MPH@UNC Online Master of Public Health
The University of North Carolina (UNC) offers an online Master of Public Health (MPH) program known as MPH@UNC with concentrations in Leadership, Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Nutrition and Dietetics (Registered Dietitian). Offered through the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the program educates students in the fundamental principles and methodologies of public health, including public health solutions, systems approaches to public health issues, and methods and measures in public health practice.
MPH@UNC courses focus on evidence-based solutions, experiential learning, and interdisciplinary knowledge through research, practice, and service. The program comprises 42 credits with 15 core credits, 15 concentration credits, nine credits of electives, a culminating experience, a practicum work experience, and a comprehensive exam. Start dates land in January, May, and September.
Students can complete the Master of Public Health with Leadership, Nutrition, or Applied Epidemiology concentrations in 20 to 24 months full-time or 28 to 36 months part-time, including 200 practicum hours. The MPH Nutrition program also has an accelerated 16-month option, a full-time commitment, during which students may not work. The Nutrition and Dietetics (MPH/RD) program is a lock-step cohort program that is completed in 24 months and includes at least 1,000 hours of supervised field experiences.
The Leadership concentration trains students to promote large-scale change in communities and across disciplines addressing complex, system-level problems. Implemented changes are wide-reaching, address healthcare inequities, and promote population health. Students learn to approach public health ethically with values-driven public health inititatives, hone communication skills, promote collaborative decision-making, and create accountability frameworks to ensure ethical stewardship of public health resources.
The MPH Nutrition concentration equips students with an integrated understanding of nutrition and the wide-ranging effects of nutrition on health. Working with individuals and groups using nutrition science, behavioral change methods, nutrition counseling, and community-based education, MPH Nutrition graduates seek to improve the health of underserved and minority populations, addressing how nutrition can affect various diseases and nutrition deficiencies.
The Nutrition and Dietetics program prepares graduates to become Registered Dietitians who are leaders in their field. Three sets of courses cover public health, human nutrition and food choices, and nutrition problems and solutions in communities. The coursework and 1,000 field hours satisfy the Future Education Model Requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates can take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam to become Registered Dietician Nutritionists. Applicants are encouraged to have work experience in areas relevant to health, nutrition, public health, fitness, management, social services, or education.
The Applied Epidemiology concentration prepares graduates to define disease patterns and use that knowledge to reduce or eliminate public health issues facing the world’s different populations. Applicants to the Applied Epidemiology concentration should have foundational analytical and quantitative skills. Students study relevant scientific literature, how to use and apply surveillance systems in public health, and how to develop epidemiologic studies to identify diseases, investigate public health problems, and promote disease prevention.
Through an interactive global classroom, MPH students learn and connect with faculty and peers. Online courses are taught live by UNC faculty, with weekly class sessions via Zoom. During the live sessions students participate in discussions, question and answer sessions, and feedback exchange. Sessions are recorded for later viewing. In addition to the synchronous sessions, students complete coursework that may include videos, case studies, recorded lectures, and multimedia assignments. UNC faculty seek to engage students interactively both synchronously and asynchronously.
Students have access to academic advising, student success advisors, faculty office hours, tutoring services, individual career coaching, networking and other career services, technical support, and practicum placement support. Each student is also assigned a faculty mentor. MPH graduates may go on to positions with nonprofit organizations, local health departments, post-secondary institutions, hospitals, research institutions, global health agencies, government agencies, and development firms.
Online Master of Public Health core courses include Data Analysis for Public Health; Public Health Solutions: Systems, Policy, and Advocacy; Systems Approaches to Understanding Public Health Issues; Leading from the Inside-Out; Methods and Measures for Public Health Practice; MPH Pre-Practicum Assignments; Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating Public Health Solutions; and MPH Post-Practicum Assignments.
Leadership courses include Core Principles in Public Health Leadership; Leading Quality Improvement in Public Health; Community Engagement and Leadership in Health; Systems and Design Thinking for Public Health Leaders; and Leadership in Health Policy for Social Justice. MPH Leadership students also take nine credits of electives and complete a three-credit culminating experience.
Nutrition courses include Human Nutrition; Food and Your Life Stages; Nutrition Communication and Culture; Nutrition Policy; and Nutritional Epidemiology. MPH Nutrition students also take nine credits of electives and complete a three-credit culminating experience.
Applied Epidemiology courses include Fundamentals of Epidemiology; Epidemiologic Data Analysis; Data in Public Health; Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance; and Methods in Field Epidemiology. Applied Epidemiology students also take three electives related to their field of study or desired career goals.
Nutrition and Dietetics (Registered Dietitian) courses include Nutrition Across the Life Cycle; Nutrition Communication, Counseling, and Culture; Nutrition Practicum Preparation; Medical Nutrition Therapy: Chronic Disease Management; Community Nutrition; Nutrition Policy; Food Science and Food Science Laboratory; Nutritional Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Health; Nutritional Epidemiology for Masters Students; and Masters Non-Thesis. Nutrition and Dietetics MPH students also complete culminating experiences in food service, public health, and advanced placement.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers several online master’s programs. The MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The MPH Nutrition and Dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
MPH@UNC does not require any campus visits. Courses are delivered online, and a 200-hour practicum is required For four leadership, nutrition, and applied epidemiology concentrations. 1,000 hours of supervised field experiences are required for nutrition and dietetics MPH students.
UNC charges $1,735 per credit plus fees for the online MPH program. Prospective students should contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health for complete tuition details.
MPH students may be eligible for unsubsidized graduate Stafford and PLUS loans through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Employers may also offer tuition reimbursement programs to employees earning a graduate degree. Other funding considerations may be private loans, and outside scholarships and grants. Candidates can learn more about financial aid from the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.
University of North Carolina
MPH - Leadership
- The Leadership concentration prepares students to work with lawmakers, stakeholders, and communities to promote large-scale change
- Students learn to address complex, system-level problems, implement wide-reaching changes, and address healthcare inequities
- The program includes a focus on effective communication skills to promote collaborative decision-making
MPH - Nutrition
- The Nutrition concentration prepares graduates to work with individuals, families, and groups
- Students gain an integrated understanding of nutrition and the effects of nutrition on health and disease prevention
- Graduates use nutrition science, behavioral change methods, nutrition counseling, and community-based education to promote public health and address nutrition deficiencies
MPH - Nutrition and Dietetics - Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD)
- The Nutrition and Dietetics concentration includes courses that cover public health, human nutrition and food choices, and nutrition problems and solutions in communities
- Graduates are eligible to become Registered Dietitians by passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam
- Coursework includes at least 1,000 field hours and satisfies the Future Education Model Requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
MPH - Epidemiology
- The Epidemiology concentration prepares graduates to develop and promote evidence-based solutions to public health issues
- Students learn to define disease patterns and recommend solutions to promote disease mitigation and prevention
- Applicants should have foundational analytical and quantitative skills