Academic Programs Catalog

College of Human Medicine

Master of Public Health in Public Health

The Master of Public Health Degree in Public Health engages students in course work and practical training to obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform as a public health professional.  Public health is a discipline that is distinct from clinical medicine.  Public health focuses on the health status of communities and populations and emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion over treatment.   Three major functions of public health include assessment, policy development and assurance. Core disciplines contributing to public health include biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Prospective students are encouraged to review for additional information.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Human Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be considered for admission to the Master of Public Health in Public Health, an applicant must:

  1. submit an Application to Graduate Study at Michigan State University with application fee;
  2. have earned a bachelor’s degree from a recognized, accredited educational institution;
  3. submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores;
  4. submit three letters of recommendation from professional or academic references;
  5. submit a personal statement describing interest in and understanding of public health including professional career goals, and how their experiences, personal and professional, have influenced that interest;
  6. submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended;
  7. submit a resume or curriculum vitae;
  8. submit official English language proficiency test scores to institution code 1465 (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB) if applying as an international applicant.

The MPH Admission Committee integrates the academic information, letters of recommendation, and personal statement to make the final admissions decision based on the following considerations:

  1. Academic:  including attributes such as grades, trend in grades, degrees earned, rigors of the degree programs, graduate study placement scores, research experience, and cognitive skills;
  2. Personal Motivation:  including attributes such as public health experience and insights about public health competencies, health care reform, and other ethical, social, legal, political, and economic aspects of health;
  3. Social Awareness:  including attributes such as community service, experience with persons or groups unlike themselves, leadership, and mentoring experiences, as well as effective communication skills and sensitivity to community concerns.

Requirements for the Master of Public Health in Public Health

The Master of Public Health in Public Health is available only online and under Plan B (non-thesis). Students must complete 43 credits as specified below.

1. Complete all of the following courses (25 credits):
PH 801 Introduction to Public Health 3
PH 802 Biostatistics for Public Health 3
PH 803 Epidemiology for Public Health 3
PH 804 Public Health Policy and Administration 3
PH 805 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health 3
PH 806 Environmental Factors of Health 3
PH 827 Principles of Public Health Leadership 1
PH 828 Community Engagement in Public Health Practice 3
PH 854 Health Equity Framework for Public Health Practice 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
PH 807 Practical Application and Critical Thinking in Public Health 3
PH 853 Public Health Program/Intervention Evaluation 3
PH 880 Study Design and Research Methods for Public Health Practice 3
3. Complete 9 credits of elective course work from a list of approved courses available through the student’s academic advisor or on the MPH Web site.
4. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
PH 892 Public Health Applied Practice Experience 3
PH 893 Public Health Integrative Learning Experience 3


Public health careers will be some of the fastest growing in the country over the next decade. To provide students with a path to better compete for in-demand careers in public health there is the option of pursuing a concentration. Completing the course work for one or more concentrations will fulfill the elective requirements for the Master in Public Health listed above under item 3. All completed concentrations will be listed on the student's transcript.

Data Management and Analytics Concentration
Provides students with the data management and analytic skillset needed to effectively utilize a variety of public health and health care data sources for applied public heath practice and research purposes, while integrating a data equity framework into all aspects of this work. Students completing this concentration will possess the skills to access, manage, assess, analyze, and report findings from a myriad of data sources commonly used in public health such as, vital records, surveys, surveillance, and in the healthcare delivery setting such as, administrative claims data, electronic medical records data. These concentration courses will prepare MPH students with the applied skills needed to pursue careers in public health positions which require skills in data management and analyses.
All the following courses (9 credits):
PH  826  Data Management in Public Health Practice  3
PH  878 Applied Biostatistics for Public Health Practitioners  3
PH  829 Public Health and Healthcare Delivery Data  3

Rural Public Health Concentration
Provides students with sufficient skills and knowledge to effectively work as public health leaders and practitioners in rural communities, both globally and domestically. Students completing this concentration will develop an understanding of how unique social, cultural, political, and environmental characteristics of rural communities, as well as structural, systemic, and historical influences, affect everything from rural health and well-being to public health and health care delivery, policy development, collaborative opportunities, and advocacy strategies. Courses in the concentration will prepare MPH students with a unique set of applied skills needed to pursue careers in rural public health.
All the following courses (9 credits):
PH  830  Foundations of Rural Public Health  3
PH  834 Drivers of Rural Health  3
PH  839 Rural Public Health Policy and Advocacy  3