Financing Your Degree

To estimate the total cost of attendance for the Penn MPH program, you can visit the Student Registration and Financial Services (SRFS) page here. This page provides estimates of living expenses, personal expenses, and health insurance beyond the cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition for Fall 2021 Semester
Fall Courseload    Tuition General Fee Technical Fee
1 CU $4,654 $442 $182
2 CU $9,308 $884 $364
3 CU $13,962 $1,776 $546
4 CU $18,616 $1,776 $546

There are 14 CU (credit units) required for completion of the degree. Each credit unit is equivalent to one course (1 CU = 1 course). The total cost of the program will vary slightly based on how many classes you plan on taking per semester. Full-time students typically have two 3-credit semesters and two 4-credit semesters while part-time students typically take 2 CUs per semester.

Students seeking financial advice should reach out to SRFS here for more information. For all prospective students who are planning to apply for federal loans, we recommend completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using Penn's institutional code #003378. Penn SRFS' information on graduate loans can be found here.  We also recommend reviewing the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) resource for financing your degree here. Below you can read more about opportunities we offer to assist with covering tuition costs.

Tuition Support from the MPH Program

All tuition assistance coming from the MPH program involve waiving some portion of tuition on a per CU (credit unit) basis. Note that University fees are not waived.

  • Merit scholarships
    • There is no additional application essay required. Merit scholarships are determined by a committee during the application process. Preference will be given to those who will increase the diversity of the public health workforce, including first generation learners. Potential awardees will be invited for an additional interview (video or in person) by the Merit Scholarship committee. Awards typically cover from 4 to 10 CU (i.e. up to 70% of tuition).
  • Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
    • Returning Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV) are eligible for a 7 CU tuition waiver (50% of tuition). No additional application is required to be considered for this Fellowship beyond the SOPHAS application.
  • MPH Assistantship Positions
    • Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions are available to full-time students in any year of study. GA positions offer 1 – 2 CU waived tuition per semester for 8-10 or 15-20 hours per week working with one of the MPH core faculty on their public health projects (research or practice).
    • Teaching Assistantships (TA) are available to qualified students who have excelled in a particular course. TA positions offer 1 CU waived tuition per course for about 10 hours of work per week

GA and TA positions are available only to matriculated students. There are at least 6 GAships and 25 TAships available per year.

Additional Tuition Support Opportunities

  • University of Pennsylvania Employee Tuition Benefit: The tuition benefit for full-time University of Pennsylvania staff covers 100% of the tuition, general, and technology fees at Penn for up to 2 CU each term (6 per year; 2 course units per fall and spring semester, and 2 course units over the entire summer). Graduate tuition costs above $5,250 in a calendar year are considered taxable income. Effective July 2, 2020, newly hired faculty and staff will be eligible to use the tuition benefit only after a six-month waiting period from date-of-hire. Under the university's revised policy, the end date of the waiting period is the staff member’s tuition eligibility date. If the tuition eligibility date comes after the first day of classes for a term, faculty and staff cannot receive tuition benefits until the start of the following term.

Other Opportunities for Support

  • External Research Assistantships and Internships: The MPH program facilitates the dissemination of opportunities for part-time research assistantships by faculty associated with the MPH program, as well as paid internships with various public health organizations. These are shared with students on an ad hoc basis and have a variety of compensation models.

With questions or concerns about financing your degree, please contact Nick Van Meter (