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Congratulations on your acceptance into a graduate program at the USF College of Public Health! We are thrilled to welcome you to our family.
As a graduate of USF's COPH, you will be a driver of change in promoting and empowering better public health that leads to sustainable change for our local, national and global communities.


Preparing for Graduate School

Preparation Starts Now

We want to make sure that you have the tools and skills needed to hit the ground running. In June, you will receive access to a Canvas Course that will contain pre-course activities to be completed prior to the start of the semester.

This will include:

  1. General information and expectations
  2. The Dean’s Summer Reading List
  3. A Writing Boot Camp: In graduate school, you will write – a lot. This boot camp is designed to allow you to share your writing samples and receive feedback, learn APA (our approved writing style), and hone your writing skills
  4. An Analysis Boot Camp: All public health professionals must have a strong analytical background. We know analysis can be scary for some, for other’s it may have been a while since your last statistics class. This analysis boot camp will help you dust off your skills and get ready for the Fall.

You will receive access to this course through your USF email, so please be sure to set this up early.

Foundational Core Courses

Core Curriculum

As a student at the USF College of Public Health, you will be engaged in a series of core courses designed to address complex 21st-century public health problems. Our MPH core curriculum is guided by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s Framing the Future report and the Council of Education in Public Health’s competencies for public health degrees. This curriculum consists of four courses, designed to provide integrated and applied training. These courses utilize experiential learning to present critical public health content through foundational courses with cross-cutting, interdisciplinary competencies. 

Your first classes begin this Fall! Please speak with your graduate advisor about your individual course schedule. All students should plan to enroll in the following foundational core courses in their first year.

Fall Courses (6 credits of core)

  • History and Systems of Public Health (1 credit course)
    • This course provides a historical overview of public health and focuses on current public health challenges. Please see the information on your first assignment in this course—due before the class starts.
  • Population Assessment I (5 credits)
    • This course uses a systems-thinking approach to understand, assess, and evaluate public health problems. You will learn core public health content, analytical techniques, and scholarly writing.

Spring Courses (6 credits of core)

  • Population Assessment II (3 credits)
    • This course uses a continuation of Population Assessment I. In this course, you will continue to use systems thinking to understand, assess and evaluate public health problems, while practicing your public health analysis and writing skills.
  • Translation to Practice (3 credits)
    • This course prepares students to translate core public health concepts and principles into real-world public health practice.
Dean's Summer Reading

Summer Reading

As a public health professional, it is vital that you stay up-to-date on current topics, understand public health from an academic perspective, and understand public health as the public sees it. Every year, we require our incoming students to complete a summer reading list based on Dean Petersen’s recommendations.

You will receive this reading list and access to a canvas course with more information in June. Please keep a lookout for this information!

In the past, this reading list has included some of the following:

  1. Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015. Between the World and Me, One World Books.   
  2. Robin DiAngelo, 2018. White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard to Talk to White People about Racism, Beacon Press.   
  3. Jennifer Eberhardt, 2020. Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Penguin Books.   
  4. Ibram X. Kendi, 2017. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Bold Type Books.   
  5. Ibrahm X. Kendi, 2019. How to be an Antiracist, One World Publishers   
  6. Jonathan Metzl, 2020. Dying of Whiteness, Basic Books.   
  7. Ijeoma Oluo, 2019. So, You Want to Talk About Race, Seal Press.   
  8. Isabel Wilkerson, 2010. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, Vintage Books. 
  9. Isabel Wilkerson, 2020. Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, Random House.  

* Please note, this list is only provided as a reference. You will be required to read one of the books from this summer’s Dean’s Summer Reading List.

Expectations

You Will be the Driver of Your Education

As you enter your graduate studies, be sure you are prepared for the journey. Graduate school will be vastly different than your undergraduate program. The philosophy on education between graduate and undergraduate is different. As a graduate student, you will be the driver of your education. You will be expected to be driven, motivated, and prepared. 

Preparation, Participation and Passion

At USF, 12 credits are considered a full load. However, the requirement for each class is more intense than that of most undergraduate programs. You should expect four (4) hours of work for every credit of class. And, you will not be sitting anonymously in a lecture hall. Rather, you will be expected to actively participate in discussions, come to class prepared, and have completed ALL required readings ahead of class. We work hard because there is hard work to be done. The challenges that face public health necessitate this, and therefore, our public health professionals must be dedicated, must operate with a strong and diverse toolset, and must practice with passion.

Active Learning and Professionalism

As a USF COPH student, you will be expected to be active, engaged, professional and always prepared. This includes professionalism as it pertains to your written and verbal communication, your behaviors, and your dress. You must be self-motivated to seek out new information on your own, and practice exceptional time-management and prioritization skills.

Ethics and Community

We do not tolerate violations of our academic integrity code, and all members of our community act with ethics and integrity.

A New Path Forward

A whole new set of study skills is also necessary. The goal of your program is not for you to be ‘taught at’ but rather for you to be the driver of your education. You will be exposed to information that, as a graduate student, you will be expected to critically analyze, develop original thoughts and opinions around, and ultimately apply. You will become a master at gathering information, creating hypotheses, designing research projects, collaborating with groups, and communicating your knowledge through written work and public presentation.

With all of this, you will be ready to take on the important public health challenges that lie ahead, supported by USF's COPH. We are so excited to have you!