Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Public Health, M.S.P.H.


  • Behavioral Health
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genomics
  • Global Communicable Disease

*applicants to the MSPH who wish to pursue the Genetic Counseling Concentration should apply prior to December 15 to be aligned with the admissions timeline provided by the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors)


The base of knowledge for public health comes from a variety of disciplines, ranging from social sciences to biological sciences and business, brought together by a commitment to improve the public’s health. Thus, the field of public health is broad and is open to students from diverse academic disciplines including Health Sciences, Education, Engineering, Business, Communications, Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Graduates are prepared for interdisciplinary focused public health professional careers as administrators, managers, educators, researchers, and direct service providers.


The College is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The concentration in Genetic Counseling in the M.S.P.H. degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.  

  • Official Transcripts (Sent ONLY to SOPHAS)
  • A thorough statement of purpose and objectives indicating the applicant’s interest on obtaining a degree in public health, and how they hope to contribute to the field.
  • Both SOPHAS and USF applications and fees are required for USF’s College of Public Health Graduate Programs.
  1. Complete a SOPHAS application at www.sophas.org and submit all required application materials to SOPHAS.  All application materials must be submitted only to SOPHAS.
  2. Complete and submit the USF graduate application and fee at https://secure.vzcollegeapp.com/usf/.  Do not upload or submit any application materials directly to USF.
  3. Allow two to four weeks for SOPHAS to verify the application.  Make sure to follow up with SOPHAS regularly to meet all of their requirements to verify your application.
  4. Monitor the email that you provided in SOPHAS for application decisions and other communications.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • At least two formal Letters of Recommendation

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 45 credit hours**

  • Core Requirements - 9 Credit hours
  • Concentrations Requirements - 6 Credit hours minimum (varies by concentration)
  • Electives - number needed to meet the minimum of 45 credits for major**
  • Thesis - 6 Credit hours minimum

** Students select elective graduate courses, as needed, and in consultation with their advisor, to meet minimum hours required for the Major 

Concentration Requirements - 6 hours minimum (varies with each concentration))

Students select from the following Concentrations:

Behavioral Health (6 Concentration Credit Hours)

Environmental and Occupational Health (9 Concentration Credit Hours)

Epidemiology (15 Concentration Credit Hours)

Genetic Counseling (8 Concentration Credit Hours)

Genomics (7 Concentration Credit Hours)

Global Communicable Disease (9 Concentration Credit Hours)

Multiple Concentrations

If a student wishes to pursue two or more concentrations as part of their elective coursework, the student must complete the specific required courses for each concentration and file the Concurrent Concentration Form.  Then additional graduate coursework, selected with the advisors, must be completed to total a minimum of 45 hours. In some instances, the total may exceed 45 credit hours.


Students select elective graduate courses, as needed, and in consultation with their advisor, to meet minimum hours required for the Major.

*To qualify for the ABGC national certification exam after graduation to earn the Certified Genetic Counselor credential, students in the Genetic Counseling MSPH concentration are required to take specific elective courses as approved by the Genetic Counseling Program Leadership.

Thesis (6 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Exam

An oral thesis proposal defense is required. At the discretion of the faculty mentor, students may be allowed to take a written or oral comprehensive examination, in lieu of the proposal defense. 

Both the thesis proposal defense and the final thesis defense are open to the public.