The UNC Gillings curriculum is designed to support passionate public health professionals in their journey to become leaders and effective, informed problem-solvers. We challenge our students to evolve into innovative practitioners, researchers and educators who anticipate future problems and create and implement thoughtful solutions.

All MPH@UNC concentrations can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you choose to enroll full-time, you can complete the program in 20–24 months. If you choose to enroll part-time, you have the convenience of setting your own pace, provided you complete all program requirements within five years. Part-time students typically complete the program in 28–36 months.

  • The Gillings MPH Core — 15 credits
  • Concentration-Specific Courses — 15 credits
  • Electives — 9 credits
  • Gillings MPH Practicum — 200 hours
  • Culminating Experience — 3 credits
  • Comprehensive Exam

MPH Courses — Delivered Online

Gillings MPH Core Courses

All MPH@UNC students are required to complete five of their core courses at the beginning of their coursework. Additionally, students must take SPHG 701: Leading from the Inside Out prior to beginning their practicum hours. Students enroll in the final core course — Practicum Reflection and Interprofessional Practice — once they have completed their practicum hours.

  • Core Course 1: Understanding Public Health Issues (2 credits)

    Public health practitioners work to improve population-wide health outcomes and reduce health disparities. To succeed at this, they must first be able to understand health issues in depth, within a specific context. This course is designed to provide you with the skills to do this, and the opportunity to apply those skills to contemporary health issues. Read more about Core Course 1.

  • Core Course 2: Methods and Measures (2 credits)

    This course introduces epidemiologic concepts and teaches how to describe population patterns of health, inequities and their determinants. You will focus on what to measure, how to measure it, whom to measure it in and how to do so in ways that minimize bias. Assignments in the course will be designed for collaborative and active learning. Case studies, lab discussion and team projects will promote critical thinking and use of evidence-based reasoning. Read more about Core Course 2.

  • Core Course 3: Data Analysis for Public Health (2 credits)

    To improve population-wide health outcomes and reduce disparities, you must be able understand how to produce, use and interpret data analyses. Public health professionals use data to understand how different factors (predictors) may be associated with health outcomes of interest. Data analyses are also used to determine the extent to which different interventions may be effective. Thus, you must be able to use data to make convincing arguments for which factors are important determinants in a public health outcome and to understand public health issues. Read more about Core Course 3.

  • Core Course 4: Conceptualizing Public Health Solutions (2 credits)

    In this course, we will move from understanding and measuring health problems to conceptualizing and planning solutions for those problems. You will explore how public health practitioners establish priorities for action, taking into account context and community as crucial factors that impact how practitioners conceptualize and, subsequently, plan, implement, evaluate and disseminate information about public health programs and policies. Read more about Core Course 4.

  • Core Course 5: Developing, Implementing & Evaluating Public Health Solutions (4 credits)

    This course is organized around a policy and program planning model. You will develop skills to help refine and enhance your understanding of public health problems; identify, analyze and prioritize potential solutions; adapt evidence-based solutions for a particular context and fully develop solution proposals; and secure buy-in and effectively implement solutions. Read more about Core Course 5.

Concentration-Specific and Elective Courses

After completing the Gillings MPH Core, you will begin taking five required, concentration-specific courses (15 credits). You also will be able to customize your coursework for your concentration by selecting from a list of electives courses. You are required to complete a total of three elective courses (9 credits) during your course of study. Learn about our MPH offerings: MPH Leadership and MPH Nutrition.

Gillings MPH Practicum

A practicum is a planned, mentored and evaluated work experience that gives you an opportunity to apply your MPH training in a real-world setting. Its components include a 2-credit course that will prepare you for your practicum (SPHG 701: MPH Practicum Preparation), a 200-hour (minimum) practicum experience and a 1-credit practicum reflection course (SPHG 702: MPH Practicum Reflection). There are no credits tied to practicum hours as a cost savings to students. Please check out our practicum FAQs for more information.

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience is an interdisciplinary, project-based course centered on a problem relevant to public health practice.

To learn more about MPH@UNC, request information and an admissions counselor will contact you.