Master of Public Health (MPH)

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Program Description

Human health is profoundly shaped by our environment, and the mission of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences is to develop and transmit knowledge about the links between health and the environment, and to educate scientists and public health leaders who can design science-based policies to address current and future environmental health challenges. The MPH in Environmental Health Sciences is a professional degree emphasizing public health applications, with a focus on public health practice and the acquisition of broad knowledge related to professional skills. Through coursework, a comprehensive exam and field training, the MPH equips students to be professionals with a broader understanding of the synergistic relationship between applied environmental and public health issues.

Students in EHS gain a comprehensive understanding of:

  • The role that the environment plays in human health;
  • How people are exposed to hazards in the environment;
  • The outcomes are of environmental exposures at the cellular or organismal level;
  • The outcomes of environmental exposures are at the level of human populations; and
  • What the societal implications are of these outcomes;
  • How to design science-based policies to address current and future environmental health challenges

Program Requirements

The program consists of a minimum of 62 quarter-credit units.

Course Requirements in Environmental Health Sciences (30-34 units)

  • Biostatistics 100B: Introduction to Biostatistics
  • EHS C200A: Foundations of Environmental Health Sciences
  • EHS C200B: Foundations of Environmental Health Sciences
  • EHS 201: Seminar-Health Effects of Environmental Contaminants
  • EHS C240: Fundamentals of Toxicology
  • EHS 411: Environmental Health Sciences Seminar: One quarter each year is required

Core Course Requirements in Public Health (20 units)

  • Biostatistics 100A or 110A: Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Community Health Sciences 100: Introduction to CHS
  • Epidemiology 100: Principles of Epidemiology
  • Health Policy & Management 100: Health Services Organization
  • EHS 400: Field Studies in Environmental Health Sciences (Students enroll in this course the quarter that they have completed their final internship report)

Elective Courses (16 units): in addition to School and Department requirements, at least 16 units of upper division or graduate level elective courses are required. At least 4 of the 16 units must be taken from the 400 level series. These courses should be selected in consultation with your faculty advisor. MPH students may not count 296, 597, 598, or 599 towards the elective requirement.

Industrial Hygiene Focus and REHS Approved Curriculum: students may choose to focus on Industrial Hygiene, which has additional curricular requirements beyond the standard MPH program. The MPH program in Industrial Hygiene is fully accredited by the Related Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET/ASAC).  In addition, students in the MPH program in Environmental Health Sciences may choose to pursue a curriculum that has been approved by the California Registered Environmental Health Specialist program.

Field Training: the internship or field study constitutes a culminating experience for the degree and provides the student with an opportunity to apply the principles and knowledge obtained in the classroom to real world problems in a professional setting.

All students in the MPH Program in EHS are required to complete a 400-hour internship in an appropriate environmental health setting. Internship settings may include government agencies or departments, non-profit organizations, local industry, consulting firms, community organizations, advocacy agencies, national laboratories, or a university, college, or school setting.

Students must write a project summary paper related to the work performed during the internship; the paper must be approved by both the field mentor and the faculty advisor. The subject of the paper may be on the student’s research project, an environmental sampling or analysis activity, or a policy white paper related to the internship topic. Students should seek approval of their intended paper topic from their faculty advisor and field mentor prior to writing the paper to ensure that the topic is appropriate.

Typical Course Sequencing: students in the MPH program should take Environmental Health Sciences C200A and Biostatistics 100A in their first quarter, Environmental Health Sciences C200B and Biostatistics 100B in their second quarter. They may also take additional courses in each of those quarters.

Students with an extensive math background may take Biostat 110 A-B instead of Biostat 100A-B.

Time to Degree: the MPH degree is normally obtained after six quarters of full-time study (2 academic years), including a required 400-hour internship, usually completed in the summer between the first and second years. The degree can be completed in less time by well-prepared students.


Desired Qualifications: In addition to meeting the University’s minimum requirements, students should have a bachelor's (or master's) degree in public health, environmental health, life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, environmental science, or a related field.  

Applicants with non-science majors who meet the following course work requirements will be considered for admission:

Course Work

  • 1 university-level course or equivalent in Calculus, Linear Algebra, or Statistics
  • 1 university-level course in Chemistry or equivalent
  • 1 university-level course in Biology or equivalent

Students who do not have the prerequisites at the time of application may take equivalent courses at UCLA in their first year.

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 Fielding 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 Fielding School of Public Health.

For complete application instructions and the list of required materials, review 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 

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.

For More Information 

Please contact Susana Luis at (310) 206-1619 or

*This information is intended as an overview and should only be used as a guide. 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.