Master of Public Health (MPH)

Working Together to Change the World

Cornell University offers a campus-wide Master of Public Health (MPH) program to help build public health leaders who are inspired and trained to ensure the health of people, animals, and the world in which we live.

The Cornell MPH Program is founded on three pillars—Sustainability, Equity, and Engagement—that inform our approach to teaching, research, service and practice.

Public health is a profession that bridges disciplines to prevent disease, promote health and well-being, and prolong life among populations. Given the nature of our interactive global community, public health is complex. To achieve public health in this era, we must think in bigger and bolder ways, with sustainability and equity at the core. To do this, we need many minds with varied backgrounds and perspectives gathered around one table with shared goals.

The Cornell MPH Program is led by experts from diverse fields and practitioners from around the world to reinforce a multidisciplinary, engaged approach, preparing graduates to tackle diverse public health issues at municipal, state, national, and international levels.

Our Vision

Advance health and well-being, equitably for all people and sustainably for our planet.

We live in a world that is stressed by global‐scale changes. Climate change. Over‐use of natural resources. Globalization. Rising inequity. These forces affect public health, our ability to achieve health and well-being. Infectious diseases cross borders and cross species. Changes in climate and environmental toxins influence both infectious and chronic disease. Uncoordinated urban, economic, and environmental development impacts the diversity, health, and well‐being of all living things.

Our Mission

Utilize a systems-based approach to promote equitable, sustainable advancements in health and well-being of people in New York State and around the world.

Our MPH program brings diverse experts together to help train the next generation of public health leaders. Leveraging Cornell’s diverse faculty expertise in human, animal, and environmental health, agricultural production, urban planning, and management systems. Our strategy is to develop public health leaders who take a systems-based, trans-disciplinary approach to address and improve local, regional, national, and/or international health issues.

To achieve our mission and vision, we are committed to these guiding values:

  • Excellence and integrity in training, discovery, planning, and action
  • Supporting diversity, in all its forms
  • Promoting practices of health and well-being that are equitable across different populations and sustainable for future populations
  • Ensuring equitable access to our education, our training, and our services
  • Partnership in learning, training, discovery, and service with diverse individuals and communities

We are guided by the “Planetary Health” paradigm which focuses on the many relationships connecting humans, animals, and the environment. This paradigm recognizes that we must take a trans-disciplinary approach to public health issues, encourages us to draw from the best practices of complementary disciplines, and allows us to look beyond traditional human health models.

Check out our answers to some frequently asked questions about the program.

The MPH Curriculum

Cornell’s MPH curriculum is designed to help students build and develop skills in areas that are critical for public health.  Different from large undergraduate programs, this professional master’s program is designed to create a ‘community of practice’ where we all push each other to grow and improve, in both traditional public health knowledge areas, and in professional competence (e.g., “soft skills”, “leadership”, “emotional intelligence”, etc.). We are a small cohort of students and core faculty, drawing on expertise from across campus and across the world.

For more details about the curriculum, click here.

Concentration Areas

At this time, we offer two concentration areas, with interdisciplinary instruction from both researchers and practitioners:

Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Graduates are prepared to manage, prevent, identify, and respond to infectious disease threats, covering ongoing and emerging viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic disease concerns in both humans and animals. Students learn how to measure and track disease spread, map and disseminate appropriate public health communications, and to lead a coordinated response to address the public health need. This includes training in epidemiological techniques specifically related to infectious diseases and outbreak investigation, as well as training in vector borne diseases. Find out more here.

Food Systems and Health

Students learn to take a systems approach to assess and coordinate policies or interventions that ensure safe and sustainable land use, food production, food storage, food processing, food delivery, and consumption. This includes training in toxicology, food safety, food and water security, and/or nutrition. Students learn how to engage local and global communities to assess systems or needs, develop interventions from a One Health approach, and lead monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure public health needs are being met. Find out more here.

Options for Study

Two-Year MPH

A full-time professional program for individuals with undergraduate degrees, designed to be completed over a 21-month period, including four academic semesters and one summer.  Students in the full time, regular MPH program will be expected to pay four semesters of tuition, and be on campus for two academic years. The summer should be spent in the field gaining public health experience.

Accelerated MPH

A full-time accelerated professional program for individuals with advanced health-related degrees or substantial public health field experience. This program will be completed in a 15-month period.  Students in the accelerated MPH program will be expected to pay three semesters of tuition, and be on campus for up to 15 months, including time in the field honing public health competence.

Click here to learn more about the Accelerated Program.

Part-Time MPH

Students who are local area residents or who are Cornell Employees may pursue the MPH on a part time basis, taking two classes each semester, to be completed over four years.  Students in the part-time MPH program will be expected to pay half-a-semester’s tuition cost each semester, over three to four years.

To learn more about the Part-Time Program, click here.


For more details about admissions, click here.

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