Public Health

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 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, with a nationally accredited specialization in Health Management. 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 Elise Bolda, program chair at elise.bolda@maine.edu or (207) 780-4847. 

The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a competency-based 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. Students may choose to pursue a Generalist concentration or a specialization in Health Management. The Health Management specialization is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation in Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and was first accredited in 2003.

Generalist
Students in the generalist concentration have considerable flexibility in selecting their courses. Generalist 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, Generalist 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.

Health Management Specialization
Students in the Health Management Specialization are required to take the Required Core Courses and six additional required courses that include the study of planning and marketing, health law and ethics, health finance, health economics, quality improvement and health information management. Students select one elective course from the MPH program listings or from other programs. 

The MPH program offers full- and part-time options and a schedule adapted for career professionals. Classes are held in the late afternoon and evening. Some courses are available live-at-a-distance on students' own devices, via the internet, others are available via the University of Maine System’s videoconference network. At least one course each semester is offered using weekly, asynchronous online-technology.
 
Required Core Courses (required for all Public Health students) – 24 credits:

 Additional Health Management Specialization required courses – 18 credits:

 Additional Generalist Concentration required courses - 9 credits:

MPH Elective Courses
Students pursuing the Health Management specialization are required to select three elective credits, student pursuing the Generalist concentration are required to select 12 elective credits. Elective credits may be drawn from the required courses listed above if not required for your specialization or from either of the elective lists below.  Students pursuing the Generalist concentration 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 Graduate 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 or MCAT Scores Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores. Applicants to more than one program may substitute the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or General Management Admission Test (GMAT) tests for the GRE.

GRE/MCAT Exceptions

  • GRE or substitute test scores are not required for applicants who have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited U.S. institution, (or its international equivalent as documented by evaluation by an outside agency) or foreign medical graduates admitted to practice by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
  • GRE or substitute test scores may be waived for applicants employed by the USM Cutler Institute.  Cutler Institute employees and other applicants who feel their work experience is sufficient to warrant a waiver of the GREs should contact the chair of the MPH program directly to ask for a waiver of the standardized test score. Typically waivers are not granted to those with fewer than 8 years of professional experience.

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 (Health Management Specialization)
Year 1, Fall Semester - 12 credits:

Year 1, Spring Semester - 12 credits:

Year 1, Summer - 3 credits:

Year 2, Fall Semester - 9 credits:

Year 2, Spring Semester - 9 credits:

Full-time MPH Students - Generalist Specialization
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 (Health Management Specialization)
Year 1, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 1, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Summer Semester - 3 credits:

Year 3, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 3, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 4, Fall Semester - 3 credits:

Year 4, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

 Part-time MPH Students (Generalist Specialization)
Year 1, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 1, Spring Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Fall Semester - 6 credits:

Year 2, Spring Semester - 6 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)

Graduates of the Muskie School are working in diverse roles in the health services and public health fields in Maine and throughout the country. Our students and graduates have more than 40 different job titles, from Chief Executive Officer to Director of Research. They are health leaders, informing policy and practice, managing health and public health organizations, working to improve our population’s health. Whether you want to advance within your current career or begin a new career path, the MPH program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.

Get to know Muskie alumnus Corey Fravert

Graduate Program in Public Health

Mission: The mission of the Graduate Program in Public Health is to bridge the cultures of public health and health care delivery systems to build integrated, high functioning health and public health systems, engaging individuals, communities and providers in the development and management of a more effective and sustainable health infrastructure. To prepare students with the knowledge and skills to improve population health, we deliver a competency-based education, engaging faculty and students with external partners, to foster experiential learning, to conduct and translate research, and to contribute to public service.

Our program aligns with the mission of the Muskie School of Public Service and the University of Southern Maine as vitally engaged with the economic and social well-being of our region and state by promoting and supporting student success, community engagement, and sustainability.  


Why Study Public Health at USM?

From our competency-based curriculum to our CAHME accreditation to our nationally recognized faculty, there are many reasons to study Public Health at the Muskie School.  Learn more


Public Health Faculty

Students in the Muskie School Graduate Program in Public Health benefit from the knowledge and experience of the program's nationally recognized core, adjunct, and practice faculty.  Learn more


Career Options

Graduates of the Muskie School are working in diverse roles in the health services and public health fields in Maine and throughout the country. Our students and graduates have more than 40 different job titles from Chief Executive Officer to Director of Research.  Learn more


Employers, Partner Organizations, and Field Placements

The Public Health program offers hands-on field experience opportunities in a wide variety of public health and healthcare organizations in Maine and beyond. Our program alumni also offer a vast network throughout hospitals, state and local health departments, primary care and multi-specialty physician practices, and nonprofit health and health-related organizations.  Learn more


Program Competencies

Competencies describe activities or behaviors students should be able to demonstrate upon completion of a learning experience. Compentencies of the Public Health program include elements of communication, leadership, health policy and management, public health science, research, and theory, and informed decision-making.  Learn more


MPH Advisory Committee

The MPH Advisory Committee provides diverse perspectives, advice, and input to the Graduate Program in Public Health on its direction, priorities, and opportunities.  Learn more