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Program Overview

Learn together. Work together.

Recipient of the 2015 Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) Panorama Award for Outstanding International Education, and recently recognized as a 'standout program' in Toronto Star Magazine, the MSc Global Health prepares graduates for careers in a globalized world. The program - a joint offering with Maastricht University in the Netherlands - brings together faculties of social sciences, health sciences, business and humanities, and links with institutions across multiple continents. 

Together with our growing network of global partners, we are working in support of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Learn more about our network of partners

View the MSc Global Health program brochure

A Global Skillset

Over 12 months, students gain the skills and experience required for leadership careers within key international health organizations, government and non-government agencies, and the private sector.

  • Self-management in a virtual work culture — A global skill set demands an entrepreneurial mindset. Online learning reflects the challenges of today’s virtual work environments, where accountability and self-motivation are paramount.
  • Cross-cultural intuition in diverse group settings — You will develop strategies to ‘read’ diverse group situations and overcome communication and cultural barriers – interpersonal skills that can only be acquired through practical experience.
  • ​Incisive decision-making in complex working environments — The program culminates in a simulated international symposium in India and work-integrated learning, for those pursuing the course-based stream, in practicums in global health workplaces in Canada and around the world.
  • Analysis and evaluation of policies — Assessing public policies, you will learn how to structure policy briefs, short commentaries and longer papers – essential written communication skills for global projects and complex negotiations.


Transcontinental Teams

The program follows the 'McMaster Model' – student-centred, problem-based learning (PBL) – which has been adopted by universities around the world. What makes it unique is its transcontinental approach. The program combines in-peson classroom experiences with online collaboration in virtual teams, and exchanges to the Netherlands, Colombia and Norway in the winter term for eligible students.

Using Canvas, MS Teams, Zoom, Google+ Hangouts and Avenue to Learn among other online learning tools, lectures are delivered to students in the classroom at McMaster while broadcasting it to students in the Netherlands, Norway, India, Thailand, Colombia, and Sudan. This immersive learning environment fosters career skills for a globalized world.


You will have the opportunity to specialize in one of the program's six Fields of Study offered at McMaster or via exchange:

From international flows of capital, to the role of corporations, to global social movements, this field examines how the ebb and flow of globalizing processes affect politics and policies, economic development, trade, health, health care, and education around the globe. You will investigate and learn about the socio-economic and political moorings that inform and shape global health. You will acquire career-relevant skills relating to policy analysis and formulation in a global context. 

You will learn about the business of global health, developing essential knowledge related to health, health care, economic development and education viewed through the disciplinary lenses of the business of health systems. You will acquire career-relevant skills ranging from healthcare marketing to strategic and financial decision-making at a macro level. 

You will study critical challenges within global health from a health sciences perspective. Learning from a network of leading professionals, you will examine the threat to public health from existing, new, and re-emerging diseases that spread through immigration, travel, and global trade. 

Global Health Symposium/Field Orientation

The culmination of the program is the Global Health Symposium/Field Orientation in India, where students from partner universities present their research, receiving critical feedback from health policy-makers, activists, and expert researchers in the global health field. At the symposium, students:

  • Experience international work environments — This symposium mirrors the complex international work situations you will face in the real world.
  • Network and gather feedback — You will join over 250 students and faculty members from McMaster, Maastricht, and Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) for a two week course in Manipal, India. You will work collaboratively with peers to create a system map of a particular health topic, present an abstract of your research, gather feedback on your research from experts as well as the peers who will become your future professional colleagues. As a part of the larger research projects ongoing at Manipal University, you will work collaboratively in groups to observe in various health care facilities, government agencies, or other stakeholder settings.
  • Apply cross-cultural intuition — The ability to observe and adapt to different cultural contexts is essential for success in the global workforce. You will learn to draw on this insight to operate effectively in a diverse group setting.

Following the symposium, course-based students branch off to complete global health practicums while thesis students continue their thesis research and begin preparing for defense.

Field Practicum

During the summer term, course-based students will complete a global health practicum that is approved both by your advisor and the program. The practicum requires you to work in an approved public or private organization related to your identified area.
Work-integrated learning facilitates the development of an understanding of the many facets of real-life implementation of global health and fosters development of innovative ideas, which you can expand upon in your scholarly paper. Students gain valuable experience within organizations that put into practice the theory, concepts, and methods taught in the Master's program, with activities targeted to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals
Note: Students participating in work-integrated opportunities outside of Canada will complete a Risk Management Form (available on our internal platform). Students participating in a field placement/internship within Canada will complete a letter of declaration to let the placement know they have coverage via WSIB or Chubb Insurance (formally ACE).

Global Health Advisory Board

Stewardship is provided by the program’s Global Health Advisory Board — with Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands as Honorary Chair. Made up of leaders from the business world, international NGOs and healthcare consultancies as far-spread as Japan, Africa and Switzerland, the board oversees the partnership between McMaster and Maastricht and provides the program’s strategic direction.

Meet the Board members


Partner Universities

The MSc Global Health program is delivered through a network of partner universities. These partner universities provide a broad field of expertise, and the opportunity to interact with expert researchers who are active in globalization and international health. Partner institutions include:

Learn more about the network of partners.


The program is 12 months, held over three terms: fall, winter, and summer. Courses run through the Fall and Winter terms; the winter term culminates with a two-week international Learning Symposium / Field Orientation in Manipal, India. During the subsequent spring/summer term, course-based students complete a practicum and scholarly paper while thesis students work on their dissertation. Thesis students will likely be required to work into the fall/winter term for an extended period.

This document provides helpful tools and information that will assist you in determining your cost of living in Hamilton while attending a graduate program at McMaster University. Please note that although the document includes the common items that you will need to pay for, the list is not all inclusive and the amounts are estimates and actual costs may vary.
We will include financial support, if available, within the letter of offer. Limited financial support is available for full-time students on a competitive basis. We cannot provide financial support to students who are employed on a full-time basis, as these students are deemed ineligible for scholarship support. We encourage applicants to apply for external scholarship funding.

No. Given the intensity of a 12-month M.Sc. program, students must be prepared to make a full-time commitment.

No. Faculty who are either members or associate members of the Faculty of Health Sciences will guide students to ensure the field concentration is within their scope.
Yes. Course-based students who have maintained a B+ average in their first term may have the opportunity to complete their second term at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, the University of Southeastern Norway, or the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. We will provide details about this arrangement during the first term.
Alternatives will be found for students for whom travel to India might cause undue hardship.
Globalization affects everyone, so preparing students for a career that addresses a range of interrelated issues is beneficial for individuals wishing to work in all parts of the world. Additionally, there is a critical relationship among health, healthcare, education, economic development, business leadership and management that can have global impact, even if experienced at a local level.
Graduates will be able to continue in further education, work for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), universities and/or various levels of government. With the prevalence of globalization, our growing international collaboration, and the extensive integrated scope of the program, we expect graduates will have many career options.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, all classes are taught online in synchronous and asynchronous modes.  

Applicants for September 2021

Find out about the application process

Why McMaster?

  • Professional training for the global marketplace
  • Partner universities across multiple continents
  • Top-rated faculty and international advisory board
  • Collaborative learning in virtual, transcontinental teams
  • Exchanges to partner institutions
  • Global health practicum in summer term
  • International symposium in India

Featured Alumni: Meghan Brockington

"What I gained from this program is passion – to be a part of the solution, to have a career in global health, and to improve the quality of life for others."

- Meghan Brockington, MSc Global Health graduate

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