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Health Sciences | Faculty of Health Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2020

Health Sciences

Master of Public Health

The Masters of Public Health (MPH) program is a practice-based graduate degree that trains students in a breadth of research and practice intended to improve population health. This program is designed to meet core public health competencies - what the profession considers to be the essential knowledge and skills required for the successful application of public health.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 and the requirements on the Faculty of Health Sciences website.

See Graduate General Regulation 1.3.4 iii transfer from master's to PhD, which is possible for exceptional students in the first 6 semesters of their master's.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work, a practicum and a project, or a thesis with approval, for a minimum of 46 units.

Students must complete all of

HSCI 801 - Biostatistics for Population Health Practice I (4)

Basic statistical concepts as applied to diverse problems in epidemiologic and public health research. Emphasizes interpretation and concepts rather than calculations. Basic study designs' statistics. Descriptive and graphical methods, fundamentals of probability distribution, rates and standardization, contingency tables, odds ratios, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, life tables, Linear regression.

HSCI 802 - Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (4)

The underlying concepts and methods of epidemiology in the context of population and public health. Students will acquire skills in the critical interpretation of the epidemiologic literature, methods for measuring disease frequency and effect, evaluation of study design, and assessment of bias and confounding.

HSCI 803 - Qualitative and Survey Research Methods (4)

Methodologies and strategic research design for advances in knowledge and understanding in the health sciences. Problem definition, sampling, data collection, analysis, proposal writing, and ethical issues are addressed. Provides experiential and intellectual grounding in surveys, interviews, focus groups, and ethnography.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 William Small
Mo 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
BLU 9011, Burnaby
G101 Mo 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
BLU 9011, Burnaby
G102 Mo 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
BLU 10401, Burnaby
HSCI 821 - Introduction to Global Health (3)

This is a survey course in global health. The course introduces students to fundamental concepts, frameworks and vocabulary that underwrite the logics of global health, as well as important histories and milestones in the field. A survey will be conducted of the most significant topic areas in the field, considering epidemiological patterns, etiology, approaches to improving health outcomes and the policy ramifications of our knowledge.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 John Calvert
Tu 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
BLU 9021, Burnaby
HSCI 827 - Analysis of Health Care Systems (3)

Analyze factors that determine the organization and performance of health services for individuals and populations.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Miriam Lavergne
We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
BLU 9011, Burnaby
HSCI 835 - Social Determinants of Health (3)

Examination of the major social determinants of health: income and social status, social support networks, education, employment/working conditions, social environments, physical environments, healthy child development, disabilities, gender, racialization, colonization, and culture. Evaluation of empirical research linking social determinants of health to health outcomes. Theoretical frameworks are introduced to operationalize social factors and their intersections for the purposes of application in public health research.

HSCI 842 - Indigenous Health in Canada (3)

The Indigenous peoples of Canada – the First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples – have rich and diverse histories. However, common to most is that health and wellness are understood differently through an Indigenous worldview, with a more wholistic understanding which includes the inter-generational effects of colonization. This course will first consider different definitions of health and illness. It will then explore the health conditions of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including a comparative examination of social and historical factors that contribute to poor health conditions, as well as Indigenous initiatives to restore wellness to their Nations.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
BLU 9021, Burnaby
HSCI 845 - Environmental and Occupational Health (3)

Globalization and industrialization impacts on the health of the environment, populations, and workers. Environmental hazards in consumables (food, air, and water) and waste (liquid, solid, and gaseous) with special reference to hazardous waste. Risk assessment in community, workplace, and residential settings. A case studies approach.

HSCI 855 - Health Promotion in Practice (3)

The values and principles that guide health promotion practice in Canada and in other contexts. The evolution of health promotion core strategies and concepts. Participatory and system approaches to advocacy, inter-sectoral and community action. Innovation and leadership to influence health promotion interventions and policies. Prerequisite: HSCI 901.

HSCI 900 - Core Concepts and Practice for Public Health I (2)

Core concepts in population and public health. Population health paradigms and the history of public health. Public health strategies and domains of practice. Reflective public health practice and cultural sensitivity and empathy. Practicum preparation, planning and location of practicum sites. Seminars, workshops and lectures. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

HSCI 901 - Core Concepts and Practice for Public Health II (2)

Core concepts in population and public health. Population health paradigms and the history of public health. Public health strategies and domains of practice. Reflective public health practice and cultural sensitivity and empathy. Practicum preparation, planning and location o f practicum sites. Seminars, workshops and lectures. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: HSCI 900.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 We 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
BLU 9920, Burnaby

and two graduate HSCI elective courses

and a practicum

HSCI 880 - Practicum (3)

Students participate in a workplace practicum to obtain experience in community public health practices. Practica are the equivalent of full-time course work, and may focus on local, regional, national or international health practices. Following completion of the practicum, students are expected to be on campus to prepare a poster presentation summarizing their practicum experience. Graded complete or incomplete. Prerequisite: Students will consult with their senior supervisor on all courses that must be taken before going on practicum. All students are expected to complete at minimum the following courses: HSCI 801, 802, 803, 901. Under special circumstances students may request written permission from the director, public health practice, and the senior supervisor to substitute one of the prerequisite courses, or to carry out the practicum prior to completion of the required courses.

and a project or a thesis

HSCI 897 - MPH Project (3)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: HSCI 880.

HSCI 898 - MPH Thesis (6)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Note: SFU students enrolled in the Accelerated Master's within Health Sciences may apply a maximum of 10 graduate course units, taken while completing the bachelor's degree, towards the upper division undergraduate electives of the bachelor's program and the requirements of the master's degree. For more information go to:

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in five terms.

Other Information


Students interested in the thesis option, in place of the project, are required to secure a supervisor from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Availability of the thesis option will depend on a faculty member’s interests and schedule. Students taking the thesis option will spend a minimum of two additional terms in the program in order to meet the full requirements of the thesis. Students considering the thesis option are encouraged to review faculty research interests by consulting the Faculty profiles on the FHS Peoples Directory page.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.