Cohort Model

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A cohort is a group of people gathered together for a purpose.

In the School of Public Health our full-time, on-campus programs including the MPH, MS in Public Health and MHA programs admit students in cohorts. Student cohorts begin each program at the same time, complete a sequence of prescribed courses, and graduate at the same time. Our cohort programs place importance on student-student and student-faculty relationships. We seek to promote an academic community that engages students both in and outside the classroom, cultivating a strong team-based learning experience.

Our cohort programs students complete the program requirements in a timely fashion. The benefits include:

Student-centered: our cohort programs seek to create a shared, personal learning experience.

Relationship among students, faculty and staff: our cohort programs build strong interpersonal bonds because of the in-depth work done together over the two year program.

Network building: students establish professional relationships that will continue after graduation, and which can assist with career development and professional advancement.

Predictable and efficient course management: enrollment in courses is automatic and non-competitive. Ensures timely program completion through prescribed course sequence.

Common Questions and Answers:

How much time should I plan to spend on classes and studying each week?
MPH and MHA student enrollment is 15 credit hours in the first two terms. Enrollment in coursework decreases in the second year as you enter practice or internship experiences.

MS students enroll in 9 hours each semester and include additional activities like journal club and research work in their schedule regularly.

Students should plan to prepare for classes each week by spending a minimum of 3 hours outside of class for each credit hour they are attempting to complete that semester. For example, if you are taking 12 credit hours, each week you should spend a minimum of 36 hours of time outside of class on your studies.


How much time should I plan to spend on campus or in school-based fieldwork each week?
The expectations for fieldwork will vary among the programs and concentrations. Students should be prepared to spend time outside of classes in co-curricular activities, fieldwork and practice experience that is guided by faculty and staff.


How much time should I plan to spend on required co-curricular activities each week?
Students should expect to spend 3 to 6 hours per week on co-curricular activities.


Can I work during the cohort program?
Students are limited to part-time on campus employment while classes are in session. During the MPH/MHA/MSPH program, your academic program should be the primary focus of your life. Students are expected to immerse themselves in their studies and consider their student role to be a full-time job. Students will be provided a weekly calendar of curricular and co-curricular activity that will occupy your time from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, when classes are in session. In addition, you should expect to spend a considerable amount of time studying in the evenings and weekends.


Can I accelerate my progress through a cohort program?
No. The coursework is designed to facilitate successful completion of the program in 5-6 semesters depending upon the program or concentration as designated on the program profile.


Do students in cohort programs enroll in online courses? Students in the cohort program are required to take all courses on campus unless the course is only available in an online format.


Can I transfer from a cohort program to an online program?
Yes, a student in a cohort program can transfer to an online program if they meet the requirements of that program.


Can I transfer from one cohort program or concentration to another?
If a student meets requirements for another program or concentration, they may request to change concentrations between the first and second semester only. There is no option to make changes after this window. Program Director approval of the new concentration is required.


What happens if a student fails a course?
If a student fails a core or required course, he/she will have to take an administrative leave or “stop out” and return the following cohort year. For more information please click here


If I am entering the cohort program after having completed the graduate certificate program, when will I begin?
Students who have earned the Graduate Certificate in Public Health will apply for fall entrance. Semester course load will vary compared to new students. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.