Skip to Content Skip Content Skip to Search
SEARCH
The Penn State College of Medicine Crescent is seen at 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA. The building is framed by grass below and a bright blue sky with white clouds above. Flagpoles with the American and Pennsylvania flags are visible toward the right.

Public Health Sciences MS

Public Health Sciences MS Program Details

Penn State College of Medicine's Master of Science in Public Health Science Program emphasizes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical research methods, clinical trials, outcomes measurement, health care economics and policy, and ethics of clinical research.

Students in the 30-credit program also complete a student-chosen, mentored research thesis that is designed, conducted, analyzed, and summarized during the two-year degree program.

Courses are offered on weekday afternoons and evenings between 1 and 9 p.m. Courses are offered in a specific sequence, and students must start coursework in the fall semester.

Curriculum Overview

A total of 24 course credits and 6 thesis research credits are required to fulfill the degree requirements for the Master of Science in Public Health Sciences.

In addition to the core course areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical research methods, clinical trials, outcomes measurement, health care economics and policy, and ethics of clinical research, additional courses are available in data management, translational research methods, and more specialized health services research methods.

Students who enter as master’s degree candidates may continue provided their first-year performance is satisfactory.

Thesis Requirement

A major component of the master’s degree curriculum is a student-chosen, mentored research thesis that is designed, conducted, analyzed, and summarized during the two-year program.

There are currently 90 established investigators who are available to participate as mentors and advisors for these projects.

Through choice of research topic, students can opt for a concentration in clinical research, clinical trials, or health services research, for example.

Students should review the thesis guide from The Graduate School at Penn State for additional information.

Sample Course Progression

Year 1

Fall Semester

  • * PHS 520: Principles of Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • * PHS 550: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • * PHS 529: Biostatistical Computing for Public Health (1 credit)
  • * PHS 530: Principles of Health Services Research (2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • * PHS 521: Applied Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • * PHS 551: Advanced Epidemiological Methods (3 credits)
  • * PHS 500: Research Ethics for Clinical Investigators (1 credit)

Summer Semester (Optional)

  • PHS 511: Methods Used in Translational Research (1 credit)
  • PHS 522: Multivariate Biostatistics (3 credits)

* - indicates required course

Year 2

Fall Semester

  • PHS 570: Health Economics and Economic Evaluation (3 credits)
  • * PHS 536: Health Survey Research Methods (3 credits)
  • PHS 518: Scientific Communication (2 credits)
  • ** PHS 600: Thesis Research (3 credits)

Spring Semester

  • PHS 580: Clinical Trials (3 credits)
  • PHS 540: Decision Analysis (1 credit)
  • PHS 522: Multivariate Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • PHS 535: Quality of Care Measurement (3 credits)
  • ** PHS 600: Thesis Research (3 or 6 credits)

* - indicates required course

** - thesis research can be taken as 3 credits in each of two semesters, or as 6 credits in the final semester; a thesis mentor must be identified before scheduling the course

Penn State Hershey
Penn State Childrens
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State University