Make an impact.
It starts with you.

The UNC Gillings School’s Master of Public Health (MPH), offered by the top public school of public health in the country, is a comprehensive, integrated program that can give you the skills and knowledge you need to solve urgent public health problems in North Carolina and around the world.

The Gillings MPH – 12 concentrations; a world of opportunity. At the Gillings School, you can choose from among 12 concentration areas, tailoring your education to your passions. You will join a dynamic, “open doors” community of world class faculty, student colleagues and exceptional staff from across North Carolina and around the world. Together, you can gain the knowledge, skills, experience and networks to make a difference right away.


Gillings MPH Core
12 credits
Concentration courses
15 credits
Culminating experience
3 credits
Applied practicum
3 credits
Electives
9 credits
Gillings MPH
42 total credits from start to finish

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

Discover your concentration
  • About the Concentrations
  • Applied Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health Solutions
  • Global Health
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership in Practice
  • Maternal, Child and Family Health
  • Nutrition with Registered Dietitian (RD) Training
  • Nutrition
  • Population Health for Clinicians
  • Public Health Data Science
Concentration Overview
More

About the Concentrations

Our 12 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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

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.

Environmental Health Solutions

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

Our signature philosophy is that there is no difference between global health and public health. Designed to train professionals to solve public health problems locally and globally, the Global Health concentration provides students with the skills to advance the health and well-being of populations in diverse global settings. You will partner with governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutions and the private sector to develop and analyze public health programs that are aligned with local cultures, contexts and resources.

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, Social Justice and Human Rights

Students in the interdisciplinary Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (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.

Leadership in Practice

Designed to teach professionals how to apply leadership principles in a public health context, the Leadership in Practice concentration offers the knowledge and skills needed to lead teams, projects, organizations and systems in eliminating inequities and improving conditions in local and global communities. As a graduate with expertise in design thinking, evidence-based decision-making and mobilization for large-scale change, you’ll help empower populations to live their best lives — no matter their location.

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

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.

Nutrition with Registered Dietitian (RD) Training

The unique MPH/RD 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.

Population Health for Clinicians

Critical health challenges facing communities around the world cannot be solved in clinical settings alone. The Population Health for Clinicians concentration empowers graduates to provide excellent care to individuals and also improve systems of care for the benefit of all. Building on a decades-long collaboration between the UNC Schools of Medicine and Public Health, this program is widely regarded as one of the best opportunities for clinicians to gain mastery in public health and population science.

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.

Concentration Overview
News And More

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Concentration Overview
News And More

Environmental Health Solutions

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

NC appropriates $5M for multi-university study of GenX; Surratt to serve as lead investigator

The N.C. Policy Collaboratory has received a $5 million appropriation from the N.C. General Assembly to support water quality testing for a set of chemicals including GenX, a potentially toxic industrial compound that has been detected in the Cape Fear River. The Gillings School will manage the study, and Dr. Jason Surratt will serve as lead investigator. Graphic courtesy of The Intercept.

Concentration Overview
News And More

Global Health

Our signature philosophy is that there is no difference between global health and public health. Designed to train professionals to solve public health problems locally and globally, the Global Health concentration provides students with the  skills to advance the health and well-being of populations in diverse global settings. You will partner with governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutions and the private sector to develop and analyze public health programs that are aligned with local cultures, contexts and resources.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

A new study by Drs. Sachiko Ozawa and James Herrington, and colleagues, found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 13 percent of the essential medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population fall in this category. Map design by UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Concentration Overview
News And More

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Barrington and team win research award for HIV/AIDS project in Guatemala

Central America’s first study to critically document the process of creating a community-based clinic for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for gay men has been selected to receive the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations’ (ICASO) 2018 Robert Carr Research Award. Dr. Clare Barrington is the leader of the UNC research team on the collaborative project.

Concentration Overview
News And More

Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights

Students in the interdisciplinary Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Study finds behavioral changes insufficient to prevent early childhood obesity

Results from the longest and largest obesity prevention intervention ever tested in young children showed that children and their families in low-income communities were able to make some sustainable behavioral changes to their diet and activity level. In the end, however, rates of early childhood obesity were unchanged.

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

A new study by Drs. Sachiko Ozawa and James Herrington, and colleagues, found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 13 percent of the essential medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population fall in this category. Map design by UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Concentration Overview
News And More

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Concentration Overview
News And More

Leadership in Practice

Designed to teach professionals how to apply leadership principles in a public health context, the Leadership in Practice concentration offers the knowledge and skills needed to lead teams, projects, organizations and systems in eliminating inequities and improving conditions in local and global communities. As a graduate with expertise in design thinking, evidence-based decision-making and mobilization for large-scale change, you’ll help empower populations to live their best lives  no matter their location.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Concentration Overview
News And More

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Concentration Overview
News And More

Nutrition with Registered Dietitian (RD) Training

The unique MPH/RD 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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Study finds behavioral changes insufficient to prevent early childhood obesity

Results from the longest and largest obesity prevention intervention ever tested in young children showed that children and their families in low-income communities were able to make some sustainable behavioral changes to their diet and activity level. In the end, however, rates of early childhood obesity were unchanged.

Alice Ammerman: Hometown health hero

An article in UNC's Endeavors magazine features Dr. Alice Ammerman, praising her for being "a powerful force for nutrition research and community-based health promotion."

Concentration Overview
News And More

Nutrition

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Study finds behavioral changes insufficient to prevent early childhood obesity

Results from the longest and largest obesity prevention intervention ever tested in young children showed that children and their families in low-income communities were able to make some sustainable behavioral changes to their diet and activity level. In the end, however, rates of early childhood obesity were unchanged.

Alice Ammerman: Hometown health hero

An article in UNC's Endeavors magazine features Dr. Alice Ammerman, praising her for being "a powerful force for nutrition research and community-based health promotion."

Concentration Overview
News And More

Population Health for Clinicians

Critical health challenges facing communities around the world cannot be solved in clinical settings alone. The Population Health for Clinicians concentration empowers graduates to provide excellent care to individuals and also improve systems of care for the benefit of all. Building on a decades-long collaboration between the UNC Schools of Medicine and Public Health, this program is widely regarded as one of the best opportunities for clinicians to gain mastery in public health and population science.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Bringing implementation science to Africa

Drs. Rohit Ramaswamy and Audrey Pettifor are interviewed about implementation science courses they teach at University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Concentration Overview
News And More

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.

Questions about the MPH? Visit the Residential MPH Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Looking for more flexibility? Explore the online version of our MPH program.

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.

It's more than what you do, it's where you'll do it.

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The Gillings School's MPH program consistently is ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty and alumni include some of the most renowned researchers and practitioners in the field of public health.

Our students collaborate inside the classroom and out in the world, engaging with communities to help prevent cancer, reduce health inequities, improve access to clean water, prevent obesity and create practical, cost-effective solutions that improve health policy.

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