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Degrees & Certificates Offered

The challenge of delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care and developing public policies that maintain health is increasingly complex. The demand for highly-skilled policy makers, managers and information specialists has never been higher.

The School of Health Policy and Management offers a degree in health studies in a way that is one of a kind. Its unique team of researchers and educators explores health from interdisciplinary perspectives -- including law, medicine, history, social sciences, engineering, informatics and the arts -- to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of current health care challenges.

You may choose a Health Studies major or to specialize in Health Management, Health Policy or Health Informatics.  No matter what you choose, you will benefit from an integrated exploration of all three because the School offers a distinct approach to health and social systems education. The School focuses on themes that address the organization and management of Canadian and international health care and public policy systems, and the concerns of a variety of populations within them.

The program’s creative and strategic approach replaces the individualized medical model with a social determinants approach and shifts the current focus on the treatment of illness to a focus on prevention and equity. In addition, the program poses questions about how to make the health care system more integrated.

Whether you choose a career on the front line of health care or an administrative role, you will gain critical thinking, writing, reading and presentation skills to aid health organizations in shaping the future of health care. Visit the careers page for information about possible careers.

The School offers five degrees and two certificates:

Understanding the politics of the health system requires the kind of broad-based perspectives that York’s interdisciplinary approach provides.  Students in health policy will examine current issues through the lens of political science, law, economics, sociology and ethics as they learn about how policies are developed and implemented.  The goal is to develop policies that are not merely reactive but rather proactive and sustainable in a variety of settings – public, private-for-profit and private not-for-profit.  Graduates will be able to effectively contribute to policy research, development and implementation at all levels of the health system.

Possible Careers

  1. Health Policy Analyst
  2. Health Systems Planner
  3. Researcher
  4. Health Care Advocate
  5. Research Coordinator
  6. Community Health Worker

Information technology is increasingly used in the management and administration of health care systems. From the electronic storage of patient records to the collection and analysis of health information, the use and understanding of electronic data are increasingly important tools for modern practitioners and administrators. In the Health Informatics program, you will gain specialized knowledge in the acquisition and application of research, analysis and system design within the context of health decision-making, resource allocation and program evaluation. A Health Informatics degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue rewarding roles in health sector planning and development.

Possible Careers

  • Data Analyst
  • Health Information Specialist
  • System Analyst
  • System Designer
  • Systems Integration Specialist

In the health management program you will develop the breadth of understanding in the area and the skills that will prepare you for a variety of rewarding and challenging careers in health management. This degree will also prepare you to participate in complex, multidisciplinary health care enterprises within a variety of community-based and institutional contexts. You will take courses in organizational behaviour, health services organization management, information management and decision making, leadership, integration in health care, and health performance measurement and improvement.

Possible Careers

  • Department/Clinic Manager
  • Quality Performance Specialist
  • Research Coordinator
  • Health Systems Planner
  • Community Health Advocate

The general Honours BHS program offers a unique approach to health systems education.  By incorporating a social determinants of health framework, the program emphasizes the organization of health care and other systems, the diversity of Canadians, the role of communities, and fairness and social justice as integral considerations in the development of effective health care models.  These issues are examined through the study of the most recent developments in management practice, health planning, and use of information in health care.

This program allows students to complete pre-med and other pre-health professional course requirements (e.g. occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing, etc.)  In addition, students can do a double major or major-minor in conjunction with many other York programs.

The ordinary BHS program introduces students to the fundamentalsin health policy, health management and health informatics, with a ‘social determinants of health’ framework incorporated in the study plan. The program prepares student for the job market in management, informatics and policy.

This Certificate will provide students with specific knowledge and insight into the growing field of health informatics.  They will learn about the use of information management as it relates to all aspects of the health care sector, as well as how to develop and manage information systems.  Building on courses that examine concepts, principles and processes of information management in health care, they will examine issues such as the societal implications of health informatics, applications and emerging issues for educators and practitioners. Through seminars, laboratory simulations and self-directed research, they will broaden their knowledge and expertise in this expanding area of health care.

Accountability for decision-making in health service organizations has never been more important.  Decision-makers at all levels in health care must be able to make financially sound, viable and defendable decisions. This certificate provides the skills and critical insight necessary to effectively manage health service organizations and contribute in a beneficial way to the health system.

The program is a collaboration between our School and the School of Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, bringing together the core strengths from each area to provide an innovative, first-ever certificate that is available nowhere else. The certificate is designed for both those who wish to enter the health sector and those who wish to further themselves in their current industry roles.

To apply for the Certificate in Health Services Financial Management, please contact the School of Administrative Studies. Questions about Certificate courses offered by the School of Health Policy and Management (SHPM) should be directed to the SHPM office

Possible Careers

  • Health services executive/administrator
  • Health Information Manager
  • Health Services Project Administrator
  • Health Care Executive Director
  • Health Services Research Analyst
  • Health Sector or Government Employee/Executive
  • Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Manager, Consultant

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