Master of Public Health

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The Master of Public Health (M.P.H) degree is a 60-unit program that prepares professionals for leadership in public health practice concerning health problems, programs, and policies. Graduates generally assume positions in the planning, administration and evaluation of public health programs and policies, both in the United States and abroad, with the mission of maintaining and improving the health of individuals, families, communities and populations.  

The Masters Handbook provides an in depth description of course and degree requirements, policies followed by the department, information about comprehensive exams and the Masters thesis, and internship information.

This degree program welcomes approximately 60 new students each year.  Candidates with a prior doctoral degree or advanced preparation in a related field may complete an M.P.H degree in 48 units, but only after formal consideration and approval by the Department's faculty. Students must document that their prior coursework is relevant to specific requirements in the M.P.H. curriculum.

Field Studies

All MPH students are required to complete 400 hours of field work. For information about field studies, past abstracts, and a listing of where our students were placed, please visit the field studies page:

Concurrent and Articulated Degree Programs

The department offers a number of concurrent and articulated degree programs, including:

  • Public Health M.P.H./African Studies M.A. (concurrent)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Asian American Studies M.A. (concurrent)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Latin American Studies M.A. (articulated)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Law J.D. (concurrent)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Medicine M.D. (articulated)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Social Welfare M.S.W. (concurrent)
  • Public Health M.P.H./Urban Planning M.U.R.P (concurrent)

Applicants must be accepted to both masters degree programs to pursue a combined degree. For more information on the combined degree programs, see the Fielding School of Public Health's website.

Combined M.P.H. - VA Dietetic Internship

The department partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs Dietetic Internship Program. This combined program is intended to train entry level dietitians to take on a variety of positions in dietetics, with the year-long internship rotation fulfilling the field studies requirement for the M.P.H. In addition to the M.P.H. admission requirements, applicants must also meet the Veteran's Affairs' required education (DPD completion) and additional requirements. 

For more information please visit the VA's Dietetic Internship website.

Specializations and Certifications

Masters students have the option to focus their studies in certain specific areas.

  • Health Promotion/Health Education Specialization 
  • Population & Reproductive Health Certificate
  • Child and Family Health Leadership Training Program Certificate
  • Emergency Public Health Certificate
  • Global Health Certificate

MPH graduates from the Community Health Sciences department are eligible to sit for the CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) exam. For those who wish to pursue a career in health promotion and education, passing the CHES exam qualifies graduates for a nationally recognized certification program. Many CHS MPH graduates work in this field, and many employers now require CHES for health education positions. Click here to find out about the exam. For students who plan to pursue this path, it is highly recommended to complete the specialization to better prepare for the CHES exam.

For more information, please visit the Specializations and Certifications page.

MPH Alumni Testimonials

"Since receiving my MPH from UCLA, I have worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Pennsylvania. In both settings, I have been extremely prepared for all of the tasks and job descriptions handed to me. Thank you to you, and to UCLA as a whole, for the incredible education and training I received."
Ashlee Halbritter, MPH '09

"The professors (Dr. Kar, Dr. Prelip, et al) were a significant part of the program. While I do not recall the course titles and specific details of the curriculum, the passion and commitment of the core group of instructors and their cooperative efforts made for an effective program."
Coleen Nakamura, MPH '02

"This was such a great experience and I am so glad I could be part of it. I learned so much and all the courses challenged me to think in new ways. Though my job is a non-traditional application of public health, I love the knowledge base I attained. Thank you!"

"The professors were the best part about my CHS MPH program experience--Dr. Prelip, Dr. Bourque, Dr. Gee--all standout professors. Also, the internship experience was extremely valuable and conducted very well."

Where our students work after graduation

Community Health Sciences graduates work in:

  • Governmental public health agencies at the local, state, and national levels
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Domestic and international voluntary organizations
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Foundations
  • Schools
  • Other health and human services organizations
  • The private sector
  • Academia

You can view a full list of employers and continuing education programs here.

Prospective Students