The Curriculum

Graduate study in public health at Brown has a singular purpose: to train leaders in public health who are armed with the skills to conduct research, bring about policy change, and positively affect the health of populations. The curriculum is comprised of core, concentration, and elective coursework.

Core Courses

All MPH students take core courses designed to develop analytical skills and knowledge in key areas of public health.

*Students must complete one of the following course sequences:

Sequence 1:​

  • PHP2507, Biostatistics & Applied Data Analysis I​ (Fall)
  • PHP2508, Biostatistics & Applied Data Analysis II (Spring)

Sequence 2:​

  • PHP2510, Principles of Biostatistics & Data Analysis​ (Fall)
  • PHP2511, Applied Regression Analysis (Spring)

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • PHP2120, Introduction to Methods in Epidemiologic Research ( Fall and Spring)
  • PHP2150, Foundations in Epidemiologic Research Methods (Fall)

Students must complete both of the following half credit courses:

  • PHP2071, Applied Public Health: Systems and Practice (Spring)
  • PHP2072, Applied Public Health: Policy, Leadership and Communication (Fall)

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • PHP2355, Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions (Fall and Spring)
  • PHP2720,  Implementing Public Health Programs and Interventions in the Global South (For students in the Global Health Concentration) (Fall)

*Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018 should click here

The following are prerequisite for entering PHP2071, and must be completed in the summer or first semester of enrollment:


The Brown MPH empowers students to engage in the design and implementation of their educational experience. Students concentrate in one of the public health areas below:

A great emphasis of the Brown MPH Program is to empower students to engage in the design and implementation of their educational experience. Students in the Interdisciplinary Concentration work with advisors to develop their individual path within public health. Students in the Interdisciplinary Concentration will develop an individualized educational plan to gain the competencies required for their path in public health. This will include identifying the focus of the Interdisciplinary studies for that student, be that a content area (for example Maternal and Children Health, Aging, Mental Health, HIV, etc.) or methodologic focus (advanced methods in public health research/evaluation, etc.).

Find out more about the Interdisciplinary Concentration

The Addictions Concentration provides an interdisciplinary foundation to understand substance use, misuse, and addiction and to address the social and health-related costs of addiction. This concentration is designed to prepare MPH students for careers in addiction prevention, program evaluation, and research.

Find out more about the Addictions Concentration

Epidemiology Concentration Specific Competencies

  •  Formulate an epidemiologic research question to help fill the gaps in a given substantive area.
  •  Explain the strengths and limitations of the most common epidemiologic study designs.
  •  Use causal diagrams to identify threats to study validity and approaches to minimize such threats.
  •  Select the appropriate epidemiologic study design that can be used to answer a specific epidemiologic research question.
  •  Choose the most appropriate analysis plan to analyze data to answer a specific epidemiologic research question.
  •  Evaluate scientific evidence regarding a specific epidemiologic research question.
  •  Justify the design and analysis for their own epidemiologic study.
  •  Describe the findings from and implications of their own epidemiologic study.

Find out more about the Epidemiology Concentration

The mission of the Global Health Concentration is to develop public health professionals who are experts in issues related to global health. Global health research and training focus on health inequalities within communities and populations and across populations throughout the world. Global health thus focuses on domestic and international health inequalities, and is not about crossing borders but bridging health inequalities with scientific evidence of etiology and prevention.

Find out more about the Global Health Concentration

The Health Behavior Concentration prepares students to understand and apply theories of health behavior and health promotion to improve population health. Students in the Health Behavior Concentration will gain experience in behavioral-social science frameworks and methodologies for designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions, and in disseminating and translating findings for diverse communities. The Health Behavior Concentration also emphasizes the roles of cultural competence, ethical practice, professionalism, and community collaboration as vital to the design and delivery of public health interventions. 

Find out more about the Health Behavior Concentration

The Health Services Concentration seeks to develop scientists experienced in the use of state of the art experimental and non-experimental research methods for the purpose of advancing fundamental knowledge of issues central to the improvement of population health by focusing on organizational characteristics of health care delivery systems, providers, and economic forces that shape consumer and provider behavior, as well as the policy environment in which these relationships exist. The concentration explicitly seeks to train scientists to optimally contribute as part of multidisciplinary teams in academic posts, government agencies at the state, national and international levels, and in research arms of private sectors of health services delivery organizations. The concentration explicitly seeks to develop scientists skilled in the communication of scientific knowledge, equipped with leadership skills for the purpose of improving services and influencing health policy at the organizational, state, national, and international levels such that those policies lead to more equitable use of resources thus improving health outcomes. The competency-based curriculum provides students with a strong analytic foundation and general health services research orientation.

Find out more about the Health Services Concentration

The Brown University School of Public Health has substantial strengths in Maternal and Child Health (MCH). This includes a vibrant core of interdisciplinary faculty focused on MCH issues from the prenatal period through adolescents. The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute was launched in 2016, presenting new opportunities for expanding MCH research and education programs at Brown. This is in addition to the existing School of Public Health research centers that include a focus on MCH issues. Beyond the strengths within the School of Public Health, active MCH collaborations extend to the Brown University affiliated hospitals, state government, local government, community organizations and industry.

Find out more about the Maternal and Child Health Concentration

The Brown University School of Public Health has developed substantial strengths in Mindfulness. This includes a vibrant core of interdisciplinary faculty focused on the full spectrum of mindfulness ranging from theory to measurement to treatment delivery to teacher training. The establishment and expansion of a world-leading Mindfulness Center at Brown ([email protected]) under the leadership of Eric Loucks, PhD, presents new opportunities for expanding mindfulness research and education programs at Brown. With the expanded faculty, critically important mindfulness courses have been implemented, and the MPH Concentration in Mindfulness is being launched starting with the class entering Fall 2020.

Find out more about the Mindfulness concentration

Elective Courses

All students are encouraged to explore their diverse academic interests at Brown. In addition to the core and concentration courses, every student will take 2 general elective courses-approved courses are detailed below. Other graduate-level courses at Brown may be taken, as an elective, with approval. If you are interested in taking an elective course that is not currently on the MPH approved elective list, you must complete the MPH Elective Course Approval Request form.

PHP1070, The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries 

PHP1100, Comparative Health Care Systems 

PHP1300, Parenting Behaviors, and Child Health

ECON1360, Health Economics

PHP 1450, COVID-19, Public Health, and Health Policy

PHP1540, Alcohol Use and Misuse  (Every other Fall)

PHP1550, Substance Use and Vulnerability to Addiction

PHP1680I, Pathology to Power: Disability, Health, and Community 

PHP 1690, Technology and Health Behavior Change

PHP1700, Current Topics in Environmental Health

PHP1720, Environmental Exposure Assessments in Practice

PHP 1730, Climate Risks and Health Solutions

PHP1802S, Human Security, Response

PHP 1810, Community-Engaged Research in Public Health

PHP 1821, Incarceration, Disparities, and Health

PHP1880, Meditation, Mindfulness, and Health

PHP1890, The Craving Mind 

PHP1900, Epidemiology of Disorders and Diseases of Childhood and Young Adulthood

PHP1920, Social Determinants of Health

PHP1964, Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention  (Every other Fall)

PHP2015, Foundations of Spatial Analysis in Public Health

PHP2023, Maternal, and Child Health

PHP2030, Clinical Trials Methodology 

PHP2060, Qualitative Methods in Health Research

PHP2220B, Nutritional Epidemiology  (Every other Fall)

PHP2220F, Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

PHP2220H, The Epidemiology, Treatment, and Prevention of HIV  (Every other Fall)

PHP2235, Pandemics in Global Perspective: From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19

PHP2250, Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiologic Research 

PHP2300, Research Methods in Behavioral Science 

PHP 2310, Physical Activity & PH

PHP2325, Place Matters: Exploring Community-Level Contexts on Health Behaviors, Outcomes and Disparities  (Every other Fall)

PHP2340, Behavioral and Social Science Theory for Health Promotion 

PHP2365, Public Health Issues in LGBT Populations  (Every other Fall)

PHP2370, Etiology of Substance Use Disorders   (Every other Fall)

PHP2410E, Medicare: A Data-Based Policy Examination 

PHP 2428, Health Justice

PHP2445, Minding the Gap:  The U.S. Healthcare Safety Net  (Every other Fall)

PHP2450, Quality Measurement and Improvement in Health Care 

PHP2465A, Intro to Health Decision Analysis

PHP2510, Principles of Biostatistics and Data Analysis 

PHP2520, Statistical Inference I 

PHP2550, Practical Data Analysis 

PHP2560 Statistical Programming with R (Fall)

PHP2601, Linear and Generalized Linear Models 

PHP2602, Analysis of Lifetime Data (Normally offered in Fall, but will be taught in Spring 22)

PHP2610, Causal Inference and Missing Data 

PHP2710, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Disability and Death in the Global South

PHP2720, Implementing Public Health Programs and Interventions in the Global South

PHP2980, Graduate Independent Study and Thesis Research (Full Credit) 

PHP2985, MPH Independent Study for Thesis Preparation and Research (Half Credit)

BIOL2860, Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease   

MPA2710, GIS and Public Policy

PHP1551, Substance Use Prevention, Treatment & Policy

PHP1600, Obesity in the 21st Century: Causes, Consequences and Countermeasures (Every other Spring) 

PHP1610, Tobacco, Disease and the Industry: cigs, e-cigs and more 

PHP1650, Race, Racism and Health

PHP1802S, Human Security, Response

PHP1720, Environmental Exposure Assessments in Practice

PHP1854, The Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Disease 

PHP1885, Measuring Mindfulness  

PHP2018, Epidemiology of Cardio-Metabolic Health (Every other Spring) 

PHP 2040, Survey Research Methods

PHP2024, Engaged Scholarship in Maternal and Child Health

PHP2060, Qualitative Methods in Health Research 

PHP 2080 Public Health Law and Policy

PHP2130, Human Biology for Public Health

PHP2160, Global Burden of Mental Illness: A Public Health Approach (Every other Spring) 

PHP2180, Interpretation and Application of Epidemiology 

PHP2200, Advanced Methods in Epidemiologic Research

PHP2220F, Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

PHP2220E, Topics in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology  

PHP2330, Behavioral and Social Approaches to HIV Prevention 

PHP2360, Developing + Testing Theory-Driven, Evidence-Based Psychosocial and Behavioral Health Interventions 

PHP 2375, Communicating Science to Lay Audiences

PHP2380, Health Communication 

PHP2400, The U.S. Health Care System: Case Studies in Financing, Delivery, Regulation and Public Health 

PHP2415, Introduction to Evidence-based Medicine 

PHP2440, Intro to Pharmacoepidemiology  

PHP2511, Applied Regression Analysis 

PHP2516, Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis (Half Credit)

PHP2530, Bayesian Statistical Methods 

PHP2580, Statistical Inference II 

PHP2650, Statistical Learning and Big Data

PHP2730, Including the Excluded: Global Health Ethics

PHP2980, Graduate Independent Study and Thesis Research (Full Credit) 

PHP2985, MPH Independent Study for Thesis Preparation and Research (Half Credit) 

ECON1360, Health Economics

BIOL1820, Environmental Health and Disease

PLCY1700K, Health Policy Challenges

PLCY2710, GIS and Public Policy

SOC2612, Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences

SOC2960G, Spatial Data Analysis Techniques in the Social Sciences