2017-18 Catalogs

MPH in Public Health

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Healthy living, chronic disease, health system performance and costs, access to health care, environmental threats, health disparities – these are some of the pressing public health concerns facing Maine and the nation. Through our nationally-recognized academic and research programs, the Muskie School of Public Service is dedicated to improving health and health systems.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is an accredited program that prepares students with the practical knowledge and skills to address today’s complex population health and health services needs. Multi-disciplinary in nature, the MPH program delivers a broad population health and health systems perspective. The program offers hands-on field experience opportunities in a wide variety of public health and healthcare organizations in Maine and beyond including state and local health departments, primary care and multi-specialty physician practices, hospitals, and health and health-related organizations. Graduates work in the public and private sectors to apply evidence-based practices and state-of-the-art knowledge and skills to improve population health.

The MPH program offers many opportunities for experiential learning.  Through paid graduate and research assistantships with nationally recognized faculty and staff, many students engage in projects addressing public health, health service, and health policy problems critical to improving public health and health systems.  Faculty and alumni offer strong connections with the practice community, creating opportunities for field placements, capstone projects, and career networking.

For More Information

For more information about the Public Health program, please e-mail Brenda Joly, program chair at brenda.joly@maine.edu or (207) 228-8456. 

The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a generalist curriculum that provides a foundation of knowledge and the opportunity to develop core skills for effective performance in public health fields, including management and leadership positions. Coursework includes both individual and team assignments, and is designed to build program competencies and to integrate learning across the curriculum. Oral and written communication skills are developed throughout the curriculum, along with competencies in informed decision-making (e.g. epidemiology, biostatistics), and leadership and management. The MPH is a 45 credit hour degree. The Graduate Program in Public Health was accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health in 2016, for the period 2013 through 2021.

Students have considerable flexibility in selecting their courses. Students are required to take the Required Core Courses and three additional courses covering applied research and evaluation, public health practice and health policy. In addition, students must take an additional twelve elective credit hours of which at least six credits must be courses with the MPH designation. The remaining six credits may include offerings from other programs.

Required Core Courses – 24 credits:

 Additional required courses - 9 credits:

MPH Elective Courses
Students are required to select 12 elective credits. Elective credits may be drawn from the elective list below.  Students must select a  minimum of six credit hours that carry the MPH prefix.

MPH Electives:

 Pre-approved elective courses from other programs:

  • GEO 608 Geographic Information System Applications I
  • GEO 618 Georgraphic Information Systems Applications II

For application instructions, go to http://usm.maine.edu/apply and find the Graduate Application Process.

Questions on the application process should be directed to the Office of Admissions at 207-780-4386 or usmgrad@maine.edu.

MPH Admissions Criteria

Bachelor’s Degree

Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university and provide evidence of academic achievement including a GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units.  International students must submit an evaluation from an outside agency documenting they have the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree.  The Admissions website has a list of agencies that do evaluations.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Applicants must submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.

Statement of Purpose
Applicants must submit a personal statement of purpose (maximum of 750 words) describing why they want a degree in public health and why they are interested in this program. Applicants are encouraged to describe their motivation and any emerging career aspirations.

GRE Scores

GRE scores are required for all applicants who have received, or will be receiving an undergraduate degree within 12 months of their application.

Other Considerations

The Muskie MPH program is particularly interested in applicants who have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, applicants with international life experience, and those with paid or unpaid experience working in public health or health care delivery.

Accelerated Degree Options

Qualified students admitted to other USM and University of Maine System graduate degree programs, and health-related undergraduate programs, may be eligible for accelerated degree options.  

Undergraduate students are encouraged to explore careers in public health.  Interested students are welcomed in MPH 500-level (entry graduate) courses, in accordance with the requirements of their undergraduate degree programs.  Interested undergraduate students should contact the program chair of the Master of Public Health.

Full-time MPH Students
Year 1, Fall Semester - 9 credits:

Year 1, Spring Semester - 12 credits:

Year 1, Summer - 6 credits:

Year 2, Fall Semester - 9 credits:

Year 2, Spring Semester - 9 credits:


Part-time MPH Students
Year 1, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 1, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

  • MPH 660 Health Policy (prerequisite MPH 525 American Health Systems or permission of instructor)
  • MPH Elective 1 (3 credits)

Year 2, Summer Semester - 6 credits:

Year 3, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 3, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 4, Fall Semester - 3 credits:

  • Elective 4 (3 credits)