Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences overview

Learn about and apply diverse research traditions to identify and explain the social, behavioural, and biological determinants of health, wellness, and disease in communities and populations.

BA program: what you’ll learn

  • Multi-disciplinary approach to the social, behavioural and biological determinants of health and disease
  • Understanding of contributing factors to health, ranging from cultural context to cellular processes
  • Understanding of core principles of health promotion and disease prevention 
  • Ability to apply knowledge to address specific health problems in the community
  • Foundational understanding of health policy processes; understands major institutional players in health policy, both domestically and internationally
  • Understanding of the cross-cultural impacts on actual and perceived health needs
  • Understanding of the basic structure, organization and financing principles of contemporary health care systems 
  • Statistical, imaging, and qualitative research skills

BA core course areas

  • Social, environmental, behavioural, and biological determinants of health
  • Measurement of health, illness, and disease
  • Foundations of human biology
  • Statistics and research methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Health policy and health care systems
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Health technology
  • Bioethics

BA teaching methods

Courses use interactive lectures featuring group discussion, problem based learning, and developing research proposals.

Some core courses are team-taught by faculty from a range of disciplines. Students meet in small tutorial groups, facilitating contact with faculty experts in the area.

The BA program also offers courses with experiential education, where students apply health communication and promotion theories in coordination with local communities.

BA career path

The BA program is a solid foundation for a number of occupations, or continued studies in health and social sciences. Common career paths include:

  • Health & safety advisor
  • Healthcare quality assurance analyst
  • Health records professional
  • Bioethicist
  • Education

See more career paths >>

BA course requirements

Students must complete 120 units, including:

  • At least 45 upper division units

  • At least 60 units that must be completed at Simon Fraser University

  • Satisfaction of the writing (W), quantitative (Q) and breadth (B) requirements

  • An overall cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and upper division CGPA of 2.0 or higher