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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 18, 2024
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graduate School of Public Health

Note: Students should refer to the catalog in use in their year of matriculation for course and credit requirements. All other information should be obtained from the current catalog.

The Graduate School of Public Health consists of programs offered by the Departments of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Human Genetics, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, the multidisciplinary MPH program for doctoral-level health professionals, and nine certificates. Programs and specialty tracks, including joint programs, are detailed under individual department sections.

The mission of the Graduate School of Public Health (Pitt Public Health) is to promote health, prevent disease, and achieve health equity for everyone through leadership in education, research, and service. Visit our Web site,, for more information.

Contact Information

Office of Student Affairs
G009 Public Health
Fax: 412-624-3755

Degree Programs   Degrees
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences   MPH, DrPH, PhD
Biostatistics   MS, PhD
Environmental and Occupational Health   MS, MPH, PhD
Epidemiology   MS, MPH, PhD, DrPH
Genetic Counseling   MS
Genome Bioinformatics   MS
Health Policy and Management   MHA, MPH
Health Services Research and Policy   MS, PhD
Human Genetics   MS, PhD
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology   MS, MPH, PhD
Multidisciplinary MPH   MPH
Public Health Genetics   MPH

Joint, Dual, and Cooperative Degree Programs

Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Arts and Sciences (Anthropology)   MPH and PhD
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Social Work   MPH and PhD or
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Public and International Affairs   MPH and MPA or
MPH and MID or
Epidemiology/Medicine   PhD and MD
Genetic Counseling and Public Health Genetics   MS AND MPH
Health Policy and Management/Business   MHA and MBA
Health Policy and Management/Law   MPH and JD
Human Genetics/Medicine   PhD and MD

Certificate Programs

Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice
Environmental Health Risk Assessment
Evaluation of Public Health Promotion and Health Education Programs
Global Health
Health Equity
Healthcare Systems Engineering
Health Systems Leadership and Management
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals’ (LGBT) Health and Wellness
Public Health Genetics
Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response (Admission to this program has been suspended until further notice.)


Application instructions differ depending on whether you are applying for a degree, a certificate, or for non-degree coursework. Please follow the application instructions  for your plan of study when applying to Pitt Public Health.

Pitt Public Health has general admission requirements  for all applicants, plus each department has requirements specific to their programs. It’s important to review both requirements before applying.

Accelerated 3+2 Master’s Degree Program

University of Pittsburgh undergraduates may apply for admission to a number of accelerated master’s programs . Designed to allow students to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in approximately 5 years. Students must have completed the number of undergraduate credits required by their progam (minimum of 96 credits) before they can become a Pitt Public Health student. Besides the regular admission requirements, undergraduates must also meet additional requirements , which are specific to this program.

Non-Degree Status

You can take up to 12 credits (cumulative maximum) as a non-degree student. If you are later accepted into a degree program, that program will decide which of those credits may be applied to your requirements.


You must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or the equivalent foreign degree to become a non-degree student. You will have to submit transcripts for all education, as well as a WES evaluation for study outside of the U.S. and TOEFL scores, if applicable. 

Non-degree applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. In some cases, local applicants currently holding an F or J visa status may be eligible to apply; however, these applicants must contact the Office of Student Affairs for approval before submitting an application. Pitt Public Health does not sponsor I-20s for non-degree study.

How to Apply

  1. Apply online through SOPHAS Express and complete required sections only
  2. Pay application fee online directly to SOPHAS Express
  3. Submit official transcripts for all education in the United States and/or Canada to Pitt Public Health Office of Student Affairs
  4. Submit a course-by-course WES evaluation for all education outside of the United States (excluding study abroad but including non-English speaking Canadian institutions) to Pitt Public Health Office of Student Affairs
  5. Submit official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to the University of Pittsburgh institution code 2927, with no department code

 Note: Non-degree applicants are not required to submit recommendations, upload transcripts through SOPHAS Express, submit test scores, or submit any non-required sections of the SOPHAS Express application.

What classes should I take?

If you’re planning to apply and you know which department you’re interested in, you may want to contact that department directly for suggestions about classes. Many non-degree students choose to enroll in the Pitt Public Health core courses (unless restricted) as a way to learn more about our various programs and/or to start working towards a degree.

Here’s a sample of courses that may interest you:

  • Principles of Epidemiology (EPIDEM 2110)*
  • Public Health Genetics (HUGEN 2049)
  • Public Health Biology (PUBHLT 2015)*
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health (BCHS 2509)*
  • Health Policy and Management in Public Health (HPM 2001)*
  • Environmental Health and Disease (EOH 2013)*
  • Principles of Statistical Reasoning (BIOST 2011)*

*part of the Pitt Public Health Core Curriculum

Note: Pitt Public Health encourages non-degree students to apply to a degree program, but acceptance as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission to a degree program.

Financial Aid

Almost all Pitt Public Health doctoral students and many master’s students receive financial aid . Most financial aid is provided through the departments, and the amount of aid available varies among programs. Applicants should contact departments directly for information about available financial aid.

Academic Standards and Academic Integrity

Students are expected to exhibit academic honesty and to uphold the ethical standards of public health professionals. A student who is not in satisfactory academic standing will be placed on probation and may be subject to dismissal. Students should refer to the Pitt Public Health Academic Handbook for complete information on the school’s academic performance standards.

Grading Policies

The Graduate School of Public Health follows the University’s letter grade system in evaluating student performance in course work, though a variety of options are detailed below.

Pitt Public Health school-wide core courses are graded A, B, C, etc.

Students electing to audit a course must register for the course as for any other course, and must also complete a grade option form in the Office of Student Affairs and obtain the instructor’s permission to audit the course. Students receive a grade of N for audited courses and receive no academic credit for the course.

See the Grading and Records  section of this bulletin for detailed discussion of University Grading System and Grading Options.

Withdrawal and Resignation

To withdraw from a class after the official add/drop period while still enrolled in other classes, you must process a Monitored Withdrawal Request Form through the dean’s office of the school offering the class.

If you wish to drop all of your classes after the end of the add/drop period, you must resign from the term. Adjustments to tuition charges resulting from official resignation (dropping of all courses for the term) are based on the effective date of resignation and in accordance with the federally mandated calculation. If you decide to resign, call the resignation hotline immediately to leave your name and contact information (412-624-7585), as the refund amount is calculated from the date of resignation.

Course Repeat

A student may repeat a course in which a grade of B- or lower is received if authorized by the student’s advisor. Students may not repeat a school-wide core course or required departmental course more than once (i.e., course may only be taken twice), and students who fail a school-wide core course or required departmental course twice are subject to dismissal. (See Pitt Public Health academic dismissal and probation guidelines in the Pitt Public Health Academic Handbook. See also Repeating Courses for more information.)

GPA Calculation

In general, a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of letter grade credits taken in the graduate program into the total number of quality points earned in the graduate program.

All Unversity of Pittsburgh courses taken as a Pitt Public Health student are included in the calculation of GPA.

Advanced Standing and Transfer Credits

For details on advanced standing and transfer credits, students should consult the Pitt Public Health Academic Handbook and their academic advisor. Acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of the program.

Acceptance of a maximum of 12 credits taken as a non-degree student at Pitt Public Health is at the discretion of the program.

Students enrolled at Pitt Public Health may take credits in another school or institution, providing that their department has approved application of those credits to the degree requirements. In all cases, any combination of advanced standing credits and credits taken from another school or institution during enrollment at Pitt Public Health may not exceed the limits established by the University or the Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh.

Academic Advising

The Graduate School of Public Health considers effective academic advising an essential component of educating students. Departments have the primary responsibility for identifying and assigning to each student a major advisor, who, in consultation with the student, plans a program of study and research in accord with school and departmental guidelines. Departments are expected to provide students with a copy of school and departmental regulations appropriate for their program, and students are expected to become familiar with University, Pitt Public Health, and department regulations concerning graduate study and to accept responsibility for the completion of all degree requirements.

The student’s academic advisor is to direct and assist the student in the selection of classes and the conduct of research. Waivers from program requirements are processed at the program level, and waivers from school requirements by the Office of Student Affairs. The Application for Graduation is processed through the Pitt Public Health Office of Student Affairs after clearance has been received from the academic advisor. A student will be certified for graduation only after the academic advisor has confirmed that all degree requirements have been met.

For students required to take preliminary, comprehensive, or defense examinations, the academic advisor, in consultation with the student, designates faculty members to act as the examining committee.

Each doctoral student is required to complete an Independent Development Plan  per year and to submit it to his/her advisor. A suggested template  is provided.

Each doctoral student, together with the student’s doctoral committee, is responsible for assuring accomplishment of all elements of the student’s course of studies, including the core requirements, the research tools requirement, course work in the field of specialization, advanced standing, the qualifying and comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation overview and its final oral defense.

Career Services

Pitt Public Health’s Career Services office offers programs, services and resources to help master’s and doctoral students as they prepare for employment or additional training in their chosen field of study. These services include Pitt Bridges, an online job board where jobs and training positions are posted weekly. Career counseling appointments are available to help with resume/CV critiques, cover letters, and mock interviews. Students can also register for skills-based workshops that are held regularly on a variety of topics. Networking functions and public health job fairs are also sponsored by this office.


GSPH Primary Faculty  

Program and Course Offerings

A number of courses of general interest to all departments are offered. Course descriptions  and a current schedule  are available to students. A list of course offerings by department may be accessed through the departmental sections of this catalog.




Other Courses

    Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

    Go to information for Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.

    Other Courses

      Department of Biostatistics

      Go to information for Department of Biostatistics.



      Other Courses

        Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

        Go to information for Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

        Other Courses

          Department of Epidemiology

          Go to information for Department of Epidemiology.

          Other Courses

            Department of Health Policy and Management

            Go to information for Department of Health Policy and Management.

            Other Courses

              Department of Human Genetics

              Go to information for Department of Human Genetics.

              Other Courses

                Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

                Go to information for Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.

                Other Courses

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