Program Description

Overview - Master of Public Health

The M.P.H. program, accredited by the National Council, trains individuals in applied public health. Our faculty at UConn Health focuses on practicality, offering flexible class schedules. Graduates work in diverse sectors, with a focus on interprofessional practice. We balance understanding health determinants with action for better health, prioritizing collaborative problem-solving.

Foundational Competencies:

    1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
    2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
    3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
    4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
    5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
    6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels
    7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
    8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
    9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
    10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
    11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs
    12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
    13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
    14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
    15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
    16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
    17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
    18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
    19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
    20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
    21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
    22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Concentration-Specific Competencies:

    1. Describe social, environment, economic, political or cultural determinants affecting human behavior, health or health outcomes.
    2. Employ legal-ethical principles when evaluating public health policies & practices.
    3. Identify necessary protections to personal information in the conduct of population health practices or study.
    4. Use CBPR Principles to develop logic models that effectively plan, manage and promote community-based interventions.
    5. Account for the role and impact of governmental regulatory/advisory bodies in advancing population health initiatives.


The curriculum requires successful completion of 48 graduate credits, distributed among the foundational disciplines of public health practice - epidemiology, biostatistics, social sciences, health systems administration and policy, environmental health, as well as our program-specific requirements in interprofessional practice, public health law, and research methods, an applied practice experience, five to seven electives that build upon an individual’s area of interest and an integrative learning experience.  Matriculation requires commitment to a rigorous course of study, such that the degree can be earned through two years of full-time (minimum of 12 credits per semester) or four years of part-time (minimum of 6 credits per semester) study.

Students who have successfully completed relevant courses at another institution or UConn courses prior to their application to the program may request a transfer or waiver of up to 6 credits, allowing them to graduate with a minimum of 42 earned credits.  Transfer or waiver of credits is based on the appropriateness of content, equivalence of requirements, and minimum grades of B.

Applied Practice Experience (APE)
(3-6 credits)

Students following our Standalone or FastTrack pathways to the MPH must complete a 2-semester, 6-credit, practice-based APE during their second year of study. Students on a Dual Degree pathway of study are expected to complete a 1-semester APE.

The APE is one of many opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of public health competencies gained through a their academic experience. Students complete 170+ hours of offsite field under the supervision of an agency-based preceptor, spread over 30 weeks of the late-fall and early-spring portions of the academic year, and conclude with the presentation of the APE project to faculty and site preceptors. In addition, students enrolled in 2-semesters of PUBH 5407 complete 10 class sessions of instruction on topics relevant to their APE projects.

(15 to 21 credits)

Elective courses are organized around the three core functions of public health (assessment, assurance and policy development).  Students should choose electives in order to build knowledge and expertise on their topics of special interest.

Integrative Learning Experience (ILE)
(3 to 9 credits)

All students are expected to complete a 3-credit (PUBH 5495) Capstone Project as their ILE, demonstrating their mastery of public health competencies and practical experiences while in the program. The ILE Capstone project is to be focused on “dissemination/integration” of established knowledge for the purpose of bringing evidence-based practices to new settings in the interest of reducing a population health concern. The ILE capstone project can take the form of….

  • A case study offering detailed examination of a unique or important manifestation of a health issue or intervention to describe relevant background, process, outcome and lessons to be learned.
  • A program evaluation that assesses whether an intervention is efficacious and effective in achieving a desired outcome.
  • An educational resource intended to enhance public health practices by communities.
  • A data management protocol to improve access, efficiency and impact of data collection and analysis.
  • A policy analysis bringing together available data from various sources for critical assessment of strengths and weaknesses of policy options for decision makers.

Students desiring a research-focused ILE Thesis may petition to undertake work focused on “discovery” of new knowledge that answers questions about the causes and/or consequences of a population health concern” The ILE thesis can take the form of….

  • A theoretical statement about the relationships among one or more exposures, interventions and/or health outcomes.
  • A qualitative/quantitative descriptive study measuring the distribution or determinants of a relevant public health concern.
  • An analytic study utilizing accepted research designs to evaluate one or more hypotheses regarding the causes and consequences of a health concern within a community.
  • An experimental study to evaluate the efficacy/effectiveness of a potentially relevant intervention for population health.
  • A meta-analysis that synthesizes existing knowledge to generate a composite estimate of risks and/or consequences of a population health concern.

Permission to complete an ILE Thesis is at the discretion of the Program and the Student’s Advisory Committee, based on the rationale, timeline and deliverables proposed by the student. Of paramount concern is the student’s ‘readiness’ to undertake thesis-related work as defined by:

  • Evidence of their substantive knowledge of subject matter,
  • Evidence of their mastery of appropriate technical skills, and
  • Thorough understanding of thesis requirements and timelines.