Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: 
Question: 

What is studying in Guelph like?

Answer: 
Question: 

What is the usual course load?

Answer: 

Full-time students are required to complete at least 3 courses per semester over the 2 year length of the program. An overview of the courses taken each semester can be found at http://ovc.uoguelph.ca/mph/program-details.

Question: 

Can I take more courses than what is outlined?

Answer: 

Yes, students may take up to 4 courses per semester (http://ovc.uoguelph.ca/mph/program-details).

Question: 

On average, how much is tuition each year?

Answer: 

Tuition fees for graduate studies can be found here: www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/studentfinance/fees/guelph_gr

Question: 

Are there scholarship opportunities?

Answer: 

MPH students have been successful in being awarded various travel, research, and internal OVC grants. This is especially impressive as graduate awards are typically geared toward research programs.

Information regarding scholarships can be found here:

Question: 

What documents must be submitted with my application to the MPH program?

Answer: 

Documents to be submitted include a resume, two letters of reference, all post-secondary transcripts and a letter of interest. All documents must be submitted online. Further information can be found here: ovc.uoguelph.ca/mph/prospective-students

Question: 

What should be included in the letter of interest?

Answer: 

The letter of interest should describe your interests and expertise pertaining to public health, the reasons why you are applying to the MPH program, and career goals.

Question: 

The online application asks for a “statement of academic intent”. Is this the same as the “Letter of Interest”?

Answer: 

No. The “statement of academic intent” in the online application is separate and different from your “Letter of Interest”. You must still upload your Letter of Interest into your Web Advisor account in order to  complete your application.

Question: 

Do I need to find a faculty advisor before applying? 

Answer: 

No, you do not need to find a faculty advisor.

Question: 

Do I need an English Language Proficiency Test (e.g., TOEFL) as part of my application?

Answer: 

Courses at the University of Guelph are completed in approximately 12 weeks. Students therefore must be proficient in the use of English, both written and oral, when they begin their studies at Guelph. The University requires that certification of such proficiency be provided by applicants whose first language is not English. Examples of acceptable assessment of proficiency include official scores or results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of the Educational Testing Service, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE), and the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment. Please click on the following link for minimum scores: www.uoguelph.ca/graduatestudies/future/international/english

Question: 

Do I need to complete a GRE?

Answer: 

We do not require this test.

Question: 

Can I send my application by mail?

Answer: 

No, all applications and documents must be submitted online through WebAdvisor.

Question: 

Is a BASc degree acceptable for admission into the MPH program?

Answer: 

Your Honours BASc degree specializing in Arts and Science and Health Studies may have to be enhanced by successful completion of an undergraduate course, Principles of Disease (available via distance education http://www.open.uoguelph.ca/offerings/offering.aspx?hold=y&id=3893) to ensure you have the necessary health-related biological sciences background. This final assessment would be made by the MPH Admissions Committee in March. We would be looking to see that you have covered information pertaining to disease process and transmission during your previous studies.  Your offer of admission, if provided, would be conditional upon the completion of this course if it is deemed to be required.

Question: 

How can I improve the chances of getting an offer of admission?

Answer: 

Your academic record, as well as motivation, experience and aptitude for public health are very important. State your academic average in your last two years of full time study; if your grades are close to the minimum required then be sure to highlight other strengths and qualifications that you would like considered. Explain your public health related experience. If your educational background might at first seem inappropriate, then explain why you think it is a good fit for the program. Strong letters of reference are essential. At least one of the letters must be from an academic. The second letter may be from someone who knows you in a professional context and can evaluate your suitability for graduate school. Ideally, both letters will be from academics. Contact your references early in the application process to ensure the reference is submitted on time.

Question: 

How will I know if I have been placed on the waitlist? 

Answer: 

The Graduate Program Assistant will email wait listed candidates directly.

Question: 

How many students tend to be admitted after being on the waitlist?

Answer: 

It varies each year depending on the number of initial offers that are accepted. Typically this number is not large, but almost every year students are taken from the waitlist.

Question: 

Is the MPH program accredited?

Answer: 

The MPH program was developed in compliance with the Core Competencies for Public Health and Guidelines for MPH Programs in Canada, both published by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This positions the program well in the event a Canadian accreditation system, similar to that in the US and other countries, is developed (under discussion).

Question: 

What benefits are there to a MPH program contained within a veterinary college?

Answer: 

The MPH program is seen as the leader in infectious and zoonotic disease in MPH education across Canada, and it is the only MPH program that lists infectious disease as an area of focus. The MPH program is able to leverage expertise in epidemiology, zoonotic, foodborne and waterborne disease, environmental health, and public health policy to create a unique learning environment for students.

Question: 

Are there any joint MPH program options?

Answer: 

The MPH program now has an international development specialization. A combined Master of Public Health and International Development is the first of it's kind at the University of Guelph, currently offered to three students from the 2016 cohort.

Question: 

What is the difference between a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Guelph and a Master of Science (MSc) in Epidemiology at Guelph?

Answer: 

The MPH program is a course-based Masters that provides a broad and general education in public health. In contrast, the MSc in Epidemiology is research based, focusing on the application of epidemiology. Students who are unsure of their specific interests in public health may wish to explore the MPH program, whereas students desiring a career in Epidemiology may wish to explore the MSc program offered by the Department of Population Medicine.

Question: 

Is there a Public Health PhD?

Answer: 

Yes, a PhD in Population Medicine in the field of Public Health was recently approved to launch at the University of Guelph in the Fall of 2016. Students wishing to pursue a PhD after their MPH may wish to apply to this PhD program.

Question: 

Is a practicum placement valuable?

Answer: 

Graduates of the MPH program at the University of Guelph find the practicum experience to be a valuable component of their graduate studies. Sixty percent of respondents ranked the utility of their experience as outstanding, with the remaining forty percent reporting that the utility of their experience was very good.

Question: 

Are practicum placements paid?

Answer: 

Practicum placements may be paid or unpaid depending on the organization at which a student completes their placement. Students who complete an unpaid practicum may be eligible for a bursary. See http://ovc.uoguelph.ca/mph/program-details for further guidance.

Question: 

Where have students completed their practicum placements in the past?

Answer: 

Students have completed practicum placements in a variety of local, provincial, federal and international organizations. This has included placements at local public health units, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Ontario, to only name a few. A list of previous placements can be found here: http://ovc.uoguelph.ca/mph/alumni

Question: 

What are some examples of previous practicum projects?

Answer: 

Students typically complete their practicum placements in the area of epidemiology, program evaluation, health promotion, knowledge synthesis and translation, public health policy, program development and implementation, and research. Topics that have been covered using these approaches include infectious disease modelling, food and water safety, antimicrobial resistance in human and animal populations, sexually transmitted infections, alcohol misuse, tobacco control, vaccination, chronic disease, and public health surveillance.

Question: 

How satisfied are students and practicum host agencies with Guelph’s MPH Program?

Answer: 

Proxy measures of student satisfaction can include the number of graduates who:

  • Seek practicum students and become field preceptors
  • Return to class as guest lecturers

  • Attend the annual Public Health Forum

  • Volunteer their time to mentor current students

  • Liaise with prospective students, answering any questions they may have

Proxy measures of host agency satisfaction can include:

  • The overwhelming majority of practicum hosts that report students have exceeded their expectation during their practicum placement

  • The number of repeated practicum host agencies

  • The high quality of public health agencies (federal, provincial, and local) and high quality of projects that the MPH students are able to complete during their practicum placement
Question: 

How employable are graduates?

Answer: 

The program structure enables students to pursue various employment opportunities upon graduation. Graduates currently work across Ontario within local public health, provincial public health agencies, federal public health agencies, private firms, and non-profit agencies. Preliminary outcome assessment results reveal that 67% of graduates obtain employment within 3 months of graduation, and 100% of those actively looking for employment obtained a job within 6 months of graduating. Some are hired by the agency where they completed their practicum placement, while others have been successful in open competitions.

Question: 
Is the MPH program offered on campus or in a Distance Education format? 
Answer: 

On-campus, in class.