Virtual New Student Orientation

Congratulations on your acceptance to the Medical College of Wisconsin! Whether you're enrolled in the Master of Public Health program, Graduate Certificate in Public Health, or just taking courses as a non-degree seeking student, you will find this page useful in getting started. We recommend that you review the entire page and all of the associated links.

Welcome from Terry Brandenburg

Welcome to the MPH/Certificate program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I’m Terry Brandenburg, the Director of the program and your academic Terry Brandenburg, Director of MPH Degree Programadvisor.

The MPH program is committed to education, service and research in public health, and we emphasize this commitment to you, our students. We offer wonderful courses that promote public health competencies, but we also encourage you to explore public health outside of the virtual classroom. Coursework includes practical applications and projects, and we recommend that you get involved in your local community by acting as a resource or a volunteer. Consider opportunities for continuing education beyond coursework. Whatever you do, be engaged.

Public health is a vital component of today’s society. Public health professionals face challenges related to obesity, tobacco use, emerging infectious diseases, emergency preparedness, chronic disease prevention, and others. This program will help you gain the competencies needed to combat these health-related issues, and we’re delighted to have you as part of the team. We look forward to working with you further.

Contact Information

MPH specific questions, contact or 414-955-4510.

Financial aid questions, contact or 414-955-8208.

Graduate School questions, contact or 414-955-8218.

Desire 2 Learn questions, contact This is the content management system for courses. You will find your course content here.

Student Handbooks

The Master of Public Health Program Student Handbook (PDF) provides information on course offerings, faculty, program governance, expectations for student conduct, and requirements for graduation.

The Graduate School Student Handbook provides information on registration, course policies, and administrative policies. This document can be found on the Graduate School Current Students Web site.

MCW Email

You are required to use your MCW email account for all MCW activities. Once you have accepted the offer of admission to the Graduate School and registrated for your course(s), an email account will be created for you. Your user name and password will be emailed to your home email address. You can access your MCW email via the web at If you forget your user name or password, contact the Information Services Help Desk at 414-955-4357.

Program Requirements

Master of Public Health Program

42 Credits

 5 Core Courses
  (15 credits)
18200 Environmental Health (3 credits, Spring)
18201 Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits, Fall)
18203 Public Health Administration (3 credits, Fall)
18204 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits, Spring)
18212 Behavioral Science and Public Health (3 credits, Summer)
 6 Required Courses
  (18-20 credits)
18209 Community Health Assessment & Improvement (3 credits, Fall)
18230 Community Health Program Planning (3 credits, Spring)
18250 Ethical Issues in Public Health (3 credits, Fall)
18260 Community Health Program Evaluation (3 credits, Fall)
18279 MPH Field Placement Preparation (1 credit, any semester)
18280 MPH Field Placement (2-4 credits, any semester)
18297 MPH Capstone Project (3 credits, any semester)
 Elective Courses
  (7-9 credits)
See the Courses and Curriculum webpage for courses and semesters offered

*For course descriptions and prerequisites, see the Course Descriptions webpage
Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
Complete the program within 5 years of matriculation

Graduate Certificate in Public Health Program

15 Credits

 5 Core Courses 18200 Environmental Health (3 credits, Spring)
18201 Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits, Fall)
18203 Public Health Administration (3 credits, Fall)
18204 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits, Spring)
18212 Behavioral Science and Public Health (3 credits, Summer)

     *See the Course Descriptions webpage for further information.
Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
Complete the program within 2 years of matriculation

AdvisingAdvising session between student and faculty member

Terry Brandenburg acts as each student's academic advisor upon enrollment in the MPH or Certificate program. You will meet with him at least once each year, in person or by phone, to discuss your academic progress and any other concerns.

For questions or concerns regarding your plan of study or specific courses, you may also contact the MPH Program at

You will have a different faculty advisor for your Field Placement and Capstone Project courses, in which you will enroll in at the end of the program.

Plan of Study

MPH and Certificate students are required to complete a plan of study at the beginning of their program and revise it at least annually (in conjunction with advising). The plan of study illustrates when you will complete the program's required coursework.

Information on courses, including when they're offered and course descriptions, is available on the Courses and Curriculum webpage. For questions or concerns regarding scheduling or specific courses, including on-campus course options, please contact the MPH Program at

MPH Plan of Study - Template (XLS)

Certificate Plan of Study - Template (DOC)

Helpful Hints

  • Online courses, on average, require 6 to 10 hours of study each week, so think about how much time you can devote to coursework when you’re deciding how many courses to enroll in each semester.
  • The summer semester is 9 weeks long (as opposed to 16 weeks in the Fall and Spring), so the courses are shorter but more intense.
  • Take your core courses first. These are the foundation for other courses, and many are prerequisites (or at least recommended) for the elective courses.
  • The Field Placement should be one of the last courses you enroll in, and you need to enroll in Field Placement Preparation the semester beforehand to prepare for your project.
  • The Capstone Project should be the last course you enroll in, and you need to plan time the semester before for preparation.


This website provides the most up-to-date list of required and recommended texts for each course. You are responsible for obtaining copies of the books required for your courses. See textbook link under Current Student section.

Words of Advice: Don't purchase your books too far in advance.  New editions of texts are often published, and the course director may decide to use a different book in a particular course. The MPH Program will indicate when the course textbook list is up-to-date.

Online Learning Strategies

This website provides tips for online learning derived from evidence-based strategies.

Culminating Experiences

The Field Placement and Capstone Project are required courses, which should be taken at the end of the MPH program.

Field PlacementField Placement site

The Field Placement course offers you the opportunity to work with a public health agency on a worthwhile project. This course requires a significant amount of preparation; therefore, you are required to enroll in the Field Placement Preparation course the semester before starting your Field Placement.

To enroll in Field Placement, you must have completed all of your core coursework (Environmental Health, Principles of Epidemiology, Public Health Administration, Biostatistics, and Behavioral Science and Public Health), and we recommend that you have completed all program coursework besides the Capstone Project.

For further information about the Field Placement course, please visit the Field Placement website.

Capstone Project

The Capstone Project course consists of a Master's Paper and should be completed as the last course of the MPH program. This course also requires a significant amount of preparation; therefore, you are expected to start planning at least three months in advance.

For further information about the Capstone Project course, please visit the Capstone Project website.

Library - Remote AccessLibrary books

As an MPH or Certificate student, you receive remote access library resources, including thousands of online journals. For information on remote library access, watch the MCW Libraries video Connecting to MCW Resources Off-Campus. For more information about library resources, visit the MCW Libraries homepage.

On-Campus Information

You have the option of enrolling in select on-campus courses with prior approval from the Program Director, Terry Brandenburg.

MPH Program Course On-Campus Course Alternative Day & Time On-Campus Course Offered
18201: Principles of Epidemiology 11200: Introduction to Epidemiology Fall semester, Thursdays
   usually 6-9pm
18204: Introduction to Biostatistics 04200: Biostatistics I Fall semester, Thursdays
   usually 1-4pm
Elective Credits Courses offered by other programs Various days and times

Transfer Credits: Courses taken in other programs at the Medical College must be transferred into the MPH program, and you may only transfer in 14 of the program's 42 credits.

If you would like information regarding some of MCW's other on-campus resources, such as those listed below, please contact MPH program staff at

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Library Resources
Graduate Student Association

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Page Updated 12/22/2015