Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Program Information

Why does Touro University California offer a Public Health Program?

According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, 250,000 new public health professionals will be needed by the year 2020, while more than 100,000 are currently eligible for retirement.  In addition, public health threats, such as chronic and globally spread infectious diseases, have grown exponentially in the last few decades, resulting in a rising demand for public health professionals.  In response to the critical need for well-trained public health professionals, the Public Health Program at Touro University California offers the Master of Public Health degree, training students academically and professionally by providing them with the expertise to become leaders in managing the current and emerging public health challenges of populations locally and abroad. 

How many units are required? How is the program structured?

The MPH degree requires a 42 unit course of study, encompassing the five core disciplines of public health:  Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Students gain depth through:

  • 10 units of coursework in a chosen specialized public health track (Community Health or Global Health).
  • 10 units of elective coursework.
  • 4 units of the Public Health Field Study.
  • 3 units of the Capstone Course.

What do you mean by Community Health Track and Global Health Track?

The Public Health Program offers two concentrations or specialty tracks - Community Health and Global Health.  The Community Health Track is designed for those who are most interested in working for organizations that support and promote public health, including state public health departments, hospitals, managed care organizations, local and federal governmental organizations, research and academic institutions, philanthropic and voluntary health agencies, and non-profit organizations.  the Global Health Track prepares students to be effective leaders and advocates for global health and provides practical training for working international health agencies, federal agencies, non-governmental agencies (NGO's), state agencies, immigrant and migrant health services, philanthropic organizations, and academic and research institutions.

What is the length of the program? Are evening classes possible?

The MPH Program can be completed in a minimum of four (4) academic semesters via full-time study.  Part-time students must complete the program within five years.  Students typically complete the program within two years.  Day and evening classes are available. 

If I am currently enrolled in another TUCA program, what options are available to facilitate my completion of the Public Health Program?

Current Touro University California students wishing to obtain a Masters degree have a variety of options via which they may complete their public health training. Some students choose to complete the public health program concurrently by taking one or two courses in the evening. Yet others choose to take a year off between didactic and clinical years to complete the program. The public health program may also be completed after a student graduates from their current degree program. Each option has its advantages and students are encouraged to contact the public health program directly to determine what options are best suited to their individual needs.

I am interested in public health education but my schedule does not currently permit me to complete a degree. Is it possible for me to enroll in only one or two classes?

Yes, via the Visiting Student Status option.  This option is generally selected by candidates who have completed a Bachelor's degree and are exploring the possibility of pursuing a career in public health.  Visiting Student Status is also ideal for individuals who are currently working in public health and are interested in a continuing education experience by taking one or more courses without formally applying to a graduate program, but are interested in receiving credit/transcripts to document the experience. Visiting Student Status allows enrollment for up to a maximum of twelve (12) units in either the Community or Global Health tracks. Coursework completed while enrolled in this option is recorded on official transcripts by the university. Should a student following this option subsequently decide to apply to the MPH Program after completing the maximum number of units, their coursework would be fully transferable. Those who choose to apply to the MPH Program must meet all requirements for admission at the time of matriculation. Federal financial aid is not available for Visiting Student enrollment.

Are candidates required to have an undergraduate major related to public health?

No.  A Bachelor's Degree is required; a specific major is not required.  Knowledge of psychology, health sciences, or other social or behavioral sciences, however, is useful.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

No, the GRE is not required for consideration.

Is it possible to transfer any credits toward the MPH?

Students who have completed applicable, graduate level public health coursework at Touro University California or other regionally accredited institutions may be eligible to apply that coursework towards the MPH, to a maximum of 12 credits.  To be considered, transfer credit must have been completed within five years of the expected date of matriculation.  All requests for transfer credit consideration must be approved by the Program Director.

Do you hold information sessions on the TUC campus?

Information sessions are occasionally scheduled on the TUC campus and that information is typically posted at http://cehs.tu.edu/publichealth.  The Program also accepts invitations to hold information sessions off-site at other colleges/universities.

What is the difference between an MPH program and a School of Public Health?

Schools of public health are often considered to be self-governed entities within universities and offer more concentrations or specializations and degree offerings than public health programs. At minimum, schools are required to offer the MPH in the five core areas of public health. Programs must offer at least one MPH degree. Though not required, several programs elect to offer various concentrations or tracks. In addition, schools are required to offer doctoral programs, while programs are not, which is why schools typically tend to be larger than programs.

In terms of accreditation, CEPH states that its organization “accredits schools of public health and public health programs as two separate categories, and there is a separate set of accreditation standards for each. Institutions listed in either category have the same, full accreditation status” (ceph.org). In the U.S., there are 47 CEPH-accredited schools of public health located in 27 states. Eighty-five CEPH-accredited graduate programs in public health are located in 34 states. In 17 of those states, graduate public health programs are the only entities that offer the MPH degree as a graduate and professional degree.

How many students enroll in your program each year?

Typically, the public health program enrolls approximately 60 to 80 students (summer and fall semesters combined) annually.  

Can I work part-time and still attend class?

Yes, evening courses are offered Monday through Thursday from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. which allows students to work full or part-time while completing one or two classes each semester.  

While attending the program, where should I live? Are there services on campus that can help me with housing?

Assistance in finding housing close to our campus and information on local rental property management companies is provided by Dr. Irene Favreau in the Office of Student Services. She can be reached via email at irene.favreau@tu.edu.  The University does not offer university sponsored housing options.

Is the MPH program offered online?

The MPH Program offers a traditional face-to-face, in-class learning curriculum. However, there are a limited number of courses that offer blended combining online/in-class learning.

Why should I attend the Public Health Program at Touro University California?

  • We are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
  • TUC has an established track record of graduating competent, highly-trained health professionals working in a variety of health positions.
  • TUC offers an affordable and convenient evening program that provides the flexibility you require to obtain your Master of Public Health degree through full or part-time study in a diverse, supportive and respectful learning environment.
  • Students have the opportunity to work on community grants and research projects with faculty, in which they design public health interventions to target underserved populations in surrounding and global communities.

I'm interested in the MPH program as a strategy to both broaden my health care experience and improve my academic portfolio so that I may apply (or reapply) to other TUC academic programs in the future (e.g., medicine, pharmacy, etc.).  What, in addition to my MPH enrollment, can I do to improve my chances of gaining acceptance into one of those programs?

  • Get involved in professional and student organizations on campus.  Work with your faculty advisers, student government representatives, and classmates to find organizations you can join to learn more about your desired future career.
  • Where possible, participate in both on- and off-campus activities related to your desired future career.
  • Attend open invitation guest lectures and other extra-curricular activities.
  • The MPH program is not a science-based degree program.  If your science GPA is low, you will need to enroll in additional science classes outside of TUC to improve that GPA.
  • If interested in Osteopathic Medicine, arrange to visit the student run OMM clinics on campus.  Get treated and observe how things are done.
  • Truly embrace your public health education.  It is ok to use the MPH program as a strategy to gain acceptance to another program but to get the most out of your education, you must embrace it.  Understand that wherever you may end up, your MPH degree will provide valuable experience and training you can depend on to be a better health care adviser.
  • Understand that acceptance is not guaranteed.  When it is time to do so, apply broadly to your other desired academic programs and cast a wide net. 

Admission Procedures

What are the academic prerequisites for admission to the Public Health Program?

Applicants to this program must obtain a Bachelors Degree (or, for foreign educated students, the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelors Degree) from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university prior to the start of classes. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher is also required.

Are specific courses required?

No.  Specific courses are not required.  Knowledge of psychology, health sciences, or other social or behavioral sciences, however, is useful.

How can I apply to the Public Health Program?

Details regarding how to apply to this program may be found on the Public Health admissions website.

What qualities do you look for in an ideal candidate for the Public Health Program?

The ideal candidate for the Public Health Program not only has a solid undergraduate education, but also has an interest in community well-being and understands that the health of the individual is inseparable from the health of the local and global community. The ideal candidate will also understand and value social justice as a framework for addressing public health issues and be motivated to work within various public health sectors to improve the health of populations bot locally and abroad.  

MPH Dual/Joint Degree

How will the MPH benefit me if I am also planning to enroll in another professional degree program in either medicine, pharmacy, or physician assistant studies?

There are several ways the MPH Program can help you with your goal, including, but not limited to, the following:  

  • Increased knowledge of and sensitivity to the political, historical, economic and social environments of health promotion and health services delivery fosters the integration of population-based care and prevention into routine clinical practice (e.g., medicine, pharmacy, PA, etc.) in a variety of communities and/or populations. 
  • Students who have been out of school for several years can enroll in the MPH Program to obtain recent, relevant academic experience while providing evidence of being able to handle a rigorous, graduate level curriculum. 
  • Successful completion of an MPH program can enhance your cumulative GPA and can make you a more competitive candidate. For students who are not accepted into their first choice of professional degree programs, the MPH provides a relevant, meaningful alternative career path.  
  • MPH students are able to secure letters of recommendation from faculty who interact on a regular basis with faculty from the other TUC programs.

The MPH program can be completed in a minimum of 4 consecutive academic semesters. If I start the MPH program in August, would I be able to begin another professional degree program the following August? How would that work?

All didactic MPH coursework must be completed in residence at TUC, though there are a variety of options dependent upon the professional degree program to which you are ultimately accepted, following your enrollment in the MPH Program at TUC. 

  • If you are accepted into the TUC College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) or College of Pharmacy (COP), your enrollment status in the Public Health Program would change from that of an Independent MPH student to that of a dual degree (DO/MPH or PharmD/MPH) student.  Dual degree students receive credit for 12 “In Common” MPH units through the COM and COP curricula, thus the final didactic semester for the MPH is fulfilled through attendance in the COM or COP. 
  • If you are accepted into the TUC Joint MSPAS/MPH Program, you would withdraw from the MPH Program then continue your MPH coursework through the Joint Program. As the Joint Program requires that 30 MPH units be completed “in residence,” an alternative course of study will be identified for students who have already completed one or more required MPH courses. 
  • If you are accepted into a non-TUC program, you have several options to complete your MPH. First, you could take a leave of absence from the MPH program, complete your preferred professional degree, then return and complete the MPH. Second, you could petition your preferred professional degree program to defer your acceptance so you can finish your MPH prior to matriculation. Third, you could seek a transfer from our MPH program to another MPH program near where you are completing your preferred professional degree. Please note that transfer policies vary by program.   

I've read that of the 42 units required for the Master of Public Health degree, 12 of those units can be earned through enrollment in either the TUC College of Osteopathic Medicine or College of Pharmacy through the MPH dual degree programs. If I am a student or graduate from a different college of osteopathic medicine or pharmacy, is it still possible to receive credit for those 12 units?

No. The MPH Program transfers 12 “in common” units from courses that cover related cross-over content in the TUC colleges of Osteopathic Medicine or Pharmacy only. These units identified by the MPH Program meet the MPH core competencies adopted by the Association of Schools of Public Health.

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?

Questions can be directed to admit@tu.edu.

Deposits for other TUC Programs

I've heard that MPH students are not required to pay any deposits should they be accepted into other TUC programs.  Is that true?

Currently enrolled public health students who paid an acceptance deposit for the public health program are not required to submit another acceptance deposit if they apply for and are accepted into another TUC program.  Such students are, however, still required to pay the tuition deposits, which are typically due beginning May 15th.  

Campus Tours

How can I schedule a tour of the campus?

Tours of the campus are typically Monday through Thursday.  For scheduling information, please refer to our campus tours web page.

Accreditation

What is the accreditation status of the Public Health Program?

The The Public Health Program received full accreditation in October 2009 from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Financial Assistance

Is financial assistance available for students enrolled in the Master of Public Health program?

Yes. Financial assistance is available for qualified students. Students begin the process of applying for financial assistance by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA application is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The nature and type of financial aid available will vary according to individual needs. For additional information on financial aid, please visit http://studentservices.tu.edu/financialaid.

I am currently enrolled in another Touro University California college and I am paying my tuition out of financial assistance. Am I eligible for additional aid to cover the tuition of the Public Health program and, if yes, how do I arrange this?

Yes. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your options.

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition for the 2016-17 academic year is $800.00 per unit.  The total cost of tuition (42 Credits x $800 per credit) is $33,600.00. The total cost for the MPH Program may vary depending on the number of approved transfer credits (to a maximum of 12 transfer credits), and by program (e.g., Independent MPH or Dual/Joint degree).

Who should I contact if I have additional questions regarding financial assistance?

Questions regarding financial assistance may be directed to the Financial Aid Office via email (tucafinaid@tu.edu), which is preferred, or via phone (707) 638-5280.