Master’s Degree in Public Health | Valparaiso University2024-06-14T20:16:21+00:00

Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH)


With a master of public health degree, you will be equipped to make a meaningful difference, addressing diverse health challenges, and contributing to the overall well-being of communities.

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Fall 2024 Application Deadline: August 14, 2024
Start Date:
August 21, 2024

Support the Community with Your MPH Degree.

Earning an online master’s degree in public health opens doors to a rewarding and impactful career dedicated to enhancing community well-being. As a public health professional, you play a vital role in preventing diseases, advocating for equal health outcomes, educating communities, responding to health emergencies, collaborating across disciplines, conducting research, shaping health policies, and empowering communities. Your expertise and efforts contribute to healthier communities, making a substantial difference in the lives of individuals and populations.

At Valparaiso University, our master of public health program empowers you with the essential skills to tackle some of the most pressing health challenges worldwide. Whether you’re delving into scientific investigations, engaging with communities, or advocating for legislative changes, your efforts will undeniably have a positive impact on the well-being of individuals.

Our faculty, composed of a diverse group of professionals with extensive experience spanning various industries and academic fields, offers direct guidance in a comprehensive MPH curriculum. This program, with a focus in epidemiology, aims to bolster your proficiency in public health, enabling you to advance health promotion and disease prevention.

What makes valpo’s master’s degree in public health unique?

Here are some of the reasons why our MPH stands out from other public health programs for graduate students.

STEM Program

The master’s degree in public health, with a focus in epidemiology, is designated as a STEM program. Our science-based curriculum is designed to equip students for success in their future careers. This STEM program also enables international students to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) from one to three years in the United States.

Small, Personalized Learning Journey

Valpo’s master’s degree in public health program offers a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. This creates a learning environment where students can get individualized assistance. A small and personalized learning journey promotes better retention and gives students more hands-on learning opportunities.

100% Job Placement

Graduates of our MPH program have a 100% job placement rate. This means that upon completing your degree, you’ll have the confidence of knowing you are well-positioned to secure a fulfilling career in the field of public health based on the past success of our students.

Experiential Service Learning

Our program emphasizes practical, real-world experience through internships, research projects, and community engagement. You’ll graduate with the skills and confidence to excel in your chosen public health career path.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Our MPH program fosters collaboration across various disciplines, preparing you to address complex health challenges by working alongside professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Expert Faculty

Learn from our accomplished and diverse faculty, who bring extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge from their respective fields, ensuring a well-rounded education.

Commitment to Community

Valpo’s strong emphasis on community involvement and outreach means you’ll have opportunities to make a meaningful impact while still a student, providing both invaluable real-world experience, and setting the stage for a lifetime of community service.


Valpo offers an accelerated course of study option for students who continue immediately after completing their bachelor’s degree in public health. This allows current Valpo students to save time and cost. Students who are admitted into the BSPH to MPH 4+1 program during their senior year will be admitted directly into the MPH upon graduation from the BSPH program assuming they continue to meet the progression requirements.

Building Expertise in Public Health

Epidemiology serves as the cornerstone of public health. Our MPH program, specialized in epidemiology, prepares students to become proficient public health practitioners, addressing diverse facets of public health.

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What Will You Learn in Our
Master of Public Health Program?

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​​At Valparaiso University, our curriculum offers a comprehensive exploration of public health theory, education, research, and practical skills, providing you with the perspective of a seasoned public health practitioner.

Your coursework will encompass a range of vital subjects, including:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health for a Sustainable Future
  • Epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Research Methods
  • Policy, Leadership, and Administration

Additionally, you’ll engage in a hands-on public health internship and undertake a capstone project, both guided by our experienced faculty, ensuring a well-rounded education that prepares you to thrive and effect meaningful change in your future public health endeavors.

Public Health Career Outlook

​​The career outlook for individuals in the field of public health is exceptionally promising and continues to grow in importance. Public health practitioners play a pivotal role in addressing the ever-evolving health challenges facing society, putting their expertise in high demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in epidemiology and other public health-related careers are projected to grow 27% in the next decade, a much faster rate than the national average for all occupations (3%).

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Careers with a
Master’s Degree in Public Health

Getting your MPH opens the door to many opportunities in the field of public health, including:

Epidemiologists investigate patterns of disease, analyze data, and identify factors that contribute to the spread of illnesses. They play a critical role in disease surveillance, outbreak response, and public health research.

Health educators design and implement programs that promote healthy behaviors and educate communities on topics like nutrition, substance abuse prevention, and disease prevention.

Biostatisticians apply statistical methods to public health data to draw meaningful conclusions. They play a crucial role in research, data analysis, and decision-making within the field.

Policy analysts assess the impact of existing policies, develop recommendations for policy changes, and advocate for evidence-based policies that address public health issues.

Healthcare administrators oversee the operations of healthcare facilities, ensuring they run efficiently and effectively. Public health administrators work in various settings, from hospitals to government agencies.

These specialists examine environmental factors that affect public health, such as air and water quality, and work to mitigate environmental risks that could harm communities.

Specialists in this field study infectious diseases, develop prevention and control strategies, and contribute to efforts to combat epidemics and pandemics.

Community health workers serve as liaisons between healthcare providers and communities, providing health education, resources, and support to improve the well-being of underserved populations.

Specialists in this area focus on the health and well-being of mothers and children, working to improve prenatal care, child nutrition, and maternal healthcare services.

These are just a few examples of the diverse career paths available to individuals with a master’s in public health. The choice of career often depends on individual interests, specialization, and the specific opportunities available in their region or area of expertise.

Program Highlights

  • 42 credit hours
  • 100% online
  • Hands-on internship and capstone
  • Full or part-time

Graduate Admission Qualifications

To qualify for admission into Valpo’s MPH, you must:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA (B average) in all undergraduate and/or graduate coursework
  • Submit all required documents for domestic or international citizenship


IPE 603 – Principles of Epidemiology (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on the application of the principles of epidemiology to the planning, implementing, and evaluating of population-based health services across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on the use of epidemiological and biostatistical methods of reasoning to draw inferences about strategies at all levels of prevention.

PHS 501 – Introduction to Public Health (Credits: 3)

Introduces the many areas of the public health system, providing students with a foundational understanding of public health principles, Students will gain insights into the multifaceted nature of public health and its critical role in improving population health outcomes.

PHS 503 – Biostatistics (Credits: 3)

Application of descriptive statistics, basic probability concepts, one- and two-sample statistical inference tests, analysis of variance, and simple linear regression to public health research. Perform selection, basic calculations, and interpretation of statistical methods for detection of significant associations and differences. Introduction to statistical data analysis software.

PHS 513 – Social, Behavioral, & Cultural Factors in Health (Credits: 3)

Examines the complex relationships among the social context, behavior, and health at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community levels. Identifies key social and behavioral determinants of health in the United States and throughout the world. Presents theories to facilitate health education and programs aimed at promoting health and preventing disease.

PHS 520 – Biological Basis of Disease (Credits: 3)

Provides an overview of current knowledge about the biologic mechanisms of disease that are the major causes of death and disability in developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. Understand and interpret the reciprocal relationships among genetics, social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health within an ecological context. Analyze biologic principles of disease related to public health.

PHS 521 – Environmental Health for a Sustainable Future (Credits: 3)

Examines the connection between public health and environmental exposures to biological, chemical, and physical agents. Through the use of problem-solving frameworks, students become familiar with data and information sources, methodologies, and policy approaches to address environmental impacts on public health. This course will integrate concepts of environmental health with principles of sustainability to examine how policy and practice on the local, state, national, and global levels affect population health.

PHS 560 – Public Health Policy, Leadership, & Administration (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on the application of knowledge, attitudes, and skills about health policy, leadership, and administration in public health services in the United States and around the world. Emphasis is placed on leadership in organizing, planning, implementing, and evaluating health advocacy, policy, and administration for social change on local, state, national, and global levels.

PHS 662 – Public Health Program Planning, Management, & Evaluation (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on developing expertise to effectively plan, design, implement, and evaluate public health programs for target populations. Students will assess individual, community, organizational, and societal needs of populations, and prioritize concerns and resources for public health programs. Students will apply ethical principles in public health programs.

PHS 618 – Global Health Epidemiology (Credits: 3)

This course integrates analysis of social, political, economic, and environmental determinants of health in developing countries and traces development of societal responses to health promotion and disease prevention. In the course, students will examine origins of primary healthcare, population health, disease burden, maternal mortality, child survival, air, water, sanitation, international agencies, and impact of public health policies.

PHS 619 – Applied Health Data Analysis (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on empirical applications of statistical approaches commonly used in public health. Emphasis is placed on organizing data into analyzable forms, choosing appropriate statistical methods, and interpreting the results of statistical tests for precise scientific communications. SPSS or SAS is used to manipulate data, fit statistical models, and perform model diagnostics.

PHS 673 – Epidemiologic Research Methods (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on the fundamentals of research study design and methodology as well as data collection. Emphasis is placed on finding and analyzing existing research to develop a research proposal in public health.

Is required for all new international graduate students in their first semester of enrollment.

This course is designed to help students from diverse cultural backgrounds learn and adjust to the expectations and requirements deemed necessary for academic success across all Valparaiso University graduate programs. This course will build upon information presented at the international graduate student orientation. Sequenced opportunities for collaboration and communication (verbal and written) will be integrated throughout the curriculum sequence.


Internship / Culminating Experience (Minimum 6 Credits)

PHS 680 – Applied Practice Experience (Credits: 3)

Provides the opportunity for students to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills acquired through their public health program of study. Integrates a planned, customized, supervised, and evaluated practice experience relevant to the student’s public health program competencies in a variety of public health agencies and organizations.

PHS 681 – Integrative Learning Experience (Credits: 3)

Synthesize and apply theory and principles of public health acquired in coursework and other learning experiences to situations that approximate aspects of professional public health practice. Students are evaluated on the mastery of public health program competencies through customized culminating experiences.

GRD 500 – Graduate Academic Success (Credit: 0)

Electives (3 Credits)

Total MPH Requirements (42 Credits)


Beyond meeting the educational requirements, it can be helpful to pursue internships or volunteer work to help you get hands-on experience in the field. This experience will prepare you to build on the skills you’ve developed and give you additional insight into public health careers.

In 2024, the median total pay for someone with an MPH is $92,439 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

International applicants must complete an application profile, write a reflective essay, provide recommendation letters, provide transcripts and credential evaluations from a NACES member institution, demonstrate English proficiency, provide proof of financial support, provide a passport copy, and pay the application fee before the deadline.

Please note: A non-native English speaker is required to have a minimum TOEFL (iBT version) 82 or IELTS 6.5.



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