Saint Louis University

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Become a leader in the diverse areas of public health practice, from biostatistics to behavioral sciences.


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Public health includes everything in our lives that affects our health. It is a dynamic field of study that seeks to improve the conditions and behaviors affecting the health and well-being of communities and their individual residents. Some of the core values of public health are a philosophy of social justice, a focus on populations and an emphasis on prevention.


Students choose from nine concentrations in the core areas of public health and ten joint concentrations

  • Behavioral Science and Health Education: Promoting and researching healthy living practices to prevent disease and injury. 
  • Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness: Developing preventive measures to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, living modified organisms and other potentially harmful biological agents.
  • Biostatistics: Using math and science to estimate and analyze trends associated with particular types of human behavior and disease.
  • Environmental and Occupational Health: Analyzing the interactions between humans, their surroundings and the natural environment to maintain the quality of the  environment and to provide protection from hazards.
  • Epidemiology: Identifying the causes and patterns of diseases and injuries and identifying effective targets for prevention.
  • Global Health: Addressing various health concerns that exist among different cultures worldwide.
  • Health Management and Policy: Working to improve public health by formulating administrative and legislative solutions for complex health issues.
  • Maternal and Child Health: Developing preventive measures that promote the health of pregnant women and their unborn children.
  • Public Health Practice:  Designed for professionals seeking to become competent in public health practice.

Dual Degree

There are four dual-degree opportunities available to Master of Public Health students

*SLU's Health Law program is ranked #1 in the country by US News & World Report.

Competency-Based Education

Competencies are student outcomes - both knowledge and skills - that are specific to the degree and to
the area of study. They reflect the knowledge and skills that we strive to develop in our students and
form the basis of our evaluation of each student's achievement. For the MPH, there is a set of core
competencies and set of discipline-specific competencies that guide the development of the curriculum.
The competency sets are developed with input from current public health practitioners, our alumni, our
faculty and our students to reflect current and future needs of the profession.

MPH Core Competencies

  • MPH 1: Explain the organizational structure, financing, politics, and history of the public health and medical care systems.
  • MPH 2: Recognize the ecological nature of determinants of health that include biological, behavioral, social, environmental, economic, and political factors.
  • MPH 3: Describe the approaches to disease prevention and control using tools from the five core areas of public health: behavioral science, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, and health management and policy.
  • MPH 4: Participate in multidisciplinary partnerships and coalitions as both a leader and participant.
  • MPH 5: Appropriately utilize qualitative and quantitative data in order to effectively address public health problems.
  • MPH 6: Use an evidence-based approach for the development of public health programs and policies.
  • MPH 7: Utilize appropriate communication strategies to educate, disseminate, and advocate for health services and preventive interventions.
  • MPH 8: Apply principles of management in program, organizational, and community initiatives.
  • MPH 9: Apply principles of ethical reasoning, human rights, and cultural competence when working with nd in organizations and communities.

Career Opportunities

The field of public health is exciting and rapidly expanding. With the world's population quickly approaching 7 billion people, public health professionals are being faced with new and challenging issues on both national and international levels. Graduates can find careers suited to a wide variety of interests and skills, in both traditional public health and service-focused organizations as well as in new practice settings and non-profit organizations. Public health graduates from SLU are employed all over the nation and internationally in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Federal, state and local health agencies (e.g. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EPA)
  • Consulting firms
  • Consumer advocacy organizations 
  • Hospitals and integrated health care systems 
  • Private business and industry

Practice Experience
The MPH program is designed to give students the practical skills needed for any public health career. Students complete an internship after their first year of study to gain practical experience in their chosen career path. Experienced public health professionals assist students in finding an internship in St. Louis, nationally or across the globe. Students have interned in a variety of settings. 


All applications are considered on an individual basis with a balanced approach. In addition to reviewing previous course work, the programs consider test scores and all other supporting application documents in a holistic manner.

Application requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree in a science or social science. 
  • Current resume
  • Personal statement (1-2 pages): Describe your interests in the field, career goals and objectives. 
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to evaluate an applicant's potential for success in the program. 
  • GRE scores
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended

Other requirements:

  • For the MPH-HMP: You must complete a 3-hour, undergraduate-level microeconomics course before starting the program, with a grade of "B" or better ("B-" does not qualify).
  • International applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

The priority deadline for applications to be considered for a scholarship or graduate research assistantship is February 15. Some funding may still be available past February 15, but this is not guaranteed. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full. 

MPH Core Curriculum (21 credits)

All MPH degrees require the completion of the following MPH core curriculum.

  • Behavioral Science and Public Health 

  • Principles of Biostatistics

  • Environmental and Occupational Health 

  • Principles of Epidemiology

  • Mission and Practice of Global Public Health

  • Ethical Issues in Public Health

  • Managerial Aspects of Public Health Practice or Management of Health Care Organizations 

  • Rounds

  • Internship/Practice Experience 

  • Special Study for Examinations

Students choose a concentration based on their interest and career goals and complete the specific concentration curriculum as indicated.

The minimum total credits
required for an MPH is 42-51.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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