The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing and Health Professions

MPH Frequently Asked Questions

What is Public Health?

According to the World Health Organization: Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease

Why Public Health at USF?

A Master in Public Health (MPH) from the University of San Francisco is a two-year, part-time program that prepares students to work in a variety of health care settings. The mission of the Master of Public Health program is to develop a network of public health leaders and generalists who will advance public health, social justice, and well-being in the city of San Francisco, the State of California, the United States and the world and to create an educational Public Health Presence that promotes community engagement, professional collaborations, and public health advocacy.

What is the USF Advantage?

Major Advantages Include:

  • Learn from a distinguished faculty of academics and practitioners who will serve as your professors, advisers, and mentors throughout an academically rigorous program.
  • Study in a city that has a long history of advocacy and community outreach. San Francisco is a virtual lab of public health education and health promotion possibilities, and there is no shortage of challenging fieldwork and post-degree employment opportunities.
  • Put your intellect and values into action in the classroom and through fieldwork placements at the San Francisco Public Health Department and other nonprofit and non-government organizations (NGOs).
Cohort Group Learning

The program is organized in a cohort model of instruction. Each cohort is made up of approximately 25 students, two-thirds of whom are typically Bay Area health professionals looking to enhance their qualifications or individuals in another field looking to transition into a public health career. During the two years of the program, your cohort will move through the curriculum together – starting and finishing with the same members.

When can I start the MPH Program?

You can start in fall or spring semester.

How long will it take to complete the MPH Program?

The MPH program is 45-units and typically takes take two years to complete.

When are MPH courses offered?

MPH Program employs the best classroom and online teaching methodologies. Each semester, students enroll in a full load of two classes, which are held on campus one evening per week for three to four hours. Students complete a comparable amount of online work between those meetings. Students can pursue their degrees while working without having to put their professional lives on hold!

The entire MPH program takes six consecutive semesters, or two years to complete.

How much will the MPH degree cost?

Please note that tuition rates and fees are subject to change and more information can be found about tuition and graduate student fees on the university tuition and fees schedule. The current estimated tuition costs based on the 2015-16 academic year rate of $1,245 per unit for the 45-unit MPH is $56,025. In addition to tuition there are fees for graduate students including mandatory health insurance, Associate Graduate Students of USF (AGSUSF) of $50 per semester (Spring/Fall semesters only), and an applicable fieldwork fee of $100 per fieldwork course.

Is there financial assistance available for the MPH program?

Scholarship and grant opportunities will be provided to enrolled students upon availability. Currently, students may visit the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps for funding opportunities in the Senior Commissioned Officer Student training and Extern Program (SROSTEP). An additional resource to visit for Public Health funding opportunities is Public Students can also review the scholarships page on the MPH website for a list of scholarship opportunities in and outside of USF.

Is there an MPH Student Organization?

You can find the Master of Public Health Student Association at

Fieldwork Placements

MPH students are required to complete a 300 hour fieldwork placement. Students work with professors to figure out an organization that best fits their needs. Among other organizations, MPH students have interned at San Francisco Department of Public Health, Pacific Gas and Electric, SF Card, HOPE Collaborative to name a few. Rates and fees are subject to change and more information can be found about tuition and graduate student fees on the university tuition and rate page.