MPH-GEN Program Policies

MPH-GEN students are required to familiarize themselves with the Harvard Chan School Student Handbook and abide by these policies. Below are some policies that are specifically pertinent for MPH-GEN students.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is a key component of all programs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, including the online MPH Generalist. Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines regarding academic standards and behavior, as seen in the handbook.

Academic honesty and integrity are imperative.  Guidelines for group projects and individual examinations are to be followed per faculty member’s instructions, which are made very clear prior to each assignment.  Cases of academic integrity will be subject to investigation under the policies and procedures outlined in the Harvard Chan Student Handbook.  Student(s) involved may be subject to disciplinary action, including possible withdrawal from the program and/or school.

The Office for Student Services, academic departments, and programs actively attempt to inform students of the requirements of academic honesty through orientation programs and publications and will vigorously investigate complaints of academic dishonesty.

Academic Standing

In addition to meeting course load requirements and distributions, Harvard Chan School students must remain in good academic standing, must complete program requirements within the designated time to degree, and must meet the following academic conditions:

  • All MPH Generalist students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B- average) or above in order to graduate from the program.
  • All students enrolled in the MPH-45 program at the School cannot exceed 12.5 pass/fail credits. Therefore, MPH Generalist students are required to have at least 32.5 ordinal graded credits.

Leave of Absence

MPH-GEN students are permitted to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) during their time in the program. A Leave of Absence is when a student has a medical, family, or financial emergency or who wish to take time away from the school due to childbirth or family care. There is an application process that must be completed prior to the start of the semester.

Students in the MPH Generalist have the option of taking a leave of absence from the program. The program recommends that if students are planning to take a leave of absence, they take a leave for at least the entire semester (summer, fall, spring). Students who wish to take a leave of absence for part of the semester may be charged a continuation fee.

Steps to Petition to Obtain a Leave of Absence

1) Complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form.
2) Obtain the signatures of the Program Manager and Field of Study Leader (Bonnie Blanchfield).
3) Submit the completed form to the Registrar’s Office for review through my.harvard.

Add/Drop/Change Deadline

MPH Generalist students are held to the same add/drop deadlines as other Harvard Chan students. Usually, these deadlines occur at the end of the second week of the course. The exact deadline can be obtained from the Academic Calendar Summary on the Registrar’s Office website.

It is strongly recommended that students not join courses after they begin so as to not miss any required assignments during the first two weeks of the course and also not miss any group assignments for course projects.

Elective Courses

During the second year, students in the MPH Generalist program will be eligible to begin to take the selected list of online electives. Elective course credits vary from 1.25 to 2.5 credits. The current list of elective courses can be found in the curriculum guide.

WinterSession (Three-week intensive in January)

MPH Generalist students typically take 2 of their MPH core courses during the WinterSession of their first year. After this point, MPH-GEN students are eligible to take online WinterSession courses in their second year if these courses are noted under available electives on the curriculum page.

Applied Practice and Integrative Learning Experience

Students in the MPH Generalist are required to conduct a presentation as a final result of their practicum project and submit deliverables that demonstrate competency based on their field of study. The MPH Generalist program does not have an option to write a thesis. To learn more about prior Harvard Chan students’ practicum projects visit the Field Education and Practice website.

International Students

International students enrolled in the MPH Generalist are not eligible for a student visa, and therefore it is not possible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

On-Campus Coursework, Activities, and Cross-Registration

Because this program is entirely online, students in the MPH Generalist field of study are not eligible for on-campus courses, on-campus activities, or cross-registration into other Harvard graduate schools. This means that students are not eligible for concentrations or specializing outside of the Generalist course options.

Tuition and Fees

Students are billed a flat rate at the beginning of each semester (fall and spring). A continuation fee is charged for any students who have paid their financial requirements, but still have academic requirements to finish. Students are also responsible for course material fees, which are typically assessed after course enrollment each term. To learn more about billing, visit Harvard Chan’s Student Billing webpage.

Course Waivers, Substitutions, and Transfer Credits

Students in the MPH-GEN program are unable to waive, substitute or transfer in HSPH or outside credits into the MPH Generalist program.

Convocation and Commencement

Students in the MPH Generalist are welcome and highly encouraged to join in Harvard Chan’s Convocation and Harvard University’s Commencement ceremonies and in-person celebrations at the end of their degree program with their peers, family, and friends. For more information on these events please visit: Harvard Chan Graduation