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Public Health: Public Health Practice Concentration, M.P.H.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 48 hours

Public Health is organized efforts in a community to improve the health of its population. It applies systematic and analytic reasoning to evaluate the etiologies of disease and illness causation within a population. The MPH is recognized as the flagship degree in public health. The program at CMU is designed for students with a Bachelor's degree and for working professionals who already have a Bachelor's degree and wish to have a graduate degree. The program explores challenges and problems affecting the population's health, particularly the health of rural and underserved groups, by focusing on areas of study such as epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, rural health, public health leadership, program planning and evaluation, and health policy and management. Students build competencies in understanding the major social, behavioral, cultural, political, environmental, and regulatory factors affecting the health of populations. This understanding enables students to apply specific new and innovative techniques to address the health challenges of rural and underserved populations across the state, country and globally. Recognizing that the program meets  all the  standards for a graduate program in public health, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) granted it a 5-year accreditation on September 2019.

All students in the program must complete 14 courses, one internship, and a culminating experience.There are two options for doing so, depending on previous experience of students.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission Requirement Snapshot

GPA: 3.0

Entrance Exam: GRE, GMAT, or MCAT

International Deadline: June 1 (Fall) , Oct. 1 (Spring)

See Admission Requirement Details Below

See information for the Accelerated MPH and the Dual M.D./M.P.H. degree below. 

Admission Requirements:

The program reviews all applications and submitted documents in making a determination on admission and makes such recommendations to the Office of Graduate Studies.

  1. Bachelor degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Students must provide official documents including official transcripts of classes completed. Students who have graduated from a Council for Education of Public Health (CEPH) certified program will have priority consideration for admission.
  2. A GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as an undergraduate. Applicants with an overall GPA of less than 3.00 may be considered for regular admission if they have a 3.00 GPA in the last 60 hours of course work. Applicants with an overall GPA of 2.50 to 3.00 and who do not have a GPA of 3.00 for the last 60 hours taken may be considered for admission with stipulations following the process for admission with stipulations below.
  3. Resume that includes at least the following:
    • Educational experience;
    • Professional goals and objectives;
    • Work history;
    • Professional experiences, memberships, and participation in professional activities.
  4. Statement of Purpose. A personal statement (1-2 pages) describing your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in public health at Central Michigan University. The statement should include information about your future career plans, or any past or current activities or achievements which are related to your proposed field of specialization including any research or teaching experience you may have had.
  5. Two letters of reference from person(s) that can attest to the applicant’s ability and likelihood of success in a graduate program.
  6. Submit GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination scores.

Note: Waiver of Standardized Test Requirement: The requirement will be waived for students who meet one of the following conditions:

A. Applicants with a Doctorate Degree obtained from U.S. universities or foreign universities listed in the International Association of Universities' World Higher Education Database (IAU WHED).

B. Applicants with a Master's Degree obtained from U.S. universities or foreign universities listed in the International Association of Universities' World Higher Education Database (IAU WHED) with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

C. Applicants with an Undergraduate Degree obtained from U.S. universities or foreign universities listed in the International Association of Universities' World Higher Education Database (IAU WHED) AND:

i. Applicants with an undergraduate degree with no work experience: Degree obtained with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

ii. Applicants with an undergraduate degree with no work experience: Degree obtained with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher for the last 60 hours provided the overall undergraduate GPA is at least 2.7.

iii. Applicants with an undergraduate degree with at least 3 years professional work experience: Degree obtained with an overall GPA of 2.9 or higher.

iv. Applicants with an undergraduate degree with at least 5 years professional work experience: Degree obtained with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 hours, provided the overall undergraduate GPA is at least 2.7.

7. Because of the nature of the program and academic content, it is recommended that the applicant have competency in the following areas: math and statistics, biology, and written and verbal skills. Applicants who may not have had such courses or developed these competencies should ensure they develop them prior to starting the program.

8. TOEFL, IELTS, or other English proficiency exam is required if a graduate is from a non-English speaking country. Applicants must be able to study and communicate in English, and achieve the minimum score required by the CMU Office of Graduate Studies. Students who take the IELTS exam must achieve a minimum IELTS overall score of 5.5 for admission with stipulations or 6.5 or higher for regular admission. Students who take the TOEFL exam must achieve an overall score of 79 (iBT).

For students who may not meet one or more of the admission requirements, admission with stipulations may be considered by the program. In such cases, the student will need to earn at least a 3.00 GPA during the first twelve credits taken in the program. Applicants wishing to be considered for admission with stipulations will need to submit a rationale for granting such admission, which will then be reviewed by the program which has the final authority in making a decision.

Retention Requirements:

  1. Students must maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA.
  2. Students who may be admitted with stipulations must demonstrate during the first semester that they can achieve a 3.00 GPA.
  3. Students who do not maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA or who have more than two C or C+ grades in foundational or required courses may be placed on academic probation. Continued academic probation in multiple terms will result in dismissal from the program.
  4. Students will be allowed to repeat a course no more than two times in order to improve the grade. Students may not have more than two C or C+ grades in foundational and required courses to graduate. Grades of C- or less do not count for graduation.

Transfer Credits:

Students may transfer into the degree program up to 12 credits of course work from another regionally accredited graduate degree program, provided that the student earned a grade of B or better in the course and the course is determined by the Program to be equivalent to courses taught in the degree program. The determination of the Program is final in determining what courses, if any, can transfer.

The MPH courses are sequenced to start in each fall semester of the academic calendar. Students admitted in the spring program should take courses that might not have stringent prerequisites or with the permission of the instructor. In the initial stages, students admitted in the spring semester of the program may be delayed for at least one semester of the expected completion date; this will be offset when classes are taught in each semester.

Program Requirements

Foundational Courses (19 hours)

MPH 640Biostatistics in Public Health


MPH 642Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health


MPH 646Epidemiology for Public Health


MPH 648Health Policy and Management


MPH 650Biological Basis of Public Health


MPH 652Environmental Health Sciences


Required Courses (14 hours)

MPH 644Rural Health


MPH 654Public Health Leadership


MPH 655Program Planning and Evaluation


MPH 670Methods in Public Health Research


MPH 790Applied Practice Experience


Required Culminating Experience (3 hours)

MPH 796Integrative Learning Experience


Public Health Practice Concentration (12 hours)

MPH 662Public Health and Aging


MPH 664Public Health Communication and Informatics


MPH 666Substance Abuse Services


MPH 667Maternal and Child Health


Total: 48 semester hours

Accelerated Master of Public Health (MPH)

Students admitted to the Master's Degree Program may earn up to twelve (12) hours of graduate credit towards their undergraduate degree for MPH courses taken during their senior year. These courses will count both toward their undergraduate degree and toward their MPH Degree. The student will need to be admitted to the MPH program and have completed the agreed-to plan of study.

Admission: Generally, students will apply during their junior year for admission into the Master's Degree Program to begin in the fall semester of their senior year.

Admission Requirements: Overall GPA of 3.0 and have completed university competency requirements; plus, meet the regular admission requirements of the MPH Program.

Plan of Study: Twelve (12) credit hours of MPH coursework may be counted toward both the undergraduate degree and the Master in Public Health when taken and completed during the senior year by a student admitted to the Accelerated MPH degree program prior to the senior year. A plan of study must be approved by the graduate advisor for the MPH program.


Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health Dual Degrees

The College of Medicine (CMED) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program in the College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University are proud to offer students the opportunity to enroll in the MD-MPH dual degree program. Both degree programs are independently accredited through their respective accreditation bodies. The integrated dual degree program satisfies the requirements of both the M.D. and M.P.H. degrees.

Program Goal

Healthcare is a rapidly growing and ever-changing field that requires multidisciplinary approaches to caring for individuals and improving population health. The Dual Degree Program is designed to equip future practitioners with foundational knowledge and skills in clinical medicine and the science and practice of public health to better address health and wellness and complex health issues on an individual and population basis. The Dual Degree Program prepares physicians for careers in public health, community medicine, health policy, and academia. Clinically-trained physicians with the MPH degree can take positions in state and local health departments, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-profit organizations such as community health centers, and health plans. They may also work in international contexts.

Admission Requirements

Medical students accepted into the CMU College of Medicine are eligible to apply for admission to the MD/MPH dual degree program during their 2nd year.

To be admitted into the Master of Public Health Program, interested medical students must:

  1. Complete the "Approval Form to Enroll in the MPH Program" available through the Office of Medical Education. The application must include a one-page personal statement describing how the MPH degree fits into their future career plans and what strategies they will employ to manage the responsibilities of two degree programs.
  2. Submit the application for admission to the Office of Graduate Studies by applying to the main campus MPH program (
  3. The Office of Medical Education will provide copies of the following components to the Office of Graduate Studies for Admissions Processing: Official transcripts to date and Official Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores.

Important Dates: MPH admission applications will be accepted until April1st of the start of their "gap" year. MD students are expected to begin the MPH program in mid-June (for MPH 2nd summer session).

Curriculum & Program of Study

While the MD degree usually takes four years to complete and the MPH degree takes two years, by combining them into a concurrent degree, they can both be completed in five years.

  • Years 1 and 2: complete preclinical curriculum and pass Step 1 of the USMLE.
  • Year 3: full-time graduate study in the MPH curriculum. 
  • Year 4: return to the medical school curriculum for the third-year clinical clerkships, and complete the integrative learning experience requirements for the MPH.
  • Years 5: focus on completion of fourth-year electives and rotations for the MD degree, and complete the applied practice experience requirements for the MPH.

Required Courses

MD/MPH students must complete 42 credits in the MPH Program in addition to their MD courses. They earn 6 credits toward the MPH by completing courses required for their MD degree. Shared credits allow students to get their MPH degree faster. Students complete the Applied Practice Experience and Integrative Learning Experience portions of their MPH coursework during their fourth and fifth years of medical school.

Foundational Courses (19 credits)

  • MPH 640: Biostatistics in Public Health (4)
  • MPH 642: Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (3)
  • MPH 646: Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
  • MPH 648: Health Policy and Management (3)
  • MED 630 a: Foundational Sciences of Medicine: Wellness and Disease (1)
  • MED 640: Reproductive/Human Development: Wellness and Disease (1)
  • MED 740: Neurosciences and Behavior: Wellness and Disease (1) [Replaces MPH 650 Biological Basis of Public Health (3)]
  • MPH 652: Environmental Health Sciences (3)

Required Courses (14 credits)

  • MPH 644: Rural Health (3)
  • MPH 654: Public Health Leadership (3)
  • MPH 655: Program Planning and Evaluation (3)
  • MED 600: Medicine and Society (3) [Replaces MPH 670 Methods in Public Health Research (3)]
  • MPH 790: Applied Practice Experience (2)

Required Culmination Experience (3 credits)

  • MPH 796 Integrative Learning Experience (3)

Concentration Courses (12 credits)
Public Health Practice

  • MPH 662: Public Health and Aging (3)
  • MPH 664: Public Health Communication and Informatics (3)
  • MPH 667 Maternal & Child Health (3)
  • MPH 666 Substance Abuse Services (3)

Tuition and Fees

The MD/MPH dual degree program provides a cost-effective option to those interested in earning both degrees.

Graduation Requirements

To earn the dual MD/MPH degree, students must satisfy the requirements of both the M.D. and M.P.H. degree programs as described above. A student may not receive the MD degree and then continue working to complete MPH requirements as part of the MD/MPH dual degree program. A student may graduate with the MD degree and then continue working towards the MPH, but must instead meet the full MPH degree requirements for non-combined-degree students.

For more information about MD/MPH Program, contact:

CMU Office of Medical Education
CMED 2405
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
989-774-7428 or 989-774-1215

CMU MPH Program
HPB 2212
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
989-774-3899 or 989-774-4476