Public Health

Master’s degree (MPH)

A master of public health (MPH) degree from MU can help you advance your career in population-based or public health service, or veterinary public health. If you want to promote the health and well-being of communities in Missouri and elsewhere, this may be the degree for you!

Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional learner, we have a program for you. You can complete your MPH degree on campus, online or a combination of both.

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Emphasis areas

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is a 45-credit-hour program. You will select from one of two emphasis areas: Health Promotion and Policy or Veterinary Public Health.

Health Promotion and Policy

Combine a thorough knowledge of behavior change theory and program planning and evaluation with valuable knowledge of how policy decisions are influenced and made. This program may be completed in person or online.

Veterinary Public Health

Obtain training in zoonotic disease prevention, food safety and other emerging issues in animal and human health. This program is the first fully online program of its kind in the United States.

Dual degree options


Each Master of Public Health Program student is required to complete a 150-hour internship in a public health agency under the supervision of an experienced public health professional. Internships become available through contacts with faculty, other students, and community partners, and through the limitless imagination of Master of Public Health Program candidates. During an internship, each student works under the supervision of a qualified preceptor and is engaged in a concrete and challenging public health project.

Below is a sampling of the places where current and former Master of Public Health students have found internships.

  • The Office of Medicaid and Medicare in Washington, DC
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services
  • The Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jefferson City, MO
  • The City of Detroit Health Department, Detroit, MI
  • University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics
  • The MU Sexual Health Advocate Peer Education (SHAPE) program

Many MPH students choose to fulfill their requirement in an international setting.

Global health experiences provide an exciting opportunity for you to impact positive change in public health around the world. You’ll learn to view complex social issues from multiple viewpoints, communicate effectively and respectively across cultures, and develop an understanding of the international components of health.

Students interested in international internships can either seek out their own opportunities (pending program approval) or work with the program to identify an international internship in global public health. 

Recent international internships

  • Conducted a community needs assessment using Photovoice in Guatemala
  • Implemented a series of health education and promotion activities in Bolivia
  • Worked with a health promotion and environmental sanitation NGO in Ghana
  • Studied the health implications of the human-camel interaction in Kenya

Study abroad

The MPH program regularly offers study abroad opportunities for students. Our faculty-led study abroad opportunities typically take place during a two-week period in the summer semester. Recent study abroad sites include Turkey, Greece, and the Dominican Republic.

Peace Corps/Coverdell fellowship

The Coverdell Fellows program provides graduate students who are returned Peace Corps volunteers an opportunity to utilize and build upon their overseas experience.


Upon admission to one of our graduate public health programs, you will be assigned an academic advisor based on your program of study. You will receive information about your adviser when you receive your admissions decision from the department.

You will need to work with your academic advisor to complete multiple items. First, check out a sample plan of study.

Work with your advisor to approve and file a plan of study for completing your graduate coursework. You will also need to get permissions to enroll in public health coursework. You should check in with your advisor before the beginning of each semester if you have any changes to your plan of study or if you have any questions about enrolling in the upcoming semester. The best way to contact your advisor is to email them, include your 8-digit MU student number, and include the courses you are interested in registering for.

Contact your advisor

If you are in the Master of Public Health program or in a graduate certification program, your academic advisor is Graham Greer.

Admission and application

Find important deadlines, admissions criteria and application instructions.

Graduate certificates

Enhance your resume and career options with a graduate certificate.

About the Master of Public Health program


To advance the health and well-being of communities in Missouri and elsewhere through excellence in teaching, discovery, and service in public health. To promote the unique strengths of the University of Missouri in interdisciplinary teaching, research, and practice to address the needs of global populations and prepare public health leaders to serve on the local, state, national, and international levels.

Strength and quality from academic diversity

The Master of Public Health Degree (MPH) is the standard professional degree recognized throughout the world for public health practice.

The Mizzou MPH program reflects the future of interdisciplinary research and service. Our program is governed by an Executive Council of Faculty from diverse schools and programs including Arts and Science, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Social Work, Health Professions, Medicine and Public Affairs.

Dual degrees with Veterinary Medicine, Journalism, Social Work, and Public Affairs offer students exceptional opportunities for training in zoonotic disease prevention, risk and strategic communications, and policy making.

Diverse faculty research projects and supervised internships both at home and abroad provide entry to one of the fastest growing and most rewarding careers in public and community service. 

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The University of Missouri MPH program is accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

MPH program competencies

As part of the accreditation process, Master of Public Health Programs are required to identify specific competencies with which students are expected to graduate. Your competence in each of these areas will accumulate through course work, practical experience, group projects and by the leadership opportunities you embrace, such as by working with the Master of Public Health Graduate Student Association (MPHGSA). You will be asked to complete self-assessments of these competencies three times during the program (upon entry, before your internship and before graduation) and they will be useful in describing your skills to potential employers in applications and cover letters.

The competencies identified by the University of Missouri Master of Public Health Program were adapted from two primary sources, the ASPH MPH Core Competency Development Project and the Council on Linkages Core Competencies. The selection of specific competencies, as well as the addition of new ones, was guided by the unique focus and strengths of the University of Missouri Master of Public Health Program, including policy development and communications. The list was refined throughout the CEPH self-study process, with input from outside stakeholders, faculty, students, and staff.