Master of Public Health


Public health is defined as the organized efforts of society to keep people healthy and prevent injury, illness and premature death. It is a combination of programs, services and policies that protect and promote the health of all Canadians (PHAC).

Major public health outbreaks including the Walkerton water outbreak, and those caused by the West Nile virus, and SARS highlighted the need for individuals who could work at a systemic and macro policy level to address ongoing and acute public health community needs.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program was created at the University of Guelph in 2008, in response to societal need and government reports that called for increased graduate-trained human resources in public health. The program was developed in compliance with the Core Competencies for Public Health and the Guidelines for MPH Schools, as published by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It was accredited by the Ontario Council for Graduate Studies in January 2009, as was the Type 3 Graduate Diploma in Public Health. The objective of this program is to ensure students are well prepared for employment in the public health sector.

Contained within the Ontario Veterinary College, the MPH program is seen as the leader in infectious and zoonotic disease in MPH education across Canada. The MPH enjoys a close geographical relationship with two Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) offices and the main office of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. The Centre for Public Health and Collaboration (CPHAZ), and Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses also offer research collaboration.

Mission Statement

The University of Guelph Master of Public Health program prepares public health students and professionals for careers in which they will address the present and future needs of public health in Ontario, Canada, and internationally. We are committed to applied public health science and research, relevance of curriculum, lifelong learning, and issues of local relevance and international significance. Our graduates will emerge as influential local, national, and international leaders committed to improving quality of life by protecting and promoting the health of their communities and by anticipating and preventing disease from both a policy and a science perspective.

MPH Crest

The book represents policy. The Rod of Asclepius is the international symbol of health and healing, including use in public health, medicine and veterinary contexts. The water pump represents action and intervention, and is a defining historical moment in both epidemiology and public health. The pigeon on top further represents a public health connection to a veterinary context and also is representative of the following characteristics: flexible, loyal, resourceful, intelligent, and healing. The hands represent community, connectedness, and teamwork. Public health is affected by all people, young and old, and some of the biggest impacts are made when we work together. 

Latest Blog Entry

Alex Sawatzky is the first to defend PhD in Population Medicine (Public Health)

Posted January 21, 2019

Alex Sawatzky successfully defend her PhD work on December 16, 2018. Her excellent and interesting work titled "The Best Scientists are the People That's out There”: Inuit-Led Integrated Surveillance for Place-Based Health Adaptation to Climate Change" was the first in the field of Public Health within the Department of Poulation Medicine. Alex's unique blend of art and science will serve her well into the future.

Continue Reading | View all Blog Entries