When you earn your MPH degree, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret population health data and utilize evidence-based approach to public health through the application of epidemiological methods, data collection and data analysis.
  • Separate fact from fiction in health statistics and health studies.
  • Communicate and engage with diverse stakeholders around population health improvement.
  • Address the social determinants that contribute to health disparities and health inequities in communities.
  • Analyze the structure and function of the public health, health care, and regulatory systems that influence population health.
  • Learn what it takes to design and implement effective public health programs and policies.
  • Become effective evaluators, advocates and coalition-builders within policy-making.
  • Gain an understanding of the profession of public health, including its history, philosophy, and values.
  • Employ qualitative and quantitative methods to describe and assess population health to advance evidence-based knowledge.
  • Dive deeper into a population health field, such as environmental health or health care finance.


The comprehensive MPH curriculum equips students to tackle complex health challenges such as chronic and infectious diseases, health care quality and costs, climate change and environmental health determinants, and the health impact of socioeconomic inequalities. Each student gains real-world training through distinctive Applied Practice Experiences (APEx) with professionals in the public health sector.

The curriculum includes a foundational set of core courses developed around evidence-based approaches to public health, health care systems, health policy, leadership, communication, and systems thinking. Elective areas build on the core curriculum to allow students to gain skills in biostatistics, epidemiology, health management and policy, health behavior and health education, and environmental health sciences. The elective component of the curriculum can be customized to prepare the student for their individual public health career goals. Applied practice and capstone courses allow students to get hands-on experience through real-world practice.

The online MPH student is expected to complete 42 credit hours in two years in the program. All classes will have weekly synchronous and asynchronous components to provide a high-quality learner experience and ensure students are mastering course content. Most live sessions will be scheduled on a weekday evening.

Some of the projects you’ll do...

  • Tackle real-world public health issues through virtual simulations
  • Analyze data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Study (MEPS) of U.S. households
  • Develop public health communications for local departments of health and community agencies
  • Compare and evaluate community health needs assessments and implementation plans
  • Play a professional role in a real time simulation of the opioid epidemic in a local community

Try an open course

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

The Specialization “The Influence of Social Determinants on Health” examines social, behavioral, economic, political, and structural factors that contribute to health inequalities, and suggests innovative ways to reduce disparities in health to achieve health equity.

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 Specialization “Addressing Racial Health Inequity in Healthcare” covers the sociological contributions and historical backdrop of why racial inequities exist in healthcare. The course also critically analyzes the various causes of racial inequities in healthcare and goes through approaches to achieving equity in healthcare.

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.

The course “Breastfeeding: Public Health Perspectives” provides students with the opportunity to think about breastfeeding and its public health implications.

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.

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

Sample Course Schedule

The curriculum has been designed to be completed in two years. This sample course schedule shows the overall sequence and timing of courses. Please be aware that variations in this example are possible due to faculty availability and program changes.

Year 1 - Fall9 Credits
PUBHLTH 512Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (3 cr)
PUBHLTH 508Social Determinants of Health (1 cr)
PUBHLTH 511Nutrition and Public Health (2 cr)
BIOSTAT 501Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)
Year 1 - Winter9 Credits
PUBHLTH 513Public Health Systems, Policy and Management (3 cr)
PUBHLTH 510Communication Fundamentals (1 cr)
PUBHLTH 514Public Health Sciences and the Environment (2 cr)
PUBHLTH 515Population Health (3 cr)
Year 1 - Spring/Summer — 3-6 Credits
Elective Series I course (3 cr)
Elective Series I course (3 cr)
Year 2 - Fall — 10 Credits
PUBHLTH 680 Applied Practice and Integrative Experience I (2 cr)*
Elective Series I course (3 cr)
Elective Series I course (2 cr)
Elective Series II course (3 cr)
Year 2 - Winter — 10 Credits
PUBHLTH 680 Applied Practice and Integrative Experience II (2 cr)*
Elective Series II course (3 cr)
Elective Series II course (2 cr)
Elective Series II course (3 cr)
Year 2 - Spring/Summer — 3-6 Credits
PUBHLTH 516: Skills for Interprofessional Practice (1 cr)
Elective Series II course (3 cr)
Elective Series II course (2 cr)


Students have the opportunity to enroll in elective courses that focus on personal and professional areas of interest. Students typically pursue two elective areas of interest.

Graduate Certificate Programs

As you earn your MPH degree from Michigan Public Health, enrolled students also have the opportunity to pursue additional educational credentials via Graduate Certificate programs. The online MPH offers a variety of elective series designed to earn a University of Michigan School of Public Health graduate certificate in a specific area within a core public health discipline. The graduate certificate denotes a student’s depth of knowledge in the given subject area such as Analyzing Health Data, Health Behavior and Health Equity, Healthcare Accounting and Finance, and more. Certificates are earned through the completion of pre-built elective course series. Learn more about certificate programs available to MPH students.

Online certificate programs are only available to enrolled students in the online Master of Public Health program at Michigan Public Health. Online certificates may not be elected or audited independently of the master’s degree curriculum. Students will work with their Michigan Public Health advisor to elect chosen certificate programs before their second year in the master’s program. MPH Graduate Certificates are academic credentials administered by the University of Michigan School of Public Health, not to be confused with course certificates acquired through Coursera.

Capstone Projects

*Applied Practice and Integrative Experience (2 cr Fall + 2 cr Winter): A key element of the MPH will be an integrated applied practice experience and culminating capstone (4 credits), which gives students exposure to the practical demands of working in the public health field and requires the integration of knowledge with skills and the application of competencies in practice. The applied practice experience can occur in any term of the second year and the practice activity/project is flexible in order to meet students’ interests in public health.

The CEPH accreditation criteria for the applied practice experience dictates that the experience must a) involve an external practice partner, b) build off of the didactic component of three core competencies and c) result in two written products that are provided to the external partner. An example of a project/product that could be done in all 50 states is the analysis of the state's annual BRFSS data and the development of an executive summary, PowerPoint presentation, and detailed report on a state's health indicators for a department of health. Performing and writing up health assessments for communities with a local or global partner is another meaningful but systematic way to benefit both student and public health agency.

The culminating integrative experience for the MPH students should be completed during the final term of the program. Students will develop a culminating high-level integrated written product (e.g. policy brief, program plan, research paper, community health needs assessment) relevant to a real world applied health problem synthesizing competencies achieved throughout the program.

The online MPH is your chance to earn a Master of Public Health 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


Upcoming Deadlines:

  • Applications open: September 1, 2023
  • Priority deadline: February 1, 2024
  • Final deadline: May 15, 2024

Upcoming Events:

Register for the April 17 Information Session

Looking to hear more about public health? Listen to Population Healthy podcast from University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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.

Have questions?

If you have questions about the application process or eligibility, please email us at sph-inquiries@umich.edu.