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Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree

Two students in front of Nesbitt Hall

Training that Makes a Difference: Blending Study and Practice for Professional Success

The Dornsife School of Public Health is pleased to unveil a new Master of Public Health curriculum. The redesigned MPH program provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to make a difference in today’s public health world.

The new curriculum incorporates several key elements:

  • Solid training in state of the art core competencies that students need to be effective
  • Integration and interdisciplinarity 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 a head start in the job market

Why A "New" MPH Curriculum

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 back 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


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

Explore majors below:


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

Explore minors below:


Core Courses

All students will begin their studies in Public Health Foundations and Systems and Public Health Research Methods, 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 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.

Sample Plan of Study

Discipline-Specific Courses

Students will take a minimum of five discipline-specific course 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 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 or the second year of study.

Learn more about practical experience

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 integrative learning experience can be coordinated with the field-based practical experience requirement.


  • Personal essays and letters of recommendation
  • Academic and personal accomplishments, with emphasis on demonstrated leadership
  • Diversity of background and outside interests, depth of self-appraisal, commitment to public health, capacity to work with individuals

Admission and application requirements

Degree Requirements

The full-time program is structured on a quarter basis, with 56 total credit hours required for completion of the degree over five quarters.

Review degree requirements


  • Understand the systems that drive population health
  • Use critical thinking to characterize population health and answer public health questions
  • Be familiar with the mission, historical context, values and ethical principles of public health
  • Have the skills necessary to gather analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data
  • Be able to translate knowledge into actions to improve population health
  • Engage and partner effectively with multiple disciplines, sectors and communities to promote health
  • Communicate effectively about public health topics with diverse audiences
  • Understand the principles of effective leadership, administration, and funding in public health
  • Engage in self-directed, lifelong learning