MPH: Generalist Track

Generalist Track
The Mission of the Master of Public Health (MPH) generalist track is to preserve and enhance the health and well-being of human populations by preparing graduates in the knowledge, skill, and analytic capabilities required to 1) advance the principles and practice of public health;2) enter public health careers at the local, state, and national levels with the skills necessary to assume leadership roles; and 3) uphold and foster an ethic of social responsibility which recognizes the value of equal opportunity for health and well-being among all and which respects individual, family and community values.

Track Specific Competencies
The history of the Brown MPH program has been to focus on the core competencies for the MPH Program; empowering students, with close advising support, to develop an individual educational path based on their public health focus and career goals.  We will continue this tradition in the generalist track with an emphasis on the existing core competencies for the MPH Program:

  • Be competent to identify, assess, understand and apply the current state of public health knowledge to a given public health concern.
  • Be competent to design and carry out a health services or health policy research or epidemiological study or intervention study, analyze results, draw appropriate conclusions, and report results.
  • Be competent to recognize and describe a public health problem; and to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate a program or intervention intended to manage, control, or solve that problem.  Be competent to identify community service opportunities, and to develop and maintain effective linkages with organizations and agencies in the community. 
  • Be competent to organize and communicate information pertaining to a public health problem or condition, including policy implications, priorities and recommended course of action.
  • Be competent to manage and affect information including data, reference materials, etc. using computer technology and library resources

In addition, students will develop an individualized educational plan to gain the competencies required for their path in public health.  This will include identifying the focus of the generalist studies for that student, be that a content area (for example Maternal and Children Health, Aging, Mental Health, HIV, etc.) or methodologic focus (advanced methods in public health research/evaluation, etc.).  As described below, the students will also identify three to five competencies that they will achieve, beyond the core, as part of the Generalist track and how those competencies are achieved.  The Generalist track plan must be approved by the MPH Program Director.

All students in the Behavioral and Social Science Track complete PHP2070, Public Health Community Service Internship.  The internship includes a core curriculum as well as a field experience tailored to the student’s public health interests and future career goals. 

All students are required to complete a thesis.  Students work with faculty advisors to design a thesis project appropriate to their interests and career path in behavioral and social sciences aspects of public health.

Core Curriculum Courses
Students in all tracks are required to complete the MPH core requirements, which can be found here:

Generalist Track Specific Requirements
A great emphasis of the Brown MPH Program is to empower students to engage in the design and implementation of their educational experience.  Students in the generalist track work with advisors to develop their individual path within public health.  Students work closely with advisors to identify three to five specific competencies, beyond the core MPH competencies, and identify how they will meet those competencies through activities such as formal coursework, independent studies, internships and thesis work.  The initial plan should be submitted to the Academic Advisor and MPH Program Director in the spring of the first year for approval.  Students can continue to refine the plan in the second year, with substantive changes approved by the MPH Program Director.

The total course requirement is 13, including both core requirements and electives.  Each student works out an individualized elective plan, with the support of faculty advisors.  Students can choose electives from the approved MPH elective list (see appendix).  Additional elective options may be possible with the approval of the academic advisor and the MPH Program Director.