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Mental Health

MHS in Mental Health

The Master of Health Science degree is organized around a core set of four terms of graduate courses and a final research paper that demonstrates mastery of what has been learned in the coursework experience. The MHS degree in the Department of Mental Health may be combined with a certificate program offered in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, e.g., Mental Health Policy and Economics, Health Education, Health Finance and Management, Health Policy, Health and Human Rights, Health  Communication, Health Disparities and Health Inequality, Injury Control or Maternal and Child Health. These certificate programs are at no extra cost to full-time students (as long as classes are taken during the regular terms 1-4) and are available to enhance the mental health research educational experience. A dual BA/MHS program has also been established in conjunction with the School of Arts and Sciences program in Public Health Studies.


The Department of Mental Health engages in population-based research on the etiology, occurrence, prevention and control of mental, alcohol-, and drug-dependence disorders. Its mission is to advance understanding of causes and consequences of these disorders in populations; to study the impact of alternative clinical, organizational or fiscal arrangements; and to study and apply public health methods for preventing alcohol, drug, and mental disorders. Research is particularly active in the following areas: 1) adult psychiatric epidemiology, including the study of the natural history of psychopathology; 2) cognitive health and aging; 3) hazards of psychoactive drug use; 4) prevention of risk behaviors through school- and community-based interventions; 5) youth violence; 6) socioeconomic stratification and mental disorders; 7) family, community and clinical interventions for children with severe emotional disturbances, and 8) global mental health.

The Master of Health Science degree is completed in one academic year.  In the first two terms of the program, students take core courses in Mental Health (330.602 or 603), Biostatistics (140.611 and 140.612 or 140.621 and 622), Epidemiology (340.721.60 and 340.722.60) and Research Ethics (550.860). Students who have not taken these courses prior to being admitted to the program will typically earn approximately 36 credits from coursework in the first two terms. In the second two terms, students may choose from a broader range of electives.

All MHS students must complete a final research paper in his/her area of interest. The paper may either be a critical and comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to a specific area of interest or an original analysis of existing data. The final paper must be approved by two members of the Department’s faculty in addition to the advisor. Special studies credits with a faculty member may be taken to allocate time and mentoring to working on this research paper. Requirements for the MHS degree will not be fulfilled until the Department receives a copy of the final research paper and a letter confirming completion of the degree requirements is filed in the Registrar’s Office (Room E1002).

Application Deadline

The application deadline for fall 2020 has been extended until June 1, 2020 for fall 2020.

Patricia Scott
Academic Program Administrator