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MPH Program Curriculum

Students are required to complete a set of core courses, concentration courses, and professional development courses. The program supports flexible plans of study to address the needs of students pursuing complementary degrees and those who are already in the workforce as practicing professionals. Courses are delivered primarily in-classroom. A few courses are offered online.

Students take advantage of courses offered across Virginia Tech, including a range of Graduate Certificates, to complement MPH courses. 

MPH Capstone Presentation

Sample full-time MPH course sequencing

Year 1 – Fall semester

  • Core courses: 
    • Foundations of Public Health
    • Public Health Leadership and Interprofessionalism
    • Epidemiology and Quantitative Methods in Public Health I
    • Epidemiology and Quantitative Methods in Public Health II
    • Lab for Epidemiology and Quantitative Methods in Public Health
  • Concentration course(s): 
    • Principles of Infectious Diseases (Infectious Disease concentration)
    • Program Development in Health Education (Public Health Education concentration)

Year 1 – Spring Semester

  • Core courses: 
    • Environmental Health
    • Health Behavior and Health Education
    • Public Health Policy Administration
  • Concentration course(s):
    • Infectious Disease Epidemiology (Infectious Disease concentration)
    • Program Evaluation (Public Health Education concentration)
  • Professional preparation courses: 
    • Preparation for Public Health Practice I

Year 2 – Fall Semester

  • Concentration courses: 
    • Neglected and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Infectious Disease concentration)
    • Public Health Infection Control and Prevention (Infectious Disease concentration)
    • Principles of Community Health Education (Public Health Education concentration)
    • Social Epidemiology and Health Inequities (Public Health Education concentration)
  • Professional preparation courses: 
    • Public Health Practice Experience (PHPE)

Year 2 – Spring Semester

  • Professional preparation courses: 
    • Public Health Integrative Learning Experience (ILE)
    • Preparation for Public Health Practice II
  • General Item
    MPH Public Health Practice Experience

    The Public Health Practice Experience (PHPE) is the individual experiential learning opportunity that serves as a bridge between a student’s academic training and applied public health practice. Activities meeting the PHPE are mutually beneficial to both the PHPE site organization and the student. The student will develop products that demonstrate attainment of program foundational and concentration-specific competencies and are useful to the PHPE site organization. PHPE sites include domestic and international governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial, for-profit settings, appropriate university-affiliated settings. The program works with the student to develop a PHPE that is aligned with their academic goals and potential future public health career plans.

  • General Item
    MPH Public Health Integrative Learning Experience

    The Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) is the culminating experience required to complete the MPH degree. The intent is for the student to integrate program foundational and concentration-specific competencies through a team-based public health professional experience. Each student team works with an external partner organization on a public health project. ILE projects result in team and individual written products. Students engage in technical writing, personal reflections, and team presentations. The ILE places significant emphasis on teamwork, mentorship, and leadership development.