Intensive Research Pathway – CWRU Master of Public Health Program

To download a PDF information sheet, please click here.

What is it?

The Intensive Research Pathway (IRP) is an option within the MPH program that creates an enhanced route toward research careers and PhD programs, within the framework of the broader public health education and community training of the professional MPH degree. Application to the IRP is handled separately from application to the program.

Who should be interested?

Students who want research to be a strong part of their future career and have good quantitative aptitude.

What are the benefits?

Students taking this option will be strongly competitive for research assistant positions and better prepared for PhD study (with more courses counting towards a future PhD program). Dual-degree professionals will be trained for independent research success.


The MPH is not a research degree, yet many use it as a springboard for a career in research. The IRP makes it possible to take up to 24 credits of research courses (that the department’s MS and PhD students take) along with a 6 credit Capstone research project.

What majors does it work with?

The IRP can be done with any of the program’s 5 majors. The courses used for the IRP are taken from the core and elective courses, and have no impact on choice of major. Students can then choose their major and select their major courses, emphasizing research courses.

When to Apply

Ideally, application for the IRP should happen after you apply for the MPH program and before you start taking courses. Since the IRP affects which courses you take the first semester, you are better off knowing prior to starting the program. Starting the IRP after already starting the MPH program is likely to require additional courses beyond the 42 credits needed for the MPH.

How to Apply:

1. Fill out the application form at:

2. Email the Administrative Director of the MPH program at to let them know you have applied.

Your application will be reviewed by the IRP Committee, consisting of the leaders of the following majors: Global Health (Daniel Tisch PhD MPH), Health Informatics (Siran Koroukian PhD), Population Health Research (Mendel Singer PhD MPH). The committee looks for evidence of strong quantitative aptitude or prior success in quantitative courses.

How does it work?

The majority of the program requirements are not affected by the IRP (except that the Capstone project would have to be a research project). The IRP affects the choice of 15 of the 42 credits for the MPH degree, using the same foundational research methods courses taken by the department’s MS and PhD students – with 3 of the 5 courses being a direct substitution of the research-focused MS/PhD course for a practice-focused MPH course of the same topic.

Below is a summary table of the differences between the usual MPH curriculum and what is taken as part of the Intensive Research Pathway.

Usual MPH Program Intensive Research Pathway
MPHP 403 Research and Evaluation Methods EPBI 465 Design and Measurement in Population Health Sciences
MPHP 483 Introduction to Epidemiology for Public Health Practice EPBI 490 Epidemiology: Introduction to Theory and Methods
MPHP 405 Statistical Methods in Public Health EPBI 431 Statistical Methods I
EPBI 432 Statistical Methods II
MPHP 406 History and Philosophy of Public Health (not replaced – makes room for EPBI 432 above)
Open Elective EPBI 414 Data Management and Statistical programming

Below is a summary of the rest of the program requirements, unaffected by choice of IRP (except the Capstone would need to be a research project).

Requirement Credits
MPHP 429 Environmental Health 3
MPHP 439 Health Management and Policy 3
MPHP 411 Intro to Health Behavior 3
3 Major Courses 9 (3x3)
Practicum 3
Capstone Project (must be a research project) 6