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 Zoonoses (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

Exploring Salutogenesis: A New Frontier in Health Promotion

Posted February 8, 2024

MPH student, Lili Van Camp, completed her practicum with Public Health Ontario during summer 2023. Her work centers on the concept of salutogenesis, which focuses on factors that support human health and wellbeing. Instead of asking “what makes people sick?” salutogenesis poses the question, “what keeps one healthy?”. Simply, the concept explores the origins of health rather than the cause of disease. Key concepts in salutogensis include:

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