MA Requirements

The Master's of Arts in the Graduate Program in Health can be pursued on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Academic requirements for our graduate program can be found at

To access past requirements, please visit

The minimum program time limit is outlined in the table below.

Full-time3 terms
Part-time6 terms
(Note: 3 terms = 1 academic year running from September to August.)

The specialized field in Health Policy & Equity does not only integrate courses from other disciplines (law, political science, philosophy, bioethics, sociology, economics, and psychology) but it also takes a critical perspective on the intersection of the multiple societal factors that affect the individual and societal aspects of health equity. Examples of various issues that are incorporated include: the relationship of precarious employment and health status; women’s health issues; critical disability theory; issues of ethics as they apply to biomedicine; theories of the body; legal consciousness and human rights and health law.

Additionally, the field incorporates ongoing work in geographic information technology that can yield sophisticated mapping of areas of illness and social determinants of health and correlate them with the multiple factors that lead to health problems. The intersections between health, ethics and law are examined from both a consumer and practitioner’s point of view. Analysis of other issues involve the perspectives of political economy, public policy and public administration.

MA students will:

  1. Explore and research health policy and equity issues from a variety of perspectives including, but not limited to, cultural, political, economic, demographic, legal, gendered and sociological and use the knowledge gained to situate health issues within the framework of social justice;
  2. Understand the different approaches to health policy & equity and apply such approaches in their analysis of the determinants of health and the configuration of health care systems;
  3. Understand how to use qualitative and quantitative social science research methods to address health policy & equity issues;
  4. Effectively carry out research into health policy & equity including ability to:
    • Synthesize and critically evaluate information;
    • Frame researchable questions regarding health equity;
    • Recognize the importance of contextual issues (e.g. cultural diversity, gender, geography, socio-economic circumstances and local conditions) in the formulation, development and execution of health equity research;
    • Select and develop reliable, valid measures and indicators of health equity;
    • Select from and apply a variety of analytic approaches that match research question(s) and context;
    • Recognize the ethical issues relating to all aspects of the research enterprise;
    • Effectively engage with policy makers in developing methodologies to enhance health policy & equity.

Type of CourseMaster's Program
Core Courses

  • HLTH 5405 3.0

  • HLTH 5485 3.0

  • See note 1 below

Field Specific Courses

  • Two 3.0 credit courses ( 6 credits total)

Elective Courses

  • Two 3.0 credit courses ( 3 credits total)

  • See note 1 below


  • Six 3.0 credit courses (total of 18 credits)

Additional Non-credit Degree Requirements

  • Major Research Paper

** Additional non-credit degree requirements for MA students can be found below.


  1. Under special circumstances, MA students may take one 3.0 credit course from other graduate programs at York University to fulfill their elective requirement of 3.0 credits, only with the Program Director’s approval.

MA Program Non-Credit Degree Requirements

Only those students completing a stand-alone MA must complete the Major Research Paper.

Major Research Paper

The research paper tests MA students against the educational objectives of being able to form an original researchable question, and to address it through an appropriate theoretical framework, review and synthesis of the literature, analysis of primary or secondary data sources and formation of a set of conclusions. It trains students in the formulation and writing of a specific project, and gives students the experience of working independently on a project under faculty supervision. Students develop a research topic given their interests in specific areas and are supervised by faculty members with related expertise.  Please refer to the updated MRP Guidelines.

The MRP is evaluated by the student’s MRP supervisor and advisor through the written work, and an oral presentation at which the student’s ability to answer questions related to the MRP will be assessed. The MRP is evaluated on the extent to which the student proposes an original researchable question, and her or his ability to address it through an appropriate theoretical framework, review and synthesis of the literature, analysis of primary or secondary data sources and formation of a set of conclusions. The length of the MRP is 50 pages with an upper limit of no more than 65 pages, excluding references.