Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Population Health

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Master of Public Health


Public Health is an interdisciplinary field of study and practice with two primary goals – the prevention of illness, disease, and injury; and the promotion and protection of human health. In achieving these goals, public health emphasizes social justice, supports human rights, and respects the dignity of individuals and the integrity of communities.

Public health professionals track outbreaks of disease, conduct community health assessments, plan health education programs, and direct campaigns to reduce risk factors that foster chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.  They develop and advocate policies, both public and private, that reduce harmful environmental exposures and that provide increased access to preventive health services for underserved populations.  Many engage in public health research and support global health initiatives here and abroad.

Public health professionals perform these tasks in state and local health departments, community health centers and hospitals, non-governmental health organizations (NGOs), schools and universities, professional health agencies, health insurance companies, and businesses. 

Program Overview

Jefferson’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is nationally accredited through the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH). A comprehensive program, it develops competencies in five key public health areas – behavioral and social sciences, biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and health policy, advocacy and management. The interdisciplinary curriculum stresses leadership skills, systems thinking, health communication, global health and cultural humility and competency. Dual degree opportunities are offered in medicine, law, pharmacy, social work, and nursing. A One-Year-Plus option allows pre-professionals to complete all coursework during their gap or glide year. The Certificate in Public Health provides a basic foundation in key areas of public health and can be applied to the MPH at a future date. 

Program Audiences

  • Recent college graduates with majors in natural or social sciences, including pre-med or other pre-professional students seeking an educational experience during their gap or glide year
  • Not-so-recent college graduates with relevant work experience wishing to make a career change
  • Students currently enrolled in a professional program (medicine, nursing, law, pharmacy, social work) who wish to earn an additional degree in public health
  • Health or related professionals working in government, community health organizations, healthcare settings, health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and academic institutions.

General Information

  • The CEPH-accredited MPH requires completion of 45 credits, including a clerkship (field experience) and capstone research project.
    • The clerkship is a semester-long community experience that is completed locally, nationally, or abroad.
    • The capstone research project applies research to some aspect of public health.
  • The Certificate in Public Health requires completion of 18 credits, all of which can be applied to the MPH degree at a later time.
  • Two 14-week and one 11-week terms per year, beginning in September and ending July 1, accommodate both part-time and full-time students.
  • Classes are offered after 5:00 p.m. during the week to accommodate working adults.

o   Part-time students can complete the program in two to four years.

  • The One Year Plus option enables pre-professional and dual-degree students to complete all coursework for the MPH in ten months and to complete the capstone project the following year.
  • Students can begin the program in September or January.