Public Health Sciences

Faculty List

Professor and Dean of the School 
H. Hu, MD MPH ScD 

L.M. Calzavara, PhD, MA 
P. Corey, PhD 
M. Escobar, PhD 
J. Stafford, PhD 

Associate Professors 
D. Allman, PhD 
P.E. Brown, PhD 
G. Einstein, MA, PhD 
B.J. Harvey, MD, PhD, MEd 
B. Poland, PhD 
J. Scott, PhD 
P. Selby, MBBS, MHSc 
R. Summerbell, PhD 

Assistant Professors 
P. Kaufman, PhD 
K. Urbanoski, PhD 

Offered by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health


Public health is the science and art of preventing disease and promoting health through organized population-based efforts. The focus of public health is to prevent rather than treat disease and to positively affect determinants of health through a wide range of strategies, including the surveillance and assessment of population health and the promotion of healthy behaviours, healthy environments and healthy public policies. In addition to these activities, the identification and treatment of those with disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease. Hand washing, vaccination programs, the inspection of restaurants, laws banning smoking in public places and tax credits for childhood physical activity programs are examples of public health measures. Public health includes sub-disciplines such as epidemiology, biostatistics, occupational and environmental health, public health policy, and social and behavioural health sciences.

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs: Professor Dionne Gesink,

Enquiries: Visit or email

Public Health Sciences Courses

PHS100H1 - Discovering Global Health

Hours: 24L/24T

This course introduces students to basic public health-related concepts, significant aspects of the historical development of global health, and a selection of topics illustrating the broad and evolving nature of this field. In addition, it helps students explore the contributions that various disciplines/fields offer to global health.

Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

HST211H1 - Health Policy in Canada

Hours: 24L

Introduces students to health policy in Canada, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health, and on how to improve health through policy advocacy. Examines the policy making process in the Canadian context, and the development of health policy in Canada. Explores current debates about health issues.

Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

PHS300H1 - HIV Prevention Research

Hours: 24L

This course examines HIV prevention research across the full spectrum of sciences concerned with prevention of HIV and sexual health, including basic science, clinical science, epidemiology, behavioural science, social science, and legal, policy, economic analysis, and cultural theory. Examples are borrowed from efforts across the globe.

The course highlights prevention research related to key populations at risk of HIV infection and transmission. The course focuses on challenges and issues, with the goal of stimulating critical thinking and engagement with topics. Some material will be presented by Guest Lecturers who are experts in the areas, allowing students to learn from and interact with these experts and to hear about their current research as well as their career paths.

It is expected that at the end of this course students will have an advanced appreciation of the history and future and underlying values and ethics of effective HIV prevention research, including future possibilities and challenges. One ancillary aim is to encourage students to compare and contrast HIV Prevention with prevention research in adjacent areas (e.g., HCV, HPV).

Recommended Preparation: STA220H1 or equivalent
Distribution Requirements: Science, Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

HMB342H1 - Epidemiology of Health & Disease

Hours: 24L/12T

This course engages students in the fundamental science of epidemiology applied to health and disease. After an introduction to various measures of health and disease, the scientific methods used to investigate, analyze, prevent and control health problems will be illustrated using social, biomedical and public health examples

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits including one of BIO120H1/ BIO130H1/ HST209H1
Exclusion: HST373H1
Recommended Preparation: STA220H1/ STA288H1/ EEB225H1/ PSY201H1
Distribution Requirements: Science
Breadth Requirements: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5)

HST405H1 - Global Migration and Health

Previous Course Number: HST307H1

Hours: 24L

Over the past decades, economic globalization, widening socio-economic inequities, conflict, natural disasters, environmental degradation, and, more recently, climate change have combined to become increasingly significant forces shaping global migration fluxes. This course analyzes the impact of migration on the health of those who move and of individuals, communities and entire societies in countries of origin, transit, arrival, and resettlement. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating scholarly work from the fields of public health, the social sciences, law, and human rights.

Prerequisite: HST209H1/ HMB203H1/ HMB303H1
Exclusion: HST307H1 (Special Topics in Health Studies I: Globalization, Migration and Health), offered in Winter 2017, Winter 2018, and Winter 2019
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

HST410H1 - Case Studies in Health Policy

Hours: 36S

Analyses the formation and implementation of health policy through the use of case studies. Each case deals with a substantive health policy issue. Using case studies, students will learn to understand and analyze the processes by which public policies are formed, and perform comparisons of policy alternatives.

Prerequisite: HST211H1
Recommended Preparation: HST310H1
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

GGR433H1 - Built Environment and Health

Hours: 36S

Linking across fields that include public health, geography and planning, this course examines the growing evidence and ways in which human health is affected by the design and development of the built environment in which we live, work and play. The course considers how various planning and development decisions impact population and individual health, particularly in relation to chronic diseases, injuries, and mental health. Potential of several local field trips (transportation costs: approximately $21).

Prerequisite: 10.0 credits
Exclusion: GGR400H1 (Special Topics in Geography I: Built Environments & Health), offered in Winter 2013
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 credit in Geography (SOC SCI/BR=3)
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

GGR434H1 - Building Community Resilience

Hours: 36S

Examines concepts of resilience as a way of building the capacity of communities to (a) respond to predicted disruptions/shocks associated with climate change, global pandemics, anticipated disruptions in global food supply, energy insecurity, and environmental degradation; and (b) nurture the development of alternative spaces that support the emergence of more life-sustaining structures and practices. Includes explicit attention to equity and public health, and explores issues such as: participatory governance of social-ecological systems, the nature of social change, complexity science, the role of social movements, indigenous and political ecology perspectives.

Prerequisite: 10.0 credits
Exclusion: GGR400H1 (2011-12)
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 credit in Geography
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

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