Thesis Seminar

In the summer before your final year, students in the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Social & Behavioral Sciences concentrations in the MPH program must complete an Applied Practice Experience (APE); MS Epidemiology students must complete an Applied Research Experience (ARE). You will engage in hands-on public health research under the mentoring of a research professional addressing a specific public health topic.

The internship can then inform your MPH Thesis, which will be completed in your final year.


What Is the Thesis?

The 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 thesis.

Your internship 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.


What Does the Thesis Entail?

The thesis experience is complemented by a two-semester course Thesis Seminar (GPH-GU 2686 Thesis I: Practice and Integrative Learning Experience and GPH-GU 2687 Thesis II: Practice and Integrative Learning Experience) during which students complete the thesis:

  • Thesis I: 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: Students apply what they have learned to prepare this thesis as well as a presentation associated with the thesis.

The 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.

**any questions regarding the thesis format may be directed to Nina S. Parikh, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor.


How Do I Enroll in the Thesis Seminar(s)?

All students must secure an Applied Practice Experience (APE) and submit a Practice Learning Contract (PLC) for review and approval by the Office of Public Health Practice before they will be allowed to enroll in the Thesis I course.

Once your PLC is approved, notification will be sent to the GPH Registrar about your clearance to register for the APE seminar.

As a reminder, students should not begin APE hours before receiving approval from the Office of Public Health Practice. Hours completed before approval will not count toward the required hours.

For more information about this process, please visit the Completing the APE page.