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Program Overview

Boost your career prospects by completing a Master of Public Health degree at Queen's.

At Queen's, we educate, equip and inspire you to lead Evidence-Informed Action for Public Health by building a solid foundation in public health theory, methods, skills and competencies.

Our professional course-based degree includes a 400-hour practicum placement and can be completed in 16-months.

An Accelerated MPH degree program is available for candidates with at least two years of cumulative full-time paid employment in health care, public health or a related field.

You may also be interested in our Specialization in Infection Prevention and Control, an embedded training opportunity within the MPH that combines foundational training in public health competencies with technical training and experiential learning in infection prevention and control.

We teach our students face-to-face and prioritize collaborative learning. We value our students and support them to succeed. The MPH is delivered as a blend of in-person courses, online courses, and off-campus experiential learning through a summer practicum with a host organization. Required courses are delivered in person and students are expected to attend on campus in the fall and winter terms.


Degree Requirements


A brief overview of course content in the Master of Public Health program is below. Please note that not all elective courses are offered each year, and the term in which courses are offered may change from year to year.


A brief overview of course content in the Master of Public Health program is below. Please note that not all elective courses are offered each year, and the term in which courses are offered may change from year to year.

The Infection Prevention and Control Specialization (IPAC Specialization) is an embedded training opportunity within the Master of Public Health program.

To complete the IPAC Specialization, MPH students must successfully complete three IPAC elective courses, and complete their 400-hour IPAC-focused practicum placement (EPID 887).  

For more details, visit: MPH with Specialization in Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) | Public Health Sciences | School of Medicine | Queen's University (

The IPAC Specialization electives are below.


EPID 851: Medically Relevant Microbiology in Infection Prevention and Control

This course provides foundational and applied information to support learners' development of infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices within various healthcare and public health settings. Students will gain an understanding of the basics of medical microbiology and how they relate to core competencies for IPAC.

Three term hours. Winter. Instructor: Prameet Sheth


EPID 852: Fundamentals of Infection Prevention and Control and Environments of Care

This course provides foundational and applied information to support learners' development of infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices within various healthcare and public health settings. Students will gain an understanding of the core competencies for IPAC. Diverse principles and practices associated with routine practices, additional precautions, program evaluation, surveillance and outbreak management, occupational health, emergency management, disinfection concepts, preprocessing, construction/renovation and principles of adult learning will be explored as the foundational concepts of an IPAC program. Students will be able to apply these IPAC skills and concepts to a broad environment of care and its overall impact on public health.

Three term hours. Winter. Instructor: Kim Allain and Heather Candon


EPID 853: Healthcare, Quality, Safety and Risk

This course provides foundational and applied information and activities to support learners' development of quality, risk and safety principles and practices within Public Health settings. Learners will gain an understanding of the integration of improvement science within the public health setting with a particular focus on the area of infection prevention and control (IPAC). Principals and practices associated with policy, change management, leadership, communication, collaboration, and safety culture will be examined to explore ways to provide optimal health outcomes for individuals and communities while adhering to the principals of IPAC.

Summer term (on-line). Instructor: TBD

Information for Prospective Students


We get lots of questions from applicants. Here is a summary of some of the popular ones - with our answers.

Program structure and requirements

Practicum placement

International practicum placements

Funding and scholarship opportunities

Work opportunities during and after the program




Program structure and requirements


Q - Is the Queen's MPH an in-person or an online program?

We teach our students face to face and value collaborative learning. The MPH is delivered as a blend of in-person courses on campus, some online course options, and off-campus experiential learning through a summer practicum with a host organization. Required courses are delivered in person and students are expected to attend on campus in the fall and winter terms. The Queen's MPH cannot be completed solely online.


Q - When are the start and end dates for the MPH program?

A – The program begins in the first week of September, and ends 16 months later, at the end of December. You can find details on session dates for Graduate Studies here: Sessional Dates < Queen's University (


Q - Is there a capstone paper that needs to be completed?

A – No, there is no capstone paper or thesis that needs to be completed.  The Queen’s MPH is a professional, course-based degree.


Q - Is the schedule and the student handbook going to be the same as the previous year?

A – Though degree requirements don't change, the timetable is created fresh each year. Not all electives are offered each year, and instructors also may shift. The timetable is usually confirmed by July and the student handbook is usually completed by August. Both are posted on the MPH website. 


Q - Where on campus are most MPH classes held? 

A – It depends. The timetable and class assignments are usually confirmed by July. Many MPH courses are held in the active learning classroom on the main floor of Carruthers Hall. The classroom is designed to support small group work and discussion.  


Q - Is the workload heavier than the typical undergraduate workload?

A – That depends on what undergraduate experience you are comparing it to! Graduate student workload tends to be quite heavy, and time management is very important. Count on working at least as many hours as you would for a demanding full time job, and often more.


Q - If students are familiar with statistics but not necessarily with biostats/epidemiology, do you recommend a review of biostatistics and epidemiology before the first term?

A – Yes, a review certainly can’t hurt! All MPH students take an introductory biostatistics course in the first semester. This course tends to be very demanding in terms of workload and can be a challenge for many students. For review, we recommend the Statistics and Probability modules from the Khan Academy (


Q - What are the methods of evaluation in our courses? Assignments/exams?

A – It’s a mix, depending on the course. Some have midterms and finals, others short or longer assignments, group projects, presentations and so on.


Q - When will we build our eportfolio?

A – It’s a gradual process. You are introduced to the purpose and shape of the eportfolio in the first month. As the term fall and winter terms unfold, you will be adding artifacts and reflections. A working draft ePortfolio is due at the end of winter term. 


Q - Can a student take extra electives beyond the requirements? 

A – Yes, that is often possible. Of course, you will need to carefully consider your workload, you will need to meet the course pre-requisites and depending on the course, you may also need permission of the Course Instructor and the MPH Program Director. Check the "Student Guide to Taking Electives" on this website page for further detail: 


Q - Is there a possibility of taking electives at another academic institution?

A – Yes. The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) plan allows a graduate student at an Ontario university (home university) to take graduate courses at another Ontario university (host university). However, various conditions must be met, including approval not just from Queen’s, but also from the host university and host instructor. Check the "Student Guide to Taking Electives" on this website page for further detail: 


Q - If we were accepted into the MPH program are you able to switch to the Accelerated MPH? 

A – No.


Q - For Accelerated MPH students who may do their placements outside of Ontario, is there a requirement to formally come back to Queen's/Ontario at the end?

A – There is currently no requirement to return to Queen’s at the end of the placement for Accelerated MPH students. However, you will be invited to debrief your placement with our Professional Development Officer (which can be done by Zoom), and to share your practicum experience with other students.




Q - Is completion of the practicum required for graduation? 

A – Yes, the practicum is an integral part of MPH degree requirements. 


Q - What is the process of securing a practicum?

A – Finding a practicum is an independent process, but you also have the support of the Professional Development Officer, who posts a large variety of practicum opportunities to a central site. There are three basic ways to get a practicum. First, you can apply for a Kingston-based practicum that is offered to Queen’s MPH students only. Second, you can apply for publicly advertised practicum (for example, Public Health Ontario, Public Health Agency of Canada, etc.). Third, you can create your own practicum opportunity. Our Professional Development Officer guides you through the process and approves all practicums.


Q - How can we coordinate a practicum outside of Ontario with the MPH program?

A – We have had many students complete their practicum outside of Ontario – though most do stay within the province. You would work with our Professional Development officer to identify and connect with organizations of interest.


Q - Have students received jobs at the organization where they completed their practicum?

A – Yes, that sometimes happens.


Q - Is current employment eligible for practicum hours?  

A – No. The practicum is an opportunity to add to your experience in a different context.


Q - Can you complete the practicum part-time throughout the year, for example, if you are still working full-time?  

A – Practicums are generally completed between May and August. Any alternate scheduling for practicums would be highly unusual, and would need careful planning and prior approval of the Professional Development Officer.


Q - Are we guaranteed a practicum ?

A – We’ve never failed yet to place all our students in a practicum with a host organization.


Q - What is the ratio of paid to unpaid practicums?

A - It varies from year to year. The ratio of paid placements is usually less than a third.


Q - Does the program offer seminars or workshops to help you prepare for the practicum interview?

A – Definitely. The EPID 886 Public Health Professional Development course has sessions on resumes and cover letters, interviews and professional communication. Putting together your MPH Competency ePortfolio also helps you clarify and articulate your professional identity in preparation for your placement and ongoing employment. Queen’s Career Services also has regular training workshops on job seeking skills. 


Q - Are the practicums straight through from May-August? Or is there a break between our last final exam and the practicum's starting date?

A – The practicum is a minimum of 400 hours, so that’s approximately 10-12 weeks of full time work. Students start and end at different times, depending on the student’s arrangements with the host organization. Some are more flexible than others. The majority of practicums begin around May 1, so there is usually a break between end of term and the start of the practicum.


Q - Is there a capstone paper or project that must be completed prior to completion of the practicum component?

A – The practicum has a number of different assessment elements, and is geared to help you transition into professional practice.  There is no large capstone paper or project.


Q - Can you take an elective at the same time as completing the practicum? 

A – Yes, this is possible. Of course you will need to carefully consider your workload. Your primary responsibility will be fulfilling your responsibilities to your host organization through the 400-hour practicum. 


Q - Should you cater your elective courses to the practicum that you would like to do? 

A – Your choice of electives depends on a number of factors, including your plans for a practicum, your content areas of interest, and also the broader picture of how you would like your professional public health career to unfold.


International practicums


Q - Are we able to apply to international practicum organizations beyond those listed?

A – Yes. One way to secure a practicum is to create your own opportunity. However, all practicums must be approved by our Professional Development Officer, and all practicums require a legal Affiliation Agreement, confirmed in advance, between Queen’s University and the host organization.


Q - For international practicums, if unpaid, are there monetary stipends given to cover living costs?

A – No.


Q - Is there a benefit to doing an international practicum (ex. WHO). I understand that it is competitive and there is a small chance of getting the practicum, but if you do get the practicum, would it be harder to find a job in Canada upon graduation?

A – Typically, a very small handful of our Queen’s MPH students do international practicums each year. Whether you should pursue an international practicum is really up to you – but some things to consider would be how the practicum would fit with your overall career direction and how important it is for you to build your professional network in a particular place. Our Professional Development Officer can help you think through opportunities and give you some helpful parameters for decision making.


Q - For those interested in an international practicum, when should we begin searching for positions and what should we look for in an agency to ensure that it will be approved?

A – We encourage our students to stay focused on their coursework in their academically demanding first term, rather than focusing too much on the practicum. That said, because international practicums may have additional requirements, students will sometimes do the groundwork earlier than domestic practicums – often by November or so.  This will vary by opportunity.


Q - Does the public health building have study spaces or a grad lounge for us to connect, socialize, and work? Do people tend to hang around the building? Is it a good social environment?

A – Yes, Carruthers Hall is our “home” building for the Department of Public Health Sciences. There are shared study carrels, and a student lounge. Students use the lounge regularly, and there is almost always someone around, including students in the Master of Science in Epidemiology program.


Funding and scholarship opportunities


Q - What are the options for financial assistance, scholarships and bursaries?

A – The Queen’s MPH is a professional Masters program. Students are not eligible for funding packages from the Department of Public Health Sciences. It is the responsibility of MPH students to ensure they will be able to support themselves financially over the course of the program. For information about awards, scholarships and bursaries, click here: 


Q - Does the program qualify for OGS funding?

A – Students are eligible for OGS funding, but only when they apply to the program. Unfortunately they are not eligible during the second year. Further OGS information is here: 


Q - What is the tuition for the MPH program?

A – Total tuition for the MPH program is approximately $16,000. Students pay by term. You can get specifics from the Registrar’s office:  Remember that the MPH degree is four terms, and you do pay tuition during the summer term when you are doing your practicum. The School of Graduate Studies and Post Doctoral Affairs contacts students in August to select a payment plan.


Q - Are part-time fees by course or by term? 

A – All MPH fees are by term. You can get specifics from the Registrar’s office:


Q - When I accept my offer of admission from Queen's, is there an immediate acceptance deposit? 

A – No, there is no deposit. The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs contacts students in August to select a tuition payment plan.


Work opportunities during and after the program


Q - Do most MPH students work part-time during their time at Queen's?

A – Some (but not most) graduate students do work part-time. Graduate Studies recommends work of no more than 10 hours per week. Many MPH students find that just managing their course demands is plenty.


Q - Are there TA (Teaching Assistant) or RA (Research Assistant) opportunitiesin the Department of Public Health Sciences?

A – Yes, there are both RA and TA opportunities, but they are limited. Our own department’s TA opportunities for MPH students are only available in year two (September – December). 


Q - Is it possible to work as a TA in the first year of the program if you find a position on your own?

A – Yes. For example, some of our first year MPH students work as TAs in undergraduate courses, for example in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences or elsewhere. 


Q - Are there any opportunities for MPH students to get involved with extracurricular research, or is that more of a case-by case basis?

A – The MPH program does not offer any formal extracurricular research opportunities. However, you are certainly free to reach out to professors throughout the department and the university.


Q - What are the career options for MPH graduates?

A - Public health is a wide field, and there are various career opportunities across the health system. A Master of Public Health degree can take your career in many directions. The large majority of our graduates find employment in public health. Our graduates hold positions as Health Planners, Research Analysts, Health Promoters, Evaluators, Project Managers and more. Queen’s MPH graduates work in health units, government agencies, hospitals, community organizations and research institutes across the country and beyond. You'll find more examples in the Public Health Career Opportunities page on our website.  




Q - What are the best options for housing off-campus?

A – There are lots of options for off-campus housing in Kingston. Most students live within walking distance to campus. Check the Queen's Off Campus Housing Facebook group and Kijiji for the broadest set of listings. You can also check Queen’s Community Housing for listings and housing helps:


Q - Can master's students live on campus residence?

A – Yes. There are two small graduate student residences. However, it is not common for MPH students. Most students live in the community nearby.