Jun 24, 2018  
Graduate Record 2015-2016 
Graduate Record 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Public Health

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UVa Health System
P.O. Box 800717
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0717
(434) 924-8646 Fax: (434) 924-8437



The Master in Public Health (M.P.H.), applicants must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), LSAT or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Students who hold an M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., J.D., or D.V.M. from an accredited American university are exempt from the GRE/MCAT/LSAT requirement. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with supporting transcripts, Statement of Intent, and recommendations as described in the on-line application packet. Those whose first language is not English must pass the TOEFL with a score of at least 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test).

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is an interdisciplinary professional degree offered individually or as a dual program with other professional degrees (MD/MPH, JD/MPH, MBA/MPH, MPP/MPH). It is designed to provide an understanding of the public health sciences, knowledge, and skills that are used in public health practice, population-based research, and health care policy and management. The program draws upon the strengths of UVa faculty within the Schools of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Law, Education, and Architecture, as well as the larger university community. While the M.P.H. degree is designed to meet national accreditation requirements, it provides flexibility for students to tailor the program to their particular interests. After completing a core set of courses basic to public health, students pursue advanced coursework in a particular track and choose a concentration for their fieldwork or research from a variety of topics and areas of study. The program features courses in public health law and ethics.

Degree Requirements

As defined by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the Accreditation Criteria for the M.P.H. degree include the following: course work in five core areas of public health; additional course work in an area of concentration; and a field placement and a “culminating” experience that require students to synthesize and integrate knowledge from coursework and public health field work.

Core Areas

The core courses provide the basic skills and knowledge necessary for public health. The CEPH Accreditation Criteria for the M.P.H. degree require at least one course in each of the following five core areas:

  1. Biostatistics: collection, storage, retrieval, analysis and interpretation of health data; design and analysis of health-related surveys and experiments; and concepts and practice of statistical data analysis;
  2. Epidemiology: distributions and determinants of disease, disabilities and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis of health;
  3. Environmental health sciences: environmental factors including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of the community;
  4. Health policy and health services administration: planning, organization, administration, management, evaluation and policy analysis of health programs; and
  5. Social and behavioral sciences: concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and the solution of public health programs.

M.P.H. Field Placement

Each student must complete a planned, supervised and evaluated practical experience. Practical knowledge and skills are considered an important component of a public health professional degree program; students must apply the knowledge and skills acquired through their courses of study. Placement opportunities will be available with a wide a range of community agencies, including local and state public health agencies in the program’s geographic area, and federal agencies. The possession of a prior professional degree in another field or prior work experience that is not closely related to the academic objectives of the student’s degree program would not be sufficient reason for changing the Field Placement requirement.

M.P.H. Culminating Experience

Students must complete a culminating experience that requires them to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a way that approximates some aspect of professional practice. Different models are possible, including a major paper such as a thesis or an applied research project, or the development of case studies.

Required Courses and Tracks

The M.P.H. degree program requires students to complete 42 credits of course work: at least 24 credits of required courses; 12 credits of course work in a track or concentration; and the remaining credits in electives.

Each student accepted into the M.P.H. program will identify a concentration and develop an individualized course of study with their advisor (and approved by an M.P.H. faculty steering committee) that addresses the student’s professional interests, needs, and goals.

Students also must complete up to 6 credits to satisfy the field placement and culminating experience.

Course Descriptions

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