Curriculum

Different from large undergraduate programs, this professional master’s program is designed to create a community of practice where we 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.

Curriculum Overview

Cornell’s MPH program delivers a well-integrated curriculum that spans four academic semesters, as well as a summer. The curriculum is made up of 50 credits including core foundational courses, practice courses, concentration courses, research/thesis components, and electives.

Students review their course of study with their academic advisor at least once per semester, to be sure that they are taking advantage of Cornell’s best resources, and so that they’re on track to graduate.

We offer two concentration areas, with interdisciplinary instruction from both researchers and practitioners. Read more about the Infectious Disease Epidemiology concentration and the Food Systems and Health concentration.

To see the full Roadmap to Graduation, click here.

Course of Study

Cornell’s Master of Public Health Program is a two-year, 50-credit program. In order to graduate, you must pass all courses; be able to demonstrate competence in all areas; be able to demonstrate integration of knowledge, skills, and competence via applied activities; and achieve co-curricular milestones. To help you achieve this, we’ve developed a well-integrated curriculum that will span four academic semesters, as well as a summer.

  • Students admitted to the Accelerated Program may be exempt from up to 8 credits, and will should be able to complete the program up three academic semesters.
  • Students admitted to the part-time program can complete their degree in 3-to-5 years.

To see full MPH course descriptions, click here.

Learning Outcomes

Cornell’s MPH curriculum is designed to help build and develop competence in performance areas that are critical for public health. Competence is the ability to access and integrate knowledge and skill do something successfully and efficiently in a given context.

  • Students learn knowledge that is core to public health practice, and to know where and how to continuously build their knowledge base.
  • Student learn specific skills that are strategic for public health practice.
  • Students are pushed to integrate their knowledge and skills to complete projects or address problems from the real world.
  • Students practice ongoing self-assessment and continuous improvement of competence across scenarios and situations.

To demonstrate knowledge and skills, and the ability to integrate and apply them in real-world settings for public good, students complete and submit at least 25 products. Each product has been designed to mimic or build skills towards what you might do ‘on the job’ in a public health setting. These products are developed with a future employer in mind and presented in a portfolio.

For a full list of MPH competencies (knowledge and skills) our students develop, click here.

Applied Learning

Our team is committed to a community engaged learning approach throughout the MPH curriculum. Students gain real-world practice and mentorship in the field, while contributing valuable work to public health organizations with support from MPH faculty and staff. Applied learning helps to translate what’s learned in the classroom to real-world issues.

MPH students are immersed in engaged, applied learning every semester through:

  • Volunteer service with at least 4 local community organizations.
  • Class-based projects, in which student groups develop grant proposals and evaluation plans for organizations, learning from and with partners, with faculty support.
  • Applied Practice Experiences, in which students apply their classroom learning to further develop real-world skills, providing partner sites with valuable materials, services, analyses, research, and more.
  • An Integrated Learning Experience, in which students develop a significant written document that contributed to a public health organization and synthesizes their learning.

For information about the Applied Practice Experience for MPH students, see the Applied Practice Experience Guide.

Do you have a project opportunity for MPH students? An organization engaged in public health work that may want to host an MPH student can complete a Practice Site Opportunity Form at this link.

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