Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Thesis Guidelines

The thesis (2 course units) is typically a yearlong project that is completed in the second academic year and is the culmination of the student’s educational experience at YSPH. It is frequently a report of a small research project performed independently by the student. Students work with faculty advisers in designing their project and in writing the thesis.

Detailed guidelines for the thesis are outlined below. Please keep in mind that these are general YSPH guidelines and individual departments, divisions, and concentrations may have additional requirements. Please work with your advisor to ensure you are satisfying requirements for your academic program.

Students typically register for EPH 525 – The Thesis (2 course units) during the spring semester of their second academic year.

The thesis is required for the following departments:

  • APMPH – Yale Fellows in Occupational and Environmental Medicine Track
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences


  • September - Departmental meetings to review specific thesis requirements and timelines
  • October 30 - Thesis reader forms (signed by both readers) due to YSPH registrar
  • November 2 – First draft of thesis prospectus due to first reader (thesis adviser)
  • December 1 – Final draft of thesis prospectus due to first reader (thesis adviser) and YSPH registrar (
  • Mid-March – First draft of thesis due to first reader (thesis adviser)*. Include a summary of major analyses and tables
  • April 15 – Submit a final copy of the thesis to your first reader (thesis adviser) and second reader for grading. Please note that some readers may request a copy before April 15 so you should confirm the final submission due date with both readers. Title due: to be used to organize departmental Student Research Day
  • End of April – Student Research Day (exact date to be determined by department). All students will present their thesis research. Slides or posters should be submitted to the first reader (thesis adviser) for review and comment. Students should practice the presentation with their thesis adviser in advance.
  • May 1 - Deadline for final grades from both readers and submission of electronic copy. You must make sure that you submit a final copy of your thesis to your readers for review well in advance of the May 1 deadline.

    * Note: The timing of the distribution of the thesis to your second reader will vary from student to student, depending on how involved the second reader intends to be. Ideally, both first and second readers will receive a draft to comment on in March, to allow sufficient time to address comments of both first and second reader prior to the May 1 deadline.