MSc Global Health

With a special focus on the analytic functions of public health practice, our master of science (MSc) program is designed to equip graduates to work effectively as public health practitioners and researchers. These include applied research and evaluation of public health programs across a range of technical areas:

  • infectious disease control (malaria, HIV/AIDS, immunization-preventable illnesses)
  • maternal, child and reproductive health
  • nutrition
  • non-communicable diseases
  • trauma
  • mental health
  • migration
  • environmental health

A thesis is one of the requirements of this program. This entails research activity, with a focus on a research question relevant to, low- or middle-income country settings, and a publishable paper. As well as a preparation for public health practice, our MSc program may be a good choice for those who are thinking about carrying on with a PhD degree program.

Working in Global Health

Global health researchers and practitioners find employment in various organizations:

  • government agencies (e.g. ministries of health, local health authorities, and government donor agencies like Global Affairs Canada)
  • academic institutions
  • other funding agencies (e.g. Global Fund, World Bank, major foundations)
  • global technical agencies (e.g. UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA)
  • international and local non-governmental civil society organizations
  • consultancy groups
  • private-sector organizations

Core Courses

These courses are required in order to complete this program.

SPH 555 - Foundations of Public Health Research (*3)
SPH 596 - Epidemiology Methods I (*3)

Specialization Courses

These courses are required for this specialization.

SPH 542 - Case Studies in International Primary Health Care (*3)
SPH 640 - Introduction to Global Health (*3)

Elective Courses

Students are required to complete *12 of graduate level coursework as approved by their supervisor from the following:

SPH 519 - Biostatistics I (*3), and
SPH 619 - Biostatistics II (*3), and
SPH 696 - Epidemiology Methods II (*3), and
(*3) graduate-level courses as approved by the student's supervisor.


(*6) of graduate-level qualitative methods courses and two (*6) of graduate-level courses as approved by the student's supervisor.


Students will successfully complete and defend a thesis on a research topic in the program area, defined in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. The scope and quality of the thesis should normally be appropriate to form the basis for a refereed journal publication.

As you prepare to defend your thesis, in the Final Oral Examination, you will want to become familiar with the Master's Final Oral Examinations Procedures.

Residency Requirement

The minimum period of residence is one academic year of full-time registration at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

The time required to complete the program will vary according to the previous training of the applicant and the nature of the research undertaken. The maximum time permitted or completion of the program is four years (full or part time) from the date of first registration.