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MPH Mission

Cultivate leaders who are creative, critical thinkers, with the knowledge and skills to address evolving public health challenges.


  1. Practice-centered: Curriculum that integrates theory and application, with students engaged in real-world public health experiences.
  2. Evidence-based: Students trained to apply, and contribute to, evidence-based public health approaches.
  3. Equity-focused: Challenge and equip students to apply a health equity lens in all aspects of practice and research.
  4. Diverse: The learning experience is enhanced by valuing all people and perspectives.
  5. Collaborative: Interprofessional learning to strengthen the skills needed to impact population and community health.

Introduction to the MPH Program

The UNMC Master of Public Health Program is a specialized professional master’s degree program designed to prepare graduates for work in public health. Public health practice is increasingly regarded as important to citizen well-being as a means to better health and potential reduction in costs for critical care.

Core courses focus on the areas of knowledge basic to public health. Concentration areas emphasize the areas of prevention, scientific knowledge base, interdependency with other areas of knowledge and practice, and social justice.

Course material pays particular attention to health status, health outcomes, and health needs in special populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, children, and women). Statistics related to these populations, as well as cultural and etiological considerations, will be discussed throughout the curriculum in an effort to instill in students the need for awareness of the health differences in population groups. The goal of this orientation is to equip program graduates to address society's public health needs. Elective courses will be drawn from a broad base of courses.

The MPH Program was approved by the Board of Regents and the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education in the summer/fall of 2001 and began admitting students in January 2002.

Core Competencies

  1. Biostatistics
    1. Describe the roles biostatistics serves in public health.               
    2. Apply descriptive and inferential methodologies according to the type of study design.               
    3. Interpret results of statistical analyses in public health studies.
  2. Environmental Health Sciences               
    1. Describe how biological, chemical, and physical agents affect human health.               
    2. Describe federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines, and authorities that control environmental health issues.     
    3. Specify approaches for assessing, preventing, and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.               
    4. Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a toxic response to various environmental exposures.
  3. Epidemiology               
    1. Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing public health issues.               
    2. Identify key sources of data for epidemiological purposes.               
    3. Calculate basic epidemiology measures and draw appropriate inferences from epidemiological data.               
    4. Use epidemiological measures to describe a public health problem in terms of  magnitude, person, time, and place.
  4. 4.  Health Policy and Management               
    1. Identify the main components and issues of the structure, financing, and delivery of health services within health systems in the U.S.               
    2. Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of populations.               
    3. Identify the fundamentals of organizational management.               
    4. Discuss the theory of organizational structures and behaviors.
  5. Social and Behavioral Sciences               < >Identify social and behavioral theories, concepts, and models used in public health research and practice.               Identify social and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations.               Describe the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies, and interventions.               Specify targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and policies.Foundations of Public Health               
    1. Describe the ecological model of public health.               
    2. Describe basic biological principles that apply to public health.               
    3. Communicate accurate public health information with professional and lay audiences.
  6. Applied Research Skills               
    1. Identify and apply fundamental research skills in public health.               
    2. Identify and critically appraise public health research.               
    3. Prepare grant proposals.
  7. Leadership, Advocacy, and Community-Building               
    1. Identify linkages with key stakeholders.               
    2. Identify different levels of community engagement and participation.               
    3. Engage in collaborative problem-solving and decision-making.
  8. Culture and Diversity               
    1. Discuss determinants of health disparities.               
    2. Describe methods and regulations associated with public health practice in relation to diverse populations.
  9. Ethics Skills               
    1. Apply ethical principles to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of public health information.               
    2. Articulate how ethical principles apply to public health practice.