The Penn MPH curriculum ensures all students master essential public health skills and concepts within the core coursework, but empowers students to leverage the flexibility and integrative nature of the program and customize their plan of study, guided by specialized, cross-cutting, or interdisciplinary competencies.


All MPH students have the same overarching requirements: 6 required core courses, two semesters of Capstone Seminar, and Required Fieldwork Experience. Students take 6 electives based on their chosen track: Generalist, Global Health, or One Health. As part of their choice of electives, students can take up to 3 graduate-level public health courses from anywhere across the University. The remaining 3 electives must carry a PUBH prefix. The program can be completed on a full-time (2 years) or part-time (3 years) basis. All MPH students have an assigned Academic Advisor to help them navigate their plans and coursework.

Key Curriculum Facts

  • 6Core Courses
  • 2Capstones Seminar Courses
  • 6Electives Chosen in Consultation with Academic Advisor

Core Curriculum Required Courses

MPH Curriculum RequirementsCourse Units
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5010 Introduction to BiostatisticsCourse Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5020 Introduction to EpidemiologyCourse Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5040 Public Health Theories & Frameworks Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5050 Public Health Policy & Administration Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5060 Methods for Public Health Practice Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 5070 Public Health Law & Ethics Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 7080 Capstone Seminar I Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsPUBH 7090 Capstone Seminar II Course Units1.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsElectivesCourse Units6.0
MPH Curriculum Requirements125 Hours Required Fieldwork Experience Course Units0.0
MPH Curriculum RequirementsTotal Course Units14.0

3 Routes to the MPH Degree

Students select a track based on their public health interests and goals. Each track has a different set of requirements, listed below, to fulfill the 6 elective courses. No matter your track, 3 of your 6 total electives must carry the PUBH prefix.

Competency-based Training

In 2016, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) adapted a competency-based model for accredited public health training. Competencies are a way to measure the mastery of public health skills or content areas; they are the integral tools and concepts underlying public health practice. There are 22 foundational competencies that ground all accredited MPH programs. In addition to these foundational competencies, each track in our program has its own unique set of competencies tied to a track elective.