Distance MPH in Leadership

Check out more program details and information about how to apply to the Online Leadership MPH program via the Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students.


The Online Leadership MPH is designed for individuals who already have a professional identity and who have three to five years health-related experience but who desire to broaden their knowledge and skills in public health philosophy and sciences. Applicants come from a variety of professional disciplines and have a range of experiences. To meet their needs, we have designed a curriculum that builds on previous work experiences and that also allows some flexibility within the program of study.

The curriculum of study includes:

  • School of Public Health core courses: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Health Behavior, and Environmental Science
  • Leadership core courses in the areas of assurance, assessment and policy development
  • Electives drawn from School of Public Health courses
  • Practicum
  • Master’s paper

Students select a focus area of study, as a means of organizing their selection of courses and tailoring the MPH to their particular interests: Field Epidemiology (pdf), Global Public Health (pdf), Public Health Nursing (pdf), or Public Health Practice (pdf).

The structure of the program is as follows:

  • The distance program is designed to be completed over a period of 3-4 years.
  • All classwork may be completed online, with the exception of two 3-day sessions which are held in Chapel Hill — one in August prior to the start of classes, and one during the spring semester, usually toward the end of the student’s first year.
  • Online courses are delivered using the Sakai platform.  Lectures and resources are accessed by students asynchronously, responses are posted in forums, and projects and papers are often prepared in teams.
  • Students usually take two courses each semester, fall and spring, and may also elect to take classes during summer.
  • Graduation requires a minimum of 42 credits.
  • Up to 8 previously earned credits may be counted toward the 42 hours necessary for your degree.  Students who are enrolled or have graduated from a Certificate Program in the Gillings School of Global Public Health are allowed to transfer up to 15 credit hours, pending approval by the program, towards the Master’s degree in Public Health. See the Graduate School Handbook (pdf).
Application for admission is a two-step process.  Go to the Gillings Program Search (GPS) for a breakdown of tasks, and for further information, contact:
Paul Frellick
Program Coordinator
paul.frellick@unc.edu
(919) 843-7629

You can also contact Sue Robeson, the program’s registrar, (robeson@email.unc.edu) (919) 966-5305.

Application deadlines:

The Leadership MPH admits for fall and spring and requires submission of all application materials by the preceding March 1 (Fall) or October 1 (Spring). However, applicants for Fall who wish to apply for scholarships, awards and financial assistance should apply no later than December 11. (Students admitted for Spring will be advised of opportunities to apply for funding for the Fall semester.)

Go to the Graduate School site for further information regarding applications. The Graduate School also has information regarding North Carolina Residency. If you have specific questions regarding residency, you can email Megan Totten (mtotten@email.unc.edu).

Process for student complaints about delivery of distance education.
Learn more about distance education opportunities at UNC.

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