In the summer before your final year, students in the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Social & Behavioral Sciences concentrations of the MPH program must complete an applied practice experience (APE). As part of the APE, you’ll engage in hands-on public health research under the mentoring of a public health research professional addressing a specific public health topic.
The applied practice experience can then inform your MPH Thesis, which will be completed in your final year.
What Is the MPH Thesis?
The MPH thesis is a paper addressing a specific public health topic, with the general expectation that the finished product demonstrates concentration competencies, meets academic and professional standards, and is of a quality useful to some external audience (e.g., journal readers, practitioners, advocates, other researchers).
With faculty support, you’ll identify your topic and population of interest, preferably based on your work in the site where your applied practice hours are undertaken, which serve as the basis of the MPH Thesis.
Your APE* can be based in the greater New York City area, elsewhere in the United States, or overseas, but must be completed no later than the summer before enrolling in your first thesis course.
*With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students are permitted to complete this requirement through remote internship opportunities.
What Does the Thesis Entail?
The experience is complemented by a two-semester course during which students complete the MPH Thesis:
- Thesis I (GPH GU 2686): Students across tracks will study together to learn about the elements of the thesis, how to identify a mentor, and how to write a comprehensive review of the literature and an annotated outline of the project.
- Thesis II (GPH GU 2687): Students apply what they have learned to prepare this MPH thesis as well as a presentation associated with the thesis.
The MPH Thesis is an original research inquiry to answer a testable question and is presented as a journal-style manuscript reporting results of data analyses (typically secondary analysis of an existing dataset) about a specific public health topic.
**Questions regarding the thesis format may be directed to Nina S. Parikh, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor.
How Do I Enroll in the Thesis Course(s)?
All students must have secured an APE/internship and submitted a Practice Learning Contract (PLC) that has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Public Health Practice before they will be allowed to enroll in the Thesis I course.
Once your PLC has been approved, you will receive an access code to register for Thesis I.