Core Curriculum Policy

The Michigan Public Health Core Curriculum ("the Core") addresses foundational competencies and learning objectives required by the Council on Education for Public Health. The Core includes eight courses for a total of 16 academic credits with limited substitution options. These courses will follow a blended-learning model. The Core Curriculum policy applies to all MPH students, including students in the Executive Master's program. The Department of Health Management and Policy will determine whether MHSA students are required to take the Core Curriculum.

As a pre-orientation requirement all MPH students beginning Fall 2019 and later must complete an online course, Foundations of Public Health Practice, which is offered as a non-credit online module. MPH students must complete the course, but do not have to take the course exam.

I. School-wide Curriculum Oversight

The Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP) is charged with the general oversight of the Core requirements and ensuring that Core courses are accessible to students. A listing of Core courses is detailed below.

These courses must be offered every year. Enrollment For all PUBHLTH Core courses is limited to MPH and MHSA students, unless otherwise specified by the instructor, and cannot be capped.

Core Curriculum Grading

All Core Curriculum courses will be graded A-E. To successfully complete the Core requirements, a student must earn a “C” or better in each of the Core courses. If a student does not earn a “C” or better in a Core course, they must re-take the course until they achieve passing grades. Students who pass a Core course with a "C" or better may not re-take the course.

Course Evaluations

In addition to ensuring availability of Core courses, ACAP is also charged with monitoring Core courses for quality improvement purposes. ACAP will review all Core course evaluations on an annual basis. If the evaluation scores for a Core course are below 3.5 for any evaluation dimension, ACAP will determine whether the Associate Dean for Education must discuss this with the instructor's department and/or curriculum chair to resolve the problem.

Core Curriculum Documentation Procedures

When a student applies for graduation, the department must attach a pdf of the student's degree audit and submit it to the Office for Student Engagement and Practice for placement in the official student file.

II. Curriculum Exemptions/Substitutions

Core Curriculum Course Exemptions/Waivers

MPH students may take an exemption examination to waive the BIOSTAT 501/521 or Epidemiology requirements. The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Exemption Exams are held over two days at the beginning of the Fall term. These exams are administered by the Office for Student Engagement and Practice. Students must pass the exemption exam to waive the requirement, even if they have previously taken a statistics/biostatistics or epidemiology course.

Departments may substitute a required course(s) for the Core course they are responsible for instructing. For example, the Department of Epidemiology may substitute a required epidemiology course in place of PUBHLTH 512 for their MPH students. If a department elects to require a substitution course(s), it must cover, assess, and track the same competencies and learning objectives addressed by the Core course.

Timeline for Requests for Substitutions/Exemptions and Documentation of these Requests

Requests for substitutions/exemptions/waivers of Core courses will be considered for students on a case-by-case basis. Approval must be granted by both the student's department curriculum committee and the Associate Dean for Education. Requests must occur a minimum of one month prior to the term in which the course to be waived or substituted is offered. Requests should not occur in the student's final term. The student's home department and the Office for Student Engagement and Practice must receive documentation of approval of all requests.

III. Scheduling/Changing Core Curriculum Courses

Department are required to give two years notice to ACAP before changing a term in which a Core course is offered. Any changes in course content or objectives must meet the needs of the Core Curriculum requirement. The pilot phase of the Core Curriculum may prompt more immediate changes to Core course structure or scheduling, resulting in exceptions to the two-year notice rule. All proposed changes must be reviewed and approved by ACAP prior to implementation.

Core Curriculum Offerings
Program  Course Number  Title  Credits   Term
Introduction to Biostatistics
Applied Biostatistics
PUBHLTH 507 Social Determinants of Health and Health
2 Fall
PUBHLTH 511 Nutrition and Public Health 2 Winter
PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health 3 Fall,
PUBHLTH 513 Public Health Systems, Policy and Management 3 Winter
PUBHLTH 514 Public Health Sciences and the Environment 2 Winter
PUBHLTH 516 Leadership Skills for Interprofessional Practice 1 Winter

School-wide Curriculum Requirements For MS, MHI, MHSA, and PHD Students

Foundations of Public Health Practice

All PhD students and MS, MHI, MHSA (e.g. Executive Master’s) students who are not required to take the Core must complete an online course, Foundations of Public Health Practice, which is offered as a non-credit requirement. Students must pass the course exam with a cumulative score of 80% or better to fulfill this degree requirement. PhD students must complete this requirement while in pre-candidate status.

Biostatistics and Epidemiology

All students regardless of degree level must demonstrate proficiency in Biostatistics; all students with the exception of MHI must demonstrate proficiency in Epidemiology. These students are subject to the existing Biostatistics and Epidemiology course requirements. Students may take an exemption examination in order to pass out of this requirement. The Biostatistics Exemption Exam is held over two days at the beginning of the fall term. These exams are administered by the Office for Student Engagement and Practice.

Acceptance of previously completed Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses

Master’s students who have taken graduate-level Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses at other institutions and who desire an exemption from taking Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the UM School of Public Health, must take and pass the Exemption Exams. Documentation of exemptions from these areas will be noted on the student’s unofficial transcript in the ‘Remarks’ section within a year of completing this exemption. Students who have previously taken EPID 503 or EPID 600 at the University of Michigan prior to enrollment in the master’s program may exempt out of the Epidemiology requirement, provided that the course they have taken meets the requirements of their respective department.

PhD Students

If a PhD applicant has had an Epidemiology/Biostatistics course in their Master's program and has earned a “B” or better, the departmental admissions or curriculum committee may approve that the student not be required to take the Epidemiology/Biostatistics exam to exempt out of the Epidemiology/Biostatistics requirement. If the department has questions, they should defer to the Epidemiology/Biostatistics department for clarification.