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Public Health, MPH Concentration in Public Health Practice

Public Health Online Masters

Program Description

The need for public health practitioners with strong backgrounds in health administration and health education is growing.

Healthcare delivery has shifted dramatically in recent years to include a greater focus on prevention into most health plans. Public health officials are seeking individuals with the skills needed to to fulfill core public health functions.

Demand is high for skills in:

  • Monitoring and assessing community health
  • Assuring access to health services
  • Policy development 


The online Master of Public Health degree program is designed for working public health professionals who wish to add to their skill set to meet today's public health challenges.

Special Accreditation

Council on Education for Public Health accreditation logo

In addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska campuses, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health is also accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.


The U.S. Department of Education recognizes CEPH as the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health.


Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students may be required to write papers, complete projects, conduct research, and communicate with professors. Students may work independently on assignments and with coworkers on group projects, do case presentations, take quizzes and exams, just as students on campus are required to do.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00
Note: The per credit hour 'technology fee' is referred to as a 'Distributive Learning fee' by the UNMC College of Public Health. In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $150.00 COPH Technology Fee each semester they enroll in courses. Students are also required to complete a background check. The fee for the background check is $35.00.

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program  is a 45 credit hour, specialized professional master's degree program designed to prepare graduates for work in public health.

The Environmental and Occupational Health concentration prepares students for working in environmental health, occupational health, toxicology, and related fields.

Program of Study:

  • 21 credit hours core coursework focused on the areas of knowledge basic to public health
  • 12 credit hours concentration coursework
  • 6 credit hours elective courses
  • 6 credit hours of a combined practicum/capstone experience
Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Foundations of Public Health

CPH 500
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work.

Health Behavior

CPH 501
The purpose of this course is to study the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students will develop an understanding of the determinants of health behavior, the models and theories that provide a framework for predicting health behavior, and the strategies employed to bring about behavioral changes for health and disease prevention in individuals and groups.

Health Services Administration

CPH 502
This is a survey course designed to be an introduction to the management of health services organizations and systems in the United States. Specifically, this course will introduce students to the types of health services organizations and health systems in the United States, the context surrounding the administration of these organizations and delivery of health care services, and the skills needed to manage a health services organization within this setting.

Public Health Environment and Society

CPH 503
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to environmental factors, including biological, physical, and chemical factors, which affect the health of a community. The main focus of the course will be the effects of exposures that have been associated with human health and environmental problems in the Midwest, specifically water and air pollutants related to animal feeding operations, arsenic in ground water, pesticides, herbicides, lead, and radiation. The effects of global warming, ergonomic problems in the meat packing industry, and occupational and environmental problems in health care will also be discussed.

Epidemiology in Public Health

CPH 504
The objective of the course is to understand the application of survey and research methodology in epidemiology, especially in the community setting. Theoretical aspects will be taught as an integral part of understanding the techniques of study design and community survey. Concepts to be covered include measure of disease occurrence, measures of disease risk, study design, assessment of alternative explanations for data-based findings, and methods of testing or limiting alternatives. Students will be expected to address an epidemiological question of interest to them, first developing the hypothesis and conducting a literature search, then developing a study design and writing, in several stages, a brief proposal for the study.

Applied Research in Public Health

CPH 505
This course will assist students to develop the basic skills to conduct applied research to address contemporary problems in public health. The course will emphasize proposal writing, data collection, research design, statistical analysis, computer application, and writing of research reports. Unique problems associated with data collection in public health settings such as public health departments, neighborhood health centers, and community-based organizations will be addressed. Both quantitative and qualitative research designs will be explored. Considerable emphasis is placed on evaluation of public health research published in scholarly publications. A research proposal/capstone service- learning proposal is written as one of the course requirements.

Biostatistics I

CPH 506

Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate statistics course or permission of instructor.

This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies.

Health Promotion Program Planning

CPH 536

An in-depth application of the health promotion program planning process utilizing a comprehensive model called PRECEDE-PROCEED. Students submit six papers applying each phase of this model: social diagnosis, epidemiological diagnosis, behavioral/ environmental diagnosis, educational/organizational diagnosis, administrative/policy diagnosis, and evaluation at the process, impact and outcome levels.

Prerequisites: None.

Public Health Program Evaluation

CPH 538

This course will build skills for selection, development and analysis of various types of instruments and techniques for conducting process, impact, and outcome evaluations in health education and health promotion. Evaluation of health behavior change and its antecedent’s changes in community services/programs, and community health status will be discussed. Students will learn methods for developing/choosing psychometric tools, choosing appropriate evaluation designs, procedures for data collection, and describing evaluation results. Emphasis will be placed on political statistical, and theoretical aspects of instrumentation and evaluation practices.

Prerequisites: waived for MPH students.

Strategic Planning & Management in Public...

CPH 563

Strategic Planning & Management in Public Health

This course examines the theory and practice of strategic planning and management in public health, health services, and voluntary health and welfare organizations. Application of specific principles, concepts, and techniques of strategic planning and management for these organizations will be addressed. The roles and responsibilities of public health and health services administrators in developing, implementing, monitoring and revising strategy will also be examined.

Prerequisites: Instructor permission.

Health Care Finance

CPH 565

This course is the required health care financial management course for the Health Care concentration in the MPA program and a required course in the MPH curriculum. Students are not expected to have prior coursework in financial management, managerial and financial accounting. The course does, however, assume the students have some experience with spreadsheet models. This course, which focuses on the application of financial management principles and concepts to health care organizations, consists of (1) instructor lectures, (2) case analyses, (3) presentations, and (4) two examinations. Much of the learning in this course will come from your own individual work and from interacting with other students, so the benefits that you receive will be directly related to your individual efforts.

Prerequisites: Research methods, epidemiology, or biostatistics, or instructor permission.

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

View a complete list of College of Public Health faculty >

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must:

  1. Provide official transcripts reflecting an earned bachelor's degree, with a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the last 60 undergraduate or the last 18 graduate/post-baccalaureate credit hours completed

    Note: If official transcripts or mark sheets of college-level work are not in English or in the standard U.S. grading scale they must be sent to a credential evaluation service for evaluation.

  2. Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the last five years are required of all applicants. Many factors are considered in evaluating an individual's application, but many successful applicants will have verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing GRE scores at or above the 40th percentile

    Note: Acceptable alternatives to the GRE are DAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT or PCAT 


Application Checklist

  1. Apply online using the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS)

    Note: The SOPHAS application may take several hours to complete. It is best to prepare your information in advance and set aside time to complete the process. You will be required to complete the following information, or submit the following items:
  • Applicant information
  • Additional information
  • Academic history - i.e. tests (UNMC College of Public Health GRE Code is 0695), colleges and universities attended, coursework, curriculum vitae/resume
  • Personal statement
  • References (three letters of recommendation)
  • School designation (see below)
  • SOPHAS application fee
  • Applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not earned a degree in the United States must submit official TOEFL scores earned within the two years preceding the desired term of entry


Paper-based TOEFL 500 or higher Computer-based 213 or higher Internet-based 80 or higher

SOPHAS School Designation

SOPHAS contains a section "School Designations". You will use this section to declare the program and area of concentration you wish to apply to, as well as your second choice.

Click on "Update Designations" in the top left hand corner of the screen. Choose "University of Nebraska, College of Public Health" from the first drop down menu.

Next, choose the program and concentration you would like to elect for your first choice from the second drop down menu.

Click the "search" button. Select the program and click "submit".

You will repeat this process to indicate your second choice program and concentration. You will have the opportunity to rank concentrations on SOPHAS.

Application Deadlines

Term Domestic Application International Application
Fall Semester June 1  April 1
Spring Semester October 1  September 1 



Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
College of Public Health
Phone: 402.552.9867


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