The residential Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree curriculum emphasizes a balance between systematic learning about health services and public health issues on the one hand and management and policy analysis, concepts, and techniques on the other. Emphasis is placed on both classroom and experience-based learning.
The residential master’s program emphasizes a team approach to learning. In many of the courses, students are grouped in teams of three to six students to complete course-related projects, assignments, and team-based exams. In addition to assigned teams, most students form ongoing, informal study groups to enhance individual learning.
The MSPH is a professional degree designed to prepare students for careers in health policy analysis, planning, development, evaluation, and advocacy at local, state, federal, and international levels as well as in the private sector. The MSPH degree is particularly appropriate for individuals interested in pursuing careers in public policy, public advocacy organizations, consulting research organizations, federal and state government entities, public health departments, non-governmental organizations, and international health organizations. Students obtain a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare system, policy analysis, and analytic methods.
The following curriculum and graduation requirements apply to the Residential Master’s Program:
- At least two full semesters of residence credit, either by full-time registration or by part-time registration over several semesters.
- All requirements for the degree must be met within five years from the date of matriculation.
- Successful completion of 60 credit hours comprising School of Public Health, Department and degree core courses, and elective courses for MSPH students
- Successful completion of a 12-week internship (HPM 793)
- Enrollment in three semesters of Professional Training (HPM 701, HPM 702 and HPM 703)
- Successful completion of the master’s paper and comprehensive examination Graduate School requirement.
- MSPH students meet the comprehensive examination requirement through successful development and defense of a master’s paper proposal through HPM 789.
- MSPH students meet the master’s paper requirement through completion of a master’s paper (HPM 992).
NOTE: Your application must be complete and include all required materials. Applications typically become available for the coming academic year in September.
Master’s Programs Admission Requirements
Please also review our Competency Logic Model. A competency model defines what graduates should be able to do to succeed in their professional careers.
PLEASE NOTE: Residential candidates are required to travel to Chapel Hill for an in-person interview. Phone/Skype interviews may be arranged for applicants who are currently located out of the country.
Minimum requirements necessary for application to Residential Master’s Programs:
- An undergraduate degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (4.0 grading scale)
- GRE or GMAT scores in the top 50th percentile are required. Scores must not be more than five years old.
- Relevant health care work experience
- Applicants are advised to prepare in microeconomics and statistics.
Required Application Materials
For MHA and MSPH:
- Completion of online Graduate School application. Start your application by creating an account and following the instructions. Applications for the next academic year are available in August. A current email address is a required field on the application since all correspondence is conducted by email. If you have problems with the online form, contact the Graduate School.
- Nonrefundable application fee. In some instances the application fee may be waived; please see the Graduate School’s Application Fee Waiver page if you have questions or need more information on eligibility.
- GRE scores should be sent to GRE institution #5816; GMAT should be sent to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Kenan-Flagler Business School – Other Graduate Programs (code D40-HL-34). Scores should be no more than 5 years old. Applicants currently enrolled in a doctoral level program or already awarded a doctoral-level degree from a US or Canadian university are exempt.
- Transcripts (complete, not selected courses). One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. If offered admission, one paper official transcript for each university attended will be required. If you have questions or need more information about preparing transcripts, please see the Graduate School’s transcript information here.
- The email address of three recommenders is required within the application for electronic submission and delivery.
- Personal Statement:
Please upload a two page (double spaced) statement addressing the following:
- How will this degree program at UNC-CH contribute to your projected career?
- What is your experience working in teams and what can you contribute to a team?
- How will you contribute to a diverse, inclusive student community at Gillings?
- Please provide any additional information that will help us to evaluate your application.
In addition to the materials listed above, international applicants must submit the following:
- TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than 2 years old). UNC is institution #5816. For more information about these tests, see the Graduate School’s TOEFL and IELTS instruction page.
- GRE or GMAT scores – applicants practicing medicine or completing residency training in the US can request an exemption by submitting the United States Medical License Exam (USMLE) Step 1 in English scores or the FLEX scores to Health Policy and Management Student Services. Other credentialing exceptions will be reviewed for approval on an individual basis by the program director after receiving verification from the appropriate professional school.
Applicants are advised to prepare in microeconomics and statistics.
Dual and Concurrent Degree Applicants
Students must apply separately and be accepted by each program of interest. See more information about dual degrees.
You may monitor the status of your application by logging into your account and following the instructions.
Department of Health Policy and Management
Student Services Office
University of North Carolina
120 Rosenau Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411
UNC Graduate School
200 Bynum Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4010
Additional Helpful Links
Tuition and Fees
The latest information on costs for the Master’s programs can be found by visiting the most current Tuition and Fee Rates document, found under the
Charges for Attendance heading on the University Finance Division web site. Scroll down to the Health Affairs/School of Public Health section of the document.
Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change.
HPM Fees – in addition to university fees
Internship Fee – $450.00
Professional Training I Fee – $550.00
Professional Training II and III Fees – $500.00 each
Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change.
Need financial assistance? See our Financial Aid Information.
Office of Student Affairs
Contact your academic coordinator.
Paula Song, PhD
Master’s Program Director
See our Frequently Asked Questions about the Master’s Program.
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