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.