Oct 23, 2018  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 

Public Health (M.P.H.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: University of Florida Graduate Majors Not Used

Master of Public Health Program Information

Director and Graduate Coordinator: Cindy Prins, PhD, MPH

The Master of Public Health degree is offered as a non-thesis program and is designed to prepare students to become effective public health practitioners, scientists, and educators. 

Students select one of six concentration areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health management and policy
  • Public health practice 
  • Social and behavioral sciences

Both a 48-credit program for students without terminal health science degrees and a 42-credit program for students with a terminal degree are offered. A combined bachelor’s/master of public health program is available, as well as a 15-credit college certificate program. Students interested in collaborative programs may pursue joint MPH and DVM, MD, JD, PharmD, DPT, or DMD degrees, or concurrent master’s and PhD programs. The MPH degree program and the Public Health certificate are available on campus and online. For program descriptions and information on applying, visit the website: www.mph.ufl.edu.

48-credit Master of Public Health: Students who do not hold a terminal degree in a health science discipline are eligible to apply for the 48-credit program. The program provides comprehensive coverage of core public health content and allows selection of a concentration. Students must complete 16 credits of core public health course work, 15-21 credits of concentration core courses, up to 12 credits of elective courses, and five to eight credits of internship. The course work representing these requirements is described below.

42-credit accelerated Master of Public Health: Students who hold a terminal degree (usually a doctoral degree) in a health science discipline may be eligible for the 42-credit accelerated program. This program requires completion of 16 credits of core public health course work, 21 credits of concentration and elective course work, and a five-credit internship.

Combined degree program: The College offers a combined degree program to allow qualified undergraduates to earn both a bachelor’s degree and the Master of Public Health degree efficiently. Seniors with any undergraduate major are eligible for the combined degree program as long as they have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2 and competitive scores on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE, and their career interests match the MPH program. Students accepted into the combined degree program complete 15 credits of public health course work while still undergraduates, leaving only 33 credits after admission to graduate school. Students must achieve a B or better in public health courses taken as an undergraduate and be accepted to graduate school to complete the program.

Core Courses: All MPH students take five public health core courses. The core courses in environmental health, epidemiology, public health management and policy, and social and behavioral sciences are taken by all students. The core biostatistics course varies across concentration areas. Students in the biostatistics, environmental health, and epidemiology concentrations must take PHC 6052: Introduction to Biostatistical Methods.  All other MPH students must take PHC 6050: Statistical Methods for Health Sciences Research I.  In addition, all students must take a one-credit seminar in contemporary public health issues and five to eight credits of PHC 6946: Public Health Internship.

Internship, major paper, and oral presentation: Each student completes an internship, which provides an opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in the classroom to a real public health problem in a practice setting.  The internship is usually completed in the student’s final term in the program. Students may engage in many activities during an internship, but each student must have one special project which serves as the basis for a major paper and an oral presentation. The written and oral presentations represent the culmination of the academic experience in the MPH program. Presentations, which are scheduled on Public Health Day near the end of each semester, provide each student with an opportunity to organize and present the details of the special project to faculty, students, and invited guests. Students are expected to display their understanding of their projects in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field, and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates. Two faculty members, including the supervisory committee chair, attend each presentation and are responsible for assessing whether the student has successfully demonstrated a broad knowledge of the field of public health and depth in his or her concentration area.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Biostatistics

The contribution of biostatisticians is far reaching and includes both core public health research and consultation with other health professionals. The biostatistics concentration is designed primarily for students with a previous graduate degree (particularly in the health sciences) who want to obtain a solid background in quantitative and analytical methods for public health research. The course work exposes students to methodology typically used to analyze different types of public health data and gives them opportunities to apply these methodologies themselves.

Graduates of the MPH program with a concentration in biostatistics return to their careers with an improved understanding of quantitative methods for public health research. This increased knowledge will facilitate their own research programs and will enhance their ability to critically read the literature in their field. The biostatistics concentration requires completion of six concentration core courses: PHC 6053 Regression Methods for the Health and Life Sciences, PHC 6000 Epidemiology Research Methods I, PHC 6080 SAS for Public Health Data, PHC 6081 SAS for Public Health Analysis, and PHC 6055 Biostatistical Computing Using R. Remaining courses include the public health internship (PHC 6946) and electives in statistics and public health. Visit the biostatistics concentration website for the most up-to-date information about course options: http://mph.ufl.edu/programs/master-of-public-health/biostatistics.

See the department Biostatistics website for information about other programs offered by the department: http://biostat.ufl.edu/.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Environmental Health

Professionals trained in environmental health study the impact of our surroundings on our health. They understand how environmental risk factors can cause diseases like asthma, cancer, and food poisoning. Environmental health professionals make up approximately half of public health personnel and the field accounts for about half of public health expenditures. Students interested in environmental health typically have a background in biological or physical sciences, engineering, nursing, medicine, and veterinary medicine. Prior experience in chemistry, biology, statistics, and Microsoft Excel software is desirable. Please note the prerequisites for Environmental Health courses and speak with the instructor if you have not successfully completed the prerequisites. The following courses are required for all students pursuing the environmental health concentration: VME 6602, VME 6607, PHC 6702, and PHC 6316. Students may also choose from elective course work listed on the department website below. Environmental health students complete their programs with an internship (PHC 6946) and electives on a wide variety of environmental health and public health topics.

Visit the environmental health concentration website for the most up-to-date information about course options:
http://mph.ufl.edu/programs/master-of-public-health/environmental-health. And visit the Website of the Department of Environmental and Global Health for information about other academic programs and activities in the department: http://egh.phhp.ufl.edu.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Epidemiology

Epidemiology focuses on the study of the distribution and determinants of health in populations and communities. It is the scientific foundation of public health research that seeks to reduce risk factors and improve health. The discipline also contributes to public health practice and policy, and research in other health-related fields such as medicine and pharmacy. This concentration area is designed to train professionals to apply the principles and methods of epidemiological investigation in a broad range of settings. The required concentration core courses in epidemiology are PHC 6000, PHC 6002, PHC 6003, PHC 6011, and PHC 6053. Epidemiology concentration students complete their programs with an internship (PHC 6946) and electives in epidemiology and public health.

Additional detail and options for epidemiology elective course work is at the website: http://mph.ufl.edu/programs/master-of-public-health/epidemiology. Please also visit the website of the Department of Epidemiology for up-to-date information about other epidemiology programs and activities: http://epidemiology.phhp.ufl.edu.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Public Health Management and Policy (PHMP)

This concentration focuses on the structure and administration of health organizations and the policies that impact health programs and reimbursement of health services. The concentration encompasses two of the major roles of leaders in public health. Essential skills for managing a health agency or organization include accounting, financial management, human resource management, strategic and program planning, operations research, economics, and monitoring outcome measures. Development, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of government policies require analytical skills and social skills, as well as a deep understanding of politics.

The PHMP concentration requires six core courses: HSA 5174, HSA 6115, HSA 6152, PHC 6104, PHC 6421, and PHC 6103. In addition, students take two elective courses in one of three areas of specialization:

–Public health management
–Public policy
–Pharmaceutical use and policy.

The PHMP students complete their programs with an internship (PHC 6946) and public health elective courses.

Visit the public health management and policy concentration website for the most up-to-date information about course options: http://mph.ufl.edu/prospective-students/mph/traditional-mph-degree/concentrations/public-health-management-and-policy/.

The website of Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy provides additional information about activities and other academic programs in the department: http://hsrmp.phhp.ufl.edu.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Public Health Practice

This concentration provides the opportunity to develop breadth in public health by taking coursework in two, three, or four of the core public health concentrations. Such breadth is often required of professionals who assume positions of leadership in public health. It is available to students in joint and concurrent degree programs, medical and other health scientists, and working professionals. The Public Health Practice concentration is available on-campus and online.

The campus curriculum for this concentration follows the same model as the other concentrations. Students pursuing public health practice begin their programs with the five core courses required of all MPH students. Instead of a specified set of concentration core courses, however, these students may choose two or more courses from advanced course options in two to four of the other concentrations. Students complete their degree with a five to eight credit internship. All students in this concentration must hold a prior health professional degree or be enrolled in a joint or concurrent graduate program. To be eligible for the accelerated option, applicants must hold a terminal degree in a health or health-related field.

The online Public Health Practice curriculum begins with the five core courses and then offers two or more courses in epidemiology, environmental health, public health management and policy and social and behavioral sciences. Students complete their degree with a five to eight credit internship. Online students are not available to pursue the MPH on campus in Gainesville, either due to employment or geographic distance.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The social and behavioral sciences concentration is based on the understanding that health and health behavior are influenced by multiple psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors. Central to addressing health problems and eliminating health disparities and inequalities, these factors must be understood and addressed using a framework exploring multiple levels (individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and population) and the interactions among them. Through classroom instruction, research, and field practice, MPH students who concentrate in social and behavioral sciences explore the unique issues faced by diverse groups and populations and acquire skills to achieve social and behavioral change. Students in the social and behavioral sciences concentration are required to take five courses: PHC 6251 (Assessment and Surveillance in Public Health), PHC 6146 (Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation), PHC 6700 (Social and Behavioral Research Methods), PHC 6195 (Public Health Information for Diverse Populations), and PHC 6405 (Theoretical Foundations of Public Health). In addition, they may choose two courses from ten concentration electives (e.g., PHC 6762, PHC 6441). Social and behavioral science students complete their programs with an internship (PHC 6946) and elective courses in public health or related fields.

Visit the social and behavioral science concentration website for the most up-to-date information about course options.

Campus program: http://mph.ufl.edu/prospective-students/mph/traditional-mph-degree/concentrations/social-and-behavioral-science/.

Online program: http://mph.ufl.edu/prospective-students/mph/online-mph-degree/concentrations/social-and-behavioral-sciences/.


Degrees Offered with a Major in Public Health

Master of Public Health

without a concentration

with a concentration in Biostatistics

with a concentration in Environmental Health

with a concentration in Epidemiology

with a concentration in Health Management and Policy

with a concentration in Public Health Practice

with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Public Health Courses

College of Public Health and Health Professions Courses

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: University of Florida Graduate Majors Not Used