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.

Customizing Your MPH

Students take 6 electives based on their chosen track: Generalist, Global Health, One Health, or Epidemiology. As part of their choice of electives, students on the Generalist, Global Health, and One Health Tracks can take up to 3 graduate-level public health courses from anywhere across the University while the remaining 3 electives must carry a PUBH prefix. Additionally, students on these three tracks can complete the degree on a full-time (2 years) or part-time (3 years) basis. Epidemiology Track students must complete the degree on a full-time basis. All MPH students have an assigned Academic Advisor to help them navigate their plans.

Key Curriculum Facts

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

MPH Core Curriculum Requirements

MPH Required CoursesCourse Units
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5010 Introduction to BiostatisticsCourse Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5020 Introduction to EpidemiologyCourse Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5040 Public Health Theories & Frameworks Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5050 Public Health Policy & Administration Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5060 Methods for Public Health Practice Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 5070 Public Health Law & Ethics Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 7080 Capstone Seminar I Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesPUBH 7090 Capstone Seminar II Course Units1.0
MPH Required CoursesElectivesCourse Units6.0
MPH Required Courses125 Hours Required Fieldwork Experience Course Units0.0
MPH Required CoursesTotal Course Units14.0

4 Routes to the MPH Degree

All MPH students take the same six core courses and two capstone courses. The six core courses cover fundamental public health topics: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Theories and Frameworks, Policy and Administration, Methods, and Law and Ethics. The two capstone courses facilitate students’ culminating masters project. Students then use their remaining six elective courses to delve into their public health interests and goals. Each track has a different set of elective requirements, listed below.

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.

Non-MPH students interested in public health

We welcome students from outside the MPH program interested in public health to explore taking public health classes to broaden their training! As an interdisciplinary profession, public health benefits from diverse perspectives, in and outside the classroom.