Health Studies

Health Studies students

Health Studies looks at the big picture issues behind health and health care such as the social determinants of health (e.g. poverty), information systems (e.g. the growing role of e-health and technology such as apps), health systems management and public policy (e.g. decision-making in government).

We bring the real world into the classroom through a curriculum that combines insights from management, political science, sociology, medicine, law, ethics and information technology.

Bachelor of Health Studies (BHS)

Health Studies

BHS Honours (120 credit degree program)

The Bachelor of Health Studies Honours degree in Health Studies provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the health system through the lens of health management, health informatics and health policy. Students develop skills to implement health sector solutions, while learning how health policy decisions change the way the system functions.

Students learn to collaborate with a variety of people working in health care to find creative ways to use health care resources that are needed to make the Canadian health care system better.

This degree option offers students the flexibility to attain a double major or a major/ minor in other York programs as well as preparing you for a professional program (medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, etc.).

Other options: Minors in Health Management, Health Informatics, or Health Policy.

Specialized Honours Degrees

You can also choose to specialize in one of three Specialized Honours degree streams: Health Management, Health Informatics or Health Policy.

Health Management

BHS Specialized Honours (120 credit degree program)

With a core public administration curriculum and state-of-the-art health management courses, this program prepares you to participate in complex, multidisciplinary health care enterprises. We address the health system from an organizational perspective through courses that cover health management, leadership and decision-making, measuring health system performance, health finance, and integrated health systems.

Health Informatics

BHS Specialized Honours (120 credit degree program)

Information technology is increasingly used in the management and administration of health care systems. From the electronic storage of patient records to the collection and analysis of health information, the use of electronic information is an increasingly important tool for modern practitioners and administrators.

In the Health Informatics program, you will gain specialized knowledge in the acquisition and application of research, analysis, and system design within the context of health care decision-making, resource allocation and program evaluation. A Health Informatics degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue rewarding roles in health sector planning and development. A Certificate in Health Informatics is also available.

Health Policy

BHS Specialized Honours (120 credit degree program)

York’s interdisciplinary approach provides students with the broad-based perspectives they need to understand the politics of the health system. You will learn how health policies are developed and implemented by examining current issues through the lens of political science, law, economics, sociology and ethics. You will also gain an understanding of health care decision-making, including how political factors must align for innovative reform. The goal is to develop policies that are not merely reactive, but instead are proactive and sustainable in a variety of settings: public, private for-profit and private not-for-profit. Graduates are able to effectively contribute to policy research, development and implementation at all levels of the health system.

For more information about our degree programs, contact the School of Health Policy and Management at or at 416-736-5157

Health Studies Professor talking with a student

Opportunities for Students

Students have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning in the community through Health Studies Project Management: Field Experience (HLST 4900), an experiential education course.


Our certificates in Health Informatics and Health Services Financial Management provide students with the opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge and skills in these growing areas.

Health Informatics

This cross-disciplinary certificate provides you with specific knowledge and insight into the growing field of health informatics. Through seminars, laboratory simulations and self-directed research, you will learn about the use of information management as it relates to electronic health records, medication management and other elements in the health care sector, as well as how to develop and manage information systems. This 30-credit certificate can be taken by students who have community college diplomas or university degrees or concurrently by students in any university degree program or independently by students who are professionals in the health field.

Health Services Financial Management

Accountability for financial decision-making in health service organizations has never been more important. This certificate, available nowhere else, provides the skills and critical insight necessary to effectively manage health service organizations. Sample courses include Health Services Accounting, Health Services Finance, Advanced Health Services Financial Management, Research Methods in Health Studies, and Health Economics. This certificate is designed for both those who wish to enter the health sector and those who wish to further themselves in their current industry roles.

For more information about our certificates or Health Studies Project Management: Field Experience (HLST 4900), contact the School of Health Policy and Management at or at 416-736-5157

Through class instruction and community experience, students acquire a combination of theoretical knowledge, hands on experience, as well as valuable transferable skills including critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, collaboration, communication and presentation skills.

The Student Association of Health Management, Policy and Informatics (SAHMPI) provides students with great opportunities to network as well as participate in social activities.

Careers for Health Studies Graduates

Qualified professionals with a background in Informatics, Management and Policy are in demand due to an aging and growing population and workforce, new technologies and restructured health care systems.

Graduates are working in all sectors, including health care, non-profit, private, government and in many occupations such as health care managers managing people, finance and health systems, health policy analysts, policy advisors, program analysts, data analysts, community health and education workers, as investigators with the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office, software developers, health finance analysts, and much more. Below is a sampling of some of the many careers that graduates have gone on to:


  • Health Systems Planner
  • Health Care Manager*
  • Administrator in a community health or health care organization
  • Quality Performance Specialist
  • Account Coordinator in Health Management/Disability Management
  • Project Coordinator
  • Research Coordinator
  • Data Analyst
  • Health Finance Analyst
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Systems Designer
  • Systems Integration Specialist
  • Software Developer
  • Health Human Resources Analyst
  • Health Policy Analyst
  • Health Policy Researcher*
  • Health Care Advocate
  • Community Health Worker
  • Community Health and Education Associate

*Health Care Manager, Information Systems Analyst & Health Policy Researcher are among Canada’s best jobs
for salary and demand outlook (Canadian Business Magazine, Canada’s Best Jobs 2016)

With further postgraduate training

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Teacher

For more information: So, what’s next? A guide to careers for Health Policy & Management Majors