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The Undergraduate Calendar

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

School of Public Health and Health Systems

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The School of Public Health and Health Systems (SPHHS) offers two undergraduate degree programs, the Honours Bachelor of Science, Health Studies, and the Honours Bachelor of Public Health.

Honours Bachelor of Science, Health Studies

The Honours Bachelor of Science, Health Studies provides students with an integrated curriculum that combines the behavioral, biological, social and health sciences in the examination of contemporary problems in disease prevention and health care systems. The program explores the causation and prevention of diseases that contribute significantly to disability and premature death, increased medical and social costs, and reduced quality of life. Of primary interest is the role of personal risk factors and societal determinants of the health of individuals and populations throughout the life span. Special emphasis is placed on the prevention of major chronic conditions which have modifiable risk factors - these include coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, drug and alcohol dependency, sexually transmitted diseases, dementia, mental illness, and other disabling conditions. The inclusion of methodology courses in statistics, research design, program evaluation, and epidemiology allow students to acquire the analytical skills necessary to pursue challenging careers in the development, management, and evaluation of health services, or related careers.

Additional qualifications may be gained through the Pre-Clinical Specialization for those students intending to pursue advanced graduate training in biohealth, careers in medicine, or careers in other clinical health professions.

Honours Bachelor of Public Health

The Honours Bachelor of Public Health examines the determinants of health such as the social, cultural, political, economic and geographic conditions and how they play a pivotal role in individual and population health, and also provides an opportunity to integrate this knowledge outside the classroom through placements in the community. This degree provides the skills needed to address these determinants of health, and to take action to improve health and address health inequalities through policy, education, marketing, mediation, advocacy, and community development.

Option, Specialization, and Minors

A Health Informatics Option and Health Research Specialization are also available to School of Public Health and Health Systems students. Health informatics is a multidisciplinary field that deals with the generation, dissemination, storage, and use of health information for problem-solving and decision making. The Health Research Specialization is available for those students planning health research careers or further studies at the graduate level.

For any student interested in issues related to aging, the school offers a Minor in Gerontology and an Option in Aging Studies. These plans provide an awareness of aging processes and prepare students for careers or professions that deal with the institutional care or community support of older adults. Several other minors (e.g., biology, human resources management, management sciences) may be selected to further develop individual interests and career goals.

Diploma in Gerontology

The Diploma in Gerontology is available to those students who would like some training in gerontology but are not able to complete all the requirements of an undergraduate degree. It is also available to those students who have already completed an undergraduate degree but would like to obtain a better understanding of aging phenomena.

Accelerated Master's Program

The goal of Accelerated Master’s programs is to provide exceptional students a seamless transition into a master’s degree, with a potential to accelerate receipt of the graduate degree.

An Accelerated Master's program is one in which it is deemed academically advantageous to treat the educational process leading through either the Bachelor of Science (BSc) or the Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) programs to scientific and practice-based master’s degrees (i.e., Master of Science (MSc), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Health Informatics (MHI), or Master of Health Evaluation (MHE)) as a single continuous integrated whole, while at the same time satisfying the requirements for both degrees. This stands in contradistinction to treatment of the bachelor's and master's degree programs each as terminal activities. Accelerated programs, starting at the undergraduate level and terminating with a master’s degree from the School of Public Health and Health Systems (SPHHS), provide an alternative means, complementary to the existing undergraduate and graduate programs, for the attainment of master’s degrees in SPHHS.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates from the School may expect to find employment in the public sector through federal, provincial, and regional health agencies; in schools, hospitals, and institutional health centres; and through community health organizations. In the private sector, employment opportunities are found in voluntary health organizations, health management consulting, and health-related industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical products, and health services. Graduates may also pursue further studies in health promotion, medicine, biomedical research, gerontology, public health, health administration, environmental health, epidemiology, education, and related fields.


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