Jun 24, 2018  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Global Health, M.Sc.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Areas of Study

Fields in the Program

The fields of study in the program are not mutually exclusive, students will choose from a wide spectrum of research interests that cross the boundaries that define the fields. To encourage this cross-fertilization, all students will take the core courses Global Health Foundations I and Global Health Foundations II that bridge the fields. They will also attend the required collaborative seminars that address a variety of issues in Global Health. In addition they will choose fields, electives and do scholarly projects in areas of special individual interest, to enable them to build upon and advance their knowledge of Global Health in a manner that will often cross field boundaries.

The M.Sc. program is designed so that students will meet the following core competencies:

  • Develop an understanding of Global Health as a series of dynamic relationships and interrelated themes
  • Gain a working knowledge of selected topics within one of the three fields in Global Health
    • Develop a specialized working knowledge of one of these fields
    • Be able to identify the macro dynamics of globalization and their consequences for micro-level health outcomes
    • Understanding the systemic inequalities that permeate the relationships of Global Health through Commerce, Globalization, and Power
    • Build an awareness of the new practices, instruments, insights, and perspectives needed to work in a global environment
  • Develop the tools to analyze critically and measure the relationships which define the global meaning of health
  • Understand and appreciate the changing roles and responsibilities of old and new actors in theglobal health field (citizens, governments, health professionals, international organizations, private foundations, etc.)
  • Use reflective practice as a critical tool for knowledge acquisition, personal and professional growth, and effective intercultural exchange

The three fields in the program are as follows:

a) Globalization and Development
Globalization focuses on cultural, political, social and economic globalizing processes in the contemporary era and how they impact economic development, health, healthcare, and education in LMICs. These processes, often accelerated by information and communication technologies, have redefined in unequal ways how individuals and communities experience and view the world, and how they organize to change the world.

b) Global Health Management
Global Health Management introduces students to management and policy skills, including a fundamental understanding of the capacities needed to manage projects related to health, healthcare, economic development, and education.

c) Global Diseases
The Global Diseases field involves the study of endemic tropical diseases as well as other diseases that tend to afflict LMICs, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and cancer. A globalization topic that will be emphasized is the threat to public health from existing, new, and re-emerging diseases that may move almost with impunity across national borders through immigration, travel, and global trade. Chronic diseases that affect developed nations are also a threat to health in developing nations, and will be addressed as well.

Finally, all students will be required to attend GLOB HTH *710 Learning Symposium and Field Orientation  with students from partner universities; seminars by experts in the field; student presentations on selected research topics, and fields visits to sites that involve research activities in global health. This will be followed research and thesis writing for thesis option students and a field placement and scholarly paper writing for all others.


Admission to the M.Sc. Global Health program requires an honours bachelor’s degree with at least a B+ from an accredited university (equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 out of 12) in the final year in all courses in the discipline, or relating to the discipline, in which the applicant proposes to do graduate work. Students with no background in health may be required to complete a make-up course in health before entering the program. Finally, applicants must have a strong interest in one of the fields offered in the program.

Admission requirements include:

  1. One official transcript of academic work completed to date at all post-secondary institutions attended, sent directly from the issuing institution(s). If the final transcript does not show that a completed degree has been conferred, an official copy of the diploma is also required.
  2. Two academic letters of recommendation from instructors most familiar with the applicant’s academic work, sent directly from the instructors.
  3. A personal curriculum vitae (résumé).
  4. A written personal essay (submitted online within the application). Theessay should explain why the applicant is seeking graduate education; describe how the applicant plans to benefit from the program; and finally, outlines the selected field of interest from the three tracks offered in the program in order of preference; if no preference, please indicate (no more than 750 words.)
  5. An official copy of the applicant’s TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score or other evidence of competency in English must be submitted (if English is not the applicant’s native language). A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 237 on the computer-based test) is required.

M.Sc. Degree

The general requirements for the M.Sc. degree appear under the regulations for the Master’s degrees near the beginning of this Calendar.

M.Sc. by Thesis

Students taking the thesis option will spend the remainder of the summer and, can take the fall term to complete their research and theses, which may involve the collection and analysis of field data or developing major conceptual works based on the literature.


Requirements for thesis-based students include:

Course Requirements

Completion of the program with at least a B- standing, a minimum of five graduate half courses which must include:


Completion of a thesis on an approved global health issue and defend the thesis at a final oral examination.

M.Sc. by Course Work


Requirements for the course-based M.Sc. degree include:

Course Requirements

Completion of the program with at least a B- standing, a minimum of eight graduate half courses which must include the five required courses:

Scholarly Paper

Completion of a 15-20 page written scholarly paper on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor (GLOB HTH *711 ) and a Global Health Practicum (GLOB HTH *712 ).

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Areas of Study