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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  May 24, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

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 School of Public Health consists of graduate 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 School of Public Health also offers an undergraduate degree in public health (BSPH).

The mission of the 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 website,, for more information.

Contact Information

Office of Student Affairs
1100 Public Health
Fax: 412-624-3755


Degree Programs

Graduate Degrees
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences MPH, PhD
Biostatistics MS, PhD
Biostatistics, Health Data Science MS
Biostatistics, Statistical and Computational Genomics MS
Environmental and Occupational Health MS, MPH, PhD
Environmental and Occupational Health, Public Health Practice PhD
Epidemiology MS (30 and 45 credit), PhD
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, PhD
Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice MPH
Infectious Disease Pathogenesis, Eradication, and Laboratory Practice MPH
Multidisciplinary MPH
Public Health Genetics MPH
Graduate Joint (Dual, Combined, Concurrent) Degrees
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Arts and Sciences (Anthropology) MPH and PhD
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Social Work MPH and PhD, MPH and MSW
Behavioral and Community Health Sciences/Public and International Affairs MPH and MPA, MPH and MID, MPH and MPIA
Epidemiology/Medicine PhD and MD
Genetic Counseling/Public Health Genetics MS and MPH
Health Policy and Management/Business MHA and MBA
Health Policy and Management/Law MPH and JD
Health Services Research and Policy/Medicine PhD and MD
Human Genetics/Medicine PhD and MD
Graduate Certificate Programs
Community-based Participatory Research and Practice  
Environmental Health Risk Assessment  
Evaluation of Public Health Promotion and Health Education Programs  
Global Health  
Health Care Systems Engineering  
Health Equity  
Health Systems Leadership and Management  
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals’ Health and Wellness  
Public Health Genetics  


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 Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program

University of Pittsburgh undergraduates may apply for admission to a number of accelerated bachelor’s/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 program (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

Non-degree students can take up to 12 credits (cumulative maximum). If a non-degree student is later accepted into a degree program, that program will decide which of those credits may be applied to the degree requirements.


A U.S. bachelor’s degree or the equivalent foreign degree is required to become a non-degree student. Official transcripts must be submitted 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. IELTS or Duolingo scores may be substituted for the TOEFL.

 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 should 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:

  • BCHS 2509: Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health*
  • BIOST 2011: Principles of Statistical Reasoning*
  • EOH 2013: Environmental Health and Disease*
  • EPIDEM 2110: Principles of Epidemiology*
  • HPM 2001: Health Policy and Management in Public Health*
  • HUGEN 2049: Introduction to Public Health Genetics
  • PUBHTL 2015: Public Health Biology*
  • PUBHLT 2033: Foundations in Public Health*

*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. Non-degree students are encouraged to reach out to program directors to discuss future degree options. 

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 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 University Grading Policy for Graduate Courses  section of this bulletin for detailed information.

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. The effective date of your resignation determines if you are eligible for an adjustment in the tuition and fees you were charged for the term.  The effective date of your resignation will normally be the date you notify the University.  You are responsible for satisfying all financial obligations accumulated until the time you officially resign.  The timing of your resignation also has an impact on how grades are recorded on your transcript.  The last day to resign from a term is when sixty percent of the term has passed. If you decide to resign, call or email the resignation hotline (412-624-7585, immediately and leave your name, seven digit PeopleSoft ID number, daytime phone number, term you intend to resign, last time you attended class, and reason you are resigning.

Official University Record: GPA Calculation

A student’s graduate 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 grade points earned in the graduate program. Only letter grades with GPA values will be used in computing the GPA.

A student may repeat any course in which a grade of B- or lower is received if an authorization to repeat the course is given by the student’s adviser. A school may restrict the type and/or number of different courses which may be repeated during one degree program. The grade earned by repeating a course is used in lieu of the grade originally earned, although the original grade is not erased from the transcript. No course may be repeated more than twice. No sequence course may be repeated for credit after a more advanced course in that sequence has been passed with a B or higher grade. The repeated course must be the same as that in which the original grade was earned. In extenuating circumstances, a department chair or program director, with the dean’s approval, may substitute another course of similar content. Grades of W, R, or N reported for the repeated course will not be counted as a course repeat.

To initiate only the last course grade being computed in the GPA, a Course Repeat form must be filed with the Office of Student Affairs.

See the Official University Record: GPA Calculation  section of this bulletin for detailed information.

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.

See the Acceptance of Transfer Credits  section of this bulletin for detailed information.


Academic Advising

The 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, school, 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 provided the student has met CEPH competencies. 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 Career Services is dedicated to providing informative programs, individualized career counseling services, and networking opportunities to help masters and doctoral students effectively prepare for, develop and manage a career related to their field of study. We offer a broad range of resources to achieve these goals including participation in Handshake, Pitt’s comprehensive career services platform and job board. A career counselor is available to meet with students and alumni on a daily basis. Appointments can be scheduled online.



School of Public Health Primary Faculty  


Program and Course Offerings

A number of courses of general interest to all departments are offered. Course descriptions and class schedules are available to students in PeopleSoft. A list of course offerings by department can also 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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