Program Overview

cophp program overview

The Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program prepares students for fulfilling careers in public health. The COPHP program, offered by the UW Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health, is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. This program is administered by UW Professional & Continuing Education.

The COPHP program covers the core public health competencies using a problem-based learning approach that creates engaged, self-directed learners. This approach provides a powerful way to prepare for the types of challenges faced in today's public health positions. With guidance from expert faculty facilitators, students work in groups to analyze and address public health problems described in case studies and then apply what they learn in the classroom to their first-year practicums and second-year capstone projects.


Most graduates of the COPHP program work in health program planning, health program evaluation and health policy analysis at community-based health agencies and organizations located across the country and around the world. To see what kinds of jobs COPHP graduates have gone on to pursue and to read interviews with some of our alumni, visit the Alumni page.

Program Format

The Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program is a full-time, two-year program. To earn this degree, students must complete a minimum of 63 credits, including the practicum and capstone project. Classes meet weekdays on the UW Seattle campus.

The COPHP program is an intense, immersive program. Students balance classes, work outside of class, fieldwork and sometimes paid employment, which models the type of commitment that public health careers often demand.

Who Should Apply

The COPHP program is designed for students interested in master's-level training in applied public health practice in order to lead change in community health. A bachelor's degree is required, and at least one or two years of post-college work experience is strongly recommended.

Because the COPHP program is not a traditional university experience based on lectures and reading, prospective students should consider their comfort level with alternative learning styles. Preference will be given to candidates who can express why the program's problem-based learning approach is a good fit for them and demonstrate how their academic, work and life experiences have prepared them to be successful in this self-directed and rigorous program. For more details on the application process, see the Admissions page.

At a Glance

Credits: 63
Learning Format: Classroom
Length: 2 years full time
Estimated Cost: $8,175 per quarter (2015–2016)


We are happy to answer your questions and provide more information about the UW Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice.

COPHP instilled in me that health promotion is more than individual behavior; it is ensuring society creates and maintains institutions and policies that promote social justice and health equity. Social justice is health promotion.

Leigh Alderman, 2014 Graduate

Besides developing a solid foundation in the core public health principles, I valued the opportunity to refine practical skills such as rapid synthesis of research, working in new communities, facilitation, giving and receiving feedback, working in teams and successfully executing projects and presentations – all in a supportive learning environment of faculty and peers.

Barbara Obena, 2012 Graduate
Health and Medical Home Quality Improvement Consultant