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Global Health

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Health Without Borders  

Global Health is the study and practice of improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent monkeypox outbreak 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, human rights, broad societal inequities, and government policy, including histories of colonialism. Health not only involves the absence of disease, but also the promotion of health equity and positive health practices on both an individual and societal level.

Tomorrow’s health professionals, both medical and non-clinical (e.g. health care managers, community health coordinators, NGO leaders, health data analysts and policy researchers) will need to take a coordinated global approach working across borders to address the global factors that impact health. York’s School of Global Health prepares you to be one of these professionals through a comprehensive education that encompasses both the biomedical sciences and the social sciences and humanities, looking at all aspects of health from healthcare to public health to the social determinants of health. The program addresses transnational health issues and the structures that shape our capability to live healthy lives, locally and globally. Students learn to approach the complexity of health through a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral approach that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level health care. As the first undergraduate global health program in Canada, Maclean’s magazine listed it as one of York’s “stand out” programs. Students also benefit from small class sizes 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 anatomy and physiology prerequisites for medical school, the Global Health degree also prepares students for professional schools (e.g., law, teaching), graduate school, and post-graduate training in various health professions (e.g., public health, nursing, health management and administration) or to directly enter the workforce. Medical schools are increasingly looking for candidates who have the kind of comprehensive education and who demonstrate social responsibility and interdisciplinary thinking, along with the teamwork and leadership skills provided by York’s Global Health program. Pathway 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, as well as the option of pursuing a double-major or major-minor combination in a Faculty of Health or other York programs.

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 and methodological approaches 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
  • Epidemiology and Global Health

Global Health video description transcript

Real World Experience

All Global Health students have an opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on, real-world experience tackling global health issues. Specialized honours students will have the opportunity to work in an organization locally or internationally. Examples of organizations where students can be placed include the Hospital for Sick ChildrenBlack Creek Community Health CentreDoctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and YorkU’s EcoCampus in Costa Rica.

Global Health student Oyewunmi standing in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network office

I really developed my communication skills and professional capabilities. It was a wonderful, collaborative experience that I enjoyed a lot.

Oyewunmi, who worked at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Toronto, doing research and communications work on reducing HIV stigma in the African-Caribbean community

Learning from professionals about storyboarding, editing and filmmaking was a very rewarding experience. Connecting with Costa Rica students and learning some Spanish was also an enjoyable aspect of the entire experience.

Janani, who worked as a member of the film team for the Grounded Project, a documentary exploring land recovery, food sovereignty, and cultural appropriation affecting Indigenous people in Costa Rica

Global Health student Fatima standing in the Doctors Without Borders office

My placement taught me how NGOs work and I had a great mentor who helped me to hone my skills. I see myself working in an NGO.

Fatima, who worked at Doctors Without Borders, Toronto, on advocacy and policy research and development

Careers in Global Health

  • Global Health Policy Analyst/Advisor
  • Health Systems Planner*
  • Clinic Director
  • Health Educator/Health Promoter – chronic diseases, communicable diseases, maternal/child wellbeing
  • Health Manager
  • Health Researcher
  • Nurse*
  • Community Health Worker
  • Community Development – environmental health, sustainable water, housing
  • Physician*
  • Information Specialist
  • Communications Specialist
  • Lawyer*
  • Teacher*
  • Systems Integration Specialist

*with further postgraduate training

For more information, visit our page on careers in Global Health.

Professor giving a lecture

Global Health Alumni

Graduates from York’s Global Health degree have established careers in medicine, research, policy, nursing, and more, as well as pursuing graduate and other professional schools.

Humaima Ashfaque
Emergency Responder, Canadian Red Cross
Gurneet Bhela
Program Analyst - Global Health Innovation, Grand Challenges Canada
Maya Woolf
2nd Entry Nursing
Program, York
Ryan Jeevanayagam
Administrative Assistant, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research,
York University

This program gave me a sense of purpose and direction, of what I can do to make a difference.

— Global Health Graduate

Contact Us

Global Health Program