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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 adviser forms (signed by both advisers) due to YSPH registrar
  • November 2 – First draft of thesis prospectus due to the primary adviser
  • December 1 – Final draft of thesis prospectus due to the primary adviser and YSPH registrar (
  • Mid-March – First draft of thesis due to the primary adviser*. Include a summary of major analyses and tables
  • April 15 – Submit a final copy of the thesis to your primary adviser and secondary adviser for grading. Please note that some advisers may request a copy before April 15 so you should confirm the final submission due date with both advisers. 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 primary adviser for review and comment. Students should practice the presentation with their thesis advisers in advance.
  • May 1 - Deadline for final grades from both advisers and submission of electronic copy. You must make sure that you submit a final copy of your thesis to your advisers for review well in advance of the May 1 deadline.

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