Women and children are the largest component of the global population, but experience has shown that — absent categorical attention — their needs are not equitably addressed.

Moreover, the health of this critical population provides key indicators of the well-being of the population as a whole across the life course. The World Health Organization’s current mission and global strategy reflect these realities, and women, children and adolescents are at the heart of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What You’ll Learn

The Master of Public Health (MPH) concentration in Maternal, Child and Family Health focuses on the determinants, mechanisms and systems that promote and maintain the health and safety of women, children and their families to enhance the future health and welfare of society. Our field is population-based and interdisciplinary, and we provide a strong foundation of knowledge, frameworks and methods for program monitoring, process/impact evaluation and program planning and implementation. As a graduate, you will be equipped with a highly adaptable toolkit and prepared to lead interdisciplinary efforts that require multiple perspectives and competencies in domestic and global contexts.

Career Opportunities

In this concentration, which is hosted by the Gillings School’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, you will gain the skills to develop and evaluate population-based solutions to complex, multi-factorial health problems. Our graduates hold positions across the United States and around the world at local, state and federal levels, in nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, hospitals and international health agencies, and within colleges and universities. Many of our alumni hold highly competitive senior leadership positions in the U.S. and in global settings.

Learn more about the opportunities that await you with an MPH from the Gillings School.

Required Courses

In addition to the interdisciplinary, 14-credit Gillings MPH Core, you will take:

  • MHCH 701: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health, Part I
  • MHCH 702: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health, Part II
  • MHCH 713: Research Methods/Secondary Data Analysis in Maternal and Child Health
  • MHCH 713L: Research Methods/Secondary Data Analysis in Maternal and Child Health Lab
  • MHCH 723: Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation
  • MHCH 728: Introduction to Implementation Research and Practice in Maternal, Child and Family Health
  • MHCH 992: Maternal, Child and Family Health MPH Culminating Experience

Concentration Competencies

This program will empower you with the knowledge and skills to achieve the following core competencies:

  • Substantive knowledge: Critically analyze determinants of health among infants, children, adolescents, women, mothers and families, including biological, behavioral, socioeconomic, demographic, cultural and health care systems influences across the life course.
  • Research: Contribute to public health evidence by applying rigorous research methods to address problems relevant to the health of maternal, child and family health (MCFH) populations.
  • Leadership: Lead the development and implementation of MCFH research, policy and practice across levels of the socio-ecological framework by incorporating family-centered, community-based, culturally competent and interdisciplinary/interprofessional concepts.
  • Practice: Understand and apply implementation, monitoring and evaluation strategies to improve MCFH programs in the U.S. and globally.
  • Policy: Advance MCFH policy and impact through critical analysis of research, monitoring and evaluation evidence.

Requirements and Sample Plan of Study

Maternal, Child and Family Health Degree Requirements and Study Plan (PDF)

Ready to Apply? Visit our Apply page for more information.


Want to learn more?

William Gillison202B Rosenau Hallwgilliso@unc.edu

Concentration Leaders

Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health