The following constitutes introductory information regarding the graduate degree program. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees available in the program office and accessible from the Graduate Division homepage at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu.
The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is a professional degree in the field of public health. Students are expected to focus on public health practice and to acquire a broad knowledge related to professional skills.
For admission to the Master of Public Health program, both the School of Public Health Application for Admission to Graduate Status and the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission must be completed. Three letters of recommendation, two from former professors and one from an employer (if no employer, three former professors), test scores, and transcripts are required before an application is considered complete. Application forms and the Announcement of the UCLA School of Public Health may be obtained by writing to the Student Affairs Office, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1772. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the application file is complete.
The preferred date for receipt of applications for the following Fall Quarter is December 15. Applications received after this date have reduced opportunities for admission and financial aid.
Applicants must meet the University minimum of an acceptable bachelor's degree with a B average in upper division coursework and/or prior graduate study. Exceptionally qualified applicants may be considered on an individual basis. Prior field experience is not required as a condition of admission, although a background of public health experience may be considered. In addition, applicants must be accepted by and accommodated in the department of the School of Public Health in which they wish to study. Applicants who need help in deciding on a department should speak either to the department administrators or to the staff in the Student Affairs Office.
Applicants to the School of Public Health must perform satisfactorily on a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or Dental Admission Test (DAT). The Epidemiology Department requires GRE scores. MCAT or DAT scores are accepted only for applicants already holding M.D. or D.D.S. degrees. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are accepted only for applicants to the joint M.B.A./M.P.H. program. Applicants at the master's level require a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) GRE score of 1,100. The analytical section is not required. The Biostatistics Department has different criteria for evaluating performance on aptitude tests for its master's and doctoral degrees. Those applying to the biostatistics program should contact that department. No screening examination is required for admission; however, specified courses are required by the Departments of Biostatistics and Environmental Health Sciences. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been deficient in breadth of fundamental training have to take specified undergraduate courses after admission.
The prior program of study for applicants to the Master of Public Health degree should include adequate preparation in mathematics, physical sciences, biological sciences, and social sciences, and typically includes two courses each in mathematics, biological sciences, social sciences; one course in physical sciences; and other courses that constitute an adequate preparation for the proposed area of specialization.
Applicants whose prior work in the biological, physical, mathematical, and social sciences does not constitute adequate preparation for the proposed area of specialization must include courses in those sciences in their graduate programs; these may not be applied toward the minimum requirements for the degree.
Interdivisional International Health. The school offers several options for foreign or domestic students interested in international health. Faculty in all departments of the school are actively involved in health-related programs in foreign settings, and many departments on campus have international, health-related interests and courses relevant to health occupations and cross-cultural settings.
Applicants who are interested must specify the department (and program in Community Health Sciences Department) most relevant to their skills area on their application, clearly indicating their international interests. Once admitted, students are given an appropriate adviser and directed to the international health committee, which is interdepartmental and promotes internationally-oriented training and research. Its members consult with interested students and attempt to optimize the learning experience.
Applicants with particular interest in primary health care, including maternal and child health, family planning, applied nutrition, family health program planning, administration and evaluation, and refugee health, are advised to apply to the area of population and family health in the community health sciences.
Students concentrating in biostatistics should have completed at least one year of calculus. Majors in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a field of application in biostatistics are preferred.
Students concentrating in environmental health sciences should have a bachelor's (or master's) degree in chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, or other appropriate field. Preparation should include at least three quarters of general chemistry (including quantitative analysis) and two quarters of organic chemistry and/or biochemistry, mathematics through calculus, three quarters of biological sciences, and three quarters of physics. Substitutions for these requirements are considered for applicants with an otherwise superior academic background.
Applicants interested in the joint M.P.H./M.B.A. program in the Health Services Department must take the GMAT, not the GRE.
Applicants to the one-year health services organization program in the Health Services Department must have a prior doctoral degree (M.D., D.D.S., J.D., Ph.D., or equivalent). Applicants with doctoral degrees from other countries should plan to take the two-year program. Satisfactory performance on the GRE is required, and a personal interview is recommended.
Health and allied professionals who are unable to pursue a degree program during their regular working hours may earn the M.P.H. degree by completing coursework in intensive summer sessions and in extended weekend sessions during the academic year. Courses are taught by the faculty of the School of Public Health, and all five departments in the school have the option of offering a specialization in their area.
Applicants are expected to fulfill the minimum overall requirements for admission to the M.P.H. program. In addition, they must have at least three years' professional experience or its full-time equivalent in a health care setting.
The first year of study is devoted to the specific core requirements in the area of specialization and to the required M.P.H. core courses in Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Services, and Environmental Health Sciences. The second year of study entails completing required and elective courses in the student's specialty area, a master's project, and a report on that project. The master's project, which includes an internship carried out under faculty supervision, addresses a significant public health problem. The master's report, based on that project, focuses on the integration and application of theoretical and methodological approaches within public health to a specific problem. For further information, contact the department of interest.
Areas of specialization and typical course plans, in addition to mandatory courses, are listed below.
Required department courses include Biostatistics 100A, 100B, and 100C (in exceptional circumstances, Biostatistics 110A, 110B, and 115 may be substituted); Biostatistics 402A, 402B (402B satisfies the field training requirement); Biostatistics 403, 406; and two courses from Biostatistics 200A through 200C, M210 through 219, 230 through M236 or 404 through 419 (except 406). Epidemiology 201A-201B are recommended. Elective courses should be selected in public health, biomathematics, or mathematics.
Students select one of the following areas of concentration: health education/promotion, international family health, public health nutrition, public health policy, or sociocultural aspects of health. All students are required to complete Community Health Sciences 210, 211A-211B, and 400. It is expected that Community Health Sciences 210 and 211A-211B be completed during the student's first three quarters in residence. Normally two years or six quarters are needed to complete the 60 units of coursework required. Candidates with a prior doctoral degree or advanced preparation in a related field may complete an M.P.H. degree in one year (48 units), but only after formal consideration and approval by the department's faculty.
Health Education/Promotion. Community Health Sciences 271, 282, 482, and 487 are required. In addition, two to three elective courses from the list of specialty areas are selected in consultation with the student's adviser. Individual and experimental courses may not be applied toward the required course units. Additional courses may be elected, in consultation with the faculty adviser, from within the school or in other schools/colleges at UCLA.
International Family Health. For health professionals (physicians, nurses, and nutritionists) who intend to work or have worked in developing areas and nonhealth professionals with work experience in international health, community development, or related work. Community Health Sciences 200, 434A, and 441 are required. In consultation with the adviser, additional elective courses are selected from Community Health Sciences 132, M140, 231, 233, M236, 246, 280, 294, 430A, 443, 447, 448 and relevant courses in other departments in the school or other schools/colleges at UCLA.
Public Health Nutrition. The public health nutrition specialization is for dietitians and nutritionists who have an R.D., are R.D.-eligible, or have an equivalent licensure/credential from another country; persons concurrently enrolled in internship leading to R.D. eligibility; physicians and dentists; and other health professionals on a case-by-case basis depending on completed graduate and undergraduate coursework. Community Health Sciences 231 and 443 are required. In consultation with the adviser, elective courses are selected from Community Health Sciences 212, 218, M432, 436A, 436B, 444, and relevant courses in other departments in the school and currently under development in the Community Health Sciences Department.
Public Health Policy. The public health policy specialization provides education in the policy process and policy analysis applied to health promotion and disease prevention. In addition to department requirements, Community Health Sciences M252, M287, and 482 are required; the internship requirement may be reduced for students with extensive prior experience. In consultation with the adviser, the student must also select two courses from Community Health Sciences 214, 230, M236, 237, M274, 291, M432, and 436A-436B, and relevant courses from within the school or in other departments/schools at UCLA.
Sociocultural Aspects of Health is for students interested in the relation between location in the social system and health outcomes. In consultation with the adviser, students must also select four courses from Community Health Sciences 230, 235, 237, 238, M240, M244, M245A, M245B, M245C, 246, 272, 273, M275, 278, 281, 283, 284, 285, 290, 291, 431, M432, 433, 474, and relevant graduate and professional courses from within the school or in other schools/departments at UCLA.
Required courses include Biostatistics 100B; Environmental Health Sciences 201, 210, 230, 240, 250, 401 (or 410A and 410B), and M411. Each departmental required course may be waived if a similar college-level course has been taken elsewhere and the student can pass the waiver examination. Elective courses should be selected in the chosen area of specialization.
Units from the courses listed above sum to approximately 52. At least five of these courses must be graduate courses (200, 400, and 500 series). Thus, approximately 20 units are to be completed by specialty courses and electives for a two-year program, assuming a minimum of 12 units per quarter. It should be noted that the department core, supplemented by Environmental Health Sciences 470, satisfies the requirement for taking the registered sanitarian's examination.
Students with no prior clinical doctorate degree are required to complete Biostatistics 100B, Epidemiology 200, 201A-201B, 220, 400 and 12 elective units, at least four of which must be selected from one of the following courses featuring computer use and applications, or a relevant course decided upon after consultation with the adviser: Biostatistics 403, Epidemiology 410A, 410B, 414, 415, 418 and 261. The eight remaining units must be selected from either the computer use and applications courses or the following list of general electives: Epidemiology 202A, 202B, 203, 204, 210, M214, 223A, 223B, 224A, 224B, 227, M228, 230, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 246, 251, 252, 253, 260, 261, 263, 266, 270, M276, 280, 411, and M417.
Students with a prior clinical doctorate degree are required to complete Biostatistics 100B, Epidemiology 200, 201A-201B, 400 and eight total elective units from either the general list of electives or those featuring computer use and applications.
All students must submit a report demonstrating competence in epidemiologic methodology. The report may not be submitted prior to the completion of Epidemiology 400. Course 400 must be taken after completion of 201B.
Health Services specialization programs include (1) policy and management, (2) health services organization, and (3) a cooperative M.P.H./M.B.A. All specialization programs require Health Services 200A-200B-200C, 400, and a summer internship in a local health care organization, as well as School of Public Health core courses: Biostatistics 100A, Community Health Sciences 100, Environmental Health Sciences 100, and Epidemiology 100.
Policy and Management. The policy and management specialization is a two-year program requiring 18 full courses and a major written research report based on the summer internship. Required courses include Health Services 400, 422, Biostatistics 100B, and Health Services 236 and Management 403. In addition, students select five courses from Health Services 131, 134, M204A-C, 214, 220, 231, 232, M233, 234, 235, 239, 240, 244, 249A-L, M287, 431, 433, 434, 435, 436, 438, 439, 440A, 441, 442, 444, 446, or 447E. Students must select at least one other elective course and are encouraged to choose a course outside the Department of Health Services and/or the School of Public Health.
Health Services Organization. The health services organization specialization is a one-year program requiring a minimum of 12 full courses (48 units). Admission is limited to students with prior doctoral-level degrees (M.D., Ph.D., J.D., D.D.S., or equivalent). Required courses include Health Services 236 or Management 403. Students may petition to waive out of the summer internship and Health Services 400 requirements if they have prior experience of relevance to public health practice.
Cooperative M.P.H./M.B.A. The cooperative M.P.H./M.B.A. program is a three-year concurrent degree program. It requires a minimum of 12 full courses (48 units) in the School of Public Health and a summer internship in a local health care organization. Required courses include Health Services 400 and 422. Management 402 may substituted for Biostatistics 100A. Students are waived out of the Health Services 400 requirement if they have successfully completed an equivalent class in the M.B.A. program.
Following are descriptions of combined programs of study leading to the M.P.H. degree. In the articulated degree programs listed below, no course may be used for credit toward more than one degree.
The School of Public Health and the African Area Studies Program have an articulated degree program whereby students can work sequentially for the Master of Arts degree in African Area Studies and the Master of Public Health. By planning the major field emphasis in public health while working toward the M.A. in African Area Studies, it may be possible to shorten the amount of time it would normally take to complete both degrees.
Students interested in this articulated program should write to the Assistant Graduate Adviser, African Area Studies Program, UCLA African Studies Center, and/or the Student Affairs Office, UCLA School of Public Health.
The School of Public Health and the Islamic Studies Program have a concurrent degree program whereby students can work for the Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and the Master of Public Health. Applicants interested in this concurrent program should write to the Islamic Studies Program and the Student Affairs Office, UCLA School of Public Health.
The School of Public Health and the Latin American Studies Program have arranged an articulated degree program, organized to permit specializations within the M.A. and the M.P.H. degrees, with the award of both degrees after approximately three years of graduate study. Qualified students apply to the graduate adviser of the Latin American Studies M.A. degree program and to a relevant area of public health, such as (1) environmental and nutritional sciences, (2) epidemiology, (3) health education, (4) population and family health.
Potential applicants should contact the Graduate Adviser, Latin American Studies, UCLA Latin American Center, and/or the Public Health/Latin American Studies Articulated Degree Program Adviser, UCLA School of Public Health.
The Department of Health Services and the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management offer a three-year concurrent degree program designed for students who desire a management career in health care and related fields. The program reflects the combined interest of employers, faculty, and students who recognize the increasing challenges facing managers in the health care industry and the need for highly skilled and sensitive individuals who can creatively take on these challenges. Students should request application materials from both the M.B.A. Admissions Office, Anderson Graduate School of Management, and the Health Services Management Program, UCLA School of Public Health. GMAT scores are required for admission.
Students must complete at least one year of graduate residence at the University of California and a minimum of 11 full courses (44 units), at least six of which must be graduate courses and at least two of which must be 400-series courses. Only one 596 course (four units) may be applied toward the six graduate courses; 597 and 598 courses may not be applied toward the degree. No more than 18 full courses are required for the degree.
Required school core courses include Biostatistics 100A or 110A; Community Health Sciences 100 (210 for community health sciences majors); Environmental Health Sciences 100 or 101; Epidemiology 100 (200, 201A-201B for epidemiology majors); and Health Services 100 (200A-200B-200C for health services majors). Each core course may be waived if the student has taken a similar college-level course elsewhere and can pass the waiver examination.
In addition to the core courses, at least three courses (two or four units) outside the student's area of specialization are strongly recommended.
Only courses in which a grade of C - or better is received may be applied toward the requirements for a master's degree. Students must maintain an average of no less than 3.0 (B) in all courses required or elected during graduate residence at the University of California.
Students must pass a comprehensive examination in their department. Students may be reexamined once. The aim of the examination, as a culminating experience, is to assess the student's ability to select theories, methods, and techniques from across the content matter of a field, integrate and synthesize knowledge, and apply it to the solution of public health problems.
In addition to the University minimum requirements, for admission to the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) degree program, the school requires:
(1) Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants at the doctoral level need a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) score of 1,200. Applicants to the Department of Community Health Sciences, at the discretion of the department, may substitute equivalent scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
(2) Completion of the M.P.H. or a master's degree in an appropriately related field. If the master's degree is in a field other than public health, applicants must have taken the equivalent of the core mandatory M.P.H. courses or include them in the course of study after admission.
(3) At least a 3.0 junior-senior grade-point average, at least a 3.5 GPA in graduate studies or demonstrated superiority in graduate work, and at least a B in each of the mandatory core courses.
(4) A positive recommendation by a department in the School of Public Health. Applicants to the Department of Community Health Sciences must have acceptance by an initial doctoral adviser in the department.
(5) Approval by the doctoral admissions committee and the associate dean for Student Affairs. Screening examinations may be required by each department.
(6) A writing sample is required by the Department of Community Health Sciences.
(7) The Department of Community Health Sciences requires at least 600 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students whose undergraduate degree is from an institution whose primary language of instruction is not English.
It is recommended that applicants to the Department of Community Health Sciences contact one or more members of the faculty whom they are considering as advisors in order to ensure acceptance by a faculty mentor as the initial adviser. The applicant should have favorable recommendations from teachers and employers concerning past performance and potential as a doctoral student in public health. The statement of purpose must be clear, outlining goals and career objectives as they relate to the focus of the doctoral program.
Major fields and subdisciplines and typical course plans, in addition to courses required for the master's degree, are listed below.
A written screening examination of all students entering the doctoral program is required and must be successfully completed before the end of the first year in the program, if not taken prior to entering. Courses covered by this and other examinations are determined in consultation with an adviser and the department faculty. The following courses, if not already taken, should be included: Biostatistics 115, 200A, 200B-200C, M250A-M250B; any three additional graduate-level courses in biostatistics selected with consent of the adviser; three courses in the 400 series selected with consent of the adviser; Statistics M152A, 152B. All registered doctoral students enroll in Biostatistics 402B for one term each year. This may be used as the additional area of concentration referenced below.
In addition, six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments/programs other than Biostatistics are required for breadth. The department also requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school.
Electives, selected in consultation with the adviser, should be chosen from courses in mathematics, biomathematics, survey research methods, operations research, computer data processing, and other appropriate areas.
There are five areas of specialization or examination within the department:: public health policy, health education/promotion, sociocultural aspects of health, public health nutrition, and international family health.
Recommended courses are determined in consultation with the adviser. Six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments other than Environmental Health Sciences are required for breadth. The major requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school.
The recommended program includes additional courses in biostatistics, demography, and epidemiology beyond those required for the M.P.H.; courses or directed group study in specialized areas of infectious and chronic disease epidemiology or application of epidemiology to health planning, management, and/or policy; and laboratory and clinical studies in medical, health, or biological sciences.
Six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments other than Epidemiology are required for breadth. (Students may petition to include up to two 100-level courses.) The major requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school (e.g., biostatistics, biology, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience).
The Dr.P.H. in Health Services is intended to prepare students for leadership positions in health services administration. In contrast to the Ph.D., the orientation is professional rather than academic and comprehensive rather than specialized.
The prerequisites are an M.P.H. degree or its equivalent, and full-time work experience in some aspect of public health is highly recommended. The candidate is then enrolled in the Dr.P.H. which may (with full-time study) be completed in three years.
In the first two doctoral years, the formal coursework is intended to acquaint students with the full scope of public health knowledge. Students are normally expected to complete 72 units or 18 full courses beyond the M.P.H. degree to develop mastery in the following areas: (1) basic tools of social analysis; (2) health and disease in populations; (3) promotion of health and prevention of disease; and (4) health systems and their management. The specific course program depends on the applicant's previous coursework and experience.
Students must take a minimum of six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments other than Health Services.
The third doctoral year includes a residency in a public or private health services organization, seminar courses (eight units) devoted to principles and strategies of health services leadership, and the preparation of a problem-solving dissertation related to the applicant's residency experience.
After completion of the second doctoral year, the candidate must pass a qualifying examination. Normally, one reexamination after failure is allowed. After the third doctoral year, a final oral examination based on the dissertation is required of all candidates.
Course requirements in the major field depend on the department/program and the field chosen. Students must take a minimum of six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments outside the major department.
The major department requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school. In departments allowing it, an equivalent field experience completed while a doctoral student and approved by the guidance committee may be substituted for the additional area of concentration.
If the student does not have a master's degree in public health, the school's core courses for the Masters in Public Health (M.P.H) degree are required: Biostatistics 100A, Epidemiology 100, Health Services 100, and Environmental Health Sciences 100; and the department's core courses, Community Health Sciences 210, 211A, and 211B. Additionally, all students are required to take the following courses if they have not already taken them or their equivalents during the course of their master's studies: Community Health Sciences 212, Biostatistics 100A, 100B, and 406. These courses do not count toward the minimum course requirements for the doctoral degree.
In addition to the coursework specified above, the student must take a minimum of 48 units in residence in the doctoral program. Twenty of the 48 units required must be taken within the Department of Community Health Sciences. Only four units of individual studies (Community Health Sciences 596) may be counted toward the 48-unit minimum requirement. Students must take a minimum of two courses (eight units) in research methodology (i.e., data acquisition) and two courses (eight units) in statistics (i.e., data analysis). These courses may be taken inside or outside of the School of Public Health. Students are required to attend the Doctoral Round Table (Community Health Sciences 242 or Community Health Sciences 286) continuously from the first year of residency until the student has been advanced to candidacy. The Doctoral Round Table does not fulfill any of the 48 units required for the doctorate.
Students must complete a minor which is expected to be in another department within the School of Public Health. Six graduate-level courses (24 units) are required, four units of which must be taken from within one department. Students must consult with their advisers before declaring a minor.
Before advancement to candidacy, students must pass written examinations in the major prepared and administered by the guidance committee or by the faculty of the department. Normally no more than one reexamination after failure is allowed. The doctoral committee is nominated after the student has made a tentative decision on a dissertation topic.
The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members who hold professorial appointments. Two of the faculty must be tenured. Three of the four must hold appointments in Public Health; one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in Public Health; one of the four must be from the minor field.
The doctoral committee administers the University Oral Qualifying Examination after the written examinations have been successfully completed.
Before advancement to candidacy, all coursework must have been completed, and the student must have passed two written examinations and an oral qualifying examination in the major field. The first written examination is taken by all students. The other is tailored to the specific interests of the individual student. Both written examinations may be repeated only once. Additionally, the student must complete the requirements for the minor field.
The first examination provides an assessment of the student's breadth of substantive knowledge, theory, and methods that are common to the disciplines that comprise Community Health Sciences. Students are expected to demonstrate a coherent and well-synthesized command of this material. This examination is administered by the departmental doctoral committee in the Fall Quarter of each year. The second examination is in one of the areas of specialization: public health policy, health education/promotion, sociocultural aspects of health, public health nutrition, and international family health. Students are expected to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in the area, and to be able to apply this knowledge and knowledge derived from the minor to problems or practice and policy. The examination is based on a reading list generated by the student in consultation with the student's guidance committee, which also administers the examination. It is administered after the first examination at a time that has been agreed upon mutually by the students and the guidance committee.
After the student has passed the written qualifying examinations and completed the minor requirements, and at least one month prior to taking the University Oral Qualifying Examination, a doctoral committee is nominated. The student first selects the committee chair, who also serves as the student's adviser. The student and chair then work together to nominate the remaining committee members. The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members including the chair, who hold professorial appointments at UCLA. Two of the faculty must be tenured. Two of the four must hold appointments in Community Health Sciences; one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in the school of Public Health; one of the four must be from the minor field. Eligible faculty include those in the tenure-eligible series, the in-residence series, acting or emeritus in these series; in addition, one of the four committee members, who may also cochair if appropriate, may hold an appointment in the adjunct or clinical professorial series. The composition of the committee must be approved by the department chair. The doctoral committee guides the student's progress toward completion of the dissertation.
The student is advanced to candidacy and commences work on a dissertation by passing the University Oral Qualifying Examination, which is administered by the doctoral committee. Only the student and the committee members attend this examination; all committee members must be present. The examination may be repeated once if a majority of the committee so recommends.