Summer-Focused MPH

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers a summer-focused option for the MPH 45-credit program in the clinical effectiveness field of study only. The summer-focused MPH program can be completed by taking courses in three consecutive summers in the summer session, and students also may take courses during winter session. To learn more about the MPH curriculum and degree requirements, please see the Clinical Effectiveness MPH Curriculum Guide.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

This program is aimed primarily at physicians who have completed their residency and have the support of their home hospital or university. The clinical effectiveness field of study is focused on identifying the most appropriate, ethical, and cost-effective means of providing health care through prevention, early detection, and treatment. It prepares students for clinical research responsibilities and for leader­ship roles in evaluating and improving all aspects of health care delivery.

Students in this program must be admitted to and attend the Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE), an intensive seven-week, 15-credit program during their first summer. Applicants interested in the summer-focused MPH-45 program in clinical effectiveness must apply to the MPH degree program through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for schools and programs of public health, and be sure to select the appropriate designation. In addition, applicants must submit the PCE application supplement.


Courses are offered during the summer session during an intensive seven weeks beginning in early July. (The seven weeks cover both the summer 1 and summer 2 terms). Students will take between 10 and 15 credits each summer for three consecutive summers. Summer-focused MPH students may enroll in winter session courses but are not permitted to enroll in on-campus courses during the academic year (fall and spring semesters).

2023 Summer Session: July 5 – August 18
Summer 1: Wednesday, July 5 Friday, July 28
Summer 2: Monday, July 31 Friday, August 18

Applied Practice Experience and Integrative Learning Experience

All MPH students must complete an applied practice experience and an integrative learning experience. The applied practice experience, referred to as the practicum, typically will involve conducting an applied research project, but it could also pertain to any applied aspect of health care. The practicum may include aspects of biostatistics, epidemiology, decision sciences, or other quantitative aspects of public health. Summer-focused CLE students develop a practicum at their home institution under the supervision of a local mentor and a member of the faculty at the Harvard Chan School. To meet the integrative learning experience requirement, students usually will write a paper suitable for publication, a grant proposal, or a technical report, which integrates and builds upon the learnings from their practicum. This exercise will culminate with a presentation typically in the final summer of the student’s program.