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University of Massachusetts/Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences

MPH Program on the Worcester Campus

Learning Styles and Teaching Venues

Our program is especially suited to working professionals with busy schedules and varying learning style needs.  Students enrolled in the Worcester Campus MPH Program take courses through the UMass/Amherst, University Without Walls, Public Health Practice Program online classes. 

Upon matriculation, all students in the Worcester MPH Program are matched with an advisor who works closely with him or her to develop a course schedule that is tailored to meet individual career needs.


The MPH is interdisciplinary in its scope.  Included are courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy and management.  As a student you will be required to complete courses in all of these areas. 

There are 3 types of courses in the program, core, required, and elective.  Core and required courses are offered every semester.  Elective courses are offered once every 3-4 semesters.  New courses are considered and developed based on student requests and availability of instructors. 

Each course is worth 3 credits.  You will need to complete 14 courses for a total of 42 credits. 

These are the 6 required core courses (18 credits)  *core courses are not offered during the summer*:

  1. Biostat 540- Introduction to Biostatistics- Application of statistical methods to problems in public health and medical research. Topics include: descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing, contingency table analysis, and linear regression analysis. Statistical software packages used extensively. Upon enrollment in the course you will receive instructions on how to obtain and use the software. 
  2. EHS 565-Environmental Health Practices- Concepts of control methods used by environmental health and engineering practitioners. Topics include water, wastewater, solid wastes, food sanitation, vector control, housing, and accident control measures.
  3. HPP 601-Application of Social and Behavioral theories in Public Health Interventions- Survey of socio-behavioral theories commonly used in public health education interventions at the individual, group, and community levels.  This is an elective in the Global Health Certificate program.
  4. HPP 620-Introduction to the US Health Care System- Introduction to the philosophy, nature, and scope of health organizations; administration and organization of governmental health programs, economic and political forces and their effects on health services.
  5. EPI 630-Principles of Epidemiology- An epidemiological perspective on health. General approaches for describing patterns of disease in groups of people, and elucidating various processes involved in creating differing levels of health in human groups.
  6. HPP 642  Leadership in Public Health  (required course as of September 2020)The course and field work focuses on leadership theory, development, and competencies of contemporary public health leaders. Integral to the leadership role is the application of health policy leadership.The course and field work focuses on leadership theory, development, and competencies of contemporary public health leaders. Integral to the leadership role is the application of health policy leadership.

These are the 2 other required courses (6 credits):

  1. HPP 698W - Practicum
  2. HPP 696D-Final Project: The accrediting committee of the schools of public health requires that students complete a culminating experience, prior to graduation. A culminating experience is defined as one that "requires a student to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and to his/her learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice." This course provides an opportunity to study a practical and current public health problem selected by the students. Students will apply critical thinking, analytical abilities, and communication skills that integrate the core academic areas of public health including biostatistics, epidemiology, health education, health policy, and environmental health. The final course report acts as the official written comprehensive examination, the fulfillment of the culminating experience requirement and is expected to meet specific publishing guidelines.
    PUBHLTH 540, PUBHLTH 565, PUBHLTH 601, PUBHLTH 620, PUBHLTH 630, and a minimum of 33 credits.

Elective Courses-(6 courses or 18 credits):  See section on elective courses.  If the Department offers a course that is not on this list it will still count as an elective and may be used toward the completion of the degree. (As long as the course is numbered 500 or above.  Any course with a number less than 500 is undergraduate level and may not be used as credit for a graduate degree.) This is where you can personalize the MPH to your specific interests.