MPH in Community Health Sciences MD/MPH Program Requirements

The MPH in Community Health Sciences (CHS) program, in the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences (SBPS), is designed to train public health generalists who will apply the principles of social and behavioral sciences to plan, design, implement, monitor, and evaluate public health programs in a broad range of community-based settings.  Successful public health programs require trained professionals knowledgeable about social determinants of health and health disparities, and who are able to apply that knowledge to assess the health needs of communities and design evidence-based programs that change health behaviors and improve health outcomes. The CHS program provides a foundation in social and behavioral aspects of public health, in addition to training in the cornerstone areas for public health practitioners: 1) planning and design of public health programs, and 2) monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of these programs to assess their effectiveness and impact. Because community-based approaches are so widespread throughout public health, the program builds in enhanced flexibility for the student to develop – with their advisor - their own learning plan to apply these core concepts in program planning and M&E through coursework in various content areas in SBPS, according to the interests of the individual student. This program is designed for mid-career professionals and joint professional degree students (e.g. MD/MPH or MSW/MPH) who may want to incorporate public health programs into their other professional activities.

Program Competencies

For MPH in Community Health Sciences:

  1. Analyze the nature of public health issues within the context of a specific community and environment, generate solutions, and apply solutions with communities.
  2. Design and implement theoretically informed and culturally appropriate interventions by applying public health theory and principles to a diverse set of problems at the community level.
  3. Develop an effective plan to monitor and evaluate a community-based public health intervention or program based on translation of scientific evidence.
  4. Collaborate effectively with members of a community through engagement in the process of public health programming.
  5. Develop an asset-based community assessment that identifies the determinants of health, local assets, and locally-determined priority needs.
  6. Effectively communicate in both oral and written forms to a variety of audiences and purposes related to community health.
  7. Apply the CHS Essential Skills concepts to public health topics.
Admission Requirements

The CHS program is suited for mid-career professionals and for professional students in the MD/MPH and MSW/MPH. As a generalist program, it is not recommended for BSPH/MPH students. Students applying to the Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences  must meet the school's admission requirements.

Degree Program Requirements

Students must meet with advisor prior to starting the program to outline their program of study and then at least once a semester to track progress. Students will compile a portfolio of assignments as outcomes demonstrating program competencies.

Students are allowed to begin coursework the summer prior to starting School of Medicine Courses or during the Spring Semester of their T1 Year.  They may not begin coursework during the Fall Semester of their T1 year (unless they are graduates of the Tulane ACP (Anatomy Certification Program).  Students who are doing the 5-Year MD/MPH Program have more flexibility and should meet with their advisor regarding the scheduling of coursework.    

Students must achieve a grade of B- or better in SBPS 6030 and in the GCHB program planning course (GCHB 6110) and the Monitoring and Evaluation course (GCHB 6120). 

The MPH Degree for MD/MPH Students in Community Health Sciences (CHS) requires a total of 42 credits, including 10 transfer credits for successful completion of public health relevant coursework at the Tulane School of Medicine (SOM).

Required SPHTM courses include:

SPHTM Foundational Requirements (15 credits)

  • SPHL 6020 Foundations of Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6070 Health Systems Policy and Management (3)
  • SPHL 6080 Design Strategies for Public Health Programs (3)

Important Note for MD/MPH Students – Students should plan on completing ALL the SPHTM Core Courses during the summer sessions (Before T1 Year or between T1 and T2 Years).  It is extremely difficult to fit those courses into the Fall and Spring semesters when students are taking other Public Health Courses.

MPH in CHS - Required Courses (17 credits total)

CHS required courses consists of:

  • CHS Essential Skills courses (6 credits)
  • CHS Essential Skills Application courses (11 credits)

CHS Essential Skills Courses (6 credits)

  • SBPS 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health (3)
  • SBPS 6340 Monitoring & Evaluation of Global Health Programs (3)

CHS Essential Skills Application Coursework (11 credits minimum)

Students will work with their advisor to choose at least 11 hours of coursework (at least 4 courses) from the approved courses offered by the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences to apply the skills they learned from the CHS Essential Skills courses, with the goal of including courses with at least 2 learning objectives related to the program planning skills and at least 2 learning objectives related to monitoring and evaluation skills. Relevant learning objectives in these approved courses are detailed on the CHS Essential Skills application tracking forms (web-links shown below). CHS program advisors can provide more details.

  • For the current list of approved CHS Essential Skills application courses, click here.
  • For the CHS Essential Skills application tracking form for Program Planning, click here.
  • For the CHS Essential Skills application tracking form for Monitoring and Evaluation, click here.

Important Note for MD/MPH Students:  Although there are many courses which are considered Essential Skills Application courses most are not offered during the Wednesday and Friday afternoon time slots in which MD/MPH Students are allowed to take SPHTM courses.  The model schedule below shows MD/MPH students which courses fit into their SOM schedule and the best times to take them.

Other Elective Credits (10 credits)

MD/MPH students receive 10 credits transferred from the Tulane SOM for successfully completing specific coursework with public health relevance.

Practicum (SPHL 9980)

All SBPS MD/MPH students must complete a 200-hour field practicum during the MD/MPH Rotation, for which they will register in the SOM during their T3 or T4 year.

Integrative Learning Experience (SPHL 7950)

All students must complete an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) (formerly culminating experience) that demonstrates the synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies. For CHS, the experience is a Public Health Analysis, an in-depth written report that considers a topic of relevance to public health practice. It involves a thorough review of the literature, discussion, and recommendations for public health policy and practice.

Advising Statement

The flexibility in course selection requires that each student must document fulfillment of program competencies. Students must meet with their advisor prior to starting the program, during the first semester and at least once a semester thereafter. By the end of the first semester, the student and advisor complete a program plan to meet the application learning objectives. The program plan is reviewed regularly and modified as necessary. At the regular meetings, student and their advisor assesses progress toward competencies. Student must compile a portfolio with papers, projects, presentations and other work demonstrating program competencies. 

Contact Us

MD/MPH Director: Adam Maese

MD/MPH Senior Program Coordinator: Rachael Ruiz Currier

MD/MPH GCHB Faculty Advisor: Mark Dal Corso, MD, MPH


Phone: (504) 988-7055