Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the 42 credit-hour Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is designed to prepare students with the foundational public health knowledge and competencies to address the most pressing and emerging health problems and concerns nationally and globally.  Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of employment sectors including local, state, and federal health and social service agencies, non-governmental and voluntary health organizations, health care, and private industry. Students may choose from six highly specialized concentrations:  

  • Community Health Promotion
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health Communication
  • Public Health Practice (offered 100% online)

In accordance with the CEPH accreditation standards, students are required to complete: 

Coursework in the public health core18
Specialized coursework in the concentration21
Fieldwork for the applied practice experience3
Total Credits42

Admissions

Admission decisions are based on a review of:

  • applicant's undergraduate academic performance and recent post-baccalaureate coursework (transcripts);
  • GRE or equivalent scores;
  • professional and volunteer experience;
  • written statement of professional goals; and
  • letters of recommendation.

Some background in statistics, biology, and the social sciences is preferred. Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Admissions. Applications must be submitted using the online Schools of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS). Applications are considered for the fall semester only. For more information about application requirements and deadlines, please visit the CHHS Admissions website.

Policies

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit is governed by the policies outlined in AP.6.5.3 Graduate Transfer of Credit and AP.6.9 Requirements for Master's Degrees, and transfer credit must be approved by the program director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek academic advising through the department before taking a course and should plan to submit their application to the MPH program in their first semester of study.

Banner Code: HH-MPH-PUBH

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 42

Students must complete 42 credits of graduate coursework with at least a 3.00 GPA in order to graduate. Each course listed below can be used to fulfill only one requirement toward the MPH degree. A graduate course in which a grade of C or below is earned may be repeated only once. Graduate students may repeat no more than two courses. 

Public Health Core

GCH 543Global Health3
GCH 560Environmental Health3
GCH 600Health Promotion Methods3
GCH 601Introduction to Biostatistics3
GCH 645U.S. and Global Public Health Systems3
GCH 712Introduction to Epidemiology3
GCH 792Culminating Experience0
Total Credits18

Practicum Requirements

The required 200-hour practicum gives students the opportunity to apply and improve professional skills in a supervised practice setting and is completed in two parts. Students must have completed at least 21 credits toward the degree program in order to be eligible for their practicum. The first part is completed while enrolled in GCH 780 Practicum Seminar. This zero-credit course is designed to provide students an opportunity to identify and arrange their practicum placements in a structured environment. In the subsequent term, students perform work as interns at their selected placement sites for 200 contact hours and make final presentations of their experiences to the faculty and fellow students.

GCH 780Practicum Seminar0
GCH 790Practicum in Public Health3
Total Credits3

Concentration

Students must complete one concentration.

Concentration in Community Health Promotion (CMHP)

The Community Health Promotion concentration prepares health promotion specialists to work in local, state, and federal public health agencies, non-governmental health organizations, the healthcare sector, and private industry. Students in this concentration examine the social, behavioral, and environmental determinants associated with the most pressing health problems, and design, implement, and evaluate appropriate health promotion programs and preventive services to improve population health. The curriculum and practical experiences for this concentration are aligned with the core competencies for the social and behavioral sciences (Association of Schools and Programs for Public Health [ASPPH]) and the Areas of Responsibilities and Competencies for Health Education Specialists (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., 2015) and prepare students for the Certified Public Health (CEPH) examination and both the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) examinations.

Required Courses
COMM 620Health Communication3
GCH 610Health Behavior Theory3
GCH 611Health Program Planning and Evaluation3
GCH 651Behavioral Research Methods3
GCH 772Social Epidemiology3
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Health
HIV/AIDS: Concepts, Principles, and Interventions
Global Health Issues Related to Violence
Interventions in Public Health
Mental Health: A Global Perspective
Migrant Health
Global Infectious Diseases
Global Non-Communicable Diseases
Project Management in Public Health
Environmental Epidemiology
International Research Ethics and Methods
Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research I
Health Geography
Geographic Information Systems
Nutrition Education
Global Nutrition
Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance
Risk Communication
Science Communication
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
E-Health Communication
Science of the Environment I
Environmental Science and Public Policy
Environmental Toxicology
Environment and Society
Human Genetics Concepts for Health Care
Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Introduction to Management of Nonprofits
Emergency Planning and Preparedness
The NGO: Policy and Management
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

Concentration in Epidemiology (EPID)

The Epidemiology concentration prepares students to investigate and analyze factors that influence the occurrence, distribution, prevention, and control of disease. Emphasis is placed on the development of such skills as study design, data collection and management, data analysis and interpretation, and communication of research findings.

Required Courses
GCH 722Infectious Disease Epidemiology3
GCH 732Chronic Disease Epidemiology3
GCH 804Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research I3
GCH 726Advanced Methods in Epidemiology3
or GCH 805 Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research II
GCH 762Environmental Epidemiology3
or GCH 772 Social Epidemiology
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
HIV/AIDS: Concepts, Principles, and Interventions
Project Management in Public Health
Advanced Methods in Epidemiology
Environmental Epidemiology
Social Epidemiology
Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research II
Advanced Multivariate Statistics and Data Analysis for Health Care Research
Measurement Theories and Applications in Health Care Research
Health Geography
Geographic Information Systems
World Food and Population
Introduction to Computational Social Science
SAS Language and Basic Procedures
Introduction to SAS Statistical Graphics
SAS Macro Language
Analysis of Experimental Data
Applied Statistics I
Biostatistical Methods
Global Nutrition
Health Communication
Risk Communication
Science Communication
Controversies in Science Communication
Advanced Communication Skills for STEM
Science and the Public
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
E-Health Communication
Science of the Environment I
Environmental Science and Public Policy
Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling
Environmental Toxicology
Environment and Society
Environmental Ethics
Human Genetics Concepts for Health Care
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics
Introduction to Health Services Research
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

Concentration in Global Health (GLOH)

The Global Health concentration prepares students to apply the tools of public health to the promotion of health in communities, countries, regions, and the world. Concentration coursework emphasizes comparative global health metrics; the socioeconomic, environmental, and other risk factors associated with transnational health concerns; and ethical and effective strategies for preventing and controlling infectious and non-communicable diseases in diverse populations. Students gain professional communication skills and develop competencies in program planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Required Courses
COMM 605Intercultural Communication3
or COMM 705 Intercultural Health and Risk Communication
GCH 611Health Program Planning and Evaluation3
GCH 626Migrant Health3
GCH 640Global Infectious Diseases3
GCH 650Global Non-Communicable Diseases3
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Health
HIV/AIDS: Concepts, Principles, and Interventions
Global Health Issues Related to Violence
Interventions in Public Health
Project Management in Public Health
Environmental Epidemiology
Social Epidemiology
Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research I
Health Geography
Geographic Information Systems
World Food and Population
Food and Culture
Global Nutrition
Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance
Health Communication
Risk Communication
Science Communication
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
E-Health Communication
Science of the Environment I
Environmental Science and Public Policy
Environment and Society
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Introduction to Management of Nonprofits
Emergency Planning and Preparedness
The NGO: Policy and Management
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

Concentration in Health Policy (HTHP)

Th Health Policy concentration addresses the nature and importance of policy and policy-making in today's public health system. Through coursework and opportunities for practical application, students are introduced to the context and process for policy-making in public health, including the current political, economic, and legal environment for health policy and the basic elements of the public policy-making process and government payment systems. Students graduate with the knowledge and abilities needed to engage with public health and advocacy organizations on policy issues and to analyze and support policy approaches in an era of scarce public resources and ever-changing priorities.

Required Courses
HAP 661Policy Development and Analysis for Community Health Programs3
HAP 715Health Economics3
HAP 750Legal Issues in Health Administration3
HAP 764Health Policy and Government Payment Systems for Health Care Services3
HAP 793Final Project in Applied Health Policy3
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
Ethics in Public Health
Grants Funding and Development
Essentials of Health Insurance and Managed Care
Health Policy for Elders and People with Disabilities
Topics in Public Policy
Health Policy Development and Analysis
Health Care Security Policy
Health Policy Leadership
Policy Implementation and Health System Management Dilemmas
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

Concentration in Public Health Communication (PHCM)

The Public Health Communication concentration prepares students to effectively use communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that affect health. This highly-specialized concentration links the fields of communication and public health and is increasingly recognized as a necessary element of efforts to improve personal and public health. The public health communication concentration emphasizes designing, evaluating, and implementing effective communication strategies and messages to address the health needs of diverse audiences.

Required Courses
COMM 620Health Communication3
COMM 637Risk Communication3
COMM 670Social Marketing3
COMM 721E-Health Communication3
COMM 820Health Communication Campaigns3
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Health
HIV/AIDS: Concepts, Principles, and Interventions
Global Health Issues Related to Violence
Interventions in Public Health
Mental Health: A Global Perspective
Migrant Health
Global Infectious Diseases
Global Non-Communicable Diseases
Project Management in Public Health
Environmental Epidemiology
Social Epidemiology
Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis for Health Care Research I
Health Geography
Geographic Information Systems
World Food and Population
Food and Culture
Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance
Global Nutrition
Science Communication
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
Science of the Environment I
Environmental Science and Public Policy
Environment and Society
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Introduction to Management of Nonprofits
Emergency Planning and Preparedness
The NGO: Policy and Management
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

 Concentration in Public Health Practice (PHP)

The Public Health Practice concentration (offered 100% online) is designed to advance the competencies of public health practitioners and other health professionals to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in local, state, and federal public health agencies and non-governmental health-related organizations. Students in this concentration examine the social and environmental factors associated with improving population and community health with a focus on the application of evidence-based public health concepts. This concentration emphasizes public health practice, which comprises disease prevention; community-based participatory approaches; health assessment; planning and evaluating interventions; risk communication; and leadership and management. The curriculum and practicum for this concentration align with the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and prepare students for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) examination.

Required Courses
COMM 637Risk Communication3
GCH 607Evidence-Based Public Health Practice3
GCH 609Community Assessment and Partnerships3
GCH 611Health Program Planning and Evaluation3
HAP 680Applied Public Health Leadership and Management3
Electives6
Select six credits from the following:
Advanced Topics in Global Health Security
Global Health Security Policy
Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution
HIV/AIDS: Concepts, Principles, and Interventions
Project Management in Public Health
Advanced Methods in Epidemiology
Social Gerontology
Global Nutrition
Emergency Planning and Preparedness
Disaster Response Operations and Recovery
Advisor-approved elective course
Total Credits21

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Public Health, Accelerated MPH

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated Master of Public Health (MPH). If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and the Master of Public Health after successfully completing 156 credits. See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees for policies related to this option.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see the AP.6 Graduate Policies section of the catalog.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MPH, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Applicants to the accelerated MPH program must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits completed at Mason) and no more than 90 credits. Students must submit:

  • a completed application form (available at the department website)
  • a career goal statement that includes a declaration of their desired concentration within the MPH program
  • two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from a Department of Global and Community Health faculty member.

Students may submit their applications to the accelerated MPH program upon completion of or while enrolled in the following courses:

GCH 300Introduction to Public Health3
GCH 335Applied Health Statistics 13
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core)3
1

BIOL 214, PSYC 300, SOCI 313, or another statistics course may be substituted with approval by the MPH graduate program coordinator.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students may complete two of the courses listed below to be applied to their bachelor's degree. A minimum grade of 3.00 must be earned in each course. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to the major (or with permission of the graduate program director). Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated on the application, students submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

Select two from the following:6
Global Health
Environmental Health
Health Promotion Methods
Introduction to Biostatistics
U.S. and Global Public Health Systems
Total Credits6

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While still undergraduates, students in the accelerated master’s program may take up to 6 additional graduate credits from the courses listed above that have not already been taken. These “reserve credits” do not apply to the student’s undergraduate degree but may later be applied to their master’s degree, using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses, including those not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high-achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.