Core Curriculum Policy

The Michigan Public Health Core Curriculum ("the Core") addresses foundational competencies and learning objectives required by the Council on Education for Public Health. The Core includes eight courses for a total of 16 academic credits with limited substitution options. These courses will follow a blended-learning model. The Core Curriculum policy applies to all MPH students, including students in the Executive Master's program. The Department of Health Management and Policy will determine whether MHSA students are required to take the Core Curriculum.

I. School-wide Curriculum Oversight

The Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP) is charged with the general oversight of the Core requirements and ensuring that Core courses are accessible to students. A listing of Core courses is detailed below.

These courses must be offered every year. Enrollment For all PUBHLTH Core courses is limited to MPH and MHSA students, unless otherwise specified by the instructor, and cannot be capped.

Core Curriculum Grading

All Core Curriculum courses will be graded A-E, with the exception of PUBHLTH 508, 509, and 510, which will be graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U). Students must earn an "S" or a "C" or better to pass Core courses. Students must retake Core courses until these grades are earned.

Competency Tracking

Core courses are required to assess certain competencies. Instructors must track individual student achievement of competencies in Canvas using Rubrics and the Outcomes feature.

Course Evaluations

In addition to ensuring availability of Core courses, ACAP is also charged with monitoring Core courses for quality improvement purposes. ACAP will review all Core course evaluations on an annual basis. If the evaluation scores for a Core course are below 3.5 for any evaluation dimension, ACAP will determine whether the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Practice must discuss this with the instructor's department and/or curriculum chair to resolve the problem.

Core Curriculum Documentation Procedures

When a student applies for graduation, the department must complete a Core Curriculum form and submit it to the Office for Student Engagement and Practice for placement in the official student file.

II. Curriculum Exemptions/Substitutions

Core Curriculum Course Exemptions/Waivers

MPH students may take exemption examinations to waive the BIOSTAT 501/521 and PUBHLTH 512 requirements. The Biostatistics Exemption Exam is held over two days at the beginning of the fall term. Starting fall 2019, the PUBHLTH 512 Exemption Exam will be held over two days at the beginning of the fall term and one day over the winter term. These exams are administered by Office for Student Engagement and Practice. Students must pass the exemption exams to waive these requirements, even if they have previously taken a statistics/biostatistics course or epidemiology course.

Departments may substitute a required course(s) for the Core course they are responsible for instructing. For example, the Department of Epidemiology may substitute a required epidemiology course in place of PUBHLTH 512 for their MPH students. If a department elects to require a substitution course(s), it must cover, assess, and track the same competencies and learning objectives addressed by the Core course.

Timeline for Requests for Substitutions/Exemptions and Documentation of these Requests

Requests for substitutions/exemptions/waivers of Core courses will be considered for students on a case-by-case basis. Approval must be granted by both the student's department curriculum committee and ACAP. Requests must occur a minimum of one month prior to the term in which the course to be waived or substituted is offered. Requests should not occur in the student's final term. The student's home department and the Office for Student Engagement and Practice must receive documentation of approval of all requests.

III. Scheduling/Changing Core Curriculum Courses

Department are required to give two years notice to ACAP before changing a term in which a Core course is offered. Any changes in course content or objectives must meet the needs of the Core Curriculum requirement. The pilot phase of the Core Curriculum may prompt more immediate changes to Core course structure or scheduling, resulting in exceptions to the two-year notice rule. All proposed changes must be reviewed and approved by ACAP prior to implementation.

Core Curriculum Offerings
Course Program  Course Number  Title  Credits   Term
Introduction to Biostatistics
Applied Biostatistics
 PUBHLTH 508 Social Determinants of Health 1 Fall
 PUBHLTH 509 Introduction to Qualitative Methods 1 Fall
 PUBHLTH 510 Communication Fundamentals 1 Fall
 PUBHLTH 511 Nutrition and Public Health 2 Fall
 PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health 3 Winter
 PUBHLTH 513 Public Health Systems, Policy and Management 3 Winter
 PUBHLTH 514 Public Health Sciences and the Environment 2 Winter

*BIOSTAT 521 will be 3 credits starting Fall 2019.

School-wide Curriculum Requirements For MS, MHI, MHSA, and PHD Students

Foundations of Public Health

All PhD students and MS, MHI, MHSA (e.g. Executive Master’s) students who are not required to take the Core must complete an online course, Foundations of Public Health, which is offered as a non-credit requirement. Students must pass the course exam with a cumulative score of 80% or better to fulfill this degree requirement. PhD students must complete this requirement while in pre-candidate status.

Biostatistics and Epidemiology

All students regardless of degree level must demonstrate proficiency in Biostatistics; all students with the exception of MHI must demonstrate proficiency in Epidemiology. These students are subject to the existing Biostatistics and  Epidemiology course requirements. Students may take an exemption examination in order to pass out of this requirement. The Biostatistics Exemption Exam is held over two days at the beginning of the fall term and the Epidemiology Exemption Exam is held over two days at the beginning of the fall term and once over the winter term. These exams are administered by the Office for Student Engagement and Practice.

Acceptance of previously completed Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses

Master’s students who have taken graduate-level Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses at other institutions and who desire an exemption from taking Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the UM School of Public Health, must take and pass the Exemption Exams. Documentation of exemptions from these areas will be noted on the student’s unofficial transcript in the ‘Remarks’ section within a year of completing this exemption. Students who have previously taken EPID 503 or EPID 600 at the University of Michigan prior to enrollment in the master’s program may exempt out of the Epidemiology requirement, provided that the course they have taken meets the requirements of their respective department.

PhD Students

If a PhD applicant has had an Epidemiology/Biostatistics course in their Master's program and has earned a “B” or better, the departmental admissions or curriculum committee may approve that the student not be required to take the Epidemiology/Biostatistics exam to exempt out of the Epidemiology/Biostatistics requirement. If the department has questions, they should defer to the Epidemiology/Biostatistics department for clarification.