Public Health Inspection Full-time Bachelor of Technology 8500dbtech

Overview

Note: New admission procedures. View summary of changes

The BCIT Environmental Health program is applied learning at its best. Our industry-leading instructors train you to become a health inspector and environmental public health professional.

Through legislation, education, and promotion, our graduates work with people in almost every industry to safeguard public health. It’s an important job. Our students gain current, practical experience to get certified and start working as soon as they graduate.

About The Program

  • Two-year, full-time Bachelor of Technology program 
  • Small class size provides you with individual support 
  • Lectures, field trips, and research deliver a solid theory-based knowledge 
  • A three-month practical experience at a BC health agency gives you direct field experience 

Visit Program Details to learn more about the BCIT Environmental Health program and the features of our practical experience.

Who It's For

This program is for individuals who:

  • Like working with teams to problem solve and manage conflict in a public health setting
  • Enjoy a flexible work environment that changes daily
  • Have an interest in building strong communication skills 
  • Have two or more years of post-secondary education 

Our selection process helps you start off on the right foot. Click on Program Entry to find out if this program is right for you.

What Grads Can Do

Our grads can work anywhere in Canada. Our program sets students up to thrive from day one of their future career. See Graduating and Jobs to learn what a future in environmental health looks like.

Program Entry

Application processing

Open to applications beginning November 1st (or next business day)

Entrance requirements

This program has a two-step admission process. Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

Step 1: Meet the following entrance requirements

  • English: two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with:
  • 60 credits of post-secondary courses that include:
    • Minimum 18 credits at the second-year level in at least two subject areas (67%)
    • Biology (67%)
    • Chemistry (67%)
    • Microbiology (67%)
    • Minimum 6 additional credits of Science (67%)

  • Complete the following form for submission with your online application:
    • Self-assessment [PDF] which includes commenting on a mandatory discussion with a PHI/EHO regarding the Environmental Health

  • Valid driver's licence*

*Students will be required to have access to a vehicle. A Class 5 (full) driver's licence is preferred; a Class 7 (novice) licence is the minimum for the practicum in Level 8 but may not be adequate for all practicum locations.

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Step 2: Department assessment

Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the program area when the entrance requirements are complete. Applicants will be contacted for the following:

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times through the flu season prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

  • Up-to-date immunization program

Continuation requirements

  • Biostatistics or Statistics (strongly recommended prior to program entry however may be taken prior to Level 7)

Recommended for success

  • Post-secondary English or Communication composition course

  • Post-secondary courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, human anatomy, human physiology, physics and math

  • Strong computer skills in MS Office 2010 (this can be accomplished by completing BSYS 1001)

  • Post-secondary course work completed within the last 5 (five) years

  • Applicants must be in good health with adequate hearing and vision

  • The nature of the work in this program and career is physically demanding. If you have questions regarding the physical demands, please contact the program head. Applicants with disabilities should contact the Disability Resource Centre.

International students who are applying for study permits should also request a work visa to cover the practicum.

Apply to program

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Now

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.

myCommunication

Within 2 business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal e-mail and your myBCIT e-mail address. All correspondence about your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an email when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these emails, or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for more information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Level 5: $558; Level 6: $370; Level 7: $499; Level 8: $478
(general estimated cost, subject to change)

CSA approved safety boots are required; details will be provided in Level 5.

A laptop with MS Office 2010 is highly recommended.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.

Courses

Program matrix

Level 5 Credits
  CHEM 3321 Toxicology for Environmental Health 3.0
  COMM 3282 Professional and Intercultural Communication for Environmental Health 3.0
  ENVH 1100 Introduction to Environmental Public Health 3.0
  ENVH 1260 Soils and Hydrogeology 4.0
  ENVH 2210 Sewage Treatment 3.0
  ENVH 3600 Environmental Assessment 5.0
  ENVH 7051 Solid and Hazardous Waste 3.0
  FOOD 3025 Food Microbiology for Environmental Health 2.0
 
Level 6 Credits
  BHSC 7423 Communicable Disease Control 5.5
  ENVH 1300 Food Hygiene 8.0
  ENVH 2200 Water Supply 4.0
  ENVH 3100 Applied Law 5.5
  ENVH 3280 Land Use* 1.5
  ENVH 3570 Human Relations* 2.0
  ENVH 4600 Indoor Air Quality* 3.5
  LIBS 7001 Critical Reading and Writing 3.0
* indicates a half-term course

Biostatistics or Statistics (strongly recommended prior to program entry however may be taken prior to Level 7)
 
Level 7 Credits
  BUSA 7250 Management Skills and Applications 3.0
  ENVH 1143 Pools and Recreational Water 5.0
  ENVH 4100 Environmental Health Applications 4.0
  ENVH 4350 Food Equipment and Processing 4.0
  ENVH 7266 Epidemiology 5.0
  ENVH 7600 Health Education and Promotion 3.0
  ENVH 8400 Research Methods 3.0
 
Level 8 Credits
  CHEM 8442 Environmental Chemistry* 2.5
  ENVH 1124 Pest Management* 2.5
  ENVH 7002 Outdoor Air Quality* 2.0
  ENVH 8001 Environmental Health Risk Assessment* 3.0
  ENVH 8200 Healthy Communities* 2.0
  ENVH 8410 Applied Research Project 4.0
  ENVH 8600 Practicum** 17.0
  LIBS 7002 Applied Ethics 3.0
* indicates a half-term course
** 12 weeks (to be completed either March-June or June-Aug)
 
Liberal Studies Component: (12.0 credits required)
Core Courses: (6.0 credits)
LIBS7001 - to be completed in Level 6 (above)
LIBS7002 - to be completed in Level 8 (above)

Elective Courses: (6.0 credits)
All students will be required to achieve these credits in accordance with the BCIT policy on Liberal Studies course requirements.
 
Total Credits: 128.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The Public Health Inspector/Environmental Health Officer (PHI/EHO) is a vital member of the public health team and delivery system. The role of the PHI/EHO includes preventing disease, promoting health and improving the environment through the use of education, consultation, inspection and monitoring techniques and, if necessary, by the enforcement of health legislation. The scope of interest covers food hygiene, insect and rodent control, communicable disease investigation, public accommodation, community care facilities, public recreational facilities, water supply and waste disposal systems, occupational health and safety and environmental pollution - air, water, soil and noise. The graduate provides leadership and technical expertise in the development of long-range planning to protect and improve the public's health. To meet these demands, the candidate must be a mature, practical person and possess excellent communication skills, as well as considerable tact and discretion in working with people at all levels within the community. Proficiency is required in problem-solving and decision-making.

The program

This program prepares students to enter the field of environmental health as professional, effective members of a multi-disciplinary health team. Graduates will be able to recognize, evaluate, and manage environmental factors that impact on human health. They will have the knowledge and skills needed to meet a growing range of environmental health roles and responsibilities, specifically:

  • expanded knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to meet the current and evolving needs of employers, the profession, and the community;
  • a commitment to life-long learning and professional growth;
  • an appropriate combination of specialty, research, and multi-disciplinary courses that will promote the development of critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and communication skills.

General studies in health and the health engineering sciences, liberal studies, health care management, math, and the physical and social sciences are included. Instructional modes include lectures, labs, guided learning, field trips, directed studies, and practical experiences.

Industry (practical) experience

Practical experience is a significant component of this educational program. It consists of field trips, projects, hands-on activities, and a three month practicum off-campus at an appropriate health agency. The Practicum may require relocation due to limited Vancouver-area positions. In addition, the Practicum:
  • is required for graduation.
  • requires a valid driver's licence and access to a vehicle. A Class 5 (full) driver’s licence is preferred; a Class 7 (novice) licence is the minimum, but may not be adequate for all practicum locations.
  • sites are usually assigned to student by the program area.
  • positions are unpaid; students are responsible for all relocation costs (if applicable).
  • requires up-to-date immunizations prior to the practicum.
  • may require the student to purchase workplace insurance if the practicum is done outside BC.

Additional Information:

Program length

The program spans two years and begins in September of each year. The first year consists of full-time studies on campus. The second year consists of on-campus studies followed by a combination of practical experience, directed studies and guided learning (distance education).

Program structure

A. Technical Component   Credits
  1. Specialty Courses   96.0
  2. Management Courses   3.0
  3. Practical Experience   17.0
B. Liberal Studies   12.0
  Total   128.0

Continue your education

Post Baccalaureate Opportunities

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Environmental Health (EH) can pursue a variety of employment opportunities or post-baccalaureate studies including:

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) accepts a BTech in EH as equivalent to a university degree in Biological Sciences; graduates can apply for "specialist" (science based) positions in CFIA.

  • Graduates who have a competitive cumulative grade point average will be considered for Master of Science or Master of Public Health programs at Simon Fraser University.

  • The BTech in EH meets the Bachelor requirement for the Master of Public Health program at the University of British Columbia. Preference is given to applicants with excellent academic grades, experience in the field of public health or related fields, and research or teaching experience.

Graduating & Jobs

Our graduates are ready

The need for environmental health is everywhere. From law enforcement, consulting, and legislation to government and quality assurance, public health jobs are critical to keeping people safe – day in, day out.

Career opportunities

Careers in public health start at approximately $51,000 annually and include:

  • Public health inspector (PHI) 
  • Environmental health officer (EHO) 
  • Specialist positions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) 

Think outside the box and career opportunities in public health can be found in almost any industry. Find out more about the work we do here.

Keep learning

Want more education? This program meets the bachelor’s degree requirement for the Master of Public Health program at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University

Graduate employment outcomes

The following link takes you to graduate outcome survey results containing mostly labour market results from the 2011-2013 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2010-2012 Graduates.
Note: The survey results will be displayed in a separate browser window. To view these results, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Requirements

Course equivalents

Liberal studies

Application processing


Requirements

Why are some entrance requirements required and others recommended?

The required entrance requirements provide the minimum background information for you to be successful in the program. The recommended entrance requirements will increase your background knowledge and improve your chances of being successful.

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How do I contact a Public Health Inspector/EHO?

Select the agency you wish to contact and locate the contact phone number at health.gov.bc.ca/socsec. Or, if you live in the Greater Vancouver area, you can contact a practising health inspector by referring to the blue pages at the back of the White Pages telephone directory. Under the heading "Health Authorities" there are listings for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. For those who live outside the Greater Vancouver area, similar listings may be available in your local phone book. Look for the subheadings for "Public Health Inspection" or "Environmental Health". These search terms may also yield results in your local Yellow Pages telephone directory.

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What if I don't have Microbiology?

BHSC 1023 (Introduction to Microbiology) is offered starting every January as a classroom-based evening course at the Burnaby campus. Successful completion of this course will satisfy the microbiology entrance requirement for the program. For a list of approved courses at other institutions, please see the list of equivalency courses [PDF]

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What if I don't have Biostatistics or Statistics?

It is strongly encouraged that you complete this entrance requirement in advance of entering the program. If you don't have time, you must complete an approved Biostats/Stats course prior to entering Level 7. The workload is such that most students in the program are not usually able to complete this course during the academic year and therefore end up taking it over the summer between Level 6 and 7. Applicants who have completed a course with less than a 67% may be required to upgrade their mark to a 67% or higher prior to Level 7.

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Can you tell me more about BCIT BSYS 1001 or the Computer Skills course?

It is strongly recommended that applicants complete a computer course requirement prior to entering the program. We recommend BSYS 1001 (Business Systems 1, based on MS Office 2010) or you can review the list of equivalency courses [PDF].

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Course equivalents

Is there a list of approved entrance requirement equivalency courses available at other institutions?

Yes, Environmental Health has prepared a list of approved equivalency courses [PDF].

If a course you are planning to take doesn't appear on this list of approved courses, please seek approval prior to registration.  Contact Lorraine_Woolsey@bcit.ca with the institution name and the course date, name, number and outline/description.

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Liberal studies

Should I take Liberal Studies elective courses prior to entering the Environmental Health program?

If you have not completed any LIBS electives, we strongly recommend that you complete at least one LIBS elective prior to entering the program. LIBS courses are not entrance requirements, but it is difficult to complete the two LIBS elective credits while you are in the program. 

Tuition fees are waived for BCIT LIBS elective courses if taken while you are a full-time student in our program (subject to change), but we feel it is advantageous to take LIBS elective courses in advance if you can afford to do so.

View BCIT's list of Liberal Studies core courses.

If you are intending to apply to the Environment Health program and are seeking pre-approval for an acceptable non-BCIT liberal studies elective prior to submitting your application, send an email to Michael_Bourke@bcit.ca with the following information:

  • Your name and BCIT student number. If you have never had a BCIT number, create a BCIT ID. Note: approvals will NOT be processed unless an applicant has a BCIT student number.
  • Post secondary institution name, course number, credit value, and a complete detailed course outline.

Requests may take 2-4 weeks to process and you will receive your approval/disapproval by email. Please save your email approval information and submit it with your application

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Application processing

I am on a waitlist; what does this mean?

If you have been advised that you are on a waitlist it means that the program is full to capacity. If a student drops out, you may be contacted and offered a seat in the program.

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Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Martin Macleod, BSc, MEd, CPHI(C)
Program Head
E-mail: Martin_Macleod@bcit.ca
Phone: 604-432-8807

Vincent Crozier, BASc, MHS, CPHI(C)
Instructor

Helen Heacock, PhD, MSc, Gdip, BSc
Instructor

Keith Herle, BA, BSc, CPHI(C)
Instructor

Fred Shaw, BSc
Technician III

Advisory committee

  • Crystal Brown, CIPHI & Northern Health 
  • Hugh Davies, UBC
  • Dianna Hayden, Northern Canada
  • Dr. Tim Lambert, BC Ministry of Health
  • Mike LeBlanc, Manitoba Health
  • Steven Leung, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Dr. James Lu, BC Medical Health Officers’ Council
  • Shawn Parhar, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Richard Taki, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority 
  • Oonagh Tyson, Fraser Health Authority
  • Lynn Wilcott, BC Centre for Disease Control

Contact Us

Sharon Cameron, 604-432-8723
Martin MacLeod, 604-432-8807

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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