MPH Curriculum

The MPH degree requires 42 credits, no matter which degree option a student chooses. The curriculum reflects competencies in the domains of Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health, Public Health and Health Care Systems, Planning and Management to Promote Health, Policy in Public Health, Leadership, Communication, Interprofessional Practice and Systems Thinking. Every concentration requires specific courses that deliver additional competencies.  

The programs offer several sections of required courses throughout the year so that students can create schedules that work best for them. Many classes are offered in the late afternoon or evening, and we have a robust summer session. MPH students pursuing the on-campus or online MPH may take up to five years to earn their degrees, although most full-time students finish in four semesters. Students in the accelerated MPH option will complete their degree in 12 months (July–July).

  • Students must demonstrate a familiarity with basic biology, either by having taken a one semester biology course as an undergraduate or through successful completion of a free, non-credit, online course and examination offered through Carnegie Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative. Ideally, this course should be taken in the summer prior to matriculation and no later than the end of the first year of the program.

  • Foundation Competencies Course where taught
    Evidence-based approaches to public health
    1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice PH 201
    2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context PH 285
    3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate PH 205
    4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice PH 205
    Public Health and Health Care Systems
    5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings PH 202
    6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels PH 202
    Planning and management to promote health
    7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities' health PH 202
    8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs PH 203
    9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention PH 203
    10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management PH 216
    11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs PH 285
    Policy in Public Health
    12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence PH 203
    13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes PH 203
    14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations PH 203
    15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity PH 203
    Leadership
    16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making PH 216
    17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges PH 216
    Communication
    18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors PH 203
    19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation PH 203
    20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content PH 203
    Interprofessional Practice
    21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams PH 203
    Systems Thinking
    22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue PH 202
  • 21 of the 42 required credits represent the core curriculum outlined here.

    Course Number & Title 
    (Course equivalents)

    Credits

    PH 201 Principles of Epidemiology

    3

    PH 202 Public Health Assessment: Data, Determinants, and Systems

    3

    PH 203 Public Health Action: Programs, Policy, and Advocacy

    3

    PH 205 Principles of Biostatistics

    3

    PH 216 Health Care Organization Budgeting and Management

    3

    PH 285 Evaluation of Public Health Programs

    3

    PH 301 ALE Planning

    1.5

    PH 302 ALE Implementation

    1.5

  • The mandatory Career Planning Course (CPC) is designed to ensure that you gain the skills and confidence to promote yourself effectively in your job search and throughout your career.

    Learn more about the CPC and register.