The Core

Columbia MPH and Accelerated MPH students spend their first semester immersed in the Mailman School’s Core curriculum. The recently revamped Core is built around six studios that represent the core areas of knowledge in the field of public health. 

Core courses explore political, socioeconomic, and environmental influences on public health while offering rigorous training in the qualitative and quantitative methodologies essential to public health research. Faculty will help you make connections across the studios as you consider issues through a cross-disciplinary lens and gain the foundational and interdisciplinary knowledge you need to move forward in the MPH program.

The School registers all incoming students for first semester core courses. In subsequent semesters, you will use Student Services Online (SSOL) to register for department, certificate, and elective courses. 

The Columbia Core Studios

  1. Foundations of Public Health (P6020)
  2. Research Methods and Applications (P6031)
  3. Determinants of Health (P6040)
  4. Public Health Interventions (P6051)
  5. Global and Developmental Perspectives (P6052)
  6. Health Systems (P6060)

Core MPH Competencies

Upon satisfactory completion of the MPH degree, you will be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge and skills base in the core areas of public health and will be able to:

  • Apply epidemiologic methods to the measurement of disease rates, prevention of infectious diseases, and the development and evaluation of health programs and policies

  • Apply statistical methods of estimation and hypothesis testing and explain the basics of correlation and regression for the purpose of analyzing the health of populations

  • Analyze how environmental contaminants (chemical, physical, and other) interact with biological systems and their effect on human populations for the purpose of evaluating risk reduction strategies

  • Assess the impact on health policy options of social, political, technological, economic, and cultural forces, and apply basic management techniques to address organizational challenges to providing health care

  • Examine public health issues and responses from a social and behavioral sciences perspective and explain social, cultural, political, economic, and behavioral determinants of disparities in health status among population sub-groups

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills for effective practice in your selected field of study


MPH for Healthcare Management (Full-Time, Part-time, and Executive Programs)

Students in all three MPH for Healthcare Management programs are required to complete five core courses specific to the five core public health knowledge areas as required by the Council for Education on Public Health (CEPH) and described in the Schools' core competency set/requirements. 

Students who started MPH programs before Fall 2012

Any substitution course for the sociomedical sciences (SMS) core ended during the spring of 2012. Students returning from leave will be required to enroll in a 1.5 sociomedical sciences core course offered through the Department of Sociomedical Sciences to complete their core requirements.