Skip to main content
School of Occupational and Public Health School of Occupational and Public Health

School of Occupational and Public Health

Increase Text Size
Decrease Text Size
 Change Text Size 

Prospective Students

Welcome to the School of Occupational and Public Health (commonly abbreviated to SOPHe) at Ryerson University.  The School is committed to preparing students to have successful professional careers and to be influential industry and community leaders.  We have highly qualified and experienced faculty to guide you through your education, and the university offers a range of educational. social and personal support services that are designed to help make your time at Ryerson memorable and life-changing experience.  The school offers a range of study options for students interested in public health or occupational health and safety.  These range from certificate programs, to undergraduate degrees and graduate programs.


Undergraduate Degrees

The School of Occupational and Public Health (SOPHe) offers a four-year undergraduate degree leading to a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc). Following completion of a common set of first-year courses, SOPHe students continue their studies in either Public Health and Safety (PHS) or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). A two-year degree option exists for students who enter the program with an undergraduate degree or higher.

Public Health and Safety Option

The Public Health and Safety option often leads to employment in a local public health agency after professional certification by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI). Program students must complete twelve weeks of authorized field placement with a recognized public health agency prior to certification. Certification is not required for graduation.

For graduates planning careers in the private sector, professional certification by the CIPHI opens doors to Canada-wide employment opportunities; however, certification is not always necessary. Other career options for public health graduates include food quality assurance, epidemiology, health education, and health promotion.

Occupational Health and Safety Option

In the early 1990's, SOPHe identified the societal need for occupational health and safety professionals, and in 1992, the occupational health and safety option was introduced. The Association for Canadian Registered  Safety Professionals (ACRSP) recognizes this academic option as preparation for the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP) qualification. The OHS option is also recognized by the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists (CRBOH) as appropriate preparation for the Registered Occupational Hygienist (ROH) examination.


A degree in OHS can lead to a wide range of careers as health and safety consultants and coordinators, ergonomics and safety specialists, quality assurance professionals, health and safety officers, occupational hygienists, safety project officers, and safety specialists. Occupational graduates may be employed in the manufacturing, petrochemical, construction, law enforcement, and trade sectors. Opportunities also exist with consulting firms with safety evaluation policies and training and monitoring services. 


Fast-Track Program for University Graduates

Both the PHS and OHS options are offered in a condensed two-year degree program for university graduates seeking further education. The 'fast-track' options focus on delivering practical education in a shorter time frame. Certain courses from the four-year options are eliminated, as students possessing a Bachelor's degree or higher are presumed to be entering the program with a certain level of academic experience. Courses aimed at preparing graduates for professional careers are emphasized

Co-op Program

The School of Occupational and Public Health (SOPHe) offers a co-operative option for both the Public Health and Safety option and the Occupational Health and Safety to all students of the four-year program.  The co-op option consists of five, four-month work terms integrated into the study semesters and adds approximately one year to the length of the program.  These work terms consist of paid employment positions with relevant employers and provide a form of experiential learning for students.

Students who have successfully completed the first year of the 4 year program and who wish to enroll in the co-op program must apply for admission through the SOPHe office in their third semester.  Admission into the program will be based on a student's grade point average (minimum 2.5 GPA) and a simulated employment interview.  The student must also show evidence of superior written and oral communication skills.

The co-operative education program at Ryerson is administered by the Co-op office, with Professor Brian Clarence ( being the co-op coordincator for SOPHe students.  Please visit the co-op office's website for further details aboout this exciting opportunity.

Admissions and Applications

For SOPHe undergraduate admission requirements, application links and all other admission enquiries, please see the Undergraduate Admissions & Recruitment website. website.


Graduate Programs

Faculty from the School contribute to the teaching and supervision of PHD and Master's students in the graduate programs in Environmental Applied Science and Management.  These are multidisciplinary programs for graduate students seeking advanced study in a professionally-based environmental program that provides research in a broad variety of environmental fields, including environmental impacts on human health and safety.

The doctoral program (PhD) offers a program focusing on two fields: Environmental Science and Policy, and Environmental Management and Decision Making.

The  Master's degree offers full and part-time studies for students seeking management roles in the expanding environmental industry.

These programs are administered through the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.  Students interested in these programs should refer to the Yeates School website and should also review the research interests of faculty when identifying potential research projects.


Certificate Programs

The School is also the academic home for two Certificate programs offered through the Chang School of Continuing Education.  These are the Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and the Certificate in Advanced Safety Management.  These certificates are designed for working OHS practitionsers who are seeking to gain formal qualifications in OHS or for people looking to move into the OHS field.  The certificates are offered in both on-campus and distance-education/online modes, with students having the option to take courses in either mode or in an intensive format.  The certificates are made up of courses from the Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational and Public Health) which ensures a high academic standard and enables graduates to gain credit/advanced standing towards any further degree-level study they may wish to undertake.  Further information about the certificate programs can be obtained by contacting the Chang School of Continuing Education.