Curriculum

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

MPH@UNC 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 months. If you choose to enroll part time, you can complete the program in 28 months.

MPH@UNC is a 42-credit program. As a student, you must complete the following:

  • The Gillings MPH Core — 12 credits
  • Concentration-Specific Courses — 15 credits
  • Electives — 9 credits
  • Applied Practicum Experience — 3 credits
  • Integrated Learning Experience — 3 credits

MPH Courses — Delivered Online

Gillings MPH Core Courses

All MPH@UNC students are required to complete five core courses, known as the Gillings MPH Core. You must complete these core courses before transitioning into your concentration area.

  • 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 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. We 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 required, concentration-specific courses. You will complete a total of five concentration-specific courses (15 credits). You will also be able to customize your coursework for your concentration by selecting from a list of elective courses. You are required to complete a total of three elective courses (9 credits) during your course of study.

Learn about the Leadership in Practice concentration and the Nutrition concentration.

Applied Practicum Experience 

The practicum, or field experience, is intended to provide you with an opportunity to integrate coursework in a new or different type of health-related setting. This experience will be completed after most regular coursework, and it cannot be solely an observational experience. The practicum may be completed in your current place of employment if it meets curricular requirements. Final practicum hour requirements are still being finalized and should be available by spring 2018. Students should expect the final requirement to be approximately 200 hours of work at your practicum site.

Integrated Learning Experience

The integrated learning experience is a major paper on a problem relevant to public health practice.


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