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MS in Community Health Sciences

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 

The Master of Science in the Department of Community Health Sciences is a research-oriented degree emphasizing community or psychosocial research within the general field of public health. Through coursework, learn about designing and conducting research in the community, program planning and evaluation, fundamentals of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and learn more about topics such as health equity/health disparities, health education and promotion, reproductive and population health, global health, health across the life span and research methodology.  Students also complete either a research project leading to a master’s thesis, or the Department comprehensive examination and a major written report on a topic selected by the student. Many students participate in research with faculty and within the School’s research centers.

Program Requirements

The program requires the completion of a minimum of 60 quarter-credit units.

Course Requirements in Community Health Sciences (48 units)

  • Biostat 406: Applied Multivariate Biostatistics
  • CHS 210: Community Health Sciences
  • CHS 211A, CHS 211B: Program Planning, Research, and Evaluation in Community Health Sciences
  • CHS 212: Advanced Social Research Methods in Health (4 units) (or equivalent course approved by instructor of 212)
  • PUB HLT 201: Fundamentals of Public Health
  • 24 units of electives selected in consultation with advisor 

One course of 4 units may be selected from the following:

  • CHS 596: Directed Individual Study or Research
  • CHS 598: Master’s Thesis Research

School of Public Health Core Requirements (12 units)

  • Biostat 100A: Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Biostat 100B: Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology 100: Principles of Epidemiology 

Comprehensive Examination or Master’s Thesis

Students choose either to complete a comprehensive examination and in-depth written research report, or a master’s thesis.

1. Comprehensive Examination Option

If the comprehensive examination/report option is selected, a Guidance Committee of three Departmental faculty members is appointed. The preparation of a major written research report is required. In addition, the student must pass the Department comprehensive exam.

2. Masters Thesis Option

If the thesis option is selected, a Thesis Committee is established. The committee approves the thesis prospectus before the student files for advancement to candidacy. The thesis must be approved by the Thesis Committee.

Time To Degree

The MS degree is normally obtained after 2 years of full-time study (six academic quarters).


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, and
  3. Mail required academic documents and test scores to SOPHAS and to UCLA's School of Public Health.

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. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.



Graduates of the academic programs in Community Health Sciences generally assume teaching, research, and managerial positions in universities, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international health agencies, and research centers.

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 or call 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.

* 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.