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The Telfer Master of Science in Health Systems (MSc HS) cultivates researchers and industry leaders who will lead this transformation. We have developed a multi-talented, multidisciplinary core group of faculty who specialize in applying both qualitative and quantitative methods to health systems. Students in our program have come from varied disciplines including sociology, psychology, engineering, business and a number of health-related fields. They have studied such diverse topics as wait time management, human resource planning, inter-professional team development, capacity planning, information technology adoption and impacts, quality of care and patient perceptions of illness. What they have in common is a strong desire to apply their knowledge to help improve the qualit y and timeliness of care in health systems in Canada and around the world. 

See healthcare as a system

Students in the Telfer MSc program learn to think of health systems more holistically, recognizing the increasing need for a continuum of care from community engagement to acute services. For instance, primary care, preventive medicine and disaster preparedness are all components of a health system that are often underappreciated and under-researched.

Enrich your studies by working accross disciplines

Our MSc program draws on the expertise of faculty and researchers from many fields, including management, operations research, computer science, medicine, health sciences, health services, administration, sociology, psychology, nursing, and economics. Working with professors from across disciplines is seen as a significant asset to developing a systems approach to healthcare management.

An Internship Experience

Your internship will make it possible for you to participate in research projects, ideally positioning you to hone your research skills and deepen your knowledge of health systems. Your internship is also a perfect opportunity for you to further your thesis research and take advantage of the expertise of leading health-systems researchers. Read more (link to tab) 

Prepare to excel in a challenging field. Get ready to make a difference in modern healthcare. Choose the Telfer Master of Science in Health Systems.

Making a Difference

Please note that the Master of Science in Health Systems is not currently available in French.

Rigor and choice. The Telfer Master of Science in Health Systems equips you with the knowledge and skills to conduct interdisciplinary health-systems research. At the same time, our program enables you to customize your research so that it meets your needs and focuses on your interests.

Get grounded in the fundamentals of health-systems research

Most students complete our program in 24 months. During that time, you’ll take core courses that will prepare you to conduct research on an aspect of the health system that interests you.  Unlike undergraduate programs, an MSc allows you the freedom to pursue those questions that you are most passionate about.  We help you take the knowledge you have gained in your undergraduate, complemented by a deeper understanding of health systems, and apply it to unresolved research questions.

Elective courses make it possible for you to gain specialized knowledge that is directly relevant to your thesis research. Our program offers dozens of these courses through the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and groups them according to seven themes:

  • Quality of care
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Health services and policy
  • Health informatics and technology
  • Public health and health promotion
  • Clinical decision-making and support
  • Health systems analysis and optimization

Tap into the latest knowledge

As part of this core program component, you will participate in the Health Systems Research Seminar Series—a set of interactive seminars that features lectures from top health-systems researchers from across Canada and around the world. These unique events enable you to expand your knowledge, learn about the latest advances in the field and discover research opportunities outside of the program.

Gain hands-on experience while you work on your thesis

One of the unique aspects of our MSc in Health Systems is the opportunity to do an internship outside of the university.  For one term, students are placed in an organization conducting health research and have the chance to participate in research conducted in an actual health care setting.  Past students have found themselves working locally with research institutes such as Bruyere and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute as well as internationally in such organizations as the World Health Organization. You can find testimonials of past internships here.

Follow a Logical Sequence

Most students complete the Telfer Master of Science in Health Systems in 18 months:

  • You dedicate your first two semesters to completing core and elective courses, and working on your thesis proposal.
  • You must present your thesis proposal to the Thesis Committee for approval by the end of your second semester.
  • Your Health Systems Research Internship occurs any time after your thesis proposal is approved.
  • You will be expected to continue research on your thesis during the Internship and defend your final thesis thereafter.
Fall Year 1 Minimum of 2 courses (6 units)
Winter year 1 Minimum of 2 courses (6 units)
Thesis Proposal completed
Spring/summer year 1 MHS 7991 Health Systems Research Internship (6 units)
THM 7999 (Thesis) (12 units)
Data Collection
Fall year 2 THM 7999 (Thesis)
Winter year 2 THM 7999 (Thesis)
Analysis and writing
Spring/summer year 2 THM 7999 (Thesis)
Final Draft and defence

*MHS6991 - Health Systems Research Seminar - students are required to attend the regular seminars throughout their program of study; students who are preparing their thesis research proposals are normally expected to present their proposal and preliminary research results in the Spring/Summer (year 1).

Learn Even More

Our program is not just the only one of its kind in Canada. We believe the Telfer Master of Science in Health Systems is among the best research-based programs in the world.

That’s why we provide you with plenty of resources and opportunities to learn even more about it.

  • Download a program brochure
  • Ask us a question via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Give us a call at 613-562-5884 or toll free in Canada at 1-800-965-5512

We want to make sure you get all the information you need about our program. We’re convinced that the more you learn, the more you’ll want to join us.

Information Sessions

No events scheduled at this time.

In the mean time to get more information, you can make an appointment with us by filling our online form here

Fairs and Events

We participate in numerous education fairs, career expositions and MBA tours. These events give us the opportunity to meet graduate study candidates who need more information about the programs. Don’t miss the opportunity to come discuss how we can help you connect to what matters. We look forward to meeting you.

No events scheduled at this time.

To make an appointment with a Telfer Graduate Office Representative before or after an event, please contact  613-562-5884 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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