Master of Science in Community Health in Family and Community Medicine

Around the world, family medicine is becoming increasingly recognized as an academic discipline with its own unique collection of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The MScCH (FCM) is a unique and rigorous professional graduate degree program in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health offered through the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. This program is intended to strengthen the practice of family medicine and primary care by developing leadership, teaching and research skills of the practitioners.

A notable strength of the program is that the practicum requirements allow for experiential learning and reinforce the theoretical principles learned in many of the courses.

Participants in the program hail from many different parts of the world, contributing to a unique and stimulating venue for learning and collaboration. The longitudinal nature of the program allows participants to develop rich professional networks with their colleagues.

The MScCH curriculum is designed for practicing health professionals who are or can reasonably expect to become teachers and leaders in their professional fields. Graduates of our programs have often gone on to hold high-level hospital and/or university appointments at their home institutions which reflect the sustainability of the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the family medicine masters programs.


Admissions Criteria

Students are admitted under the general admissions requirements set by the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. We advise all prospective students to review this criteria prior to submitting an application.

Minimum requirements include:

  • 4-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent, from a recognized university (check international credentials )
  • At least a mid-B average in the last 5.0 full course equivalents completed at a senior level
  • Proof of English language proficiency if your previous studies were completed in a country where English is not the native language or if English was not the language of instruction
  • An undergraduate statistics course is recommended
  • A license in a regulated health care profession and actively practicing in country of current residence; minimum of 1 year clinical experience post-training

International Medical Graduates must have a current clinical license in their country of residence. This would apply to those who are permanent residents of Canada or Visa Trainees from other countries.

Applying to the Program

Applications are now closed for the 2024-2025 academic year.

The admission cycle for Fall 2025 program entry will reopen mid-October 2024 and close mid-January 2025. Program Information Webinars for prospective 2025 applicants will be held in Fall 2024.

Applications are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto through the Dalla Lana School of Public Healthonline application process

Visit the 'Learn More' section below for recording links of past Admissions Information Webinars, providing program, admissions and application overviews.

Program Goals and Objectives

Program Goals:

To prepare prospective faculty, entry level faculty as well as experienced academic health professionals to become more effective and scholarly leaders of academic family medicine and primary care

Program Objectives:

Graduates will: 

  • Understand social, political and scientific forces that influence the health care system and the delivery of primary health care
  • Gain an understanding of public health principles and health policy
  • Understand research methods, basic statistical techniques and how best to apply them to the primary care clinical setting
  • Understand the principles of leadership and management as they related to the health care setting 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of research and quality improvement methodologies and their appropriate applications
  • Apply evidence-informed principles to critical evaluation and decision-making in public health and primary care settings 

Program Requirements

The MScCH degree program requires the completion of 5.0 full course credit equivalents (FCE), including a minimum of one supervised field placement/practicum.

Program Length

1 year full-time or up to 6 years part-time (most part-time students complete the program in 2-3 years)

Required Courses (3.5 FCE)

  • CHL5004H: Introduction to Public Health Sciences
  • CHL5622H: Patient Related Health Care and Public Policy in Canada
  • CHL5603Y: Social, Political & Scientific Issues in Family Medicine
  • CHL5690H: Required Practicum

Choose one of:

CHL5601H: Appraising and Applying Evidence to Assist Clinical Decision-Making


CHL5605H: Research Issues in Family Medicine / Primary Care

Choose one of:

CHL5613H: Leading Improvement in the Quality of Health Care for Community Populations


CHL5623H: Practical Management Concepts and Cases in Leading Small Health Organizations

Elective Courses (1.5 FCE)

Electives may be selected from graduate courses offered in the DFCMDLSPH, other graduate units at the University of Toronto, or at other universities.

A maximum of 1.5 FCE from courses outside the MScCH can be credited towards the degree.

Collaborative Specializations

The DLSPH offers several collaborative specializations which provide students with additional experience in a multidisciplinary area. For more information on these specializations, please click here


Jacky Chung Kit Lai, MD, CCFP, MScCH (FCM)

Dr. Jacky Lai is a family physician and palliative care physician at Royal Victorian Regional Health Centre. He graduated from the MScCH (FCM) program in 2023. He is actively involved in teaching learners at the clerkship and residency levels through the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. 

Why did you choose the MScCH (FCM) program?

I was looking for a program that would further support my role in academic family medicine. The MScCH (FCM) program offered courses that aimed to build knowledge, leadership, and skill navigating health care organizations and systems. The program also provided ample opportunities to develop skill in clinical teaching and research. 

Who would you recommend this program to?

Health care professionals working in family medicine and primary care interested in pursuing a career in academia and leadership. 

How do you plan to use the program in your career?

The principles and concepts learnt through the MScCH (FCM) program have already been extremely helpful in the development of clinical programs and navigating health care systems changes. As an example, the MScCH (FCM) program has led to the development of a Division of Palliative Care within my local hospital. 

Learn More

Want to learn more?

WATCH recordings of past Information Sessions

Admissions 2024 Information Webinars: 

October 24, 2023   WATCH NOW!

November 23, 2023  WATCH NOW!

Or contact us if you have any questions