Jul 23, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Public Health, MPH

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program prepares graduate students to apply core principles of public health within a variety of community settings and to advance the public health profession.  The MPH program seeks to fulfil the Department of Public Health Science’s vision “Healthy People. Healthy Places. Healthy Communities.”  The mission is to develop leaders in evidence-based practice who advance the public’s health.  The program values collaboration, community engagement, diversity, innovation, professionalism, health equity, and social justice in its pursuit of attaining the highest possible standards of health and well-being.

Students develop specialized skills in one of 3 concentrations:  (1) Community Health Practice (CHPR); (2) Epidemiology (EPID), or (3) Population Health Analytics (PHAN).  The program prepares students to provide leadership in a variety of settings, including health-related agencies and organizations, hospitals, local and state public health departments, academic research centers and institutes, corporate disease management and wellness programs, non-profit agencies, and healthcare businesses and industries.

Program Goals

The MPH program achieves its mission through a set of complementary and reinforcing instructional, practice, service, and diversity goals that reflect the program’s values and provide a framework for defining, assessing, and evaluating both students and the curriculum.

  • Goal 1 (instructional): Provide public health students with knowledge, skills, and abilities to become effective practitioners through educational activities, a course of study, and related internship experiences.
  • Goal 2 (practice): Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public health services and contribute to the development, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, with a primary focus on the Charlotte region.
  • Goal 3 (service): Promote collaborations with community partners and stakeholders through faculty and students, helping to lead the development of the public health profession in the Charlotte region.
  • Goal 4 (service): Foster participation in local, regional, and national/international organizations that advance the public health profession.
  • Goal 5 (diversity): Address the health and public health workforce needs of a dynamic, emerging urban environment and its increasingly diverse population.

Admission Requirements

  1. Recommended GPA of 3.0 or higher out of 4.0.
  2. Acceptable scores on both the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Official scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) may be substituted for the GRE for US undergraduate students.  Contact the Graduate School to upload official MCAT reports.
  3. Bachelor’s degree by time of desired admission.
  4. Three letters of recommendation.  At least two letters are preferred from academic professors who have taught the applicant in the classroom and can confirm their written and oral abilities.
  5. Personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in public health, desired concentration, and professional goals.

For Non-U.S. Students

  1. If English is not the applicant’s native language and she or he has not earned a post-secondary degree from a U.S. institution, they are required to submit official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  Either a minimum score of 557 on the paper-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 220 on the computer based TOEFL, a minimum score of 83 on the Internet based TOEFL, or a minimum overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is required.  Applicants from certain countries are exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.
  2. Internationally trained physicians who have passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) have the equivalent of a US Medical Degree (MD), can request an exemption from the GRE and English language proficiency requirements.  Contact the Graduate School to upload official documentation of USMLE results into the application.

Early Entry Program

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may apply for the Early Entry Program and begin work toward the graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for details and requirements.  Also see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of the Graduate Catalog for more information about Early Entry Programs.

Admission Process

Students wishing to attend full-time should apply for Fall admission.  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Admissions Committee beginning in October for Fall admission of the coming year.  Offers for assistantships and nominations for scholarships are made for admitted students in early Spring; thus, it is recommended that candidates submit applications by the preferred submission date of January 15 for Fall admission.  However, applications may be submitted after the preferred date as well.  Admission decisions are typically made within 1-3 weeks. 

Degree Requirements

The curriculum leading to the Master of Public Health degree requires a minimum of 45 graduate credit hours.  The plan of study includes 15 credit hours of core courses; an applied learning experience (internship; 3 credit hours); a concentration with its core courses (15 credit hours) and its associated integrative learning experience or ILE (3 credit hours); and elective courses (9 credit hours).

While the program can be completed within two academic years (4 semesters plus Summer), 5 semesters is the expected time to completion for full-time students.  Part-time students are expected to complete the program within 5 years (10 semesters).

Applied Learning Experience (3 credit hours)

Concentration Courses (18 credit hours)

Select one of the following concentrations, including its associated capstone integrative learning experience.  Students declare a concentration at the time of application for admission to the MPH.  Students desiring to change concentrations should notify their advisor by the end of their second semester.  Students must meet any eligibility requirements as outlined in the concentration.

Community Health Practice (CHPR) Concentration

The Community Health Practice concentration is designed to train students to conduct the 3 core functions of public health: assessment, policy development, and evaluation.  These activities include measuring health behavior, designing appropriate educational or policy interventions, and implementing and evaluating health promotion, risk prevention and risk reduction services.  Students completing the Community Health Practice concentration will be eligible to sit for and pass the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam.


The Community Health Practice concentration is open to all MPH students.

Required Courses

Epidemiology (EPID) Concentration

The MPH Concentration in Epidemiology provides students a broad understanding of epidemiological principles and its application to public health practice.  Through coursework, integrated learning experience, and internship, students develop quantitative and methodological skills necessary to design, conduct, analyze, and disseminate epidemiological studies.


It is recommended that students interested in the Concentration in Epidemiology complete HLTH 6211  in their first semester of matriculation with a grade of B or above and maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 at the end of the first semester.

Required Courses

Population Health Analytics (PHAN) Concentration*

The Population Health Analytics concentration provides students a thorough grounding in data science, system architecture, and analytics that prepares them to advance population and community health through the practice of health informatics. Emphasis is placed on understanding existing health systems data and the use of analytic techniques applied to large data sets such as visualization and geographic mapping.


By the end of the first semester of matriculation in the program, students must complete (or be excused from based upon prior training and/or experience) non-credit asynchronous training modules in computer vocabularies, programming systems, health vocabularies, and classification systems.

Required Courses

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

Interprofessional Elective Course (3 credit hours)

Complete one master’s level course from any discipline outside the Department of Public Health Sciences (e.g., Social Work, Gerontology, Psychology). IPEs cannot include any courses with the HLTH, HADM, or HCIP prefix (or any courses cross-listed with those prefixes).

Degree Total = 45 Credit Hours


Students are assigned an academic advisor during their first semester of the program; advisor assignments are based on the student’s declared concentration.  Students are expected to meet with their advisors at least once per semester to plan their progression through the program.  The Graduate Program Director must approve any course substitutions or transfer credits.


Positions as a graduate assistants or teaching assistants may be available.  Research assistantships may be available as well, and are competitively awarded.  Assistantships pay a stipend, which may vary.  Students seeking assistantships should contact the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Public Health Sciences for additional information or consult the MPH website.

Financial Aid/Financial Assistance

Financial aid and assistance is available to qualifying students, which may be accessed through the Office of Student Financial Aid.  See the Financial Information  section for more information on the opportunities that are available, and how to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Program Certifications/Accreditations

The MPH Program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).  The Department of Public Health Services is a member of  the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).  Students completing the MPH Program are eligible to sit for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credentialing exam administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.  Students completing the MPH Community Health Practice concentration are eligible to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC); students completing alternate concentrations also may be eligible to sit for the CHES examination.