Intensive Research Pathway

The MPH Intensive Research Pathway (IRP) is an alternative set of courses within the MPH program to enhance a route to research careers and PhD programs. The IRP curriculum reflects a greater emphasis on population and quantitative health research skills and methodology. This pathway replaces some core courses with courses focused in quantitative methodologies and includes some additional course requirements.

The IRP can be done within any of the program’s five concentrations, but most closely aligns with the Population Health Research concentration. Students pursuing their MPH under this pathway will select fewer elective courses to accommodate the additional IRP required courses. If students elect a different concentration, they may need to complete additional courses in that concentration to also meet the IRP requirements.

Students pursing the intensive research pathway will be strongly competitive for research assistant positions and better prepared for PhD study (with more courses counting towards a future PhD program). Dual-degree professionals will be trained for independent research success. Many students use the IRP as a springboard for a career in research. The IRP makes it possible to take up to 24 credits of research courses (courses that MS and PhD students take) along with a six credit Capstone research project.

Core Curriculum (two courses are replaced from the standard MPH Core Curriculum) 

  • MPHP 406: History & Philosophy of Public Health
  • MPHP 411: Introduction to Behavioral Health
  • MPHP 429: Environmental Health
  • MPHP 439: Health Management & Policy
  • MPHP 414: Data Management and Statistical Programming
  • MPHP 431: Statistical Methods I*
  • MPHP 432: Statistical Methods II
  • PQHS 465: Design and Measurement in Population Health Sciences
  • MPHP 490: Epidemiology: Theory and Methods*

* Replace MPH courses

Concentrations - 6-9 credits 
(choose one concentration)

  • Population Health Research
  • Global Health
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy & Management
  • Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Culminating Experience - 9 credits

  • MPHP 650: Public Health Practicum (3 credits)
  • MPHP 652: Capstone (6 credits)


Applications for the IRP should occur after you apply for the MPH program and before you start taking courses, since the IRP affects which courses you take the first semester. Selecting the IRP after already starting the MPH program is likely to require additional courses beyond the 42 credits needed for the MPH.

How to Apply

1. Fill out the application form.
2. Email the administrative director of the MPH program at to let them know you have applied.

Your application will be reviewed by the IRP Committee: Daniel Tisch, PhD, MPH, Siran Koroukian, PhD, and Mendel Singer, PhD, MPH. The committee looks for evidence of strong quantitative aptitude or prior success in quantitative courses.