FAQs about the MPHS Program

How many credits can I take each semester?
Can courses be taken pass/fail?
Can I audit a course?
What is the minimum GPA required for graduation?
Can I transfer credit?
Do withdrawals show up on my transcript?
Can I be a part-time student?
Can I take courses as a non-matriculated student?
Does the program offer summer classes or workshops?
Can I apply if I don't have a clinical degree?
Can I complete a concentration within the degree?
Are online courses offered?
What is the difference between a MPHS and a MPH?

How many credits can I take each semester?
A minimum of 12 credit hours is required for a full-time student status, and the maximum course load is 18 credit hours per semester. Overload requests must be approved by the Program Director.

Can courses be taken pass/fail?
At least 18 of the required 33 credit hours must be taken for a grade. Required courses cannot be taken pass/fail.

Can I audit a course?
Auditing, or sitting in on a course, is not allowed.

What is the minimum GPA required for graduation?
Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A minimum grade of “B” (3.0) is necessary in the required courses.

Can I transfer credit?
Transfer credit from courses taken outside of Washington University will not be accepted. A maximum of 12 transfer credits will be accepted for courses taken through other Washington University schools and programs. Medical school coursework will not be accepted for transfer credit.

Do withdrawals show up on my transcript?
Students will not receive a “W” on their transcripts if they withdraw from a course within the first week of an 8-week course or the third week of a 16-week course. Anyone who withdraws after those dates will receive a “W” on the transcript.

Can I be a part-time student?
The program is designed for full-time study. Part-time study is allowed, but students are expected to complete the degree within 3 years of matriculation. Students wishing part-time study need approval of the program director.

Can I take courses but not enroll in the degree program?
Yes, many students take courses on a non-matriculated basis (students enroll in courses but are not in the degree program). A maximum of 12 credits may be taken as non-matriculated status. Any courses taken as non-matriculated status may be applied to the degree within three years of taking the classes.

Does the program offer summer classes or workshops?
As the program grows, it is anticipated that additional summer short courses and/or workshops will be added to the curriculum.

Can I apply if I don't have a clinical degree?
The program is designed for students who have clinical training or expertise in healthcare or a health-related field. The pace of coursework assumes students have familiarity with clinical medicine.

Can I complete a concentration within the degree?
Yes, in addition to the MPHS core courses, students may take five classes in a concentration track to further specialize their research methods studies. The MPHS program currently offers three concentrations. The concentrations are Clinical Epidemiology, Health Services, and Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Sciences.

Are online courses offered?
Currently, no courses are offered online.

How is the MPHS program different from the MPH?
A major difference between the two programs is the MPHS program is offered through the Washington University School of Medicine while the MPH program is offered through Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work. The MPHS focuses on quantitative methods and research specifically designed for medical students, physicians, and other clinical doctorates. The MPH focuses on the broader spectrum of public health (e.g. epidemiology, biostatistics, health behavior, healthy policy, administration and management, and environmental health), with specializations aiming to broaden practical skills in such areas as global health, health policy, and urban design. Unlike the MPH, the MPHS program does not require a practicum (i.e. placement in a public health organization) or other capstone experience. The MPHS is designed to promote a career of a physician scientist. In contrast, the MPH emphasizes public health practice in local, regional, national, and international communities.