McMaster University

McMaster University

BHSc Students

Global Health Specialization


An understanding of human health is incomplete without an understanding of health within the global context.  A complex web of relationships and interactions produce themes of global health that can be seen as emergent properties of the human experience.

Engaging with global health issues requires an interdisciplinary academic experience. The specialization in Global Health in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program provides students with an environment that incorporates insight from the traditional academic fields of anthropology, philosophy, ethics and law, while drawing heavily on the expertise present within the Faculty of Health Sciences in the domains of biostatistics & epidemiology, health economics & policy, molecular medicine & pathology, and health research methodology.  

A core component of the specialization revolves around a four-month embedded learning experience with partners and institutions abroad and within Canada. Students spend a year adding to their knowledge and personal development domains in preparation for this experience and will explore curriculum upon their return, which is designed to maximize the experiential learning that occurred outside the formal boundaries of the university.

The specialization is a unique undergraduate opportunity that challenges students to embrace complexity through the development of a global consciousness and the understanding of health as a fundamental component of the human experience. Graduates will attain the knowledge to undertake further studies at the postgraduate level. They will have an opportunity to explore personal developmental and an academic skill set necessary for the role as contributors to global health issues.

Students registered in Health Science 1 who are interested in this specialization will apply during early March to early April via MUGSI/SOLAR by completing the Application for Admission to Level II. In addition students must submit a 500 word statement of interest. Instructions regarding content and process are posted in the Global Health Specialization folder on Learnlink. Enrolment is limited to approximately 20 to 30 students entering in Level II.

Required Courses

Level I: 21 units required courses
  • Curriculum begins in the BHSc (Honours) Program. Upon acceptance in the Global Health Specialization, registration begins in Level II.

9 units elective courses

30 units Level I total

Level II: 24 units required courses
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2A03
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2E03*
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2G03
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2J03
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2K03
  • 6 units HTH SCI 2Q06 A/B
  • 3 units HTH SCI 2DS3

*HTH SCI 2D06 A/B replaces HTH SCI 2E03 for Level 2 transfer students

  6 units elective courses
  30 units Level II total

Level III: 24 units required courses
  • 15 units HTH SCI 3A15 A/B, S
  • 3 units HTH SCI 3G03
  • 3 units HTH SCI 3GG3
  • 3 units HTH SCI 3H03
  • if a required course cannot be completed due to HTH SCI 3A15 A/B, S; the requirement(s) must be completed in Level IV
  6 units elective courses
  30 units Level III total

Level IV: 15-24 units required courses
  • 3 units from HTH SCI 3AH3, 4D03 or 4YY3
    (4D03 topic on Health Policy)
  • 3 units from HTH SCI 4D03, 4LD3, 4PA3, 4W03 or 4ZZ3 (4D03 or 4W03 topic on Global Governance)
  • 6-15 units from HTH SCI 4G06 A/B, 4G09 A/B, 4G12 A/B, 4G15 A/B
    (Thesis/Senior Project topic must receive approval from the BHSc Assistant Dean)
  • 3 units HTH SCI 4X03 A/B
  6-15 units elective courses
  30 units Level IV total

  • 120 Units Total (Levels I-IV)
  • No more than 48 units of Level I courses (for a 4 year honours degree) and no more than 42 units of Level 1 courses (for a 3 year degree)

Program Notes:

  • Entry to this program begins in Level II. Students wishing to apply must successfully complete Health Sciences I.

  • While registration in HTH SCI 4X03 A/B will occur in Level IV, students will begin studies in Level I.

For Degree requirements and Course Listings, please refer to the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) section of the online Undergraduate Calendar.

Global Health Course Links

After completion of BHSc Level I and upon acceptance into the Global Health Specialization, registration begins in Level II.

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