Program Formats


*Please note that for the upcoming 2019-2020 intake, the Distributed Learning format will not be available*

The MPH program is available in two formats: the traditional classroom-based format, with on-campus classes scheduled on a Monday to Friday timetable, and the Distributed Learning (DL) format, which provides working public health professionals across B.C. and Canada with the opportunity to obtain an MPH degree.

The Distributed Learning format

Students are required to be on UBC Point Grey campus four full days per month, three times per term. Each four-day session runs from Thursday to Sunday and each of these days is dedicated to a particular course (normally 8:30am – 4:30pm). So, if a student is taking three courses in a given term, they will only need to be on campus for three of the four days. Courses may be held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It may be possible to attend classes only on Saturday or Sunday, but the course schedule is subject to change based on instructor availability. In addition to the weekends, students are expected to have 15 hours of extra curriculum online per course, some of which will include readings, video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc.

Please note that we do not offer a fully online program – our DL courses require monthly attendance as mentioned above.

The format choice depends on preference and availability, and will not influence whether you are offered admission into the MPH program. The curriculum and learning objectives are the same in both the traditional and DL formats. The mandatory courses are offered in both formats, most often but not always by the same instructor, but the elective courses can vary (some are offered in traditional format only, some DL only, some both).

Working and the DL option

Because most of our students who choose the DL format option continue to work full-time, we’ve structured this format to be accommodating to them. It is usually necessary to miss two days of work per month, so employer support is key to success. The DL format requires the same amount of work as the traditional format, so it’s important to have a flexible workplace and an understanding family. The time commitments are the same for both formats. Part-time for DL students is not available.

If applicants are concerned about face time with faculty and other students, please note that school-wide events are planned around the weekends when the DL group is on campus. The DL group support each other as they are in contact online frequently in addition to four full days each month together.

Choosing the DL option

When applying to the MPH program, you are asked which format you prefer. If you prefer the traditional format or you are only able to do one particular format, please indicate the one choice. If applicants can complete the program in their second-choice format as well, please indicate this. Otherwise, only put down the preference of format that you can actually complete.