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 fulfill the Department of Public Health Sciences’ vision: “Healthy communities partnered with responsive population health systems.” To support the department’s mission, “Advancing health equity and well-being in an urbanizing world,” the MPH program develops 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 four concentrations:
- Community Health Practice (CHPR)
- Epidemiology (EPID)
- Physical Activity and Nutrition (PANU)
- 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.
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): We develop leaders to promote health equity
- Goal 2 (research): We engage in scholarship to strengthen the public health evidence base
- Goal 3 (service): We collaborate with partners and stakeholders to advance population well-being
- Recommended GPA of 3.0 or higher out of 4.0
- Bachelor’s degree by time of desired enrollment
- 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
- Personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in public health, desired concentration, and professional goals
Note: Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT, MAT) are not required. Applicants must address the quantitative, verbal, and analytic abilities within their admissions essay.
For Non-U.S. Students
- 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 83 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or a minimum overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is required.
- 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 U.S. Medical Degree (MD), can request an exemption from the English language proficiency requirements.
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.
The MPH Program accepts students for both Fall and Spring admission. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Admissions Committee beginning in October for admission in Fall 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.
Students applying for Spring admission should be advised that because of the budgeting cycle, there are limited opportunities for funding the first semester. Depending upon the concentration chosen, students may need to attend an extra semester based on course sequencing and frequency of course offerings. The preferred application submission date for Spring is November 1.
All admission decisions are typically made within 1 month of the application being completed and submitted.
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).
Core Courses (15 credit hours)
Applied Learning Experience (3 credit hours)
Concentration Courses (18 credit hours)
Select one of the following concentrations, which include an associated 3 credit hour capstone course. The capstone course is an integrative learning experience where students synthesize their foundational and concentration-specific knowledge and skills. 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.
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.
Select one of the following:
Physical Activity and Nutrition (PANU) Concentration
The Physical Activity and Nutrition concentration is designed to train students to develop, deliver, and assess population-based, health promotion interventions related to improving physical activity and nutrition. These activities include selecting appropriate behavior assessment tools, designing appropriate educational interventions, and assessing behavioral levels to determine risk.
The Physical Activity and Nutrition concentration is open to all MPH students.
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.
Elective Courses (9 credit hours)
MPH students are required to take 2 elective courses with the HLTH prefix and 1 interprofessional elective course outside the department. MPH students enrolled in a Graduate Certificate program (e.g., Emergency Management, Gerontology, or Health Informatics and Analytics) by the end of their first year, may be eligible to substitute some of their certificate credit hours for their MPH elective credit hours. Please consult the MPH Graduate Program Director for further details.
Cross-Cutting Elective Course (3 credit hours)
Select one of the following:
Restricted Elective Course (3 credit hours)
Select a second course from the above Cross-Cutting Elective Courses OR one of the following:
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.
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.
Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)