

  • Receive funding in accordance with our funding policy


An advanced research-based program equipping graduates to pursue original research in health sciences.

  • Full-time program, usually completed in 12–15 terms

  • Engaged in research with a faculty supervisor, while completing 6 credits of coursework

  • Complete a comprehensive exam, thesis proposal, thesis research and oral defence

  • Work independently or on research teams

  • Receive funding in accordance with our funding policy

Innovative research

Work side-by-side with leading experts in health sciences and conduct innovative research that affects public health and policy in real-time. Our core strengths include social justice, Indigenous health, HIV research, mental health and addiction, policy research, and harm reduction. All graduate students are also invited to attend bi-monthly research seminars to interact and learn about other research.

Learn about our research >>


Funding and costs

SFU and the Faculty of Health Sciences offer a range of awards and funding opportunities to all our graduate students, and we guarantee minimum funding to our MSc and PhD students.

For more information on the cost of the MPH, MSc, and PhD programs, please visit their program pages.

Learn about financial support >>

Alumni success

Emerge from your degree with valuable critical thinking skills, applied problem-solving abilities and quantitative and qualitative methods competencies. Graduates from the Faculty of Health Sciences also hone their communication, organizational and leadership skills that are essential for a wide range of employment and career opportunities in industry or academia—both locally and globally.

Brenda Badgero, Career Education Manager