University of Michigan



Students in the online Master of Science (MS) in Population and Health Sciences program begin with a set of core courses developed around evidence-based approaches to public health, health care systems, health policy, leadership, communication, and systems thinking. The MS program emphasizes research and data analysis concepts, and students in this program will complete advanced courses in biostatistics and R. Students will build upon the core curriculum by participating in elective series focusing on a range of topics, including epidemiology, environmental health sciences, nutritional sciences, and precision health.

The MS program also includes a year-long research project designed to help students learn about the research process and develop expertise in communicating results in written and oral formats. Faculty will guide and mentor students throughout the different stages of the project:

  • Literature review
  • Creation of a research analysis plan
  • Description of research methodologies employed
  • Analysis, presentation and interpretation of data
  • Comparison of findings to existing literature
  • Discussion of the implications of the research findings

Try an open course

Michigan's School of Public Health offers courses on Coursera that can help you decide whether the MS program is the right fit before you apply.

The Specialization “Impacts of the Environment on Global Public Health” provides an overview of environmental health sciences (EHS), the study of how environmental factors affect human health and disease.

The course "Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life: Living for What Matters Most" explores how science, philosophy, and practice all play a role in defining purpose as well as how historical figures and individuals found meaning by defining their purpose. The course also provides concrete steps you can take to improve long-term happiness.

The course "Foundational Skills for Communicating About Health" helps health professionals at all career levels learn how to effectively communicate with patients, policymakers, and the broader public.

Try out an open course today and see if the Michigan MS is right for you.

Program Length

Most courses in the online MS will run for 4-6 weeks back-to-back. This schedule means that students will be focusing on 1-2 courses at a time.

Sample Course Schedule

Semester 1: Fall 
PUBHLTH 512Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBHLTH 511Nutrition and Public Health (2 credits)
BIOSTAT 501Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
Semester 2: Winter 
BIOSTAT 591Introduction to R (3 credits)
PUBHLTH 514Public Health Sciences and the Environment (2 credits)
PUBHLTH 515Population Health (3 credits)
Semester 3: Spring/Summer 
Elective Series ICourse A (3 credits)
Elective Series ICourse B (3 credits)
Semester 4: Fall 
PUBHLTH 682Master’s Thesis Research Project I (2 credits)
Elective Series ICourse C (2 credits)
Elective Series ICourse D (3 credits)
Elective Series IICourse A (3 credits)
Semester 5: Winter 
PUBHLTH 683Master’s Thesis Research Project II (2 credits)
Elective Series IICourse B (3 credits)
Elective Series IICourse C (3 credits)
Elective Series IICourse D (2 credits)


Elective series reflect the strengths of Michigan Public Health faculty and allow students to develop specialized knowledge. Each elective series will consist of 4-5 courses representing beginner, intermediate, and advanced course sequences.

Series include:

  • Epidemiological Methods (11 credits)
  • Spatial Epidemiology and Modeling (11 credits)
  • Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (11 credits)
  • Environmental Health and Sustainability (11 credits)
  • Analyzing Health Data (9 credits)
  • Precision Health (11 credits)
  • Precision Nutrition (11 credits)
  • Maternal and Child Nutrition (11 credits)

The online MS is your chance to earn a Master of Science degree from a top-ranked program without pausing your career. You'll take the same kind of courses you’d attend on campus, with the flexibility to learn when and where you want. Through the program, you’ll collaborate with a global network of classmates, instructors, and alumni.

Coursera on Mobile

Students can access all of their course materials wherever they are with the mobile app. The app is used by over 80 percent of online degree students on Coursera and is available on iOS and Android.

The mobile app allows students to:

  • Save a week’s worth of content for offline access with one click
  • Save and submit quizzes offline
  • View text transcripts of lecture videos
  • Take notes directly in the app
  • Set reminder alerts to help manage progress

Download Coursera's mobile app

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Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.

We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.