Program Requirements

Students in the MSc in Health Systems program must complete 30 units (12 course units and 4.5 units of electives), a 6-unit Health Systems Research Internship and 12 units for the thesis. The specific program requirements follow.

Program Requirements
Semester I Semester II Semester III Semester IV Semester V Semester VI
Fall 1 Winter 1 Spring/
Summer I
Fall 2 Winter 2 Spring/
Summer 2

MHS 5301
(3 units)

MHS 6380
(3 units)

(at least 1.5 units)

MHS 6991

MHA (1.5 units if required)
(at least 4.5 units total) 

MHS 6991

MHS 7991

THM 7999
(if required)

MHS 6991

THM 7999

(if required)

MHS 6991
(if required)

THM 7999

MHS 6991
(if required)

THM 7999

MHS 6991
(if required)

Health Systems Research Seminar
Matching with thesis supervisor and research institute in preparation for thesis proposal Thesis research begins; Submission and approval of thesis proposal

Completion of thesis research and defence


Core Courses (7.5 units)

  • MHS 5301 Research Design Methodologies and the Conduct of Research (3 units)
  • MHS 6380 Systems Analysis, Modeling, and Decision Support for Health (3 units)
  • MHS 6991 Health Systems Research Seminar
  • At least 1.5 units of MHA courses

Electives Courses (4.5 units)

Students in consultation with their thesis supervisor will select elective courses in areas related to their research topics. In particular, all courses offered in the MHA program are open to the MSc students. Enrolment to courses offered in the MBA and other graduate programs will normally require permission from the respective Program Directors. View the list of the recommended elective courses

In addition to the above list, courses from other graduate programs on or off campus are permissible with the approval of the thesis supervisor, the MSc in Health Systems program director, and the appropriate program director in the case of courses in other faculties and academic units and institutions.

MHS 6991 Health Systems Research Seminar Series (HSRSS)

Students are required to attend at least 6 management research seminars over the course of their program. Some seminars will be delivered in English and some in French. Students will enrol continuously in the MHS 6991 Health Systems Research Seminar Series every session from the beginning of their program.

The notation "CTN" (for continued) will be awarded each session until the successful completion of the seminar requirements, at which point a grade of S (satisfactory) or NS (non satisfactory) will be entered. A student who obtains the grade NS must withdraw from the program. The thesis supervisor, in the annual progress report for the student, will confirm attendance and active participation in the seminars.

MHS 7991 Health Systems Research Internship: Thesis and Research Practicum (6 units)

All MSc candidates will be required to undertake a one semester Health Systems Research Internship that takes place in one of the collaborating Research Institutes under the direct supervision of the Research Institute Mentor.

The student will work under the direct supervision of the thesis supervisor and of the Internship Supervisor who is an institute researcher, involved in the thesis research and a member of candidate's Thesis Committee. The Internship will allow the student to conduct thesis research and at the same time learn about and be involved in one or several of the cutting-edge research projects conducted in the Institute.

It is expected that the student while doing the Health Systems Research Internship will participate in research seminars offered at the Institute as per the advice of the Internship supervisor as well as in the Health Systems Research Seminar. At the end of the semester of the research internship, students will be required to present an internship report to their Thesis Committee summarizing the research activities completed during the internship.

The Internship will be evaluated by the members of the Thesis Committee based on:
(i) the Health Systems Research Seminar presentation and
(ii) the written internship report to the Thesis Committee. The Internship is graded on a "Satisfactory/Non-Satisfactory" basis.

The main objective of the Internship is to help students complete their thesis research through enhanced interactions with researchers in the appropriate field of study. Secondary goals are: 

  • To immerse a student in a research-intensive work environment;
  • To prepare student for future work in a research environment;
  • To expose to and involve a student in other research projects.

THM 7999 Thesis (12 units)

Candidates enroled for the MSc in Health Systems program must submit to their Thesis Committee, before the end of the second semester of enrolment in the program, a clearly defined research proposal. The Thesis Committee will be formed prior to the thesis proposal submission.

The Committee will include the thesis supervisor (and co-supervisor, if desired), a researcher from one of the collaborating institutions who may also act as co-supervisor, and another faculty member.

Approval of the proposal by the Thesis Committee will normally be obtained by the end of the second semester and no later than the end of the third semester. A student must enrol in the Master's thesis in the semester immediately following the approval of the proposal.

A student whose proposal is not approved on the first attempt may be permitted to submit a second proposal and present it in the Health Systems Research Seminar. Failure to obtain approval following the second submission will result in withdrawal from the Program.

Once the thesis proposal is accepted, students will be eligible to start their Health Systems Research Internship with one of the collaborating organizations (see MHS 7991).

The completed thesis will be evaluated by a Thesis Examining Board composed of at least two professors who are members of the FGPS and involved in the MSc in Health Systems.

Courses and Timetables

Fall (Mandatory Courses)

MHS5301A00     Research Design Methodologies and the Conduct of Research
MHS6380A00     Systems Analysis, Modeling and Decision Support for Health
MHS6991F00      Health Systems Research Seminar Series (HSRSS)


MHS 6991 Health Systems Research Seminar Series (HSRSS) – compulsory every term
until the student has attended the required total of 6 seminars

MHS Electives

Students in consultation with their thesis supervisor will select elective courses in areas related to their research topics. Other courses from other graduate programs on or off campus are permissible with the approval of the thesis supervisor, the MSc in Health Systems program director, and the appropriate program director in the case of courses in other faculties and academic units and institutions.

N.B. Any prerequisites are mandatory. See the list of recommended electives. (Not all courses are offered every year. Verify the University of Ottawa Course Timetable for course offering.)

About MBA and MHA courses

MSc students choosing MBA courses as electives will be restricted to MBA 5XXX section B only and ADM/MBA/MHA 6XXX. All prerequisites must be respected.

Scheduling information MBA and MHA courses are only indicated on the Telfer Timetables. The course offering section of the University website does not give these details. Should any changes to the schedules occur during the year, the timetables will be updated and enroled students will be informed immediately by email using the email. Therefore, it is important to read your emails and consult the schedules on a regular basis.

A particularity of the MBA and MHA programs is that each term is divided in two blocks. Some of the courses are of six weeks’ duration worth 1.5 units while others are twelve weeks for 3 units. It is essential to verify the Timetables on the Telfer website for the start and end date of the blocks, statutory holidays' rescheduling, make-up class dates are indicated on the schedule (classes that fall on a holiday will be rescheduled).

It should be noted that the MBA and MHA courses DO NOT FOLLOW the University calendar term dates as the other graduate programs. For example, start dates are usually earlier, there is no study breaks in October nor February, etc.

Course syllabi

Course syllabi will be posted on virtual campus 2 -3 weeks prior to the starting date of the courses. Students must be enroled to have access. Professors will be using Blackboard Learn to post class notes and other material.


Preliminary exam schedules for the courses for the blocks will be posted on the program website before the end of the block (AM/MBA/MHA courses) or term. Not all courses have mid-term or final exams. Students must make the necessary arrangements to attend the mid-term and final exams on the scheduled dates.

Deferred Exams

Requests to defer an exam must be submitted to the Graduate Office at least 2 weeks before the scheduled exam. Students may only request a deferral on the following grounds: exams conflict, illness, death in the family, unavoidable work-related commitment, and official religious holiday. Supporting documents will be required. Trips, unless they are work-related, and other personal commitments do not constitute valid reasons to defer an exam. Since the exam schedule is known in advance, it is expected that the exams take precedence over personal trips and commitments. No exception will be permitted. Should a deferral be granted, the exam will be rescheduled after the regular exam.

Change of Grade on the Record
Revisions and appeals

The University recognizes the right of every student to see, on request after grading, all documents that have been used to establish their grade for courses in which they are duly enroled; the documents include those produced by the students themselves or evaluations written by supervisors (as part of work terms, clinical placements or internships).

The University also recognizes students' right to ask for a grade review and to appeal grades. The procedure to be followed is stipulated in Academic Regulation 10.3.

Enrolment and Regulations


uoZoneOnline Enrolment Procedures

The enrolment tool is accessible through uoZone. For further details, view the online tutorial. You should then consult uoZone to confirm your enrolment and your statement of account. It is important that your email and mailing addresses are up-to-date. If there have been changes since the time of your application, please make the necessary updates through uoZone. The Self-Serve, accessible through uoZone, does not permit students to change their classification (full-time/part-time), drop core courses, or enrol to a course that normally requires approval (such as Directed Readings or an elective from another faculty); such changes can only be made by the Telfer Graduate Office.

Please view the Important dates and deadlines online for further information.

Minimum Standards

The minimum passing grade in all courses taken as part of the program is 65-69 per cent (C+). Students who incur failures in two courses (equivalent to six units) or whose thesis proposal is rejected twice (NS grade) must withdraw.

Deferred Exam

Justification of absence from an examination (mid-term, final, or deferred), a test, or late submission of assignments.

Absence from any examination or test, or late submission of assignments on medical grounds or due to exceptional personal circumstances, must be reported by submitting the online Declaration of Absence from an Evaluation form within five (5) working days of the examination date or the assignment deadline, except if extenuating circumstances prevent the student from doing so; these circumstances must be documented.

Students can request a maximum of one (1) deferred evaluation per course, and this evaluation must take place as soon as possible, within six (6) months of the end of the term. Evaluation for graduate students must occur as soon as possible, within three (3) months of the end of the term.

Exam Regulations

Please consult the evaluation of the Student Learning section of the academic regulations and related sections regarding the grading system.

Health Systems Research Seminar Series

The Health Systems Research Seminar Series that was initiated several years ago features health systems leaders with a broad spectrum of expertise and attracts University of Ottawa students, faculty, and members of the healthcare profession.

The list of past speakers included among others:

  • D. Aleman (University of Toronto)
  • M. Begin (Former Minister of Health)
  • C. Bennett (Former Minister of State (Public Health)
  • M. Boddy (Co-owner and Chief Scientist, Adventium Labs (Minneapolis, MN))
  • L. Bourgeault (Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa)
  • M. L. Brandeau (Stanford University)
  • D. Buckeridge (Canada Research Chair, McGill University)
  • J. Burns (Canada Health Infoway)
  • L. Calder (Associate Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Emergency Physician, The Ottawa Hospital)
  • M. Carter (University of Toronto)
  • B. Denton (North Carolina State University)
  • K. El Emam (University of Ottawa)
  • C. M. Flood (Canada Research Chair, University of Toronto)
  • J. Forster (The Ottawa Hospital)
  • K. Frion (Medical Director, CHEO)
  • C. Grenier (University of Aix Marseille III)
  • J. Grimshaw (Canada Research Chair, University of Ottawa)
  • W.E. Hogg (Senior Research Advisor, Élisabeth-Bruyère Research Institute)
  • W. Keon (Senator, Parliament of Canada)
  • J. Kitts (President and CEO, The Ottawa Hospital)
  • R. Koppel (University of Pennsylvania)
  • K. Krawiec (Poznan University of Technology (Poland))
  • G. P. Marchildon (University of Regina)
  • B. Mareshal (Universite Libres de Bruxelles)
  • W. Oppenheim (Loyola Marymount Institute)
  • V. L. Patel (The New York Academy of Medicine)
  • D. Potter (Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Transformation, The Ottawa Hospital)
  • M. Rachlis (Health Policy Analyst)
  • M.C. Reddy (The Pennsylvania State University)
  • R. Romanow (Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care; University of Saskatchewan)
  • B. Rowe (Canada Research Chair, University of Alberta)
  • S. Shechter (University of British Columbia)
  • E. H. Shortliffe (Arizona State University)
  • J. M. Shultz (University of Miami)
  • V. Verter (McGill University)
  • A. Wright (Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital)
  • G. Zaric (University of Western Ontario)

Visit the Research Office for a complete list of calendar events.

Student Handbook, Forms and Guidelines

Student Handbook

The student handbook is intended as a guide and does not intend to replace or supersede academic regulations and policies. It is updated once a year, if you have any questions or concerns please contact the Graduate Program Office at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registration Forms

Forms and Guidelines for Theses and Internships

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