MSc Degree Options
Thesis or Course-Based Program Plan
All incoming students enter into a general program plan and then choose between the thesis or course-based program plan in September. Below is more information to help you decide between a thesis or course-based plan. This choice has no bearing on whether or not you will be admitted into the program.
A thesis offers the opportunity to undertake a major piece of investigation on a topic of your choosing. It is a useful learning experience for students who plan to pursue research careers, and may help them along this path. Students are required to:
- Explore a topic in considerable depth
- Plan and carry out a project
- Write up the findings
- Present the findings to the program and defend in a public academic forum.
Thesis students should expect to continue into at least the following fall or winter term. The average timeframe for submitting and defending a thesis is 16-24 months. Thesis supervisors must be from the approved supervisor list (see Program Requirements, Supervision) and students should only begin contacting potential supervisors in September.
The Thesis program plan requires completion with at least a B- standing, eight (8) graduate half-courses:
- GLOB HTH 701 Global Health Foundations I
- GLOB HTH 702 Global Health Foundations II
- GLOBALST 710 Globalization: An Introduction
- GLOBHTH 713 Research Methods: A Global Health Perspective/ Quantitative Research Methods
- BUSADMIN C720 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Policy Analysis
- One (1) additional graduate half course decided by the student in conjunction with his/her supervisory committee
And successful completion of:
- GLOB HTH 710 Learning Symposium and Field Orientation
- SGS 700 Full Time Research and Writing – Completion of a thesis on an approved global health issue and defend the thesis at a final oral examination.
Students in the Course-Based program must complete:
- Scholarly Paper, designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to integrate ideas that reflect current knowledge in areas of global health theory, practice, education, research, and/or policy. It is an original piece of scholarship in essay form that builds on knowledge and skills acquired from coursework and other program learning activities.
- Global Health Practicum, which allows you to further develop and consolidate your knowledge and apply it in a practical setting. You will have the opportunity to gain practical knowledge about various workplace environments, ethics, organizational behaviours and expectations as well as develop a global health professional identity.
The Course-Based program plan requires completion with at least a B- standing in eleven (11) graduate half courses which must include:
- GLOBHTH 701 Global Health Foundations I
- GLOBHTH 702 Global Health Foundations II
- GLOBALST 710 Globalization: An Introduction
- GLOBHTH 713 Research Methods: A Global Health Perspective
- BUSADMIN C720 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Policy Analysis
- Two (2) courses from the selected concentration
- One (1) additional graduate course from the elective offerings
And successful completion of:
- GLOBHTH 710 Global Health Learning Symposium
- GLOBHTH 711 Scholarly Paper
- GLOBHTH 712 Work Integrated Learning Practicum
FALL TERM (ALL STUDENTS)
GLOBHTH 701/ Global Health Foundations I
GLOBHTH 713/ Research Methods: A Global Health Perspective
GLOBALST 710/ Globalization: An Introduction
BUSADMIN C720/ Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Policy Analysis
WINTER TERM (COURSE-BASED)
GLOBHTH 702/ Global Health Foundations II, plus
McMaster Concentration: Two courses from selected concentration (3 options), plus one additional graduate level course, or
Mobility Option: Opportunity to complete semester at one of 3 partner universities.
WINTER TERM (THESIS)
GLOBHTH 702/ Global Health Foundations II
Plus, one additional graduate level course decided by the student with their supervisor
SPRING TERM (ALL STUDENTS)
GLOBHTH 710/ Learning Symposium and Field Orientation*
*Held in Manipal, India when public health measures allow
SPRING & SUMMER TERM (COURSE-BASED)
GLOBHTH 711/ Scholarly Paper
GLOBHTH 712/ Work Integrated Learning Practicum
*can be completed remotely
SPRING & SUMMER TERM (THESIS)
Data collection and analysis, thesis preparation and preparation for defense
*Students can extend into the fall term
Fall Term (September – December)
Students are introduced to emerging challenges in globalization and health. They take four required courses including Global Health Foundations I – taught in collaboration with Maastricht University, The Netherlands – which encourages an internationally collaborative learning experience.
The program offers educational opportunities in different languages where possible, but specifically within the Foundations 1 and Foundations 2 courses where groups may operate in French or Spanish, depending on enrolment.
Course-based students intending to complete their second term on outbound mobility must apply during this term. Thesis-based students will contact and confirm potential supervisors from the approved supervisor list (see Program Requirements, Supervision) and work on submitting a thesis proposal.
This course addresses policy and interrelated features of the health problems, issues, and concerns that transcend national boundaries. It explores the relationships between policy development in health, health care, education, economic development, and business management using a case-study approach. Ethical issues in global health are also addressed. Students use web-based synchronous learning platforms and learn with students from partner universities in transcontinental small groups (learning pods). The course involves lectures from faculty and leading experts in the fields of global health, along with group work and student presentations. The Foundations I final assignment will be in the form of a group document and a group presentation.
This course introduces students to the cultural, political, social and economic globalizing processes at work in today’s world.
This graduate course explores methodological perspectives in global health and how these shape research practices aiming to address pressing health care problems worldwide. The global health perspective concerns the concepts and issues relevant to the application of research methods in different multicultural, multilinguistic, geographical, social. political, and resource settings within the context of overlapping disciplinary boundaries. The course examines key concepts and issues relevant to conducting a range of research designs and methods in a variety of resource settings.
Students examine the field of health policy analysis – specifically as it relates to clinical, administrative and government policy. After establishing a framework by which to analyze policy — which includes consideration of stakeholders, pressure groups, values, institutions, and the media — students study various tools as a means of formulating and evaluating policy. The course applies techniques from business, political science, economics, sociology, epidemiology, and history. Specific policy topics will be presented as illustrations of this management art.
Winter Term (January – April)
In the winter term, students develop an in-depth understanding of health management, policy, and leadership. Students learn how to approach policies from different perspectives, from the micro to macro, and international level, as well as issues of access and equity. Students are also exposed to the complexity and inter-relationships in global health and challenged to compare different systems, including funding mechanisms, governance structures, and health system models.Study critical challenges within global health from a health sciences’ perspective. Learning from a network of leading professionals, you’ll examine the threat to public health from existing, new, and re-emerging diseases that spread through immigration, travel, and global trade.
Course-based students can specialize in one of the program’s concentrations, three (3) of which are available at McMaster, two (2) at Maastricht University, and one (1) at the Universidad del Rosario.
Course-based students also choose two (2) courses from their selected field of study plus one (1) course from the elective course offerings.
Thesis students take one (1) course from their selected concentration. Thesis students will also finalize their proposals, apply for ethics approval (if applicable), and complete their literature review. By the end of the winter term, thesis students may have already begun their research projects.
Watch the video to hear student perspectives about their experiences in the Winter Term 2022.
GLOB HTH 702 – Global Health Foundations II (in collaboration with Maastricht)
This course introduces students to project development and program management in global health. Building on policy analysis learnt in Foundations I, students use a case study approach to develop innovative proposals to address health disparities. Students learn to translate theory into practice in the context of global health. Incisive decision-making and cross-cultural negotiations are key elements of the process. Students continue to learn in transcontinental learning pods, participate in seminars led by faculty and other experts in the field, and make presentations which synthesize the course materials.
The program offers a diverse range of elective offerings in the Winter term, exploring issues including migration, climate change, health law, and allowing students to further pursue an area of interest. Students may select one of the core courses from one of the ‘Fields of Study’ (e.g. GLOBHTH 709 Refugee Health) or one of the following suggested electives:
- GLOB HTH 715 Independent Study Course
- HTHRSM 770 Mixed Methods Research Designs for Health Services and Policy Research
- PUBHLTH 706 Introduction to Health and Public Health Economics
- BUSADMIN 725 Managing Communications in Health Care
- BUSADMIN 750 Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care
- SOCSCI 702 Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Research
- ANTHROPOLOGY 796 /RELIGIOUS STUDIES 786 Ritual and Symbolic Healing
- GLOBAL ST 725 Political Economy of Global Climate Change
- GLOBAL ST 732 Global Environment and Health Policy
- GEOG 734 Qualitative Approaches to Health Geography
- HRM 726 The Science and Practice of Knowledge Translation: Foundations
*Additional electives may be approved by the program to fulfill the elective requirement.
Concentration and Mobility Options
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’ll acquire career-relevant skills ranging from healthcare marketing to strategic and financial decision-making at a macro level.
- BUSADMIN C710 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Economics and Evaluation
- BUSADMIN C715 Health Care Funding and Resource Allocation
- BUSADMIN C722 Management of Population Health
- BUSADMIN C740 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Care Marketing
Study critical challenges within global health from a health sciences’ perspective. Learning from a network of leading professionals, you’ll examine the threat to public health from existing, new, and re-emerging diseases that spread through immigration, travel, and global trade.
- MOLBIOL 6P03 Medical Microbiology
- MEDSCI 717 Vaccines and Vaccine Immunology
- GLOBHTH 707 Global Burden of Disease
- GLOBHTH 709 Refugee Health Policies and Practices
From international capital flows, 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. Investigate and learn about the socio-economic and political moorings that inform and shape global health. Acquire career-relevant skills relating to policy analysis and formulation in a global context.
- GLOBALST 704 Global Social Policy
- GLOBALST 777 Global Governance
- GLOBHTH 708 Challenges in Global Health Equity
- GLOBHTH 709 Refugee Health Policies and Practices
Students develop an understanding of the co-evaluation of science/technology, local and global society; including traditional and contemporary theories and approaches to design and implementation of innovations in health. Students also acquire the knowledge to critically evaluate innovations, involve stakeholders from different sectors (public, private, government) both locally and globally – ensuring that the implementation of innovation is “responsive” to the evolving needs of the stakeholders.
Students develop an in-depth understanding of health management, policy, and leadership. Students learn how to approach policies from different perspectives, from the micro to macro, and international level, as well as issues of access and equity. Students are also exposed to the complexity and inter-relationships in global health and challenged to compare different systems, including funding mechanisms, governance structures, and health system models.
Working alongside Public Health Masters students at the Universidad del Rosario, students develop an in-depth understanding of health needs of Colombians living in poverty, recent migrants and refugees. Colombia’s experience of hosting populations moving through its borders for economic, environmental and political reasons offers students learning on mental health, maternal-child health, gender and class, among social determinants that impact the health and wellbeing of people on the move. Applying state-of-the-art theoretical knowledge learned in the program, this field-based group-oriented opportunity offers students the ability to build practical skills within an immersive educational environment.
Summer Term (May – August)
All students are required to attend GLOBHTH 710, a Global Health Learning Symposium and Field Orientation in India with students from partner universities, including seminars by experts in global and public health, student presentations on selected research topics, and fields visits to sites that involve aspects related to global health.
After the learning experience in India, course-based students will proceed to their field placements and work to complete their scholarly paper research. The field placements are ten weeks depending on the student’s learning objectives. Thesis-based students will continue to work on their research, data collection, analysis, and writing a final manuscript.
The objective of this course is to consolidate collaboration and decision-making in transcontinental teams. All students are required to complete this course, which includes the following components:
- Global Health Symposium requires each student to submit an abstract and present the plan for his/her scholarly paper/thesis research project in a real life, peer reviewed environment. The presentation is interactive and students are challenged to integrate critical feedback from interdisciplinary faculty members and experts in the global health field, as well as from their peers.
- Field Orientation is designed to deepen critical thinking and practice interviewing in a real life setting. It provides the opportunity to enhance assessment and cross-cultural working skills and learn about and practice systems mapping in a diverse and complex environment. The experience includes field visits and small group work, report writing and presentations, and allows an opportunity for personal reflection.
This course is designed as an opportunity for students to demonstrate in writing, their ability to integrate ideas that reflect current knowledge in Global Health. Students will identify a topic, and in consultation with an advisor, develop a proposal that is individualized to their area of interest. Students will complete a 30-50 page written scholarly essay on an approved topic. It is critical to the course-based MSc students to demonstrate a mastery of the theoretical and methodological understandings that have been acquired during the course work.
This course is designed to allow the student to tailor learning to a selected practicum in clinical, education, research or administration, which meets their specific educational needs. Students must work with an approved public or private organization working in a field of global health either locally or internationally. The placement links the theory, concepts, and health research methods taught in the program to real life-practices.
Below is a map of the locations of organizations that have hosted a Global Health student for their work-integrated learning practicum. While these maps provides the locations of the organization, students may often be working remotely, or on projects related to other parts of the world – highlighting the truly innovative and transnational aspects of Global Health.
2019-2020 (Red) & 2020-2021 (Blue)
Approved Faculty for MSc. Global Health Supervision & Committee Membership
The following is a list of McMaster faculty who have been approved by the Faculty of Health Science Graduate Studies to supervise and/or sit on the committee of a MSc. Global Health thesis student. While those approved for a supervisory role may also take up a role as a committee member, those approved only for committee membership may not act as supervisors (see second list below). Should you have any questions, please contact Adam Zvric (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that you do not need to contact supervisors in advance of starting the program.
Global Health MSc. Supervisors
|Alvarez, Elizabeth||HEI||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Apatu, Emma||HEI||Associate Professor
|Archer, Norm||Business||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Baba, Vishwanath||Human Resources & Management||Professoremail@example.com|
|Bannerman, Sara||Communication Studies & Media Arts||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Baumann, Andrea||Global Health/Nursing||Professoremail@example.com|
|Carranza, Mirna||Social Work||Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Crowther, Mark||Pathology & Molecular Medicine||Professoremail@example.com|
|de Souza, Russell||HEI||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|DiLiberto, Deborah||Medicine||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Doubleday, Nancy||Philosophy||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Drossos, Alexander||Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Forbes, Shawn||Surgery||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gabel, Chelsea||Health, Aging, & Society||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Gombay, Christy||Nursing||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Grenier, Amanda||Health, Aging, &
Society / Social Work
|Guindon, Emmanuel||HEI||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Hunter, Andrea||Paediatrics||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Isaacs, Sandra||Nursing||Assistant Clinical Professoremail@example.com|
|Kam, April||Pediatrics||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kapiriri, Lydia||Health, Aging, &
|Kaushic, Charu||Pathology &
|Kimber, Melissa||Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Family Medicine||Assistant Clinical
|Kurmi, Om||Medicine||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Leong, Darryl||Medicine||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Loeb, Mark||Pathology & Molecular Medicine and Infectious
|Lokker, Cynthis||Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Longo, Chris||Health Policy & Management||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|MacMillan, Harriet||Psychiatry & Behavioural Science||Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Martin-Hill, Dawn||Anthropology||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|McNiven, Patricia||Family Medicine||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mente, Andrew||HEI||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Moffat, Tina||Anthropology||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Newbold, Bruce||Geography & Earth Sciences||Professoremail@example.com|
|O’Shea, Timothy||Medicine||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pare, Guillaume||Pathology & Molecular Medicine||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Randall, Glen||Health Policy & Management||Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rosenthal, Kenneth||Pathology & Molecular Medicine||Professoremail@example.com|
|Savelli, Mat||Health, Aging & Society||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Samaan, Constantine||Pediatrics||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Seow, Hsien||Oncology||Associate Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience
Biochemistry & Biomedical Science
|Waldron, Ingrid||Professor, HOPE Chair in Peace & Health||Professoremail@example.com|
|Williams, Allison||Earth, Environment & Society||Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wahi, Gita||Pediatrics||Associate Professor|
|Xing, Zhou||Pathology &
Global Health MSc. Committee Members
|Alvarez, Elizabeth||HEI||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Banfield, Laura||Nursing||Assistant Clinical Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bracken, Keyna||Family Medicine||Associate Professoremail@example.com|
|Chagla, Zain||Medicine||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mattison, Cristina||HEI||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Moat, Kaelan||HEI||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sonnadara, Ranil||Surgery||Assistant Professoremail@example.com|
|Sprague, Sheila||Surgery||Assistant Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wilson, Michael||HEI||Associate Professoremail@example.com|