Can students transfer courses into the program, and if so, how many?

In general, upon recommendation of the academic program (and approval by The Graduate School), up to 20 percent of the total hours required for the master’s degree may be graduate-level courses transferred from another approved institution, or from this institution for courses taken before admission to the academic program. (See The Graduate School for more information.) Each concentration will make an evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

Students who have completed an UNC Gillings online graduate certificate program (administered by PHLP) are allowed to transfer these credit hours into their MPH given the student earned a P or better and the course was taken within the past 5 years.

Can a student transfer from the residential MPH to the online MPH@UNC?

Students who are not able to complete the program residentially may be able to complete it in the online format, in some circumstances. There are additional tuition costs associated with the MPH@UNC.

Will residential students be able to take any online courses?

At this time, residential students will not be able to take MPH@UNC courses; however, in the future this may be an option at an additional cost.

Residential students can, however, take other online and hybrid courses that we already offer in Sakai (that are not part of MPH@UNC). Students should consult with their Academic Coordinator/Student Services Manager for more information about these options.

Can the MPH be completed as a part-time student?

In general, the residential MPH is designed for full-time students. However, depending on the student’s concentration, he or she may be able to complete the MPH as a part-time residential student.

Does the program require an admissions interview?


How much does the application cost, for online and residential?

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95 for the degree program to which students apply. Students also will have to pay a SOPHAS application fee. The cost for a SOPHAS application is $145 for the first school or program to which a student applies. Any additional schools or programs to which students choose to apply will cost $55 per designation, even if he or she submit those schools or programs later in the application cycle.

Is an enrollment deposit required and is it refundable?

Yes, a $250 enrollment deposit is required, and it is nonrefundable. If the student enrolls, this deposit will be applied toward their tuition and fees in the first semester.


Can students take courses across concentrations?

Yes, students can take some classes as electives outside their concentrations, as long as he or she meet the prerequisites and the class is not full.

Do any concentrations offer spring admission?

At the present time, admissions for the residential MPH program is available for a fall start date only.

Can a prospective student apply to more than one concentration?

There is one Gillings MPH degree, so applicants submit an application via SOPHAS ( first, based on their first choice concentration. On the SOPHAS application, they may indicate their interest in up to two other concentrations. After the SOPHAS application has been submitted, applicants submit a supplemental application to the UNC Graduate School for a Gillings MPH degree. Applicants may be admitted into only one of their ranked concentrations.

Can students switch from one concentration to another if they want to change?

We ask students to prioritize a concentration, and it is not advisable to attempt to switch concentrations.

Can a student complete more than one concentration?

No. Students can take classes as electives outside their concentrations, as long as they meet the prerequisites and the class is not full.

Can students apply to the MPH degree program directly out of undergraduate program?

Yes. Please contact the Academic Coordinator/Student Services Manager for the concentration you are interested in to find out admissions preferences. Some concentrations may require previous work experience, while others may accept substantive volunteer experience in lieu of work experience.

What is the concentration cohort size?

Concentration cohort sizes will range from approximately 10-60 students.

Degree Program

What is the difference between the MPH, the MSPH, or the MS?

The MPH and terminal MSPH are professional public health practitioner degrees (refer to specific departments for descriptions of their MSPHs). The MS and MSPH-to-PhD are academic degrees reflecting an emphasis on research in preparation for a career in academic and other research settings.

How long will it take me to complete the MPH?

Typically, it will take two years for a full-time residential student to complete the MPH. Some concentrations may offer extended or accelerated timelines so students may take more or less time.


What is the minimum number of credit hours students need to be enrolled in order to qualify for financial aid?

Generally, graduate students must be enrolled full-time (9 credits for fall and spring and 3 credits for summer) to qualify for financial aid and other scholarships. Students who enroll part-time (6-credits) also may be eligible for some financial assistance. Other eligibility criteria may apply. See and email for further questions.

To be eligible for federal student aid, students must enroll in a minimum number of credits per term.

What funding opportunities are available to students?

Potential funding options for residential students include:

  • Needs-based
  • Merit-based
  • Assistantships

For more details, visit our Financial Aid webpage, which includes links to resources for:

  • Scholarships and fellowships
  • Grants
  • Employment
  • Loans
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Other support

Additional funding options for residential students include:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans provide up to $20,500 per academic year to eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans cover costs exceeding Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan limits up to the Cost of Attendance budget determined by the school. This is a credit-based loan for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who do not have an adverse credit history.
  • Private Education Loans may be available to students who meet their chosen lending institution’s credit-based eligibility requirements.
  • Military Education Benefits: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs External administers a variety of education benefit programs for those eligible.

Students must enroll in a certain minimum number of credits per term to be eligible for federal student aid. For additional information on federal student aid programs, including the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, visit the Federal Student Aid External website.

How much is tuition?

Tuition rates are set by the North Carolina Legislature. Fees are set through an on-campus process and approved by the Board of Trustees. Tuition is the same within the MPH program. There may be additional student fees to cover field, career and other support services. Students should contact the Academic Coordinator/Student Services Manager for their concentration for details. Visit University Cashier for in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees.

When will students find out if they receive funding opportunities?

  • For funding from Gillings, it can occur as early as February or as late as the beginning of the semester. Once a student enrolls, additional opportunities may become available.
  • For funding from The Graduate School: February
  • For assistantships: February-September

Should students expect any additional student fees?

There may be additional student fees to cover field, career and other support services. Contact your Academic Coordinator/Student Services Manager for details.


Do students find their placements for their practicum or is help provided?

Gillings students do practica all over the world. Students are responsible for identifying their own practica experiences; but coursework, faculty, and staff are available to assist students in all aspects of the process, including identifying possible practica, matching, preparing for success, establishing a learning agreement, documenting activities, and completing required products.

Director, MPH Program
Karla Townley-Tilson, MBA

MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

(919) 843-0040