Why study at SPPH

The School of Population and Public Health brings together outstanding students and faculty in a collaborative and innovative learning environment dedicated to the development of public health in Canada.

Part of the Faculty of the Medicine, the School focuses on training researchers and practitioners in the field of public health, preparing future leaders who will shape health care systems in Canada and globally. We offer a wide range of programs for students from varied backgrounds and career goals.

SPPH graduates secure senior roles in professional and academic settings, including positions in government, hospitals, acute and long-term care, rehabilitation, policy planning and analysis and health agencies. Many also go on to become clinicians and researchers, generating new knowledge and translating it into action to improve and sustain the health of the population.

Academic excellence

  • Renowned faculty engaged in research and graduate education
  • Comprehensive and interdisciplinary graduate-level programs
  • Outstanding and diverse students from over 149 countries
  • Consistently ranked among the world’s best universities

Innovative research

  • Research-intensive activities that place the School among the most competitive for research funding and competitive career awards per faculty member
  • Broad-ranging research across four dedicated Divisions
  • Strong collaborations that stretch across the province, Canada and around the world

Exceptional learning environments

  • Strong funding support for students
  • Award-winning Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS) program to enhance the personal, academic and professional development of our students
  • Advanced classroom and online learning technologies, laboratories and affiliated clinical settings

Cascading waterfall ©Bryan Nordley

Close to the heart of downtown Vancouver, the University of British Columbia is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides, resting upon 993 acres of some of Vancouver’s most scenic land. The campus is a combination of educational diversity and green space that offers students one of the most unique learning opportunities, one that is consistently ranked among the world’s best.

Koerner Library ©Bryan NordleyUBC offers quality studies spaces, the UBC Library system – which encompasses several libraries across campus as well a number of special collections, the UBC Bookstore, and student facilities, including the student union building, The Nest. The university grounds offer an abundance of other attractions, such as the Museum of Anthropology, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, the Nitobe Japanese Garden, Botanical Gardens, and the Chan Centre entertainment venue.

On-campus recreational opportunities are in no short supply. The UBC Student REC building contains indoor gym facilities, drop-in sports classes and intramural sports leagues. The aquatic centre offers a swimming pool, gym, and a steam room.

One of the most unique recreational opportunities available is Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The park encompasses some 763 hectares of land surrounding the shoreline of the UBC peninsula. With over 73km of hiking and biking trails through the forest and access to the ocean, the park is an attraction that draws people from all over the mainland. Wreck Beach resides within Pacific Spirit Park and is one of the most popular attractions at UBC. This European style, clothing optional, beach is 7.8km long and contains some of Vancouver’s best oceanic views. In the summer, visitors average between 12-14,000 daily. UBC is one of only four campuses on North America’s west coast that have direct beach access on campus land.

UBC Residence ©Bryan NordleyResidence at UBC has a variety of accommodations for graduate students. UBC offers both high rise living – with unprecedented views of the ocean, campus, and North Shore Mountains – and townhouse style spaces. All are conveniently located near shopping amenities in Wesbrook Village and University Village. They are also located near transit stops and the main bus loop.

The U-Pass transit program offers students unlimited and all zone access to buses, the SkyTrain, and the Seabus for a steeply discounted rate, making transportation throughout the Lower Mainland easily accessible for students living on campus or in other parts of Metro Vancouver.

©Bryan Nordley

Vancouver cityscape ©Bryan Nordley

Located in the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is one of the best places to call home. Vancouver is consistently rated as one of the top cities to live in the world for quality of life, and livability.

Called ‘Hollywood North’ for its active film and television industry, as well as ‘Gateway to the Pacific’ Vancouver attracts a diversity of people, with over 51% of residents speaking a first language other than English.

Inukshuk ©Bryan NordleyAlthough notorious for rain, Vancouver is the warmest major Canadian city throughout the winter months and one of driest cities during the summer. The temperate climate makes Vancouver the only major city in Canada that allows palm trees to grow all year.

The city’s passion for environment and sustainability is inspired by its unique proximity to nature. The greater Vancouver area plays host to many recreational opportunities starting with the world’s best urban park, Stanley Park, which expands 400 hectares of forest and seawall at the edge of downtown. Just across the famous Lion’s Gate Bridge, the North Shore Mountains, such as Grouse Mountain and Cypress, create excellent hiking opportunities during the summer, while offering world-class skiing during the winter.

Vancouver beach ©Bryan NordleyDuring the summer months, Vancouver thrives as one of the top 10 beach cities in the world.  Locals and tourists alike take to any one of the ten beaches, which stretch through a total of 18km along the shoreline. Water temperatures here rival, or exceed, those of Southern California during July and August.

Need a getaway?

  • Whistler Blackcomb, one of North America’s largest and premier ski resorts, is only 1.5 hours away from the heart of downtown Vancouver by car or shuttle service.
  • Victoria and Vancouver Island are only a ferry ride away.
  • Vancouver is within a two-hour drive of Seattle, Washington.

Ocean view ©Bryan Nordley
Please note:
With such a variety of attractions and activities from urban to adventure, prospective students should note that the cost of living is high, so students should budget accordingly.

©Bryan Nordley

Nazrul Islam 1Nazrul Islam (PhD)

“My clinical practice helped me realize the enormous benefits of prevention over cure, and the large-scale impact of working with population as opposed to individual practice.”

Ruth LavergneRuth Lavergne (PhD)

“Experiences with family and community made it clear to me how fortunate we are to live in a society that values and provides health care, but that there are persistent gaps.”

Emily RugelEmily Rugel (PhD)

“Travelling around the globe and seeing how public health concerns deepen existing inequalities motivated me.”

Basia Pakula
Basia Pakula (PhD)

“The SPPH program offered a series of foundational courses in epidemiological methods, as well as numerous topic-specific courses in public health, which is why it was a great fit for me.”

Lauren MacKenzie Photo1Lauren MacKenzie (MPH)

“I wanted to pursue a Master of Public Health to help me develop the skills and tools I would need to make an impact at a larger, population health level.”

Gabriella Emery (MPH)

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Distributed Learning cohort. The class size was small which provided the opportunity to really get to know my classmates.”

Jasper Tam
Jasper Tam (MSc OEH)

“I enjoy helping others and I thought this field would allow myself to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives while utilizing my education.”

Mohammad Karamouzian (MSc)

“Through public health, I have the potential to make a difference in the lives of tens, hundreds, and even thousands of humans.”

Pardis Lakzadeh (MSc)

“The diversity at SPPH has opened my eyes to the breadth in public health, a form of understanding that goes beyond the classroom.”