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MPH in Community Health Sciences

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 

A Master of Public Health in the Department of Community Health Sciences will prepare you to engage in the planning, administration, and evaluation of public health programs and policies in the U.S. and abroad that have as their objective the maintenance and improvement of the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. The curriculum integrates basic and applied approaches to address public health problems in the community, using the key tools of assessment, planning, and evaluation. This is accomplished through coursework in areas such as health equity/health disparities, health education and promotion, reproductive and population health, global health, health across the life span, program development and evaluation and research methodology, as well as through a field placement in the United States or abroad, and a comprehensive exam. Many students participate in research with faculty and within the School’s research centers. 

Program Requirements

The program requires a minimum of 60 quarter-credit units of graduate and upper division coursework. Candidates with a prior doctoral degree or advanced preparation in a related field may waive certain requirements for the MPH degree, but only after formal consideration and approval by the Department's faculty.

Course Requirements in Community Health Sciences

Department Core Courses

  • CHS 210: Community Health Sciences  
  • CHS 211A, B: Program Planning, Research and Evaluation in Community Health Sciences 
  • CHS 400: Field Studies in Public Health (400 hours of fieldwork)
  • In addition to CHS 400, students are required to take one more 400-level course in the CHS Department.

Department Required Courses

Students are required to select one course from each of the three curricular areas of:

  1. Public Health Practice
  2. Populations, and
  3. Individual and Structural Influences

The MPH Curricular Areas lists courses in each category (can be found in Masters Handbook, below).

Students are also required to take at least one additional course (4 units) within CHS. An additional course that includes elements of program planning or evaluation, similar to CHS 211 A&B, is strongly recommended for students in the second year of the program.

Core Course Requirements in Public Health

Students also take the following School of Public Health core courses:

  • PH 200A, B: Foundations in Public Health
  • PH 401: Public Health as a Profession


At least 32 units must be taken in the Department. A maximum of 8 elective units from outside the Department may count towards the 60 graduate or upper-division units. Students have the option to focus their studies in areas such as social and behavioral sciences, health education/promotion, international health, child and family health, public health nutrition, health policy, disaster planning and relief, aging and life course, women’s health, and population health.

Field Training

All students are required to complete a practical fieldwork experience, which requires a minimum of 400 hours in the field. Fieldwork takes place in a health agency or organization in the community, under the supervision of a qualified public health professional. Most students arrange to do their fieldwork experience in the summer between the two years of study, but other arrangements are possible.

Comprehensive Examination

MPH students must successfully pass the CHS Department’s Comprehensive Exam.

Typical Course Sequencing

To view a typical sequence of classes for the MPH in Community Health Sciences, please consult the MPH Sample Course Plan document (below).

Time To Degree

The MPH degree is normally obtained after 2 years of full-time study (six academic quarters), including the 400-hour field training experience.


For students in medical school, there is an accelerated option for completing the MPH. Please consult the Accelerated MPH Policies for Medical School Students in the Masters Handbook  (below) for more information. 



Desired Qualifications

In addition to meeting the University’s minimum requirements, prior work experience in community health or health education is strongly considered in the evaluation of applicants for admission.

Admissions Process

Applicants are only admitted in the Fall.  Applicants who wish to be considered for all financial aid considerations should have their applications, letters, transcripts and official GRE scores here at the School of Public Health by December 1 of the year preceding the desired entrance year.

The application process has three steps. You must:

  1. Submit an on-line application and pay the application fee at SOPHAS,
  2. Submit an online application and pay the application fee at UCLA Graduate Admissions.

For complete application instructions and the list of required materials, review the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Admission Application Check List and Submission Instructions.

As we receive many more qualified applicants for the program than there are available spaces, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the program. 

Tuition and Fees

For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.

Please see FSPH Financial Opportunities page for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid.


Graduates generally assume positions in the planning, administration, and evaluation of public health programs and policies in the U.S. and abroad that have as their objective the maintenance and improvement of the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

Faculty in this Department

Faculty in the department of Community Health Sciences have backgrounds in public health, medicine and diverse disciplines within the social and behavioral sciences.

For a list of faculty in this department, please click here.

To search all School of Public Health faculty members by name, department or area of expertise, click here.

Helpful Links

Who to Contact for More Information

For more information or questions, please contact Kathy Yi kathyy@ph.ucla.eduor 310.825.8314.


*This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the registrar’s office.

PDF icon Masters Handbook 2019-211.33 MB

* Admission requirements listed are departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.

** Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.