We acknowledge that the UBC Vancouver campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).

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Project and Thesis Options

The MSc OEH program is unique in being able to offer students two program options; the Project Option and the Thesis Option. Students are accepted into the program, not the option, therefore we allow for students to take time to decide which is the more suitable option to take.  Both options are course-intensive.

Students are advised to talk to their faculty advisors or the Program Director prior to making their decision, which is finalized in December of Term 1. All students are required to fill out the Thesis & Project Preparation Form, to help guide them, and us, to help students make the most informed decision.

Project Option

People who choose the project option are often more focused on a professional career and certification in the field. This option is usually completed more quickly and includes a paid practicum placement.  As far as future prospects go, thesis and project students are equally competitive in the job market and in further education (e.g., MD, PhD programs).

The MSc project (SPPH 598) is a one-time paid practicum work experience opportunity, typically from the beginning of May to the middle of August between students’ first and second academic years of study.

Under the supervision of one or more worksite supervisors and a School faculty advisor, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge, develop professional competence and gain experience working as part of a team in a real-life setting.

At the completion of the worksite placement, students must prepare a comprehensive technical report that is submitted to the employer and the School, and graded by faculty. Students also give an oral and poster presentation at a special School seminar.

Each year, two students ranked highest in this course are selected to present their work to the local chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and all students are encouraged to submit abstracts to the student sessions of the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition (AIHCe).


Additional to student’s faculty advisor, students taking the project option will be allocated an advisor. The advisor is there as additional support during your co-op placement during the summer, to give support or advice to ensure you are achieving the best possible learning experience at your practicum placement.

Project structure and more information about this option.

Thesis Option

People who choose the thesis option are often more interested in research and a more self-directed program of study. The thesis option allows you to look at a topic in more detail than you could otherwise, so it usually takes more time to complete. The thesis is usually applied – meaning that it will probably involve observational research in field sites in the community or in work places.

As far as future prospects go, thesis and project students are equally competitive in the job market and in further education (e.g., MD, PhD programs).


Thesis supervisor and committee decided once topic chosen.

Thesis overview and more information about this option.