capstones 12/2014MPH students will meet with the Associate Director prior to matriculation 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 6 elective courses (this applies to the Generalist track) or content specific courses in the case of Global Health or One Health. Each culminating experience, or Capstone project, will be evaluated on the attainment of these competencies as part of the degree requirements.

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 Foundational competencies can be found here.

  1. Generalist Track Overview 
  2. Global Health Track Overview
  3. One Health Track Overview

Each track consists of 14 course units, of which 8 are required. If taken full time, the program can be completed within two years.

Core Curriculum Required Courses

Topic Area Course Units
PUBH 5010: Introduction to Biostatistics 1.0
PUBH 5020: Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology 1.0
PUBH 5040: Public Health Theories & Frameworks 1.0
PUBH 5050: Public Health Policy & Administration 1.0
PUBH 5060: Methods for Public Health Practice 1.0
PUBH 5070: Public Health Law & Ethics 1.0
PUBH 7080: Capstone Seminar I 1.0
PUBH 7090: Capstone Seminar II 1.0
Electives 6.0
Required Fieldwork Experience (125 hours) no course units
TOTAL 14.0


6.0 cu of elective course work is required. A minimum of 3 out of 6 electives must carry the PUBH prefix. There is a University-wide selection of elective options to meet students individualized plans of study and track.


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.