Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Global Health

Global Health

Health Without Borders  

Global Health is the study and practice of improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide. As the first undergraduate global health program in Canada, Maclean’s magazine listed it as one of York’s “stand out” programs.

For more information visit the School of Global Health website.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc)

The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and growing rates of obesity and diabetes are examples of global health challenges that do not recognize borders. Our health and that of the rest of the world’s population is intertwined with broader issues, including population growth and migration, wealth disparity, environmental degradation, corporate activity, and government policy. Health not only involves the absence of disease, but also the promotion of physical, mental, and social well-being – with keen attention to how the conditions that ensure health and health equity require positive health practices on both an individual and societal level.

Tomorrow’s health professionals, both clinical (e.g., physician, nurse, physician’s assistant, respiratory therapist) and non- clinical (e.g. public health practitioners, NGO leaders, health data analysts, policy researchers, health system managers), will need to understand the global structures and processes that impact individual and population health in Canada and around the world. York’s School of Global Health prepares you to be one of these professionals through a comprehensive education that encompasses the biomedical sciences, social sciences, and humanities, looking at topics such as infectious disease, chronic disease, anatomy and physiology, epidemiology, health promotion, health policy, health ethics, and health law. Students in the Global Health program also benefit from small class sizes and research opportunities where they enjoy direct interaction with fellow students and with professors who are experts and professionals in their fields.

Pathway to Medical, Professional Schools & Post-Graduate Training

In addition to providing the prerequisites courses for medical school, the Global Health degree also prepares students for graduate and professional school, and post-graduate training in various disciplines in health (e.g., public health, nursing, dentistry, health management and administration) and beyond health (e.g., law, education, international development) – or to directly enter the workforce. Medical and graduate schools, for instance, are increasingly looking for candidates who have the kind of comprehensive education and interdisciplinary perspective that demonstrates social responsibility along with the teamwork and leadership skills provided by York’s Global Health program.
Pathways to Medical & Professional Schools 

Degree Options

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Specialized Honours
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) Specialized Honours

The BSc and BA in Global Health have the exact same core Global Health course requirements. However, a BSc student also has additional math, science, and computer science requirements outside of their Global Health courses while a BA student does not. This means that a BA student may have more space in their schedule to take additional electives, such as in the humanities or social sciences.

Honours degrees allow a student more flexibility in electives and therefore allows a student to complete a double major and major/minor combinations with other programs.  Applicants may apply directly to the Honours program via the OUAC or the YorkU Online Application.

Specialized Honours degrees have a higher GPA requirement and additional required courses.  Only students within the Specialized Honours may complete the Global Health practicum course (involving a domestic or international placement with a global health organization) and the Global Health research capstone course. However, students within the Specialized Honours cannot complete a double major nor add on a minor.  Students may only switch into the specialized honours as current students.

For more information on York’s Global Health degree, visit the Global Health website.

Scholarships & Awards

The following is a list of available scholarships, awards, and prizes offered by the School of Global Health, Faculty of Health, and York University, including their descriptions, criteria, value, and stage of awarding. Some scholarships, awards, and prizes require an application, while others will be awarded automatically without application based on data the University already collects. Please check all requirements, eligibility, and deadlines.

  • York Global Health Entrance Scholarship
  • Global Health Prizes
  • York Global Health Travel Award
  • President’s International Scholarship of Excellence
  • Tentanda Via Award – International
  • Merit-Based and Characteristic-Based Scholarships
  • Gold Medal for Academic Excellence & Outstanding Leadership
  • Silver Medal for Outstanding Leadership
  • President Emeritus Mamdouh Shoukri International Award for Global Health


All students, whether in the BA or BSc options, take the same core courses that explore the major issues at the forefront of global health including:

  • Global Health Governance and Leadership
  • Global Health Policy, Power and Politics
  • Determinants of Health: Local to Global
  • Agents of Change in a Global World (strongly recommended as an elective course)
  • Methods and Approaches in Global Health Research
  • Chronic Diseases and Care
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Healthcare Planning for Communities
  • Global Health Ethics
  • Communicable Diseases and Care

Global Health video description

Real World Experience

4th Year Field Practicum Course

Specialized Honours students have an opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world experience tackling global health issues working in a placement based in a global health organization domestically or internationally. Learn more

I gained a lot of first-hand global health experience during my practicum placement with the Euro Health Group Consultancy in Denmark contributing to the evaluation and analysis of a global vaccine program.

— Global Health student Jacquelyn Yushkov

Jacquelyn Yushkov

Research Opportunities

Make connections and build your resume doing research at York’s Global Strategy Lab, the Global & Environmental Health Lab, and the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research led by Dr. James Orbinski who accepted the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontièrs while serving as international president.

Dr. James Orbinski (Right)

Careers in Global Health

Just a few of the many career opportunities in Global Health. For more information, visit our page on careers in Global Health.

  • Global Health Policy Analyst/Advisor
  • Director, Non-Profit
  • Global Health Program Officer/Evaluator
  • Global Health Consultant
  • NGO Program Coordinator
  • Health Educator/Health Promoter – chronic diseases, communicable diseases, maternal/child wellbeing
  • Health Manager/Researcher
  • Clinic Director
  • Physician*
  • Nurse*
  • Community Health Worker
  • Community Development – environmental health, sustainable water, housing
  • Information Specialist
  • Communications Specialist
  • Health Systems Planner*
  • Public Health Practitioner*
  • Lawyer*
  • Teacher*
  • Systems Integration Specialist
  • Epidemiologist*
  • Infection Prevention & Control Specialist

* with further postgraduate training

Global Health Alumni

York’s Global Health graduates are going on to careers in medicine, research, policy, nursing, and more, as well as pursuing graduate school and other professional schools.

Humaima Ashfaque
Hand Hygiene Coordinator & Data Analyst, Hamilton Health Sciences
Gurneet Bhela
Program Evaluation Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada
Ryan Jeevanayagam
Program & Policy Officer, Employment and Social Development Canada
Abigael Pamintuan
User Experience Designer, Unity Technologies
Nishila Mehta
Resident Physician at University of Toronto

Contact Global Health