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Health Sciences


Health Sciences

The Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program has a unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of health, wellness and illness. It offers students an understanding of health from biological, behavioural and population-based perspectives, through the integration of foundation and applied sciences.

Inquire Within Health Sciences is the only program in Ontario that draws on the full range of departments within health sciences, including clinical departments of medicine, pathology and molecular medicine, psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences, clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. Exposure to health care practitioners and applied researchers will lend relevance and scope to the foundation sciences through class instruction, which will form the basis of the students’ experiences.

Strengths unique interdisciplinary program

state-of-the-art Health Sciences Library

McMaster is known internationally for expertise in the use of problem-based, self-directed learning and the development of leadership qualities

small class size allowing for greater contact with professors and increased opportunity for class participation

integrative approach to the study of health related issues

exciting curriculum over a four-year program

courses that use a variety of learning methods including Inquiry Seminars, designed to develop skills that will facilitate learning and effective participation in students’ university experience and future careers


Level IV students provide peer mentorship to support and guide students in first year inquiry Anatomy Lab – use of cadavers for the study of the human body Standardized Patients (actors trained to portray heath care scenarios) provide an interactive learning experience

Health Sciences examines issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective with viewpoints derived from science, engineering, humanities, social sciences and business. The Faculty of Health Sciences is world-renowned for its teaching methods.

Collaboration wins over competition Learning in the Health Sciences Program takes place in an environment conducive to openness and sharing between faculty and students. McMaster’s approach to health sciences emphasizes critical appraisal of information, problem-based learning, interdisciplinary perspectives and practical links between research and clinical problems.

Admission Enrolment in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program is limited to 160 students within the first year. We anticipate that most offers will be made in early May. As many as 20 students will be accepted as transfer students in second year.

Required Courses: ENG4U One of: MHF4U, MCV4U, MDM4U SCH4U

Inquiry study of health care issues in a small group using a problem-based format facilitator introduces a topic on health care student groups select and research an area of interest pertaining to the topic collect and critically evaluate data followed by group discussion and critical evaluation evaluation includes self reflection and peer group feedback.

Mandatory Supplementary Application The Supplementary Application is a MANDATORY and CRITICAL component of the admission selection process. We cannot consider you for the program without it. The application will provide us with additional information that will help us understand you as an individual beyond your academic achievements.

One non-math, non-science, non-technology 4U/M *

Applicants are encouraged to complete the application as early as possible and read the Supplementary Application Welcome Page posted on the program website.

A minimum of 90% is required for consideration

The Supplementary Application is available as an electronic form online at:


* Note: Courses in mathematics, science or technological education are not acceptable.

We are looking for students who: are interested in understanding ALL aspects of health wish to work independently and in small groups wish to take an active role in their own learning.




Level I Program

Level I Course Descriptions

Total = 30 units Required: 21 units

Note: The unit value of a particular course is indicated by the last digit of the course code (i.e. 1A06 = 6 units).

Health Sciences 1E06 – Inquiry Health Sciences 1G03 – Psychobiology Health Sciences 1I06 – Cellular and Molecular Biology Health Sciences 4X03 – Collaboration and Peer Tutoring** Chemistry 1A03 – Introductory Chemistry I Chemistry 1AA3 – Introductory Chemistry II Electives: 9 units Students have the opportunity to explore electives in many subject areas, which can be used to satisfy academic and career goals. Selected electives may lead to graduating with a minor in another subject. Electives available each year. Level II: 9 units Level III: 18 units Level IV: 18-21 units

Health Sciences 1E06

Health Sciences 4X03


Collaboration and Peer Tutoring

This course will initiate the development of a skill set required for life-long learning, in the context of the study of one or two health care issues. A problem-based course applying principles of scientific inquiry to selected health issues.

An important part of our responsibility in the program is to develop a learning community that incorporates the concepts of collaboration, peer tutoring and lifelong learning. This course will consist of three units to be taken over four years and will encourage these activities, both formally and informally. You obtain credit for helping each other personally and professionally. The expectations of this course will be expressed at the beginning of your studies, including the many opportunities from which you may choose. Participation will be assessed with a journal and by interviews over four years.

Health Sciences 1G03 Psychobiology This course will introduce the essential components of the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as key regulatory systems. Concepts such as plasticity, homeostasis, compensation and adaptation and ways in which failure of these regulatory systems can lead to illness states are examined.

Health Sciences 1I06 Cellular and Molecular Biology Students will explore the molecular basis of cellular communication (gene expression, cellular signaling) underlying disease processes. A hybrid approach blending didactic and inquiry-based approaches will be used.

** Please note that registration in Health Sciences 4X03 is not until fourth year although students complete some of the requirements each year.

Beyond Level I Specializations (Level II & Beyond) Biomedical Sciences Global Health Masters in Global Health


Chemistry 1A03 Introductory Chemistry I A discussion of chemical fundamentals including bonding, structure, reactivity, and energetics with emphasis on applications to health, energy, and the environment. Laboratories highlight hands-on experimental techniques; tutorials support the development of problem-solving skills.

Chemistry 1AA3 Introductory Chemistry II A discussion of organic chemistry, chemical kinetics, acid-base equilibrium, and the energetics of phase transformations with emphasis on relevant experimental techniques and solving real problems ranging from drug discovery to environmental chemistry.

“Goals seem far more reachable in a program where your peers, faculty and staff want to see you succeed just as much as you do.” Alessia Gallipoli, BHSc (Honours) Class of 2011

Level I BHSc – Typical Term 1 Timetable Time





8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m.

ELECTIVE 1 (L) 9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

CHEM 1A03 (L) 10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

11:30 a.m.

HTH SCI 1G03 (T) 11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Friday CHEM 1A03 LAB 8:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. (EOW)

ELECTIVE 1 (L) 10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

CHEM 1A03 (L) 10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

CHEM 1A03 (L) 10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

12:30 p.m.

ELECTIVE 1 (T) 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.

HTH SCI 1G03 (L) 1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

2:30 p.m.

HTH SCI 1I06 2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.

HTH SCI 1G03 (L) 1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. HTH SCI 1E06 2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.

HTH SCI 1I06 2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.

3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. (Evening class is 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.) (L) = LECTURE, (T) = TUTORIAL, (EOW) = EVERY OTHER WEEK

Project Courses Upper Level students have the ability to design a project course. Project examples include: Type


Project Learning Objective(s)

Research and skill development in a lab setting


Learn key components of experiment development, implementation and analysis. Learn lab technique and procedures related to PBDE extraction and analysis. Gain a better understanding of reporting scientific results for presentation and publication.

Research in education


Conduct an independent literature review on Evidence-Based Learning (EBL), Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) teaching methods.



Investigate how resident population receives information on prevalent diseases in the region of Chakrata Dehradun, Uttaranchal. Focus on investigation of noncommunicable disease issues such as hygiene, smoking and the risk factors linked with cancer and heart disease.

Community Placement

Hamilton at Participation House

Gain knowledge about Cerebral Palsy through first-hand experience and research. To propose, complete and evaluate a self-directed learning program.


Philippines/ McMaster

To work with an NGO (SERVE Philippines) that has chosen to respond to the needs of the community by facilitating/participating in the health program. Help create a bridge between their (the people of Dumangas) knowledge and changing health practices/ guidelines. To continue to apply and develop communication and inquiry skills.


“I feel fortunate to be a part of a program that has broken away from the current instructional education system and instead has moved towards a learning paradigm that encourages divergent thinking.” Monis Khan, BHSc (Honours) Class of 2012

“BHSc is where I am meant to be. We have the great privilege of learning from our peers and the responsibility to reciprocate that effort. In every aspect of life, we are encouraged to push ourselves, our classmates, our facilitators and our professors. Through this, I have gained lifelong learning, interpersonal and academic skills that will serve as a strong foundation for any career.” Eve Purdy, BHSc (Honours) Class of 2012

“This program is the best possible thing that could have happened in my undergraduate career. It has both provided the tools and facilitated the environment for successful learning. The Global Health Specialization has allowed me to pursue my interest in developing world issues, and each of my innovative (and sometimes crazy) learning initiatives has been met with support from faculty and staff. Thank you BHSc, for making my undergraduate experience much more than I could have ever hoped it would be!”

“This program compels me to think, reflect, collaborate, communicate and challenge all that I am told. I didn’t know I was signing up for all this but I am glad I did.” Ritesh Gupta, BHSc (Honours) Class of 2012

Beverley Preater, BHSc (Honours) Class of 2011

Career Options

Our Graduates

Over the past several years, graduates of this program have been accepted to various professional and graduate programs that include:


Graduate School

Business Chiropractic

College Clinical Psychology Graduate School Dentistry International Health Graduate School Law Medical Sciences Graduate School Medicine MD/PhD Program Midwifery Naturopathic Medicine Pharmacy Rehabilitation Sciences (Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy) S peech Pathology Teacher’s College.


Students in this program should come to recognize that health and illness are both broadly determined and are best addressed by multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled teams. Although students may go on to professional and graduate programs such as medicine, rehabilitation sciences, dentistry and speech pathology, it is important for students to understand that this degree may not provide any particular advantage in gaining admission to these programs. However, the curriculum and teaching philosophy are consistent with the expectations of many health care professional programs. Graduates from this program have many options: i) apply to a professional school (examples may include: medicine, dentistry, law) ii) apply to graduate school (examples may include: medical sciences, health policy, rehabilitation sciences, Masters of Business Administration or Masters of Health Administration) iii) obtain employment in the health care field (examples may include: hospital, community agency or pharmaceutical industry).

Visitor Information Regular Campus Tours Campus tours take about 1½ hours and are conducted by McMaster students. The entire campus is covered in the tour including a visit to at least one residence building. Please note: advanced notice of two to three working days is required tours are available Monday to Friday, from October 3 to December 6, 2011 and January 9 to April 5, 2012 tour times are 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. campus tours may be scheduled on some Saturdays with at least one week’s advance notice campus tours are also available throughout the summer, from mid-May to the beginning of August

Special Visit Events Fall Preview Saturday, October 29, 2011

Virtual Tour Unable to visit McMaster in person? Explore our picturesque campus via one of our online tours. You can take a Guided Tour that follows the same route as an in-person walking tour, create a personalized tour or simply explore major campus hotspots. We also offer a basic version for users with a slower internet connection or older computer.

visit display areas and talk with reps from academic, service areas and student groups in a relaxed and informal Roam Around Session tour the campus

March Break Monday, March 12 – Friday, March 16, 2012

To register for a campus tour, contact the Student Recruitment & Admissions Office: Tour Portal e-mail phone 905-525-9140 ext. 23650 fax 905-524-3550

regular campus tours faculty-specific activities available be sure to register in advance as group sizes are limited

May@Mac Saturday, May 12, 2012 Complimentary parking passes will be provided for registered campus tour visitors upon arrival. Please refer to your tour booking confirmation e-mail for further details. It is best to enter the campus via the Sterling Street entrance (Central Campus). Directions can be found online at:

University-wide Open House event applicants will be sent information in the Spring includes campus bus tours, special facility tours, sample lectures and lab demonstrations, opportunities to speak with professors, staff and students


Still have questions?

Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8S 4L8 905-525-9140 ext. 23650

2012 Health Sciences - McMaster University  

An overview of direct entry programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

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