Welcome to the Gillings MPH Core!

The Gillings MPH Core is the centerpiece of the Master of Public Health program at Gillings. This integrated, 2-semester, 12-credit curriculum spans our 12 concentrations.

Created by students, faculty and staff from across the Gillings School, the MPH Core gives students the opportunity to start solving big public health problems right away. Hear from the Gillings School’s senior associate dean for academic and student affairs  about the Gillings MPH Core.

The Gillings MPH Core brings students together to develop and apply critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, leadership capacity and core public health concepts. Students work together and individually on semester-long projects, developing creative, research-based solutions for real-world public health problems.

Throughout the 2-semester experience, students develop core competencies that they can apply in global and local contexts, including the importance of humility and cultural competency in addressing health disparities.

What does this all mean for your course schedule?

Taught by an interdisciplinary team of instructors, the Gillings MPH Core curriculum draws on essential public health principles, methods and evidence, spanning disciplines to teach students how to identify, understand and solve public health problems.

During the fall semester, students focus on identifying, describing and prioritizing public health issues. In the spring semester, students work on developing and communicating public health solutions. In both semesters, students take part in interdepartmental team projects, including a white paper and presentation in the fall and a proposing a solution to a public health problem in the spring.

Preview the Gillings MPH Core fall and spring schedule overview below. (Download a PDF version.)


By the end of the first week of class, students complete COMPASS, an acronym for Core Online Modules to Promote and Accelerate Student Success. The nine COMPASS modules ensure students have the skills and background they need to hit the ground running on their  first day of the MPH degree program.  Each module includes information, resources and detailed instructions for completing learning activities and assignments. COMPASS is designed to be completed in sequence.

View the list of nine COMPASS modules below. (Download the COMPASS PDF.)


Have a question? Download the complete Gillings MPH Core FAQs document (PDF).


If you would like more information, please contact our MPH coordinators:

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