Timeline for Current Medical Students

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The MPH in the Department of Community Health Sciences is designed as a two-year program (6 academic quarters). The Department does not offer a one-year program (9 or 12 months), nor will special accommodations be made to guarantee completion earlier than 6 academic quarters. However, it is possible for students to complete the program in less than six academic quarters. Students must complete a total of 60 units. These include: 16 units of core courses in the Fielding School of Public Health, 36 units of core/required courses in Community Health Sciences, and 8 units of graduate elective courses. 

In addition to the coursework, MPH Community Health Science students must complete 400 hours of fieldwork. Fieldwork is completed in the summer, and students enroll in 4 units of CHS 400 during the following Fall quarter to receive credit for the fieldwork.  Students are not permitted to begin their fieldwork until they have completed CHS 210, 211A, and 211B. Therefore, completing fieldwork will take a minimum of 10 weeks past the Spring Quarter, typically ending around the middle of August.  No exceptions are made and it is up to the student to accommodate this requirement. Finally, during the second Fall quarter, the student may be eligible to take the Masters Comprehensive Examination. Assuming that 56 units of required coursework are completed, excluding CHS 400, students do not have to be in residence at UCLA to take the exam or while enrolled in CHS 400. University policy requires all students to be registered in the final term in which the student expects to receive the degree. Guidelines for completion based on medical program are below:

UCLA Medical Student

Current UCLA medical students will need to enroll in CHS 400 ("Field Studies") during the quarter in which they complete their field work. They must also take the Masters Comprehensive Exam during their second Fall Quarter. This can be done while resuming their medical program. Please discuss your plans with the CHS Department’s Student Affairs Officer early.

UC Medical Student (non-UCLA)

Students in a medical program from another UC may either complete the MPH by the end of their second Fall Quarter or their second Summer Session, depending on their medical school schedule.

  • To complete the MPH program by the end of their second Fall Quarter, students must either 1) enroll in CHS 400 ("Field Studies") in the Summer, complete their field work in the Summer, and take the Comprehensive Exam at the start of Fall Quarter OR 2) register and enroll at UCLA and their home campus in the Fall Quarter, pay both campus fees, complete their field work by the end of Fall Quarter, and take the Comprehensive Exam during Fall Quarter. Please discuss your plans with the CHS Department’s Student Affairs Officer early.
  • Students from another UC who are not able to complete their field work in the first Summer due to their medical school schedule must 1) file a leave of absence from UCLA for their entire second MPH year, 2) return to their home campus UC to resume and complete their fourth year of medical school, and 3) return to UCLA in the Summer after completion of their medical program in order to complete field studies, enroll in CHS 400 ("Field Studies"), and take the Comprehensive Exam. Please discuss your plans with the CHS Department’s Student Affairs Officer early.

Non-UC Medical Student

Students in a non-UC medical program must be registered and enrolled in their final quarter.

Degree completion in less than six academic quarters

A sample degree timeline is below for students aiming to complete the program earlier than 6 academic quarters. Students are required to manage their own schedule. The department recommends meeting with the Student Affairs Officer regularly to plan their coursework.

FALL, 1st yr

WINTER, 1st yr

SPRING, 1st yr


FALL, 2nd yr

CHS 210               

CHS 211A

CHS 211B

400 Hours of Fieldwork

CHS 400 (enrolled only)



Dept. Required Course

Take Comprehensive Examination (take-home examination). Enroll in 4-8 units of CHS 597 to fulfill enrollment requirements, if applicable.

Dept. Required Course

Dept. Required Course




CHS Elective






UNITS: 20*

UNITS: 20*




*Any student who wishes to enroll in more than 18 units per quarter must first receive permission from their academic advisor via blue petition.

PUB HLT 200A, 200B and 401, CHS 210, 211A, and 211B are core courses which must be taken in the quarters and sequence indicated above.

Department Required Courses and electives can be interchanged within quarters depending on when classes of interest are offered.