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MPH Electives

Students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program are required to take 6 credits of electives (7 credits for some dual degree students). These are taken during the second year for MPH-exclusive students. Dual degree students may fulfill some or all of their elective credits while in their other program. Remaining or additional electives are completed during the MPH year. Electives help students tailor their program of study and develop specialty skills. Public health is a very broad field, so we encourage students to find elective courses that reflect their individual interests and either complement or supplement their interests.

Electives are taken to enhance public health skills and knowledge or to reduce knowledge gaps and deficits, and should address the core and cross-cutting public health competencies in public health. Any Population Health Sciences (POP HLTH) 500-level course or above is acceptable as an approved elective.

There is a wealth of knowledge across the UW–Madison campus that aligns with the broad field of public health. The Curriculum Committee reviews and approves electives for the program. Students who wish to take a course for elective credit outside of the approved list of courses need to seek approval from the Master of Public Health program by contacting their academic advisor and providing a copy of the course syllabus. Students making a request to include a course as an elective must be prepared to justify why this course should be included in their program plan. The course information and justification will be presented to the Curriculum Committee for review.

Elective Requirements

Approved electives will:

  • Include 50 percent or more public health or public health-related content
  • Be at a 500 level or above

Approved Electives

The most common departments offering aligned classes are:

  • Population Health
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Public Affairs
  • Medical History and Bioethics
  • Life Sciences Communication
  • Urban Planning
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Civil Society and Community Studies
  • Nursing
  • Pathology-Biological Sciences