Core Curriculum FAQ

What is the new MPH Core Curriculum and who will participate?

  • The new MPH Core Curriculum consists of two 6-credit courses that all incoming (Fall 2023) and future residential MPH students will complete in the Fall and Winter terms of their first year.
  • These courses have been meticulously designed to address contemporary public health challenges, enabling students to delve into real-world issues and devise solutions.
  • The curriculum emphasizes a collaborative approach; students will have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams and draw on the expertise of various departments — thereby fostering a holistic understanding of public health challenges and encouraging innovative problem-solving.
  • Students will build interpersonal skills central to health equity: leadership, anti-racist practices, and wellness

Why is Michigan Public Health updating the Core Curriculum for MPH students?

  • We decided to make this change for several reasons—all of which are anchored in our commitment to give students the best possible preparation for their future career in public health:
    • To build community in the incoming cohort and create a more solid, shared foundation for all MPH students.
    • To create more space for department electives—allowing students the ability to customize their education to their specific interests and career goals.
    • To better prepare students to meet the needs of the public health workforce by providing hands-on, experiential learning centered around addressing the world’s most pressing public health issues.

What can incoming students expect?

  • In the Fall term, all first-year MPH students will participate in PUBHLTH 500: Investigating Public Health Issues. In the Winter term, MPH students will take PUBHLTH 501: Developing Solutions to Public Health Issues.
  • Courses will be team taught, meaning that each course will be taught by a team of 4-6 faculty across our highly ranked departments.
  • Core Curriculum coursework will focus on teamwork. Students will get to share their interests in designated project areas like climate change, structural racism, mental health, and more. Interdisciplinary teams will be formed based on areas of interest.
  • Assignments will be designed around real-world public health challenges and approaches that public health professionals use in practice to create solutions.

What do second-year MPH students need to know?

  • There will be a one year overlap in Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 during which previous core courses will be offered for returning MPH students, allowing students to complete any outstanding core coursework.
  • Program Coordinators are available to help returning students navigate how to complete their remaining core courses.

Who is leading this initiative?

  • The process is being led by Senior Associate Dean for Education Sharon Kardia, our Instructional Design experts, and leadership in each of the participating departments.