School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Health Quality Programs

collage of photos for the program



“The MSc(HQ) program at Queen's University has effectively helped me develop and drive improvements into my practice area.  The measurement and reporting techniques I have learned have been invaluable.  With an eye on systems, I've used my new skills and knowledge to improve care delivery and safety, reduce cost, and build better teams.  I would strongly recommend the MSc(HQ) to any professional who touches the healthcare system."

Jon Schmid, RN, BScN, Clinical Operations Manager | Emergency Department, Royal University Hospital


Program Contact

Mengyi Wang
Cataraqui Building
92 Barrie Street
Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 75370


Program Overview

The Master of Science in Healthcare Quality MSc(HQ) is the first of its kind, specializing in linking theory and practice in quality, risk, and safety in healthcare. We offer interdisciplinary courses, led by leaders in their fields, valuable international experience and convenient distance learning. Unparalleled in its scope, the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality addresses the growing need for interactions across disciplines, professions and communities. Join us on the forefront of improving healthcare quality, risk, and safety in Canada and worldwide. We promote, innovate and disseminate the theoretical and practical core concepts about quality, risk, and safety in healthcare. In the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality program MSc(HQ), you will engage in study and application that will enhance your understanding of quality improvement, and risk reduction, as well as, give you the ability to promote safety within the healthcare system. You will learn how to systematically examine, evaluate and measure current tools and approaches for system improvements.

The PhD in Health Quality (PhDHQ) will prepare experts who will improve the delivery of healthcare through teaching, developing new methodologies and theoretical frameworks, as well as testing innovation in the field of health quality. The PhDHQ program offers a collaborative approach to comprehend and address the complexities within the healthcare system. While the degree is research intensive, it will also be grounded in pragmatism and will help prepare independent researchers for quality improvement research and developing leadership capabilities in health settings. 


These programs are designed for young professionals or mid- to senior-level executives. Professionals that may be well suited to taking these programs are - Lawyers, Engineers, Business professionals, Healthcare professionals, Professional administrators, Policy advisors.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Graduates in MSc program can expect to find exciting and varied employment opportunities in many different fields, such as in a law or engineering firm, in business, in provincial and federal government, or in hospital administration and policy.

Graduates of the PhD program will be prepared to take senior leadership roles in health quality portfolios in practice and policy settings across Canada and will also be educated to assume tenure track positions in university programs.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.Sc.: 2 full years of part time study.

PhD: 4 years

Method of Completion

The MScHQ program consists of eight courses, including a supervised project.

  • Two intensive on campus week sessions
  • Interactive on line classes
  • Independent study
  • Research project

Through the combination of course work, lecture and discussion, the program will stress the development of a theoretical knowledge base combined with the practical ability to apply concepts and measure results in quality, risk and safety in healthcare.

The PhD in Health Quality program is a four (4) year, interdisciplinary program using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous study using interactive online videoconferencing. The PhDHQ program consists of five (5) courses in year one, including an internship over the summer months. The internship will be tailored to the learners' interests and to broadening their perspectives on health quality. In the fall term of year two, students will complete their written comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam will be a take home two (2) week written submission. In the winter and summer terms of year two (2) students will focus on their PhD thesis, and complete HQRS 905 Current Topics in Health Quality. 

Fields of study and Supervisors

The MScHQ and PhDHQ Programs are interdisciplinary and, as such, graduates are able to work in a variety of fields including law, engineering, healthcare, administration, consulting, policy and more.

Supervisors for both programs are available for the following interests: business, engineering, nursing, anesthesiology, medicine, policy, law, pharmacy, hospital administration and human factors. For a list of potential PhDHQ supervisors and all HQ Faculty/Staff go to the Heathcare Quality Program website.

Academic Prerequisites, Deadlines & Fees

Academic Prerequisites

Students applying to this program should refer the School of Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for updated graduate school requirements.

Students requesting admission to the program will normally have graduated with a minimum of a second class standing of a B or 70% (GPA 3.0) from an accredited, baccalaureate granting University, with a preferred degree in a healthcare discipline, law, business, engineering, or policy studies.

Students will also have undergraduate courses in statistics and evidence of an understanding of research methodology and or quality improvement experience.

Test Requirements

A TOEFL score (or equivalent) with satisfactory standing may be required if native languages of a student do not include English.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 1st of each year


Application Fee: $105

1. Masters Students

Domestic Students

  • Tuition Fees: $15,175.96 CAD 

International Students

  • Tuition Fees: $22,767.16CAD 

2. Doctoral Students

Domestic Students

  • Tuition Fees - $6,514.50 CAD 

International Students

  • Tuition Fees: $13,651.45 CAD 
Learning Outcomes

Degree Level Expectations - M.Sc.(HQ) (308 KB)

Degree Level Expectations - PhD(HQ) (124 KB)

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website

More Testimonials

"I was looking for a graduate program that encompassed the bigger system wide issues that are currently affecting the healthcare system in Canada.  As soon as I saw the information about the Queen's MSc in Healthcare Quality, Risk and Safety I knew it was for me because it offered many courses that I was interested in - politics, law, organizational behaviour.  I have really enjoyed the program as it has opened up my eyes to the small changes that can be made in our healthcare system that can improve efficiency and save money while also improving quality and safety for the patient.  Working with a wide range of clinicians and professionals has also broadened my perspective of how complex the issues are in the healthcare system and hardened my resolve to become a leader in facilitating a change for the better."

Lynn Suter BPE, BSc (PT), Physiotherapist

"I am pursuing the MSc(HQ) Program at Queen’s University as I am interested in examining the Canadian healthcare system from a different perspective and gaining a comprehensive understanding of quality improvement and patient safety in the national and international healthcare landscapes. This has been a wonderful learning experience thus far, which has re-emphasized the importance of delivering patient-centered care and continues to shape the way in which I view the provision of healthcare services."

Aryn Gatto, BA (Hons.)Project Coordinator, Disease Pathway Management Secretariat, Cancer Care Ontario