MPH FAQs

  • Students who apply and are accepted for entrance in the usual fall admission cycle—can and are even encouraged—to consider starting their programs in the summer session if their schedules and course space permits. Accepted students coming to Tufts should check with the Registrar’s office for summer schedule information and course availability.

  • Yes, it is accredited by Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). CEPH accredits public health programs that are based in academic units of universities, like the Tufts program in the School of Medicine, as well as programs based in Schools of Public Health.

  • Students who have not completed an undergraduate level biology course must demonstrate a basic understanding of biology applicable to public health through completion of a non-credit, on-line course and examination. 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. This zero credit requirement may be met with the free, on-line Introduction to Biology course at Carnegie-Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative. Students must achieve an average of at least 80% correct answers for the modular quizzes and submit a copy of the final examination results to the Registrar before this requirement is considered fulfilled.

  • It takes 42 credits to graduate with an MPH degree from Tufts. Courses are designated as 3 or 1.5 credits. No matter which concentration or combined degree track a student pursues 24 of the 42 credits represent required courses, with the remaining 18 credits comprising concentration/track requirements and elective courses.

  • Students completing the on-campus or online MPH may do so full-time or part-time. Students sometimes switch from one status to the other. 

    Students pursuing the accelerated option must commit to a full-time schedule.

  • Please visit MPH Admissions & Tuition for current tuition information. Dual degree program students have different tuition levels based on the requirements of their specific program. There is an inherent cost savings in the dual or combined programs as many courses double count both for the MPH and for the other degree being pursued.

  • Classes generally meet once per week and are generally offered during the afternoons and evenings each week on Monday-Thursday. There are also a few Friday classes as well as some that meet in the morning. Students who can only take evening courses are able to complete their MPH program requirements at Tufts if they concentrate in Health Services Management and Policy, Behavioral Science/Health Communication or Epidemiology/Biostatistics. Nutrition concentrators will need to take some morning or afternoon courses. Advanced schedule planning is strongly encouraged for all students.

  • No formal thesis is required for graduation.

  • Generally, students are expected to complete a minimum of 160-hour agency based practicum experience related to public health that is generally conducted after most course work has been completed. This experience satisfies both the Applied Practice Experience and Integrated Learning Experience elements required for all students earning an MPH degree. There are specific pre-requisites that must be completed before students enroll in the 1.5 credit ALE Planning course. There is also a final paper and oral presentation which accompanies the ALE Implementation course. The 160-hours of field work are either carried out as part of the ALE Implementation course, or are performed as a separate ALE field experience which comes between ALE Planning and ALE Implementation courses.

  • The Office of Career Services at Tufts MPH program provides resources and opportunities to help students and alumni make vital connections, and develop practical job search skills to become competitive in the job market. Students and alumni are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of support and skills sessions. Throughout the year, employers often post positions through our careers office or conduct on-campus information sessions. The Career Services Office is located on the first floor of the Public Health and Biomedical Sciences building at 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston. Email us at PHPD-CareerServices@tufts.edu or call 617-636-3519.

  • Many do. Part-time students are often working either full- or part-time while completing their MPH degree. Even many full-time students find they are able to work part time while in their graduate program, due to the fact that many of our courses are offered in the late afternoons or evenings.

  • Up to 6 credits of relevant public health graduate work that has not been applied to a previously earned degree may be transferred to Tufts. Special rules apply for transfers of credits related to core MPH courses. For questions about transfer credits, please contact our Registrar's Office at phpdregistrar@tufts.edu or 617-636-0935.

  • Students in the MPH program are able to register for as few as one course per semester or up to five courses per semester—so time taken to complete the degree depends greatly on the student.  

    On average, full-time students complete the MPH degree in 18 months by taking courses year-round. Our recommended course load is three to four courses per semester. Usually this includes at least one fall and one spring semester, and additional coursework completed during our summer I and II terms.  

    Students are not required to take the same number of courses every semester, which provides additional flexibility. Some students may take a full-time course load for three semesters, but finish the program with only one to two courses in their final semester, for example. 

    For highly motivated students, it is possible to accelerate the coursework by taking a heavy course load over three semesters. If this is a priority for you, we suggest you consider pursuing the accelerated MPH option instead, which is designed to be completed in 12 months from July–July. 

    Students who choose to pursue the program part-time have up to five years to complete the MPH degree, although, students studying part-time usually complete it in three years. 

  • Students must demonstrate a familiarity with basic biology prior to graduating from the MPH program. Many of our students complete this requirement using a one semester human biology course they took as an undergraduate student, however this course is not a requirement for admission. Students who do did not take a course in human biology as an undergraduate student will be required to successfully complete a free, non-credit, on-line 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. Please note that students should not enroll in this course until after they have been instructed to by our Registrar's Office to ensure that credit is earned for taking the course.