Two CPFP fellows seated, having a conversation.

One of the unique features of the CPFP is the opportunity to receive formal, academic training in public health. By pursuing an MPH or equivalent degree, fellows learn about the current role and historical context of cancer prevention in public health. The MPH provides individuals with a strong foundation population health sciences, particularly the quantitative sciences of epidemiology and biostatistics.

Fellows who already possess an MPH, a DrPH, or a PhD degree in biostatistics, or epidemiology, or other public health discipline typically come directly into the fellowship with support for up to four years. Other fellows without this prior training (e.g., those trained primarily in the basic sciences, medicine, behavioral sciences, or other disciplines) would need to obtain an MPH during the first year of their fellowship. These decisions are generally straightforward and are made by the CPFP Director during the application process.

Once accepted into the CPFP, each fellow pursuing an MPH is responsible for arranging admission to a university offering an MPH program that can be completed in 12 months or less. NCI will pay tuition, mandatory fees, book allowance, and the fellow’s stipend during the year. Fellows must complete MPH requirements by the start of orientation the following June.

Based on the fellow’s research interests, and in consultation with CPFP leadership, a fellow may pursue an “MPH-equivalent” degree such as a one-year Masters in Healthcare Research or a Masters in Clinical Investigation.

Fellows must check with the university about admission, prerequisite courses, GRE requirements, and ensure that the MPH can be completed within 12 months. Typically, universities require mathematics, biology, and chemistry courses at the undergraduate level; a current (usually within 5 years) GRE score; and completion of the TOEFL (for foreign education) before acceptance into an MPH program. The MCAT is the equivalent GRE requirement for physicians.

To obtain information about the GRE:

  • Visit: http://ets.org/gre
  • Call: (609) 771-7670
  • Write to: 
    The Graduate Record Examination
    P.O. Box 6000
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

Examples of one-year, accredited MPH programs:

  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • University of Miami
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Yale University

For the latest information on MPH programs, visit the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health.