Master of Public Health FAQs


Program Structure

What MPH (Master of Public Health) concentrations do you offer?

Currently, we have one concentration: Health Promotion, Policy, and Leadership.

What is the format for the classes?

In-person classes start after 5 p.m. to accommodate working professionals. You’ll meet no more than two days per week with the specific day of the week varying. Course length and start and end dates match the 16-week academic schedule for the Fall and Spring semesters. The summer session differs slightly.

Are classes online?

This is a hybrid program where you will meet in-person during the week for classroom meetings, but you’ll also complete asynchronous coursework online.

Can I take summer courses?

Yes. The cohort completes two classes in the summer between their first and second year. These are 10-week courses (about two and a half months) and start the same week as the main campus summer session schedule. No other summer courses are offered or required as a part of the MPH program requirements.

Application Information

What type of undergraduate degree do you have to have to get into the MPH?

All undergraduate degrees are welcome. Public Health is a broad field of study and includes many different disciplines.

What are the prerequisite requirements for the MPH program?

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (or U.S. equivalent) with a minimum GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Additionally, you must either:

a) have earned a bachelor’s degree in public health from a CEPH accredited program, OR
b) complete our MPH 100 course

I received my degree from a different country, can I still apply?

Yes, but your degree must first be evaluated before your application can be reviewed by us. You must submit documents at least one (1) month prior to the posted deadline. This is a university requirement. The MPH program does not have the authority to waive the degree evaluation requirement.

Helpful links for international applicants:

Do you accept International English Language Testing Systems (ITELTS) results?

If you earned a degree from an institution located in a nation where English is not the official language, you must take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE. This is a university requirement. The MPH program does not have the authority to waive the language exam requirement.

Helpful links for language requirements:

What if I do not have a 3.0 GPA?

We will review complete applications with a final cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater from the most recently completed undergraduate or graduate degree. While we may also consider applications with a cumulative GPA between 2.75 and 2.99, exceptions to this requirement are rare and limited in number. Applicants with a GPA below 2.75 will not be scored and therefore denied.

What if I do not have two years’ work experience in public health?

While two years’ work experience in public health is preferred, we will consider all work experience — paid and unpaid. When preparing your application, include volunteer public health experience and professional public health work.

Other Considerations

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Mostly in the form of unsubsidized loans or scholarships. We also offer two paid Graduate Assistantships per year, per cohort.

Is your program application in the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS)?

No. Our main application is on Cal State Apply, with our supplemental application available on our website.

Is this program accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH)?

Not currently, but we are on track to be accredited by 2026. Accreditation is retroactive to the date we submitted our application, January 9, 2023. Once we are granted accreditation, all students graduating from our program from that date will have earned their MPH from a CEPH accredited program. The University is WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited.

Is there an application fee waiver?

No. We do not offer an application fee waiver. Fee waivers for graduate programs are uncommon.

Can I transfer units from another MPH program at another school?

It depends but is highly unlikely. Each MPH program varies with how they organize their content. Also, our MPH program is a cohort model — which means you take all coursework together with your cohort.

Is this a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Designated Degree Program?

No. Currently the MPH is not a DHS STEM program.

Is this a clinical program/degree?

No. Public health is the study of prevention, promotion and policy at the population health level. Public health interventions have led to greater life expectancy and better quality of life.

What careers/jobs can I get with an MPH?

There are a wide variety of careers that you can have with an MPH degree. Here is a list of industries and job titles from MPH graduates:

  • Director of Community Safety Programs at Health Education Council
  • Outreach Specialist and Youth Coordinator at Yolo County Health and Human Services
  • Program Administrator at Center for Collaborative Planning
  • Program Analyst at Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Field Researcher on the Medical Mentoring Project at UC San Francisco
  • CalFresh Outreach Program Manager at California Department of Social Services
  • Statewide Manager for Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program at UC Davis Health
  • Outreach Care Specialist at Elevance Health
  • Associate Governmental Program Analyst at California Department of Public Health