Public Health, MPH (Health Services Administration & Policy)

Master of Public Health

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Public Health Administration and Policy degree program is designed for students and working professionals looking to broaden their training in public health administration, health policy and related fields.

The Public Health Administration and Policy concentration prepares students for an administrative, managerial or supervisory role, with an emphasis on planning, budgeting, program evaluation and policy development.

The online Public Health Administration and Policy concentration focuses on four main areas:

  • Organizational Theory and Behavior – students learn fundamental concepts and information about organizational behaviors and theories in health care and develop skills to analyze and resolve organizational problems through a systems approach 
  • Health Care Finance – students learn to prepare budgets while considering contexts, develop skills to implement budgets, evaluate performance and take appropriate actions, analyze risk as a basis for financial decision-making, and demonstrate the application of financial management techniques to enhance performance of health service organizations 
  • Strategic Planning – students evaluate and document internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to identify strategic issues, prepare strategic and operational plans that consider issues, demonstrate skills to lead and facilitate planning activities as well as implement operational and strategic plans with the ability to evaluate performance an adjust accordingly 
  • Human Resource Management – students develop knowledge on various theories, principles, best practices and challenges of human resource management in health care, explain the effects of human factors and demographics in managing others, and identify the different issues that impact human resource management 

The Master in Public Health cultivates leaders who are creative, critical thinkers, with the knowledge and skills to address evolving public health challenges. This online master’s degree program focuses on being practice-centered, evidence-based, equity-focused, diverse and collaborative.  

Career Outlook: Graduates in Health Administration and Policy find positions in federal, state and local agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospitals, clinics and health systems, insurance companies and legislative offices. Careers in this field may focus on influencing and developing policies, or may be involved in the day to day operations of how programs and services are structure and delivered.  

Potential career paths for graduates of this online program include:

  • Administrative services manager 
  • Behavioral health director 
  • Community service manager 
  • Hospital chief executive officer 
  • Human resource manager 
  • Outpatient care supervisor 
  • Wellness program administrator 

Li-Wu Chen, Ph.D., MHSA
Professor and Chair

Li-Wu Chen serves as the director for the Center for Health Policy Analysis and Rural Health Research and co-director for the Nebraska Public Health Practice-Based Research Network. Chen’s research interests include health economics, health insurance, health care access and utilization, health care cost and efficiency, cost-effectiveness analysis, public health service and system research as well as rural health research.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Taken the GRE

  2. Taken the TOEFL

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  3. A written personal statement

    A one-page personal statement.

  4. 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.

  5. Foreign Transcripts: Official transcripts or mark sheets of college level work not in English or in the standard U.S. grading scale must be sent to a credential evaluation service for translation. Transcripts must carry the signature of a responsible official in which the work was done and the seal of that institution, or must be certified true copies of the original records. If transcripts do not show the degree earned and the date on which it was conferred, official degree statements must also be provided

  6. A resume reflecting one or more years of work/volunteer history related to health and/or human services.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  • Complete the online application. Use "School Designation" section in online application to select program and area of concentration you wish to apply 
  • Submit application fee

Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
June 1
Spring Semester
August 1

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 500Foundations in Public Health3

Course Number: 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. CPH 500 must be successfully completed in the first 21 hours of the program of study.

CPH 501Health Behavior3

Course Number: 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.

CPH 502Health Services Administration3

Course Number: 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.

CPH 503Public Health Environment & Society3

Course Number: 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.

CPH 504Epidemiology in Public Health3

Course Number: 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. CPH 504 must be successfully completed in the first 18 hours of the program of study.

CPH 505Applied Research in Public Health3

Course Number: CPH 505

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to research methods in public health. Students will learn about the steps of scientific research. The course will cover topics including formulation of a research problem; sampling and research design; dissemination of research findings; and grant proposals. These topics will be discussed in detail in the context of critically reviewing several peer-reviewed scientific articles. Research ethics is large component of the course. Students will complete CITI Trainings as well as learn about institutional Review Board (IRB) processes and applications.

CPH 506Biostatistics3

Course Number: CPH 506

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. CPH 506 Required Prerequisites: Undergraduate or graduate statistics course or permission of instructor. While successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate statistics course is not required for admission into the MPH program, students enrolling for CPH 506 must have successfully completed a statistics course within the past 5 years resulting in a grade of B or better or obtain permission of the instructor. CPH 506 must be successfully completed in the first 18 hours of the program of study.

CPH 528Service Learning for MPH3

Course Number: CPH 528

A community-based experience, designed to provide students with firsthand, scholarly, supervised experience in a practice setting. This experience augments the academic course work, meets actual community needs, and provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply/test knowledge, principles and skills acquired through classroom instruction. Students will demonstrate mastery of public health principles, values and practice.

CPH 529Capstone Experience3

Course Number: CPH 529

A community-based experience, designed to provide students with firsthand, scholarly, supervised experience in a practice setting. This experience augments the academic course work, meets actual community needs, and provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply/test knowledge, principles and skills acquired through classroom instruction. Students will demonstrate mastery of public health principles, values and practice.

CPH 562Human Resources Management in Health Organizations3

Course Number: CPH 562

The course explores human resources management and workforce planning in healthcare organizations. Students will gain in depth knowledge of the legal environment and major rules and regulations governing recruitment, selection and retention processes, as well as methods and techniques used in job analysis and interviews and organizational development. Another major focus area will be given to health professions workforce planning, succession planning, health safety preparedness, global issues facing healthcare workforce and future trends affecting human resources in healthcare organizations. The course is intended for students who are enrolled in the MPH program and students from other graduate degree programs who have an interest in managing human resources in health organizations.

CPH 565Health Care Finance3

Course Number: 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.

CPH 566Health Policy3

Course Number: CPH 566

This course covers the fundamental issues of the health policy process by emphasizing the historical, social, economic, and political environment of contemporary US public health and health care policies. Students are expected to become knowledgeable about policy formation, implementation, modification and evaluation within public health and health care systems. The course is intended for students who are enrolled in the MPH program and students in other graduate degree programs who have an interest in health policy.

CPH 580Health Care Organizational Theroy and Behavior3

Course Number: CPH 580

This course focuses on introductory level of organizational theory and organizational behavior in health services research. Organizational theory is a macro examination of organizations, focusing on the organization as a unit, and inter-organizational and environmental relationships. Organizational behavior is a micro approach to studying organizations, focusing on individuals in organizations as the unit of analysis.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 555Public Health Law3

Course Number: CPH 555

Conceptual foundations of public health law, including constitutional considerations, federal & state statues & regulations, tort (civil) law, balancing competing interests (e.g. civil liberties v. monitoring, reporting, persuading, regulating at various levels), current issues & emerging trends.

CPH 560U.S. Health Care Systems: An Overview3

Course Number: CPH 560

This course will offer the student an overview of the health and medical care delivery system in the US. Topics covered from a historical, economic, sociological, and policy perspective include the following: social values in health care; need, use, and demand for services; providers of health services (people and places); public and private payment systems; alternate delivery systems; and models from other countries. Current health care reform proposals will also be addressed.

CPH 563Strategic Planning and Management Public Health

Course Number: CPH 563

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.

CPH 564Health Economics3

Course Number: CPH 564

This course is designed to help students understand how the theories and models of economics can be applied to the study of health and health care. The examination of the markets (demand and supply) for health, health care and health insurance is stressed. In addition, the economic analytic tools such as economic evaluation of medicine will be introduced. The objective of this course is to equip students with the knowledge/tools to examine and analyze the problems/issues of health care from the perspective of economics.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $560.00
  • Fees: $71.25
  • Total: $631.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1680.00
  • Fees: $213.75
  • Total: $1893.75

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $560.00
  • Fees: $71.25
  • Total: $631.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1680.00
  • Fees: $213.75
  • Total: $1893.75

In addition to the fees outlined above, the College of Public Health charges a $150 Technology Fee each semester a student is enrolled.

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

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