BHSc Core

The majority of students in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program remain in the “Core” stream.  The Core is designed to provide a grounding in a variety of disciplines so that graduates develop a functional ‘literacy’ across multiple domains of scholarship in the health sciences, while at the same time providing significant flexibility so students can tailor their course selections to their own interests and prepare for a variety of post-graduate options.  Some students choose to focus in one particular area of interest (or even pursue a minor in another discipline), while others find that their needs are better met by pursuing a broader program of study during their senior years.

Students in Level I automatically enter the Core Stream in Level II unless they apply to and are accepted into one of the Specializations.


The specialization in Biomedical Sciences in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program will provide students with the option of concentrating their studies in biomedical research.

Drawing on faculty from the Departments of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Pathology and Molecular Medicine, the specialization is designed to build on the existing principles of excellence in the BHSc Program, by incorporating fundamental concepts and experimental techniques used in biomedical research.

This course of study will emphasize the development of essential skills in communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, scientific reasoning and logic, experimental design, and working both independently and in a group.

These transferable skills and fundamental principles in biomedical sciences will prepare students for a future in professional school, industry, research or graduate studies.

Upon acceptance into the BHSc (Honours) Program and the completion of first year, students will apply to this specialization in March.

Biomedical Sciences Specialization Coordinator: Felicia Vulcu

Office Hours: Please email for an appointment

Child Health

The Child Health Specialization offers students a unique opportunity to apply the Inquiry problem-based learning model within the dynamic context of child health, development and community involvement.

The Child Health Specialization’s curriculum is based on three thematic pillars – education, research, and experiential/community learning – cutting across academic disciplines related to child health such as paediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, social work, developmental rehabilitation, education, etc.

The Child Health Specialization utilizes existing expertise within the McMaster University and Hamilton communities; by doing so it allows for the integration of theory and knowledge with experiential learning and research skill development within the challenging context of child health. World-renowned teachers/facilitators, researchers and clinicians from across disciplines serve as supervisors/mentors for students with an interest in child health.

Upon acceptance into the BHSc (Honours) program and the completion of first year, students will apply to this specialization in March.

Global Health

An understanding of human health is incomplete without an understanding of health within the global context.  A complex web of relationships and interactions produce themes of global health that can be seen as emergent properties of the human experience.

Understanding and addressing global health issues effectively demands an interdisciplinary academic experience.  The BHSc (Honours) Program offers a suite of courses focused on global health.  The global health curriculum has undergone revisions recently to enhance flexibility, accessibility, and interdisciplinarity for students.

Students interested in Global Heath have 3 main options:

  • For those who want some exposure to global health in a few courses, you can register for relevant courses as electives at your discretion; some of the courses require permission of the instructor for registration and seats are not guaranteed.
  • Those students who want to develop a more significant focus on global health in their studies can consider completing an Interdisciplinary minor in Globalization Studies offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences, with an emphasis on the Theme in Globalization and Health, which includes a wide array of courses offered by the Faculties of Health Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences on a variety of themes. Additional information and a list of courses is available in the Undergraduate Calendar.
  • Students who want a more intensive focus in global health can also complete a senior project or thesis on a global health topic in addition to pursuing the Interdisciplinary Minor; completion of the minor plus the senior project/thesis is similar in terms of global health focus to the previous specialization structure

Students are welcome to consult with an Academic Program Advisor to consider their options.