Master of Public Health

The MPH in Global Health is an in-residence, full-time, day program where students complete a minimum of 63 credits of required and elective coursework, a practicum, and a thesis or capstone as part of their course of study. Cohorts of around 45 individuals from around the world move through the program together and learn from each other.  Students have access to all University of Washington courses and are encouraged to take advantage of classes and opportunities offered in other departments and schools. 

MPH Common Core Curriculum

The UW School of Public Health (SPH) launched the MPH Common Core in Autumn 2020. The following six MPH Common Core Courses (23 credits) incorporate student-centered learning strategies and use of real-world case studies while meeting the Council on Education for Public Health's (CEPH) 22 Foundational MPH Competencies. Students will learn by solving problems and through teamwork in small groups. Courses will be taught by teams of instructors from different disciplines across public health. 

  • Fundamentals of Public Health (PHI 511, autumn, 3 credits)
  • Analytic Skills for Public Health I (PHI 512, autumn, 7 credits)
  • Analytic Skills for Public Health II (PHI 513, winter, 3 credits)
  • Determinants of Health (PHI 514, winter, 3 credits)
  • Implementing Public Health Interventions (PHI 515, spring, 4 credits)
  • Public Health Practice (PHI 516, spring, 3 credits)

MPH in Global Health

In addition to the MPH Common Core competencies and coursework, Global Health students will meet five additional global health competencies through the following required coursework for a minimum of 13 credits. 

Concurrent Degrees with MPH in Global Health

Please see here for information on degrees that can be done concurrently with the MPH in Global Health.

Health Metrics and Evaluation Track

The Health Metrics and Evaluation track has been phased out and is no longer accepting applications.

In addition to the MPH Common Core competencies and coursework, the Health Metrics and Evaluation Track has five discrete competencies. Students will meet these competencies through the following required coursework for a minimum of 11 credits. 

Elective Courses

Global Health MPH Students are strongly encouraged, and eligible, to take courses from any school or college within the University of Washington as long as the course is not fee-based, the student has met course prerequisites, and there is space in the class. Courses 500 and above are for graduate students. For quarterly course availability, please refer to the Time Schedule. Please note that courses offered by the Department of Global Health have "G H" prefix and are listed under "Interschool or Intercollege Programs".


All MPH students complete a Practicum (G H 595) under the guidance and expertise of faculty and site supervisors. The Practicum provides students with hands-on experience in public health practice, allowing for the opportunity to develop and apply certain competencies that can be better developed outside of the classroom such as: development of leadership ability and group process skills, political awareness and communication skills, understanding of public and private financing mechanisms, and understanding organizational behavior. Students are required to complete a minimum of 160 hours (4 credits = 40 hours per credit) on their Practicum and can begin spending time at their site after completing at least one quarter in the MPH program. Most students complete their Practicum after year one. The School of Public Health (SPH) manages the Practicum for all MPH programs in the School.

The SPH Practicum website contains information on everything from identification of a Practicum to project deliverables. The Practicum Symposium website showcases Practicums recently completed by MPH students. 

Integrative Learning Experience (ILE)

Students complete a minimum of 9 credits through either a thesis or capstone as their Integrative Learning Experience. Students work closely with a faculty supervisory committee who assist the student in the planning, execution, and write up of the thesis or capstone. Students spend on average 6-8 months on their ILE, generally during the summer after their first year and throughout their second year. Students can travel for their ILE or remain in Seattle. 


A thesis (G H 700) is evidence of a graduate student's ability to carry out independent investigation and to present the results in a clear and systematic form. The DGH MPH Program expects a masters’ thesis to be of publishable quality, and a benefit to the student author and faculty members on the committee, as well as to the organization and/or community that provided the data. A thesis is an independent scholarly analysis of a research-based project that aims to generate new knowledge of a public health problem with broad implications or a practice-based analysis addressing a very specific public health problem in a distinct cultural setting. 

The UW Library system has copies of all student theses; click here to see examples of our student's MPH thesis projects.


A capstone (G H 701) provides an opportunity for students interested in public health practice to contribute to solving a public health problem in a meaningful, effective, and culturally appropriate way, specifically by: finding and applying evidence-based solutions to a defined public health problem; exploring problem-solving methods in the contexts of specific communities and populations; and understanding the organizational, political, economic, and social contexts that can promote or constrain public health interventions.

Capstones are a new option beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year. Examples will be provided in the future.

Interprofessional Education

MPH students are required to attend a minimum of one interprofessional education session with students from across the health sciences. Students are assigned to small interprofessional teams from nursing, medicine, social work, and public health to actively engage on topics of interest in healthcare and population health. A reflection from the session is an assignment in PHI 516.