Do you want to make a difference in your community and beyond? Are you dedicated to improving public health?

ECU's master of public health program is rigorous and engaging. Public health consists of organized efforts to improve the health of communities. The operative components of this definition are that public health efforts are organized and directed to communities rather than to individuals. Public health practice relies on interdisciplinary training that bridges multiple areas of expertise to resolve population health questions. The definition of public health reflects its central goal—the reduction of disease and the improvement of health in the community.

The master of public health (MPH) program at East Carolina University expects each MPH graduate to possess a set of fundamental skills and knowledge for public health practice and research, as set forth by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPH). These skills and knowledge are referred to as competencies. Students must demonstrate competencies at three levels:

- Discipline-specific in five public health domains (core course work);
- Culminating experience: related to the professional paper and field practicum; and
- Concentration competencies

ECU Advantage

The mission of the Department of Public Health includes expanding a workforce that addresses contemporary public health challenges; teaching prevention and population health to medical students and resident physicians; engaging in community-based research with linkages throughout North Carolina; and developing leaders in long-term care planning and administration for the growing elderly population in North Carolina.

Students have an opportunity to collaborate with faculty and community leaders on a range of initiatives, including projects to improve the health status of minority and underserved populations through lowering risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, there are many opportunities for internships leading to promising public health careers.

What You Will Study

The master of public health (MPH) is offered through the Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine. Admissions is through the ECU Graduate School.

The curriculum is divided among the following components: 24 s.h. in core requirements; 6 s.h. in applications (field placement and professional paper); and 15 s.h. in required courses and electives in one of three concentrations (epidemiology, health administration, and health behavior).

In addition to attaining basic public health competencies, MPH graduates must also attain concentration specific competencies. The field placement experience consists of 240 hours of service. The professional paper serves as a capstone, an applied-learning experience. It will typically describe a public health action, intervention, or an increase in knowledge useful to public health practice that has resulted from the student's internship experience, professional employment, or research.

The master of public health requires a minimum of 45 s.h. as follows:

1. Core - 24 s.h.
  • BIOS 7021 - Biostatistics for Health Professionals I
  • MPH 6000 - Public Health Practice
  • MPH 6002 - Ethics and Law in Public Health

  • EHST 6010 - Fundamentals of Environmental Health or
  • MPH 6010 - Fundamentals of Environmental Health

  • MPH 6011 - Introduction to Epidemiology
  • MPH 6013 - Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

  • MPH 6020 - Research Methods or
  • MPH 6702 - Epidemiology Methods *

  • MPH 6035 - Interdisciplinary Rural Health or
  • NURS 6035 - Interdisciplinary Rural Health

  • Note:

    *Students in the epidemiology concentration must take MPH 6702.

    2. Applications - 6 s.h.
    • MPH 6903 - Comprehensive Field Placement
    • MPH 6991 - MPH Professional Paper
    • MPH 6992 - MPH Professional Paper
    • or
    • MPH 6904 - Introduction to Field Placement
    • MPH 6905 - Applied Field Placement
    • MPH 6991
    • MPH 6992
    3. Concentrations and electives - 15 s.h.

    (Chosen in consultation with advisor for concentrations or joint degree programs.)

      a. Epidemiology - 15 s.h.
      • BIOS 7022 - Biostatistics for Health Professionals II
      • MPH 7202 - Introduction to Public Health Data Analysis
      • Select 9 s.h. of concentration electives from the following:
        • MPH 6021 - Epidemiology of Chronic Disease
        • MPH 6022 - Epidemiology of Infectious Disease
        • MPH 6023 - Epidemiology of Cancer
        • MPH 7205 - Nutritional Epidemiology
        • Graduate level courses
      b. Health administration - 15 s.h.

      (Choose 9 s.h. as concentration courses and 6 s.h. as electives from the following.)

      • MPH 6025 - Delivery of Healthcare Services
      • MPH 6040 - Long Term Care Administration
      • MPH 6200 - Community Health Organization and Leadership
      • MPH 6700 - Health Economics
      • MPH 6800 - Health Policy and Politics
      • MPH 6810 - Strategic and Financial Management of Healthcare Organizations
      • MPH 7010 - Human Resource Management and Leadership for Health Administration
      c. Health behavior - 15 s.h.
      • MPH 6027 - Applied Mixed-Methods Research
      • MPH 6600 - Planning Public Health Programs
      • MPH 6605 - Evaluating Public Health Programs
      • 6 s.h. of electives
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Public Health (MPH)
    • Education and Training
    • Medical and Health Services Managers
    • Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
    • Public Health (MPH)

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.