Master of Public Health

The Global Health MPH Program is an in-residence, full-time, day program where students complete required and elective coursework, a practicum, and a thesis 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 take advantage of classes and opportunities offered in other departments and schools. 

MPH Common Core Curriculum

The UW School of Public Health (SPH) is excited to launch a new common core MPH curriculum in Autumn 2020. The new core curriculum is made up of six courses which will incorporate new student-centered learning strategies and use of real-world case studies. 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. All MPH students in the SPH will take these courses together; departmental and track required and elective curriculum will complement the MPH common core. PHI course descriptions and instructors listed here.

  • 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)

Additional General Track Course Requirements

  • Problems in Global Health (G H 511, autumn, 4 credits)
  • Global Health MPH Workshop (G H 593, autumn, winter, and spring quarter of a students first year, 1 credit/quarter)
  • a minimum of one elective course (minimum of three credits) with a G H prefix

As well as one of these courses:

  • Research and Evaluation Methods in Global Health (G H 531, quarter TBD, 3-4 credits)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Global and Local (G H 532, pre-autumn, two weeks in September, 3 credits)

Additional Health Metrics and Evaluation Track Course Requirements

  • Problems in Global Health (G H 511, autumn, 3 credits)
  • Methods, Tools, and Data for Global Health (G H 539, pre-autumn, two weeks in September, 2 credits)
  • Global Burden of Disease (G H 590G, summer, 3 credits)
  • HME Seminar (G H 592, three quarters required, 1 credit/quarter)

Elective Courses

Global Health MPH Students are 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 descriptions of all UW courses, refer to the Course Description catalog. 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 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 2020 Practicum Symposium website showcases Practicums recently completed by MPH students. 


Students complete a thesis with with the support of faculty mentors. The Global Health MPH Thesis is an original, 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. Throughout the process, students work closely with a committee of faculty members who provide advice on the design, implementation, and write up of the thesis. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 9 thesis credits (30 hours = one credit) for their thesis work. They spend on average 6-8 months on their thesis, generally during the summer after their first year and throughout their second year. Students can travel for their thesis or remain in Seattle.

Click here for recent examples of student thesis projects.

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.