Public Health (MPH)

Master of Public Health 
Unit: School of Public Health and Information Sciences (GH)
Program Website 
Academic Plan Code(s): See Concentration Requirements tab.

Program Information

Introduction

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is designed to graduate students with skills in the core competencies in public health and additional competencies in one of the following concentrations: biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, epidemiology, population health management, health policy, health promotion and behavior, or global public health.

Graduates of the MPH program are prepared for positions in the public health workforce, in health-related industries, and in academic organizations and for further professional or academic education.

Competencies

The MPH program has adopted the foundational competencies published by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH 2016 MPH Foundational Competencies) and each MPH concentration has developed concentration-specific competencies.

The learning objectives for each course in the MPH curriculum are mapped to these targeted foundational  CEPH competencies and the learning objectives for courses offered in each concentration are mapped to the specific competencies developed for that concentration.

Concentrations

Concentrations are offered in each of the following areas of public health. Each concentration is designed to develop the competencies needed by a public health worker in the corresponding area.

Concentration Department
Biostatistics Bioinformatics and Biostatistics
Epidemiology Epidemiology and Population Health
Global Public Health - emphasis in Maternal and Child Health All
Health Policy Health Management and System Sciences
Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

Students are encouraged to declare their concentration at the time of application, though applications from students that do not declare a concentration are also accepted. For students declaring concentrations, the faculty in each concentration reviews applicants for acceptance. Applications from students that do not declare a concentration are reviewed for acceptance by the MPH Program Director.

Requirements for declaring concentrations in the MPH program after matriculation are:

  • Undeclared students will need to identify to a concentration prior to November 15 of their first semester.
  • The student must be in good standing in the MPH program.
  • Any undeclared student will first meet with the department chair or director of the concentration prior to declaring that concentration to determine if there are any additional criteria for admission to that concentration.

Accreditation

The School of Public Health and Information Sciences is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). For more information, see the School’s accreditation webpage.


Accelerated BA-MPH in Public Health

The accelerated degree program allows a student to complete the Bachelor of Arts in Public Health (BA) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) over a five year period.  The first four years consist of undergraduate studies, including five core public health graduate level courses (15 credit hours) taken during the senior year, culminating in the award of the Bachelors of Arts in Public Health degree.  

The fifth year, including the summer following graduation with a bachelor’s degree, consists of graduate coursework in public health, leading to completion of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is designed to provide students with training in foundational MPH competencies as well as a specific area of concentration. MPH concentrations currently available for the accelerated program are:

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion and Behavior
  • Global Public Health with an emphasis in Maternal and Child Health

MPH graduates are prepared for positions in the public health work force, health-related industries, academic organizations, or for further professional or academic education.

The accelerated curriculum allows students to take up to 15 credit hours of the Master of Public Health core course work during their undergraduate studies.

For more information, including admissions requirements, please refer to the BA in Public Health catalog page.

Admission Requirements

The ideal candidate for admission to the MPH program has received the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher, can comprehend and communicate effectively in English, has the recommendations of at least three persons in a health-related or advanced education field, has performed satisfactorily on one or more standardized test, and is interested in pursuing a career in public health or a related field.

The requirements for admission to the MPH program are:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or its equivalent
  • Recommended minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • If a candidate's primary language is not English, one of the following:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam with a minimum score of 90 (after conversion for test type)
    • Passing an advanced level Intensive English as a Second Language program.
    • Degree from an accredited U.S. institution (requires provisional admission with evaluation of English language competency and potential requirement to pass an advanced level Intensive English as a Second Language program)

Applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS) at SOPHAS.org.

Students graduating from the University of Louisville and planning to attend the MPH program can apply directly to the School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

An application is considered after the following requirements have been received:

  • Three letters of recommendation written within the last twelve months.
  • Official transcripts of all degrees.
  • One-page personal statement written by the applicant that is a clear, substantive description of his or her goals in public health, noting any professional or research experience.
  • Official score from any of the following standardized tests: GRE*, MCAT, DAT, GMAT, or LSAT.
  • International applicants: Foreign credential evaluation of all degrees from non-U.S. institutions. Please contact the MPH program prior to completing this requirement.
  • Students applying with a concentration in Health Policy must be interviewed by the HMSS Health Leadership Committee.

* The GRE requirement may be waived for applicants to the MPH Program who have four or more years of public health-related experience.  Each department determines what constitutes such experience for their discipline.  Applicants interested in applying for a GRE waiver should contact the relevant department.

For information on the application process, please contact:

MPH Program
School of Public Health and Information Sciences

University of Louisville
485 East Gray Street
Louisville, KY 40202
sphismph@louisville.edu
Phone: (502) 852-3289

Fax: (502) 852-3294

Faculty Advisor

On matriculation, each student is assigned a faculty advisor and is requested to meet at least twice each semester with his or her advisor. If a student is admitted to a specific concentration that Department will assign a specific faculty advisor.  If students are admitted to the Global Health MPH or as undeclared, the MPH program director will serve as their advisor.  Undeclared students admitted to a specific concentration by the end of the first semester will be assigned a faculty advisor from the Department that houses that concentration. For Global Health students, a faculty advisor from the Global Health faculty will be assigned by the end of the first semester.

The faculty advisor serves as academic practicum advisor, academic mentor, and counselor on career and employment opportunities, professional development, and opportunities beyond graduate school. 

Program Requirements

The MPH curriculum consists of core courses, concentration courses in one of the areas of public health, completion of a practicum experience, and completion of an integrating experience. The core courses are generally completed prior to taking concentration courses, the integration experience, and the practicum. 

Full-time students are expected to complete the program and graduate in two years. Part-time students are required to complete the program and graduate within six years.

Coursework

42-48 total credit hours:

  • 15 credit hours of core courses
  • Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
  • Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
  • One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
  • 21-27 credit hours of concentration coursework

Students must successfully complete core, concentration, practicum, and integrating experience coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

MPH Coursework

Core Coursework15
Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration
Introduction to Public Health Behavior
Introduction to Epidemiology
Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I
Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Practice Experience3
Public Health Practice Experience 1
Public Health Practice Experience 2
Public Health Practicum Experience 3
Integrative Experience2
Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II
Interprofessional Experience1
Interprofessional Experience in Public Health
Concentration Coursework21-27
See Concentration Requirements for specific coursework and a two-year (full-time) Plan of Study
Minimum Total Hours42-48

Concentration courses (minimum 21 credit hours)

All students seeking an MPH degree in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) must take a minimum of 21 credit hours in their selected concentration. For a detailed description of coursework for each of the concentrations, click on "Concentration Requirements" in the menu above. 

Concentration Requirements

Concentration in Biostatistics

Academic Plan Code(s): PH_ _MPHBIO

42 total credit hours, made up of the following:

15 credit hours of MPH core coursework
Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
21 credit hours of required courses in Biostatistics

The Biostatistics concentration is not available for completion by accelerated MPH students.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
PHMS 501 Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration 3
PHPB 501 Introduction to Public Health Behavior 3
PHEP 501 Introduction to Epidemiology 3
PHST 500 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I 3
 Hours12
Spring
PHEH 500 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 3
PHST 501 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences II 3
PHST 620 Introduction to Statistical Computing 3
PHPH 677 Public Health Practice Experience 1 1
 Hours10
Year 2
Fall
PHST 680 Biostatistical Methods I 3
PHST 645 Health Sciences Data Collection Instrumentation 3
PHPH 678 Public Health Practice Experience 2 1
PHPH 697 Interprofessional Experience in Public Health 1
PHPH 698 Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II 2
 Hours10
Spring
PHST 640 Statistical Methods for Research Design in Health Sciences 3
PHPH 679 Public Health Practicum Experience 3 1
PHST 681 Biostatistical Methods II 3
PHST 684 Categorical Data Analysis 3
 Hours10
 Minimum Total Hours42

Concentration in Epidemiology

Academic Plan Code(s): PH_ _MPHEPI, PH_ _MPHEPA

Students concentrating in the MPH Epidemiology Program will be required to fulfill a minimum of 46 credit hours including the following:

15 credit hours of MPH core coursework
Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
22 credit hours of required courses in Epidemiology
Three (3) credit hours (maximum) of either: a) an epidemiology selective or b) an independent study (i.e., PHEP 666)2

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
PHMS 501 Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration 3
PHPB 501 Introduction to Public Health Behavior 3
PHEP 501 Introduction to Epidemiology 3
PHST 500 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I 3
 Hours12
Spring
PHEH 500 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 3
PHST 501 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences II 3
PHEP 602 Epidemiological Methods 3
PHPH 677 Public Health Practice Experience 1 1
 Hours10
Year 2
Fall
PHEP 619 Biology of Disease in Populations 3
PHEP 604 Epidemiology of Infectious Disease 2
PHEP 616 Disease Surveillance and Health Statistics 3
PHEP 627 Survey Research Methods 3
PHPH 678 Public Health Practice Experience 2 1
PHPH 697 Interprofessional Experience in Public Health 1
 Hours13
Spring
PHEP 609 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease 2
PHEP 655 Emerging Issues in Epidemiology 3
PHPH 679 Public Health Practicum Experience 3 1
PHPH 698 Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II 2
One of the following: 3
Master's Independent Study in Epidemiology and Population Health  
PHEP Selective (see list below) 1
 
 Hours11
 Minimum Total Hours46

1 Epidemiology Selectives: Availability of the following courses will vary each year as epidemiology selectives with consideration to faculty workloads:

  • PHEP 606 Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology 
  • PHEP 607 Epidemiology of Cancer
  • PHEP 613 Epidemiology of Aging and Disability 
  • PHEP 620 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology 
  • PHEP 624 Methods in Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology *
  • PHEP 626 Introduction to Social Epidemiology 
  • PHEP 611 Nutritional Epidemiology 
  • PHEP 615 Foundations of Global Maternal and Child Heath *
  • PHEP 625 Child Health & Development *

2 PHEP 666 Master's Independent Study in Epidemiology and Population Health may be taken as an optional course for MPH Epi-concentration students who wish to supplement their learning experience via independent research with a faculty member. Enrollment is limited to three (3) credit hours for an MPH student.

*Availability subject to coordination with Global Health Concentration. Non-epidemiology courses also may be selected pending program and instructor permissions; all courses offered by SPHIS are pre-approved by the program, with the exception of those required for the MS or PhD in Epidemiology (PHEP 618, PHEP 621, PHEP 622, PHEP 623, PHEP 648, PHEP 649, PHEP 701, PHEP 702, PHEP 750, PHEP 778) for which both program and instructor permission will be required for enrollment. 


Concentration in Global Public Health – Maternal and Child Health Emphasis 

Academic Plan Code(s): PH_ _MPHGPH, PH_ _MPHGPA

48 total credit hours, made up of the following:

15 credit hours of MPH core coursework
Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
15 credit hours of Global MPH concentration courses
12 credit hours of targeted MCH emphasis coursework

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
PHMS 501 Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration 3
PHPB 501 Introduction to Public Health Behavior 3
PHEP 501 Introduction to Epidemiology 3
PHST 500 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I 3
 Hours12
Spring
PHEH 500 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 3
PHST 501 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences II 3
PHMS 530 Comparative Health Systems 3
PHEP 615 Foundations of Global Maternal and Child Heath 3
PHPH 677 Public Health Practice Experience 1 1
 Hours13
Year 2
Fall
PHST 645 Health Sciences Data Collection Instrumentation 3
PHEP 624 Methods in Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology 3
PHPB 614 Critical Thinking, Programming Planning, and Implementation 3
PHPH 678 Public Health Practice Experience 2 1
PHPH 697 Interprofessional Experience in Public Health 1
 Hours11
Spring
PHEH 526 Nutrition and Maternal and Child Health 3
PHEP 625 Child Health & Development 3
PHPB 620 Emerging Infectious Diseases: Impacts and Control 3
PHPH 679 Public Health Practicum Experience 3 1
PHPH 698 Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II 2
 Hours12
 Minimum Total Hours48

Concentration in Health Policy

Academic Plan Code(s): PH_ _MPHHPC

48 total hours, made up of the following:

15 credit hours of MPH core coursework
Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
18 credit hours of concentration coursework
Nine (9) credit hours of Health Policy elective coursework

The Health Policy concentration is not available for completion by accelerated MPH students.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
PHMS 501 Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration 3
PHPB 501 Introduction to Public Health Behavior 3
PHEP 501 Introduction to Epidemiology 3
PHST 500 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I 3
 Hours12
Spring
PHEH 500 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 3
PHST 501 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences II 3
PHMS 610 Health Policy and Analysis 3
PHPH 677 Public Health Practice Experience 1 1
One of the following: 3
Comparative Health Systems  
Health Services Research Methods I (recommended for students wishing to pursue the PhD in Health Management & Policy)  
 Hours13
Year 2
Fall
PHMS 662 Health Economics 3
PHPH 678 Public Health Practice Experience 2 1
PHPH 697 Interprofessional Experience in Public Health 1
Health Policy (PHMS) Elective #1 * 3
One of the following: 3
Health Policy (PHMS) Elective #2 *
 
Health Services Research Methods ll (recommended for students wishing to pursue the PhD in Health Management & Policy)  
 Hours11
Spring
PHMS 609 Health Finance and Financial Management 3
PHPB 611 Community Organization and Assessment 3
PHPH 679 Public Health Practicum Experience 3 1
PHPH 698 Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II 2
Health Policy (PHMS) Elective #3 * 3
 Hours12
 Minimum Total Hours48

 Recommended Health Policy Electives*

*Students interested in pursuing the PhD in Public Health Sciences, specialization in Health Management and Policy should align their health policy electives with PhD courses to save up to 12 credit hours in the doctoral program.


Concentration in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

Academic Plan Code(s): PH_ _MPHHKC, PH_ _MPHHKA

46 total hours, made up of the following:

15 credit hours of MPH core coursework
Three (3) credit hours of Practice Experience
Two (2) credit hours of Integrative Experience
One (1) credit hour of Interprofessional Experience
25 credit hours of concentration coursework

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
PHMS 501 Introduction to Public Health Practice and Administration 3
PHPB 501 Introduction to Public Health Behavior 3
PHEP 501 Introduction to Epidemiology 3
PHST 500 Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences I 3
 Hours12
Spring
PHEH 500 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 3
PHPB 611 Community Organization and Assessment 3
PHPH 677 Public Health Practice Experience 1 1
One of the following: 3
Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Sciences II  
Public Health elective *
 
 Hours10
Year 2
Fall
PHPB 612 Health Communications Campaigns: Theory and Practice 3
PHPB 614 Critical Thinking, Programming Planning, and Implementation 3
PHPB 630 Social Determinants of Health 3
PHPB 660 Grant Writing for Health & Human Services 1
PHPH 678 Public Health Practice Experience 2 1
PHPH 697 Interprofessional Experience in Public Health 1
 Hours12
Spring
PHPB 604 Health Decision and Risk Analysis 3
PHPB 615 Advanced Program Evaluation 3
PHPB 635 Health Promotion Policy Development and Advocacy 3
PHPH 679 Public Health Practicum Experience 3 1
PHPH 698 Integrated Learning and Experience in Public Health II 2
 Hours12
 Minimum Total Hours46

*Other elective can be any SPHIS course for which the student meets the prerequisites or other another relevant course approved by the student's academic advisor.