Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Jan 27, 2022  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Public Health

In the College of Veterinary Medicine .

The Cornell University Master of Public Health Program offers a Master of Public Health (M.P.H) degree through the Graduate School . Concentrations for the Cornell M.P.H. degree include:

  • Food Systems and Health
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology


The M.P.H. program is made up of three types of courses: Core, Concentration, and Elective. All students take Core courses at the same time, in a prescribed sequence. All concentration cohorts take their Concentration courses at the same time, in a prescribed sequence.  The entire program takes two academic years to complete. Alternative course of study pathways exist for students matriculated into the Accelerated or Part-time programs.

  • Core courses account for 60% for the credits required for graduation, reflecting the Program’s commitment to broad, generalizable professional public health education and training. A number of these courses are community engaged – students will work on real-life projects with and for community and government partners.
  • Concentration courses account for 40% for the credits required for graduation, reflecting the Program’s commitment to development of expertise in one particular area of public health. The Applied Practice Experience will include approximately 150 hours of public health work under the supervision of a public health practitioner. The Integrative Learning Experience is an in-depth mentored independent project that results in a high-quality written product of value to the field of public health.
  • Elective courses offer students an opportunity to pursue their individual interests through a system of structured choices. Students are required to take at least 3-credits of elective courses as a part of their concentration area. Students MAY elect to take an additional six credits of electives, linked to public health.


Core Course Requirements

Core Courses (credits noted in parentheses)

Total Core Course Credits Required: 30

Concentration Areas

Must complete 1 Concentration Area — 20 credits

Infectious Disease Epidemiology     


Food Systems and Health

Total Concentration Course Credits Required: 20

Optional Electives

The M.P.H. is a 50-credit program comprised of Core and Concentration courses.  However additional electives are permitted. Working with advisors to identify courses linked to public health, M.P.H. students may take an additional six (6) credits of electives. These are not required for graduation.

Curriculum Milestones

Throughout required courses, where a C is not achieved, the course must be re-taken (or, in the case of an elective replaced with another course). Where competence is not met (separate from course grade), the student works with M.P.H. faculty or a designee to build and demonstrate competence anew. In some cases, achieving competence may require repeating the course.  If sufficient concern exists at the end of the first or second semester about performance and/or competence mastery, students will meet with Program leadership about the appropriateness of continuing to the next phase of the program. Students document competence in their Portfolio (part of VTPMD 6194 ).

Other Requirements

To receive the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree, candidates must successfully: complete all curricular requirements, achieve a grade of C or above in each class, demonstrate competence in all 39-defined areas in their Portfolio, pay all fees, and be recommended for graduation by the faculty of the Program.

Learning Outcomes

Master of Public Health Program learning outcomes are building blocks to develop student foundational knowledge and competence in the following ten domains defined by the Council on Education for Public Health. Students demonstrate competence in these areas through coursework and applied, real world training, so that students acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to excel in the public health workforce:

Foundational Knowledge

  • Knowledge of the science and practice of public health consists of history and values, core functions, causes and trends of health outcomes, science of prevention, and importance of evidence.
  • Knowledge of factors related to human health consists of environmental, biological and genetic, behavioral and psychological, socioeconomic and political, globalization, and One Health.

Foundational Competence

  • Evidence-based approaches to public health consists of applying, selecting, analyzing and interpreting epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative methods, and data.
  •  Public health and health care systems consists of comparing and discussing structures and functions of different health systems, and structural bias and inequities in systems.
  •  Planning and management to promote health consists of assessing, applying and designing population needs assessments, interventions, cultural competence, budget and resource management, and program evaluation.
  •  Policy in public health consists of discussing policy-making processes, ethics and evidence, proposing strategies for coalition building, and advocating for and evaluating policies.
  •  Leadership consists of creating visions, empowering others, fostering collaboration, guiding decision-making, negotiation and mediation.
  •  Communication consists of selecting and applying communication strategies for different audiences, written and oral presentations, and cultural competence.
  •  Interprofessional practice consists of collaborative teamwork across professions and disciplines.
  • Systems thinking consists of applying different systems thinking tools to public health issues.

Concentration Competence

In addition, students develop competence in a specific concentration area:

  • Food Systems and Health concentration students learn to analyze and depict food systems from production to consumption, apply interdisciplinary approaches to contextualize food systems and health, research and evaluate food system interventions, investigate and communicate food safety risks, and analyze public health nutritional problems and policies.
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology concentration students learn to understand and explain infectious disease events, assess epidemiological and statistical methodologies, interpret how environmental and socioeconomic systems affect infectious disease, compare prevention and control strategies, and critique diagnostic and detection systems.