University of Alabama at Birmingham MPH


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University of Alabama at Birmingham MPH

Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree Programs 2016-17

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Students pursuing the MPH degree acquire competency in the fundamental public health disciplines; the basic public health sciences; data analysis and policy analysis; communications; program planning and administration; public health systems and the organization of health services in the United States and abroad; recognition and analysis of ethical or legal issues in public health and professional practice; cultural, behavioral, genetic, environmental, political, geographic, and socioeconomic factors in health; the global nature of health and the needs of special populations, such as mothers and children, ethnic minorities, and vulnerable populations; and in the integration of core public health disciplines in public health problem decision-making processes.


The UAB School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) which is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health. Every seven years CEPH requires re-accreditation. As part of that process each School of Public Health must complete a self-study.

The MPH Curriculum

Students are required to complete 42 semester hours of credit and a required for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Prospective students must designate one of five departments when applying to the school: Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Care Organization and Policy.

Core Course Requirements (23 Credit Hours)

Credit Hours

BST 601 and BST 601Q  Biostatistics 4
ENH 600 and
ENH 600Q
Fundamentals of Environmental Health Sciences 3
EPI 600 and EPI 600Q Introduction to Epidemiology 3
HB 600 and HB 600Q Social and Behavioral Science Core 3
HCO 600 and
HCO 600Q
Introduction to Public Health 3
*MPH Internship
(XXX 697 and 697Q)
MPH Internship 3
PUH 627 and
PUH 627Q
Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates 3
**PUH 695 and
PUH 695Q
Public Health Integrative Experience 1

*The Internship Experience (3 credit hours) – All MPH students in the School of Public Health are required to complete a minimum of 3 credit hours in an internship experience, although individual departments may require more than the school minimum.  The internship is a field experience which bridges professional academic preparation and public health practice.  Knowledge and skills learned in the core and discipline-specific courses are applied in an agency setting under the supervision and guidance of an experienced preceptor.  Faculty internship advisors, departmental program coordinators or the internship program coordinator may assist the student in locating a position.  At the completion of the internship, the student will provide a final product to document the experience and will be graded based upon the agency preceptor’s evaluation and the student’s final product.  All internships are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

** PUH 695- Public Health Integrative Experience – This course is designed to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. Through the analysis of actual cases from the annals of public health practice, participation in a strategic planning exercise, and the development of a new case from current and emerging areas of critical interest to public health, students working in multi-disciplinary groups will demonstrate their ability to apply the general and specific public health knowledge they have learned through their courses of study and effectively apply that knowledge across disciplines to the effective resolution of a public health problem.

Master of Public Health Degree Competency

Competencies define what a successful learner should know and be able to do upon completion of a particular program or course of study. These statements describe in measurable terms the knowledge, skills and abilities a successful graduate will demonstrate at the conclusion of the program. The relationship between competencies and learning objectives (the incremental learning experiences at the course and experiential levels that lead to the development of the competencies) should be explicit and aligned with the program’s mission, goals and objectives.

Click here to review MPH Core and Department competencies

Admissions Requirement – Biological Basis of Public Health Competency

All students in the MPH degree programs are required to meet The Biological Basis of Public Health Competency Requirement.

There are several ways in which this requirement can be met:

  1. A previously earned Medical, Dental, Nursing, or Dietetics degree (registered or registration eligible dieticians only)
  2. Extensive and substantial education (earning grades of “B” or better in biological/biomedical courses)
  3. Take the Biological Basis of Public Health Exam, earning a grade of 70 or better.

All MPH degree admits were reviewed during the admissions process to determine if the Biological Basis of Public Health Competency Requirement was met due to previous education. The letter of admission from the School of Public Health indicates whether or not you have met the competency requirement. If a waiver was not indicated, students must plan to take one of the Competency Exams offered during Orientation week.

Students will receive access to the Biological Basis Study Guide in the UAB Canvas Online Orientation Course.


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