MPH students will meet with the Associate Director prior to matricualtion to identify a specific MPH track, begin constructing a plan of study, obtain an Academic Advisor, and register for courses. The study plan provides a road map or pathway to timely and successful completion of the MPH degree requirements. In consultation with an Academic Advisor all MPH students complete their plan with an individualized set of instructional goals which describe specialized, cross-cutting, or interdisciplinary competencies beyond the core MPH curriculum. The instructional goals and competencies on the study plan are used to guide the MPH students in the selection of 5 elective courses (this applies to the Generalist track) or content specific courses in the case of global health or environmental health. Each culminating experience or capstone project will be evaluated on the atainment of these competencies as part of the degree requirments.

The MPH program at Penn offers 3 routes to the MPH degree. Each track is builds upon the same MPH core curriculum. A list of the MPH core competencies can be found here

1. Generalist Track: Generalist competencies

2. Global Health Track: Global Health competencies

3. Envirnomental HealthTrack: Environmental Health competencies

Each track consists of 14 course units, of which 9 are required. If taken full time, the program can be completed within two years. A description of the required courses is attached.

Topic Area Course Units
Core Curriculum Required Courses
Introduction to Biostatistics*
Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology*
Environmental and Occupational Health*
Public Health Policy and Administration*
Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health*
Public Health Ethics, Policy and Law
Methods of Public Health Practice
Individual Culminating Experience (Capstone)

Required Fieldwork Experience (125 hours)

no course units

5.0 cu of elective course work is required. A minimum of 2 out of 5 electives must carry the PUBH prefix. There is a University-wide selection of elective options to meet students individualized plans of study and track. See the course listing for a list of approved elective options.


* Core areas covered by all public health curricula

Note: The study of public health requires basic familiarity with chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. Applicants who do not have such familiarity should anticipate the need to take additional pre-requisites or to undertake self-study to acquire core knowledge in these areas. Completion of at least one course giving an introduction to the pathologic basis of and terminology of human diseases and pathology is desirable.

Transfer Credit Policy

Fourteen course units are required for the MPH degree. Twelve course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania, with 11 course units taken in the public health program (PUBH). MPH students may request to transfer up to two graduate level credits from an accredited program outside the University. Transfer credit may not be applied to the 9 MPH required courses but may be applied to the electives with the approval of their Academic Advisor. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis and courses taken more than three years ago will not be considered for transfer credit. Only courses in which the student received a grade of "B" (3.0) or better will be considered for transfer credit.

Requests for transfer credit should be submitted to the MPH Associate Director, together with a course syllabus, course documents and other course items, as requested, for the course under consideration. The Associate Director will request a review of the course by an MPH faculty member in that content area for its appropriateness for MPH transfer credit. Students may request a waiver of a core course in favor of a more advanced course in that content area. The waiver process is the same as that for transfer credit but feel free to direct your questions about this to the program representatives.