Financing Your Degree
Tuition (Fall 2022 & Spring 2023)
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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 semester and 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-CU-semesters and two 4-CU-semesters while part-time students typically take 2 CUs per semester.
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 expenses, like health insurance, beyond the cost of tuition and fees.
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. Scholarships are awarded to, or can be used by, students enrolled either part-time or full-time. Scholarships cannot be used in tandem with the Penn employee tuition benefit mentioned below.
- Merit Scholarships
- Merit Scholarships are evaluated by the Admission Committee during the application process. No additional essay or application required to be considered. 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 by the committee. These scholarships typically cover 4 to 10 CUs, or approximately $18,616 to $46,540.
- 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.
- Public Health Practice Scholarships (effective Fall 2023)
- Up to 10 Public Health Practice Scholarships are awarded annually to incoming students who have at least two years of relevant work experience prior to matriculation and do not already possess an advanced degree (Masters or Doctoral). These scholarships will cover 3 CU tuition, or approximately $13,962.
- Whitney Ann Buckholz Scholarship
- The Whitney Ann Buckholz Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming MPH student who best represents the ideals of Whitney through extensive community engagement prior to graduate school. Whitney was an MPH alumna remembered as a strong, creative student. She embraced challenges, looking for ways to learn and contribute to the health of communities. This tuition scholarship is made possible by a legacy contribution from Whitney and her family.
- MPH Assistantship Positions
- Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions are available to students in any year of study. GAs work with one of the MPH core faculty on their public health projects (research or practice) and are compensated $2,500 per semester for 8-10 hours per week or $5,000 per semester for 16-20 hours per week. The hours per week depends on the faculty member's projects.
- Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions are available to qualified students who have excelled in a particular course. TA positions offer a stipend of $3,000 per semester for approximately 10 hours per week of work to support the faculty teaching an MPH course.
- GA and TA positions are available only to matriculated students.
- Penn Pipeline Plus Public Health Scholarship: Participants of Penn's Pipeline Plus Public Health summer internship program, who complete at least two years of the program, are eligible for a full tuition scholarship to Penn's MPH program.
Students seeking financial advice should reach out to SRFS at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. You can find a Graduate Student Financial Aid Application Checklist here.
- Loan Eligibility: MPH students are eligible for loans to cover the cost of tuition (listed above) and living expenses (estimated here). This represents the maximum you can borrow, though students are always welcome to borrow less.
- Please note that if you receive scholarship funding, your loan may be reduced or returned.
- Students may not be eligible if they have borrowed for past programs and are at their aggregate loan limit or they are in default on previously borrowed student loans.
- Federal Loan Options: US Citizens or eligible Non-Citizens may qualify for federal loan funding. You must be enrolled at least half time (2 CUs) each semester to receive federal loan funding. Interest on federal loans begin at disbursement (unsubsidized). For full information on types of loans and loan options, please visit Penn SRFS here.
- Federal Direct Loan: MPH students may qualify for a maximum of $33,000 in Federal Direct Loan, which is unsubsidized and not credit checked.
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan: Should students wish to borrow federal loans over the Federal Direct Loan amount, there is the Grad PLUS Loan, which is unsubsidized and credit checked. The Grad PLUS Loan may be used to borrow to pay the remainder of tuition, fees, and living expenses if needed.
University of Pennsylvania Employee Tuition Support
- The tuition benefit for full-time University of Pennsylvania employees 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.
External 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.
- Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Scholarships
- ASPPH offers myriad scholarships for students. More information here.
- Andrea Scott International Graduate Scholarship
- Admitted, Fall 2022 international applicants with a valid IELTS score are eligible for the Andrea Scott International Graduate Scholarship, an annual $5,000 award. More information here.
With questions or concerns about financing your degree, please contact Nick Van Meter (email@example.com).