Public Health MPH

Major: Public Health
Degree Awarded: Master of Public Health (MPH)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 56.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2201
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9111

About the Program

The Master of Public Health program provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to make a difference in today's public health world.

Our MPH curriculum incorporates several key elements:

  • Solid training in state-of-the-art core competencies that students need to be effective
  • Integration and interdisciplinary from the very beginning
  • Flexibility to incorporate specialization in several public health areas
  • Extensive opportunities for community, practice, and research engagement
  • Graduate in only 5 quarters, allowing for a head start in the job market

"We redesigned the MPH degree to ensure that our students graduate with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the field of public health. We also wanted to increase the ability of students to specialize in areas they are particularly interested in, and to expand the flexibility of the curriculum to allow students to graduate earlier.

We built the new curriculum working from actual public health challenges -- asking ourselves what it will take to address tough problems. The result is a curriculum design that is integrated across disciplines, because interdisciplinary, cross-sector teamwork is exactly what is required for 21st century public health practice and research."

- Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH
  Dean, Dornsife School of Public Health


  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
  • Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels
  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs
  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
  • Perform effectively on inter-professional teams
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Program Highlights (MPH)


 Full-time MPH students select a major at the time of application:


Minors are open to all Drexel graduate students in all schools and colleges. The minors are designed to complement students' training by providing basic knowledge in topics outside their primary discipline. In addition to the list below, additional minors are being developed.

Curriculum (MPH)

Core Courses

All students will begin their studies in PBHL 510 and PBHL 511 Public Health Foundations and Systems I & II and PBHL 512 and PBHL 513 Methods for Public Health Research I & II, two new multidisciplinary core courses which will be team-taught by faculty from each department. The courses are designed to run across the first two quarters and total 16.0 credits. This format ensures that course development is shaped by content/disciplinary experts and includes the breadth and depth of relevant skills that all MPH graduates will need regardless of their chosen discipline.

Discipline-Specific Courses

Students will take a minimum of five discipline-specific courses in their major field of study over the five-quarter MPH program.

MPH Practical Experience

All MPH degree students must develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the capacity to apply these concepts through a practical experience relevant to their area of specialization. "Practice" refers to implementing (doing) public health, rather than understanding (studying, researching) public health.

The practical experience is an applied, field-based requirement that gives students experience in the practice of public health (no credits) -- requiring depth (120-240 hours in a field placement) and breadth (1 experience per month) - including participation in short-term volunteer opportunities and participation in on- or off-campus learning opportunities. The practical experience requirement can begin during the third quarter of year one and be completed during the summer of the second year of study.

Integrative Learning Experience

The integrative learning experience (ILE) is the culminating requirement for MPH students. Each department/major has their own specific requirements for the ILE, which requires students to take 4-6 credits in the final 2 quarters of the program and to produce a high-quality written product that demonstrates mastery of core public health and discipline-specific competencies. The ILE can be coordinated with the field-based practical experience.

Admission Requirements

The School of Public Health seeks students with intellectual and interpersonal competencies as well as those with potential for leadership. The school has set a high priority on establishing a student body that is representative of the nation's population. We strive to recruit and to admit applicants from underrepresented minority groups who can contribute to the richness of our student population and to that of the nation's public health professionals.

Admissions Process

  • The Admissions Committee carefully reviews applications and gives personal essays and letters of recommendation particular attention.
  • The selection process weighs prior academic and personal accomplishments, emphasizing demonstrated leadership.
  • Diversity of background and outside interests, depth of self-appraisal, commitment to public health, and working with individuals are highly valued.
  • Prior work experience in a field related to public health is highly recommended.

Applicants should have:

  • Satisfactorily completed an undergraduate bachelor degree program in an accredited US college or university, or its equivalent in another country
  • A course in Statistics is highly recommended
  • Six undergraduate or graduate credits in the social or behavioral sciences and three in the biological sciences are preferred, but not required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required, however, you may choose to submit scores to strengthen your application
  • International applicants must submit an English Language Proficiency exam. Applicants may submit the TOEFL or IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS exams are considered valid for two (2) years from the date the exam was administered.

Please note: The Dornsife School of Public Health's code for submitting GRE scores is 2194. The SOPHAS GRE school code is 7890.

The Application Process also requires:

  • Completion of the Schools of Public Health Common Application.
  • A personal essay describing what you perceive to be pressing public health issues, why a career in the field appeals to you, and how it will use your strengths and commitment
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV

Applicants to the joint MD/MPH program must be accepted to both the Drexel College of Medicine and the Dornsife School of Public Health.

Degree Requirements

The full-time educational program is structured on a quarter term basis, with a total credit hour requirement of 56.0 quarter credit hours. This is generally taken as a two-year program; all course work must be completed within four years of the date of matriculation for the full-time program.

MPH Foundation Courses
PBHL 500Practical Experience for the Master of Public Health0.0
PBHL 510Public Health Foundations and Systems I4.0
PBHL 511Public Health Foundations and Systems II4.0
PBHL 512Methods for Public Health Research I 4.0
PBHL 513Methods for Public Health Research II4.0
MPH Discipline Specific Foundation Courses16.0
MPH Integrative Learning Experience *6.0
MPH Electives/Graduate Minor Courses **18.0
Total Credits56.0

Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
PBHL 510Public Health Foundations and Systems I4.0
PBHL 512Methods for Public Health Research I 4.0
Discipline Specific Foundation course3.0
 Term Credits11.0
Term 2
PBHL 511Public Health Foundations and Systems II4.0
PBHL 513Methods for Public Health Research II4.0
Discipline Specific Foundation course3.0
 Term Credits11.0
Term 3
PBHL 500Practical Experience for the Master of Public Health0.0
Discipline Specific Foundation course4.0
 Term Credits10.0
Term 4
Integrated Learning Experience3.0
Discipline Specific Foundation course3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 5
Integrated Learning Experience3.0
Discipline Specific Foundation course3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 56.0
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees