MPH Generalist (Online)

A Flexible Program for Full-time Working Professionals

The Master in Public Health Generalist field of study provides a rigorous, part-time, educational experience for working professionals throughout the globe. The program is designed with maximum flexibility to give students skills and applied experience.

  • Two-year program, part-time only
  • Starts in the fall semester
  • Average 15-20 hours/week of off-campus work, involving asynchronous lectures, projects, and homework assignments
  • Optional synchronous online learning opportunities for additional applied learning and engagement
  • Occasional cohort activities for networking

Because participants are employed full-time, most courses incorporate features of continuous learning in which students can immediately put new knowledge into practice in the workplace. Asynchronous classroom learning is designed to allow students to learn at their own pace and time. Complemented with optional synchronous sessions for each class, these opportunities encourage students to learn from each other’s real-time work experiences and apply concepts. Homework and small group assignments complement this approach by enabling students to apply skills learned in the classroom. Students will begin their applied practice experience, in their final year, which enables students to apply the skills learned from coursework into a practicum project.

Throughout the duration of a student’s program, they will have a wide variety of supports to help them meet their academic and professional goals. These individuals include the field of study leader, administrative program staff, and academic advisor. Students are welcome to make connections with other Harvard Chan faculty who may serve as professional mentors during their time in the program. MPH-GEN students have access to the Office of Career and Professional Development as well as the ability to utilize HSPH’s Alumni Network.

For a comprehensive overview of the MPH Generalist curriculum, structure, and program policies, please consult the MPH Generalist Curriculum Guide and the MPH-GEN Program Policies page. International students should pay particular attention to the “International Students” section of the MPH-GEN Program Policies page.

Who Should Apply?

The MPH Generalist is designed for full-time working professionals who want to gain the needed skillset to address current and future public health challenges, no matter their organization.

Eligible applicants for the MPH Generalist must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Hold a doctoral degree in a health profession or academic area related to public health.(International medical degrees also qualify as a doctoral degree.)
  2. Hold a professional master’s degree in a health-related field with at least two years of health-related work experience.
  3. Hold a bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of post-baccalaureate experience in a relevant health-related field.

Current medical and dental students are not eligible for the MPH Generalist program.

Financial Aid

Many prospective applicants ask about the possibility of funding support for the MPH Generalist program. The MPH Generalist qualifies for U.S. Federal Financial Aid provided the student completes a minimum of 10 credits of coursework per semester. Additionally, both U.S.and international students are eligible to apply for Harvard Chan Scholarships. Applicants are also encouraged to look into external scholarship options to fund their degree. The External Scholarship Resources page can be a good place to start when looking into external scholarship opportunities. A general overview of funding sources and how to apply can be found here:

Enrolling in Only One Degree Program at a Time

As a matter of policy, students may enroll in only one degree program at a time except for the following approved programs: MD/MPH, JD/MPH, and MPH/MUP. Students scheduled to begin a degree program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health must show proof of degree conferral for all prior degrees. If an incoming student has not completed the degree(s) (including any required examination, thesis, defense/viva) and has not submitted the degree conferral documentation to the Office of Admissions, the student will need to withdraw from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Students in non-qualifying degree programs may take an official leave of absence from their home school for the duration of their Harvard Chan School program instead of withdrawing. A copy of the official, approved leave of absence form must be submitted to the Harvard Chan School Admissions Office. Deferrals will not be offered. In the case of extenuating circumstances, students should contact the Office of Admissions by email at, without delay.