Master of Public Health

Gain the intellectual foundation and specialized skills you need to lead change and make a difference in communities around the world.

The Harvard Chan School master of public health degree will provide you with the breadth of knowledge, subject-specific expertise, specialized skills, and powerful global network you need to forge the career you want in public health. Whether you are a medical doctor, an established public health professional, or new to the field of public health, flexible degree formats and an array of options for specific fields of study will provide you with the right mix of grounding in the core disciplines of public health and a specialized focus to meet your individual goals.

Harvard Chan School MPH graduates have achieved some remarkable things. They have led global efforts to eradicate diseases such as smallpox and Guinea worm disease. They have led departments at hospitals and health care agencies. They have become leaders of ministries of health, humanitarian organizations, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies. They have developed life-saving vaccines. They have served as surgeons, primary care physicians, and veterinarians. They have become best-selling authors. And they have even become heads of state.

The master of public health degree opens an extraordinary number of pathways to a meaningful career. Which one will you choose?

The Curriculum: Intellectual Breadth + Career Specialization

The innovative MPH curriculum—the culmination of a multi-year planning process at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—is designed to open clear paths to action-oriented professional careers. The new curriculum aims to instill “T-shaped” competencies, providing deep knowledge in an area of specialty (the vertical bar of the “T”) coupled with the breadth of knowledge (top horizontal bar) needed to work effectively across many disciplines and fields of inquiry.

As a Harvard Chan MPH student, you will enjoy unique educational experiences both in and out of the classroom. You will build skills not just in analytical and quantitative methods, but also in problem solving and the application of public health training in real-world situations. And you will work with a remarkable group of peers from around the globe, and with faculty members who are global leaders in their fields.

Learn more about the MPH-45 curriculum and the MPH-65 curriculum.

The Format: Flexibility That Fits Your Experience, Your Life, and Your Goals

The School offers two variants of the MPH degree designed to fit the needs of students with different educational goals and varying levels of professional experience and prior education:

  • The 45-credit MPH (MPH-45) is for individuals who already hold a graduate degree, are current medical or dental students who have completed their primary clinical year, or have at least five years of relevant work experience in public health or a related field. You may also pursue the MPH-45 as part of a dual/joint degree. In most cases, you can complete the MPH-45 in two semesters (one academic year) as a full-time student. Exceptions are:
    • The MPH in epidemiology is an online/on-campus program completed part time over two years.
    • The clinical effectiveness field of study offers a summer-only option in addition to the full- and part-time options.
    • Most fields of study offer part-time options completed over two to three years to some students.
  • The 65-credit MPH (MPH-65) is for individuals with a minimum of two years of post-baccalaureate work experience in a relevant public health field. You can complete this full-time program in three semesters with a summer practicum experience between the second and third semesters. Exceptions are:
    • Students in the health management field of study, which starts in January, complete an internship in the summer between the first and second semester and complete a practicum during their second and third semesters.
    • Part-time options are available to some students.

Our Community: Committed, Accomplished, Collaborative

As a Harvard Chan MPH student, you will work in a collaborative classroom environment alongside talented students from around the world and from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. You will take advantage of the extraordinary resources of Harvard University and Boston’s Longwood Medical Area—home to Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and other world-class health facilities. You will meet global leaders and work with world-renowned faculty members. And when you graduate, you will benefit from Harvard’s unparalleled global network of alumni leaders.

Fields of Study

When applying to the MPH-45 or MPH-65, you must choose one of the following specialized fields of study. Eligibility requirements vary by program format and field of study.

MPH-45 Fields of Study

  • Clinical Effectiveness (CLE 45-credit academic year and summer-only options)
  • Epidemiology – Online / On-Campus (EPI 45-credit)
  • Global Health (GH 45-credit)
  • Health and Social Behavior (HSB 45-credit)
  • Health Management (HM 45-credit)
  • Health Policy (HP 45-credit)
  • Occupational and Environmental Health (OEH 45-credit)
  • Quantitative Methods (QM 45-credit)

MPH-65 Fields of Study

  • Health and Social Behavior (HSB 65-credit)
  • Health Management (HM 65-credit)
  • Health Policy (HP 65-credit)
  • Nutrition (NUT 65-credit)

Learn more about the MPH fields of study.