The Gillings MPH will help you achieve your dreams of making a difference locally and globally. Which path will you pursue?

The UNC Gillings School’s Master of Public Health (MPH), offered on-campus, online and distance by the top public school of public health in the country, is a comprehensive, integrated program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to solve urgent public health problems in North Carolina and around the world. Upon entering the program, you’ll begin gaining knowledge and skills in the Gillings MPH Core, the foundation of the MPH program.

Our 13 concentration areas include a wide range of research and practice portfolios – from helping to solve the opioid abuse epidemic, to preventing and controlling cancer, to improving water access and quality, to using big data and machine learning. Explore all of these areas and see how our engaged faculty, students and staff members work with communities and across disciplines — in North Carolina and around the world — to solve some of our most challenging health problems.

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Applied Epidemiology

Epidemiology — the study of the distribution and determinants of disease or other influencing risk factors in a population — is the cornerstone of public health inquiry and problem solving. Unlike clinical medicine that predominantly focuses on an individual’s well-being, epidemiology uses a broader lens to examine the health of populations. As part of this concentration, you’ll learn to use epidemiologic tools to drive solutions to public health issues affecting diverse groups of people.

Environment, Climate and Health

The environments in which we live, work and play invariably affect public health. In fact, environmental exposures – most of which can be prevented – account for nearly one quarter of all diseases worldwide. The Environmental Health Solutions concentration is designed to equip future public health professionals with the skills and know-how to predict and identify environmental problems and mitigate their impacts on human health.

Global Health

Designed to train professionals to solve public health problems locally and globally, the Global Health concentration provides students with skills to advance the health and well-being of populations in diverse global settings. Students will gain skills in the development, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs and projects that are aligned with local culture, contexts, and resources. This concentration is available only in a residential format.

Health Behavior

The Health Behavior concentration prepares students for leadership positions in public health practice. Through coursework and a year-long service-learning project, you will gain experience using social and behavioral science to develop, implement and evaluate programs and policies. Graduates of this concentration are equipped to promote health, prevent disease and injury, foster social justice and reduce health inequities at all levels of the social ecological framework – from the individual to organizations, communities and policies.

Health Equity and Social Justice

Students in the interdisciplinary Health Equity and Social Justice (EQUITY) concentration develop the skills to improve population health through identifying health inequities and eliminating them with innovative approaches. Graduates possess a foundational understanding of how social determinants contribute to health inequities and have hands-on experience applying strategies, methods and interventions to advance social justice and human rights.

Health Policy

The Health Policy concentration trains future leaders in policymaking and practice so they can produce cutting-edge analyses that address the complex challenges of health care delivery. Students learn the skills to design, implement and evaluate health care and public health policies in a variety of settings, and to advocate for and lead changes in a policy setting. Graduates can demonstrate an intricate understanding of the current U.S. health care system, have expertise in analysis and advocacy, and possess the skills to effectively manage financial and human resources. The Department of Health Policy and Management also offers two residential master’s degrees, a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH). To make sure you are applying to the program that is most aligned with your career goals, please carefully compare these two degrees with the MPH Health Policy concentration.

Leadership in Practice

The Leadership in Practice concentration is designed for professionals interested in transforming health systems in all areas of public health practice. Our program, offered on-campus and online, will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead teams, projects, organizations, and systems in local and global communities. The curriculum fosters relational skills needed to co-design systems with community partners in order to identify and prevent problems, mitigate and eliminate inequities, and improve and advance health outcomes. Leadership MPH students gain skills and expertise in systems and design thinking, evidence-based problem-solving and decision-making, and community engagement and conflict management strategies. Graduates of the Leadership in Practice MPH students are equipped to mobilize change at the community level to advance equity and social justice, address underlying conditions that affect individual and population health, and innovate to improve the social determinants of health.

Maternal, Child and Family Health

The Maternal, Child and Family Health concentration focuses on determinants and systems that promote the health and safety of women, children and their families — with the goal of enhancing the welfare of society and subsequent generations. With a strong foundation in frameworks and methods for program planning and impact evaluation, this concentration equips graduates with an adaptable toolkit for leading interdisciplinary efforts requiring multiple perspectives and competencies in domestic and global contexts.

Nutrition and Dietetics

The Nutrition and Dietetics concentration integrates the scientific study of nutrition and dietetics with a foundation in public health practice and research. Meant for aspiring clinical dietitians who are motivated to help people live healthier lives through better nutrition, the program offers students customized internship placement services to help fulfill the requirements to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam.


The Nutrition concentration focuses on nutrition science as well as on behavior change, communication, counseling, and the effects of dietary culture on the individual and within communities. Students gain the skills to assess scientific evidence for nutritional guidelines, effectively communicate nutritional information to the public, evaluate how social, cultural and environmental factors affect nutrition-related health outcomes, and practice in compliance with federal regulations and state statutes.

Place-Based Health

The concentration in Place-Based Health centers people and their communities as the catalyst for transforming systems to promote wellbeing for all. The joint MPH program features small cohorts of up to 24 students, case and community-based activities, and instruction by interdisciplinary faculty and community practitioners who bring real-world experience to the classroom.

Population Health for Clinicians

The Population Health for Clinicians concentration is designed for medical students, practicing physicians, and other clinicians who wish to increase their knowledge in public health and population science to better serve their communities. This concentration offers a unique interdisciplinary focus on clinical, prevention, population, and policy sciences which enable students to improve clinical environment when they complete the program. This concentration is available only in a full-time, residential format.

Public Health Data Science

The Public Health Data Science concentration — one of the first applied data science programs situated within a school of public health — gives students the skills and knowledge to employ cutting-edge data science tools and respond to pressing public health issues with effective solutions. Data science combines the statistical skills to manipulate data and make inferences, the mathematical skills to model phenomena and make predictions, and the computer science skills to manage and analyze large data sets.

public school of public health
$209.6 million
in sponsored research in FY17
of alumni find jobs or continue their education within six months of graduating

Inclusive Excellence is one of our core values.

At the Gillings School, we cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment to better prepare students for the world that awaits them – a world that seeks culturally competent people to serve as its leaders. When we embrace the myriad differences of our students, faculty and staff, we enrich the quality of coursework, research and practice within the School and beyond.

Looking for more flexibility? Explore the online version of our MPH program.
Learn more about our online MPH
Gillings Admissions: 233 Rosenau Hall, (919) 445-1170
Student Affairs: 263 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-2499
Dean's Office: 170 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-3215
Business and Administration: 170 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-3215
Academic Affairs: 307 Rosenau Hall, (919) 843-8044
Inclusive Excellence: 207B Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-7430
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135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400