MPH Pathway Options

Thesis - Thesis students are not required to complete electives, however they can take electives at their own discretion to complement their thesis studies. Full-time thesis students are typically enrolled in the program for 20-24 months.

Practicum - Practicum students complete at least one four month, full-time practicum and a series of elective courses. Full-time practicum students are typically enrolled in the program for 16 months.

* Students do not declare a pathway until the end of the first term of study. We recommend that applicants not contact potential supervisors until after they have been admitted into the MPH program and have declared the thesis pathway.

 

 

Practicum

Thesis

Full-time

16 months

20-24 months

Part-time

4 years

4 years

 

There are no semesters off during the MPH program. They length of time it may take you to complete the program depends on whether you are full-time or part-time, and if you choose a practicum or thesis stream.

Part-Time Study
Students may choose to enroll in full or part-time study in the MPH program. Each year, 25 full-time students and 5 part-time students are accepted into the program. Typically part-time students enroll in one course per term, taking nor more than three courses in a year. Please refer to the MPH Handbook for more details regarding the details of part-time study.

MPH Courses 

MPH students all complete the same core courses. Practicum students will also complete a number of elective courses that are provided by various faculties across campus. A list of the available elective courses is made available to students before term registration. While some courses may involve blended learning with online components, all courses are held on campus. The MPH program is not offered fully online. Students can contact the MPH Curriculum Coordinator (cp_mph@mcmaster.ca) with questions about core and elective courses.

The instructor and the university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the students to check their McMaster email and course website during the term and to note any changes. Click here for School of Graduate Studies course listing page for Public Health.

Please find full-time course schedules, as well as course descriptions, below. All students (practicum and thesis) must complete 8 core courses. Practicum students will also complete a number of elective courses, depending on the chosen pathway. Elective courses may change by term; some are listed below. Part-time students will adhere to a different schedule and will typically take only one course per term. Please contact the program office if you would like to learn more about the part-time schedule.

PRACTICUM SCHEDULE (Full-time)

 

 

Fall Term

Winter TermSummer Term
Year 1 PUBHLTH 700
Foundations of Population and Public Health Practice
 
PUBHLTH 712 
Professional Development Studio I
 
HRM 702
Introduction to Biostatistics
 
PUBHLTH 701
Population and Public Health Epidemiology

 

PUBHLTH 703
Public Health Policy


PUBHLTH 704
Population and Public Health Research Methods (Prerequisite: PUBHLTH 701)

PUBHLTH 713
Professional Development Studio II

Elective(s)*
 

Full-Time Practicum (mandatory)  

Elective*

(optional)
 
 
 
 
 
Year 2
 
 
 
 
 
PUBHLTH 708
Leadership & Applied Public Health


Elective(s)*

Part-Time Practicum
(optional)
 
Students complete the program in December
 

* Practicum students are required to take 5 electives, unless an additional part-time practicum
is completed which takes the place of 2 electives. Thus, students who complete a part-time practicum
are only required to take 3 elective courses.

 

THESIS SCHEDULE (Full-time)

 

 

Fall Term

Winter TermSummer Term
Year 1 PUBHLTH 700
Foundations of Population and Public Health Practice
 
PUBHLTH 712 
Professional Development Studio I
 
HRM 702
Introduction to Biostatistics
 
PUBHLTH 701
Population and Public Health Epidemiology

 
PUBHLTH 703
Public Health Policy

PUBHLTH 704
Population and Public Health Research Methods (Prerequisite: PUBHLTH 701)

PUBHLTH 713
Professional Development Studio II

 
 
Thesis work
 
 
 
 
 
Year 2
 
 
 
 
 
PUBHLTH 708
Leadership & Applied Public Health
Thesis Work Thesis Defence

 

Click on individual course descriptions below. Some elective courses may not yet be listed. As the elective list continues to expand, the website will be updated when details become available.


 



Core Courses:

PUBHLTH 700 / Foundations of Population and Public Health Practice
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s)
The Foundations of Population and Public Health Practice course runs for 14 weeks in the Fall term. This course is mandatory for MPH students. The course provides an overview of core concepts and frameworks in public and population health practice. Students will gain an understanding of the history, governance and core functions of public health at local, provincial, federal, national and international levels; how public health organizations work with the public and stakeholders; with primary care and other aspects of the health care system and as well how public health works with key players such as municipalities, school boards, non-profit organizations and others to promote and maintain health and reduce health inequities.

Students from other graduate programs can be accepted into this course with permission of the course instructor.

PUBHLTH 701 / Population and Public Health Epidemiology
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s) 
The Population & Public Health Epidemiology course runs for 14 weeks in the Fall term. This course is mandatory for MPH students. It provides students with introductory epidemiology concepts and an understanding of the major issues in communicable disease and non-communicable disease epidemiology as well as measures of determinants of health and health equity. Students will learn to perform computations commonly used in epidemiology.

Students from other graduate programs can be accepted into this course with permission of the course instructor.

PUBHLTH 702 / Introduction to Biostatistics
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s) 
The Introduction to Biostatistics course runs for 14 weeks in the Fall term. This course is mandatory for MPH students. Basic statistical concepts and techniques as they apply to analysis and presentation of data in biostatistical and epidemiology practice. The course covers: graphical presentation of data, elementary probability, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, and introduces hypothesis testing using parametric and non-parametric methods. Specific techniques covered include z-tests, t-tests, ANOVA, contingency tables, regression and correlation.

Students from other graduate programs can be accepted into this course with permission of the course instructor.

PUBHLTH 703 / Population and Public Health Policy
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s) 
The Population and Public Health Policy course runs for 14 weeks in the Winter term. This course is mandatory for MPH students. Students learn about public health policy, healthy public policy, and health system policy as it relates to population health. They will learn skills and knowledge in policy agenda setting, development (institutions, interest and ideas), contexts, implementation and evaluation as well as the roles of public/stakeholder engagement, evidence and the media in policy making.

Students from other graduate programs can be accepted into this course with permission of the course instructor.

PUBHLTH 704 / Population and Public Health Research Methods
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s)
The Population and Public Health Research Methods course runs for 14 weeks in the Winter term. This course is mandatory for MPH students. The course provides students with fundamental public health research skills (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods) necessary for work in both research and applied settings. Students will learn to critically appraise relevant literature, design and conduct research, and plan and evaluate interventions using appropriate research methods. Students will learn public health research ethics concepts
and approval processes, research literature search skills, funding opportunities and prepare a protocol for their thesis or practicum projects.

Students from other graduate programs can be accepted into this course with permission of the course instructor.

PUBHLTH 708 / Leadership and Applied Public Health
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

This hybrid course builds on the first year Professional Development Studios. Leaners will assess their level of change in public health core competence after completion of summer practicum/preparation and previous coursework. Topics on leadership will also be introduced to prepare learners for the public health workforce. Practicum students will submit a capstone report reflecting the deliverable(s) completed for summer practicum. Thesis students will create a supplementary reading list related to their thesis and a reflection. Students will also complete a culminating project that will consist of a rapid review for a community organization. Continuous learning habits will also be encouraged by attendance at MPH workshops, Departmental seminars, and lectures.

PUBHLTH 712 / Professional Development Studio I

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Learners in the MPH program join with varying backgrounds and professional goals. Therefore, the Professional Development Studio will allow learners to explore interests through the MPH workshops/related seminars and prepare for practicum placement/thesis. Additionally, students will learn about important topics and skills for public health research and practice.

PUBHLTH 713 / Professional Development Studio II

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Learners in the MPH program join with varying backgrounds and professional goals. Therefore, the Professional Development Studio II builds upon the first Professional Development studio course by allowing learners to explore interests through the MPH workshops/related seminars and prepare for practicum placement/thesis. Additionally, students will learn about important topics and skills for public health research and practice.



Elective Courses:

PUBHLTH 706 / Introduction to Health and Public Health Economics
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

3 unit(s) 
This is a course on the economics of health, public health and health care, with special emphasis on the Canadian health care system. The course examines the nature of health care as a commodity, health care financing and insurance, the demand for health and health care, methods for evaluating health care programs and interventions, issues of efficiency and equity, the economics of health behaviour and selected other topics. Special attention is given to the attributes of health care markets and the implications of those attributes on the financing, funding, organization, delivery of health care services, and public policy.

This course is not mandatory for MPH students and runs in the Winter term. This course is open to all health sciences graduate students including Health Policy, HRM, Global Health and eHealth students.

PUBHLTH 707 / Implications of Infectious Diseases
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

Infectious diseases are the backbone of public health practice. Understanding newly emerging and older infectious diseases as well as the social, economic and political impacts of these diseases will be important in developing a sense of how public health is called upon to help in these situations but also in looking at the broader implications these diseases carry in society. The elective course provides a background on infectious disease agents and their social, economic and political implications. Current topics will be drawn upon to make the concepts relevant to the students.

PUBHLTH 709 / Theories of Health Behaviour
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

The elective course provides an introduction to theories of human health behaviour, from individual, interpersonal and community levels. Students will gain an understanding of these theories and how they can be applied within public health and related fields. Current topics will be drawn upon to make the concepts relevant to the students. In addition, students will develop their own healthy lifestyle plan drawing on these theories. This course will help students develop the following skills: practice self-directed learning, search literature for relevant articles, learn about theories of health behaviour and write concise descriptions of these theories, describe types of research designs which are used in applying theories of health behaviour, practice presentation skills, facilitate discussions amongst their peers, provide effective peer review, reflect on their own health and health behaviours, and develop plans for making healthy lifestyle changes.

PUBHLTH 710 / Introduction to Knowledge Synthesis and Guidelines

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

This elective course is designed for MPH students to learn the main aspects of the methodology for the development of different types of knowledge synthesis (including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, overviews of reviews, and environmental scans) and practice guidelines. Students will learn what is the purpose of each type of synthesis and practice guidelines, what are the main features to consider when planning to conduct them, what they can and cannot be used for, and how to use them to inform decisions. 

PUBHLTH 711 / Program Evaluation in Public Health

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

This elective course introduces program evaluation concepts and methods as applied to public health programs. Public health programs are implemented to achieve specific outcomes through the application of interventions or services. Evaluation of public health programs is conducted to answer two essential questions: Is the program causing intended changes?; and, Why is this the case? Information gathered through program evaluation helps decision makers to understand the reasons for program performance, and informs judgements about continuing, adapting, or stopping a program. Program evaluation ensures the effectiveness, accountability and continuous improvement of public health interventions. In addition to course readings, case examples will be used to illustrate methodological, political and ethical challenges of program evaluation in the public health context.

PUBHTLH 715 / HRM 707: Advanced Topics in Epidemiology

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

The advanced topics in epidemiology course will cover topics in research methodology, biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health that are not covered in other HRM courses. The course will provide in-depth practical and hands-on learning on a diverse variety of topics and provide students with an opportunity to gain understanding of rare epidemiological principles.

PUBHLTH 716 / HRM 726: The Science and Practice of Knowledge Translation: Foundations

PLACEHOLDER TITLE

This is an overview course aimed to introduce graduate students to the science and practice of knowledge translation and exchange (KT). This course will be of interest to graduate students who wish to pursue an academic career in the field of KT, students whose primary research is in another domain but wish to strengthen their KT-related skills, and students who are interested in doing KT as part of their professional activities.

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