MPH-EPI Program Policies

Always here to lend a hand. Even when you’re off campus.

Knowing how to navigate the Harvard Chan School system, when you are either away from campus or only on campus for a short period of time can be challenging. But we want to make that easier! Here are your Need to Know Resources.

We have specifically tailored these below descriptions for MPH-EPI students so you know what resources are available and apply to MPH-EPI students at the school and at the larger University. Still unsure… ask!

Whether on campus for classes or participating online,MPH-EPI 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-EPI 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 and on-campus MPH in Epidemiology.  During student’s on-campus session, examinations will be proctored by a faculty or staff member.  Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines regard academic standards and behavior, as seen in the student handbook.

As students transition to the online portion of the program, academic honesty and integrity becomes 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 by the MPH-EPI faculty.  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 investigate vigorously 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 in Epidemiology students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B- average) or above in order to graduate from the program.
  • All students enrolled in an MPH program at the School are not able to exceed 12.5 pass/fail credits. Therefore, MPH in Epidemiology students are required to have at least 32.5 ordinal graded credits from courses.

For a 45 credit program, like the MPH in Epidemiology program, every student must graduate with a minimum of 32.5 ordinal credits, and no maximum than 12.5 pass/fail credits. All courses in the first year and during both summer terms must be taken for an ordinal grade (for a letter grade). Students are able to take their electives and practicum for pass/fail if they choose. Each student must maintain a minimum of a 2.7 GPA.

Leave of Absence

MPH-EPI 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 in Epidemiology have the option of taking a leave of absence from the program; however the first year of the program must be taken in sequence. 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 semester will 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 (Stephanie Lemoine) and Faculty Director (Dr. Fran Cook).
3) Submit the completed form to the Registrar’s Office for review.

Add/Drop Deadline:

MPH in Epidemiology students are held to the same add/drop deadlines as other Harvard Chan School 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 in Epidemiology program will have a series of online electives to choose from in the fall and spring semester. Elective course credits vary from 1.25 to 2.5 credits. The current list of elective courses can be found beginning on page 6.


MPH in Epidemiology students are eligible to attend online and on-campus courses which are offered through the School’s wintersession (January Term). To view the wintersession course offerings, please visit the school’s course catalog.

Any international student who attends an on-campus course as part of a degree program must come to the US on an F-1 student visa. In order to be eligible for F-1 status during the winter term, international students must register for at least 5 credits of coursework. Unfortunately, most of the courses during winter are only 1.25 credits and some courses may overlap. Therefore, it may not be possible in the winter term to meet the 5 credit limit.

Practicum Registration:

Students are required to register for the practicum course in both the fall and spring semesters during Year 2 of the program. Students are able to count the practicum for either 2.5 or 5 credits during the spring semester, which allows students the option of taking fewer electives during the second year of the program. Students who decide to take the full amount of electives (two in each semester) should only register for 2.5 credits of practicum work in the spring semester.

Practicum Project and Culminating Experience:

Students in the MPH in Epidemiology are required conduct a presentation as a final result of their practicum project. The MPH in Epidemiology does not have an option to write a thesis. It is strongly recommended that students attend the MPH in Epidemiology Symposium in May during the week of the Harvard Commencement.

International Students:

International students will be required to attend the two, three-week on campus sessions in June 2018 and June 2019 on a student visa. This policy includes students from Canada. The Harvard Chan School is unable to extend the student visa past year June session since the remainder of the program is completed online.


Students are billed a flat rate at the beginning of each semester (summer, fall and spring). A continuation fee is charged for any students who have paid their financial requirements, but still have academic requirements to finish

Student Handbook:

For further information on the Harvard Chan School’s policies, please consult the student handbook at: