McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster partners with Maasstricht University to produce health leaders of tomorrow

By Suzanne Morrison
Published: March 9, 2009
Andrea Baumann
Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, International Health, McMaster University.

Consider this:

  • Every year, around 11 million children under the age of five die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases.
  • There are 8.8 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) each year and 1.75 million people die from the disease.
  • One billion people in the world lack access to health-care systems.
  • 1.6 million people still die from pneumococcal diseases every year, making it the number one vaccine-preventable cause of death worldwide.

International bodies such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the G-8 have made the improvement of global health a priority. Dr. Jong-wook Lee, former Director-General of the World Health Organization, has said that "in the face of today’s global challenges of poverty, inequities, disease and epidemics, there is an increasing demand for dynamic health leaders with sound technical skills."

To meet these global needs effectively, McMaster University in Canada and Maasstricht University in the Netherlands — internationally respected in health sciences, social sciences and business — are partnering in the development of an innovative Masters in Global Health degree program. Graduates of the program are expected to become the much-needed health leaders of tomorrow.

The 12-month program — which consists of three terms — officially begins this September (upon Ontario Council on Graduate Studies approval) with a maximum of 25 students admitted each year at McMaster and another 50 at Maastricht. Student exchanges between the two universities will take place during the winter term.

"The foundation courses will be delivered simultaneously at McMaster and Maastricht. At both institutions, graduate students will have the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers who are well-known experts in global health and to study in small groups as both McMaster and Maastricht are highly regarded internationally for their focus on small group, problem-based learning (PBL)," said Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, International Health, McMaster University.

At McMaster, the program includes globalization and development, global health management and global diseases. Maastricht will offer a program on implementing innovations on a global scale and an epidemiology/field methodology program. The program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in global health issues.

Students will take their first term (September – December) at their "home" institution. During the winter/spring term (January – April) students have the option of travelling to their sister institution or staying "home". At the end of the winter term, all students from McMaster and Maastricht in a three-to-four week learning symposium and field orientation in Hamilton or Maastricht or on site in a developing or underdeveloped country. Students return to their "home" institutions to complete their final research reports. (McMaster students who choose the thesis option in this program may extend the program to four and a maximum of five terms).

More information about the program

  • Faculty for the program (14 at McMaster and 10 at Maastricht) are leaders in their fields.
  • Tuition and fees for Canadian students are $5,691.82. For Visa students, tuition and fees are $13,062.82.
  • Master of Science in Global Health


Meaghan Van Hooren
Office of International Health, Faculty of Health Sciences
1280 Main Street West, MDCL 3500
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
Tel: 905-525-9140, Ext. 22045
Fax: 905-522-5493

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