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Environment & Public Health (MF/MPH, MFS/MPH, MESc/MPH, MEM/MPH)

In awareness of the value of simultaneous public health and natural resources education for careers dealing with human health and the study, regulation, management, and use of natural resources and environmental quality, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) offer a joint degree program in public health and the environment.

This joint degree combines the YSPH two-year Master of Public Health degree with one of four YSE two year master’s degrees: the Master of Environmental Management (MEM), Master of Environmental Science (MESc), Master of Forest Science (MFS), or Master of Forestry (MF). The joint degree program typically requires three years of study, and both degrees are awarded simultaneously at the conclusion of the three-year period.

A joint degree is more than simply a list of courses taken at both Schools. It is an integrated educational program which is designed to achieve a combination of the two programs in a way that is complementary to both while protecting the integrity of each separate program.


The normal pattern for joint degree candidates is to spend the entire first year almost exclusively in one school and the entire second year almost exclusively in the other. In the third year, they register for one semester in each school, and complete both programs by the end of that year. Some students pursue other schedules of attending courses at the two schools. The two schools have made accommodations in order to make possible the completion of the joint courses of study in three years without burdening students with extraordinary course loads in any term. Requirements for both degrees must be completed to receive diplomas from YSPH and YSE for the joint degree program.

Course planning for joint degree candidates should be carried out in consultation with the appropriate educational officers at the School of the Environment and the Yale School of Public Health, and must satisfy the following general requirements:

The Public Health Component

Joint degree candidates must complete all of the core MPH courses as described in the School of Public Health Bulletin. All MPH students must complete the following core courses:

  • EPH 100a – Professional Skills Series (no credit)
  • EPH 505a - Biostatistics in Public Health (not required for Biostatistics)
  • EPH 507a - Social Justice and Health Equity
  • EPH 508a - Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • EPH 510a - Health Policy and Health Care Systems
  • EPH 513b - Major Health Threats: Determinants and Solutions

Students must also complete all departmental requirements, an internship/ public health practice experience and the thesis/ capstone course. Students in any of the YSPH academic departments are eligible for the joint degree program.

The following exceptions to the standard YSPH curriculum apply to joint degree students:

The total number of YSPH course units required for the joint degree is reduced from 20 to 15. The MPH thesis counts as two course units. (If a student obtains an exemption for a required course, an elective must be substituted; an exemption does not reduce the total number of required course units below 15.) The YSPH Committee on Academic Progress reviews each student’s progress toward the YSPH component of the joint degree.

The Forestry and Environmental Studies Component

Joint degree candidates must complete the YSE Training Modules (“MODS”) in technical skills prior to beginning their YSE program. These field modules are held during a three-week period in late summer and cover the areas of Urban Ecosystem Analysis, Land Use and Spatial Analysis, and Ecosystem Measurement. To qualify for the Master of Forestry (MF), Master of Environmental Management (MEM) Master of Environmental Science (MESc), or Master or Forest Science (MFS) degree, candidates must complete all course requirements listed under each degree type as outlined on the YSE degree programs website. Instead of completing 48 credits for the YSE degree, joint degree students must complete 36 credits.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Joint degree candidates will owe three terms of full-time tuition to YSPH and three terms of full-time tuition to F&ES. Tuition is paid to the school where the student is in residence. Students requesting financial aid during a particular semester must make arrangements with the school charging tuition during that semester. Tuition, fees, and financial aid policies may differ between the two schools. Financial aid applications will be judged by each school according to its own policy. Students should consult the financial aid officers in each school for a description of their respective policies.