PHP > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between the Online and the Executive Program?
The Online format is a fully online course of study with only 5 consecutive days required on campus for the Public Health Seminar course. The Executive format is offered on campus one weekend a month for 20 months, the number of students is limited to 25 and electives may be taken online. Below are some major similarities and differences for the two programs.

Online MPH Format

Executive Format

Time to Complete Degree (Maximum time allowed to complete MPH is 5 years.)

Approximately 2.5 years at 2 courses a semester, which is the course load that most online students prefer

Expedited to 20 months

Honors State of Florida
Tuition Waivers



Tuition & Fees

See related question below

See related question below

Course Content & Curriculum

No Difference

No Difference

Degree Offered

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Limited Enrollment


Yes. The size of each cohort is limited to 25

Deadlines to Apply

Spring Semester: October 15
Summer Semester: February 15
Fall Semester: June 1

The next cohort is scheduled to begin in Fall 2012. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2012.

2. What are the Admission Requirements?
Students applying to the Public Health Practice program (Online or Executive) are required to follow the College’s Admission Requirements. Students applying to the PHP program are required to have at least three years of health related work experience.

3. How do I apply?
All students are required to apply to the College of Public Health (COPH) via the SOPHAS system. SOPHAS is the centralized application service for all CEPH accredited schools of public health. Please refer to the COPH Application instructions and Admission Requirement found in the College catalog.

4. Do I need to take the GRE?
The PHP program no longer requires students to submit GRE scores for admission consideration. However, students still have the option to take and submit GRE scores with their application materials.

6. What are the deadlines for applying to COPH?
To ensure that we receive your application in a timely fashion, check the Application Deadline dates for the COPH.

7. What is the cost of the program?
Online MPH Program tuition and fees
Executive MPH Program tuition and fees (PDF)

8. Who are the Self-Funded Students?
The COPH offers out-of-state students in the online program a program cost of $525 a credit hour. These students are ultimately categorized under the term Self-Funded student or SF student. Contact the Public Health Practice program office to see if you qualify.  To register for the Self-Funded program please visit:

9. Do you accept State of Florida Employee tuition waivers?
The COPH accepts State of Florida Employee tuition waivers for online courses. If you are interested in using a State Employee Tuition Waiver for online courses, please read the COPH State Employee Tuition Waiver Procedure and learn more about the process.

10. Is financial assistance available?
Students in the Online and Executive programs have full access to all resources of the USF Financial Aid office. Check out the step-by-step guide to graduate financial aid information.

11. What is Academic Common Market?
The Academic Common Market is an exchange program that permits residents of the following states to matriculate at Florida resident tuition rates for this program: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Current and past students from Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have used this program to enroll at in-state tuition rates. For further information, please visit the web site at

12. Will I have an academic advisor?
As you begin your program in Public Health Practice, the PHP Director and/or Assistant Director will serve as your advisor. Once you have completed approximately half of your program (21 credit hours), please contact the Assistant Director to be assigned a faculty member from one of the core departments. Please review the Field Experience and Special Project guidelines and send the Assistant Director your ideas/plans for your Special Project. Every effort will made to assign an advisor who has knowledge/experience in the subject area of your particular Special Project.

13. What is HIPAA?
HIPAA training is a requirement for all COPH degree-seeking students and should be completed at the beginning of their first semester. For more information and to fulfill HIPAA requirements, visit the HIPAA website.

14. Why do I need a USF Health email account?
All COPH students are required to apply for a USF Health email account in order to receive communications about advising, grades, educational opportunities, etc. USF Health computer/email accounts are issued by USF Health IT department. Instructions on applying for a USF Health email account can be found here.

15. How do I register for classes?
Registration information (including a list of online course offerings) by student categories (degree, non-degree, SF, etc.) is posted each semester on the Academic Affairs Registration website.

16. What kind of computer will I need to successfully participate in an online course?
All COPH students in online public health courses are expected to meet certain Technology Requirements prior to their participation in online courses.

17. How do I get to my online course web site?
The University Web Portal, MyUSF, is the entryway to your Blackboard course website. All students must establish a MyUSF Net ID and password before they are able to access online course web sites. The following links will assist you in this process.

Instructions to Access MyUSF (PDF)
MyUSF Blackboard website

18. Is a thesis required for this MPH program?
All students in the Public Health Practice program are required to complete a research paper as part of their program requirements. Detailed Special Project guidelines are available to students on the PHP website under Student Resources section.

19. Can I do my Supervised Field Experience where I am currently employed?
The Supervised Field Experience is designed to expose the student to new and unfamiliar areas of public health. If you work for a large organization, a field experience in another department may be approved. Consult with the PHP Program office and/or your advisor with a specific request.
Please refer to Guidelines for Experience Field & Special Project and work with your advisor and the Field Experience office. You should also visit the College Supervised Field Experience website for additional information.

20. Do I have to come to campus for the comprehensive exam?
Public Health Practice (PHP) students are given the option of taking the core comprehensive exam as part of PHC 6930: PHP Seminar (a five-day, on-campus, culminating experience course) or during the regularly scheduled College of Public Health (COPH) exam that is offered once every semester.

Prerequisites for this course include satisfactory completion of all core courses and 75% of required concentration courses.

If a PHP student chooses to take the comprehensive exam during the regular COPH exam time, he/she must come to Tampa. If a student chooses this option, the exam must be passed with a 70%. Individually proctored exams are not permitted. For more information about the COPH Comprehensive Exam please visit

21. What courses must be completed on campus?
The PHC 6930: Public Health Seminar is the only course that is held on-campus over five consecutive days. (PHC 6930: Public Health Seminar is equivalent to PHC 6936: Public Health Capstone.) The seminar is offered every-other semester at the Tampa campus.

The seminar is designed as a culminating experience integrating topics and skills introduced in prior classes along with the development and enhancement of tools necessary to be a leader in tomorrow's public health system. The comprehensive examination is administered during the same visit as the seminar, and the exam scores are factored in with grades from the seminar. Registration for the seminar serves as registration for the comprehensive exam.

Typically, the seminar will be held from a Wednesday morning through a Sunday afternoon. Most students travel to Tampa on Tuesday evening and leave Sunday evening. Questions about the seminar: email or call 813-974-6606.

22. How will I know when a course I need will be offered?
All courses (online and on-campus) offered by the COPH are listed in the 2-year Course Schedule. Students are asked to refer to this 2-year Course Schedule to plan their program. Students in the Executive format follow a 20-month Course Schedule.

23. How do I transfer credits from another institution?
The USF Transfer of Credit policy is listed within the USF Graduate School catalog. Click on link to USF Graduate Catalog 2007/2008 PDF Version and see pages 2 and 91 for more information.