About the MPH Curriculum
The MPH Program at USC requires course work in the five core areas of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, environmental and occupational health, and the social and behavioral sciences. In addition to receiving a solid foundation in these core disciplines, students will gain depth through coursework in a chosen specialized area of public health (health education and promotion, biostatistics/epidemiology, child and family health, global health leadership, health communication, public health policy or environmental health). As a culminating experience, students will have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge through practical training, known as the public health practicum.
The overall educational objectives are to prepare graduate students in public health to:
- Assess the strengths and needs of diverse communities;
- Plan, implement and evaluate collaborative health promotion and disease prevention interventions; and
- Build community capacity to solve public health problems through collaboration and placement of trained public health professionals.
All MPH students are required to complete a set of MPH core courses, including a 300* hour practicum and a capstone course. In addition, students must enroll in a set of track-specific core courses, track-specific elective courses, and a general elective of their choice, to reach a minimum total of 47* units. The program is designed to be a 2-year program encompassing two fall and two spring semesters for full-time students; however it can be completed in as little as 3 consecutive semesters in most tracks. Students may also pursue the MPH degree through part-time study which would require enrollment in at least one (1) course per semester. Part-time students must complete the program within 5 years. In order to qualify for full-time status, MPH students must be enrolled in a minimum of eight (8) units per semester. The average number of units taken by MPH students each semester is twelve (12).
*MPH students who are formally admitted to one of our Dual Degree programs will receive a 4 unit, 150 hour waiver for PM 596 and will complete a 150 hour practicum and a minimum of 43 units to meet MPH graduation requirements.