Master of Public Health (MPH)

The Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) program offers highly motivated Public Health Sciences students with an interest in the Master of Public Health the opportunity to complete their B.S. in Public Health and earn an MPH degree in an accelerated format.

A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is a multidisciplinary professional degree focused on the application of science, research and theoretical knowledge toward the prevention of disease.

The WVU MPH program prepares students for promising careers providing evidence-based solutions to complex health issues. Graduates leave our program with the skills necessary to work in a variety of public health settings such as health departments, clinics, and federal agencies.

Program Overview

The MPH program at WVU is organized around three core disciplines of public health:

  • Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Public Health Practice and Leadership
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

The program requires a variety of courses and experiences across these disciplines. MPH core courses provide students with an understanding of the breadth of public health, and departmental courses in each major allow students to apply various principles to specific disciplines.

Applied Practice Experience

All Master of Public Health students are required to complete a minimum of 180 contact hours in an applied practice experience with a public health-related agency or organization, supervised by an approved preceptor. The experience is an opportunity for students to explore public health careers, clarify their professional goals, and develop contacts for employment (networking). It allows them to apply their academic knowledge to situations, projects or tasks in the “real world” and make meaningful contributions to the agency or organization. The preceptor provides a professional role model; their practice experience and mentoring is vitally important to a successful student experience.

In addition to the applied practice experience, MPH students will engage with health and other professionals through integrated and interprofessional learning experiences throughout their curriculum.

Learning Goals

MPH Foundational Competencies (Learning Outcomes) are determined by the School’s accrediting body, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

The 22 MPH Foundational Competencies are organized into eight domains:

Evidence-Based Approached to Public Health:

  1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems:

  1. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  2. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels

Planning & Management to Promote Health:

  1. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  2. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  3. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  4. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  5. Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health:

  1. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  2. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  3. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  4. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity


  1. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  2. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges


  1. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  2. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  3. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice:

  1. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking:

  1. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Required Courses

The ABM program requires completing 145 credit hours, including coursework for WVU general education foundations, public health foundation courses, Public Health Sciences major courses and Master of Public Health program courses.

Each student will develop a Plan of Study. It is important to follow this plan to complete all degree requirements and graduate on time.

Students in the ABM program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout their enrollment in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Unless given specific permission by the Dean's Office, students admitted to the ABM program must maintain full-time continuous enrollment during fall and spring terms. Enrollment requirements in the summer term of year four are completing an internship (PUBH 630, 1 credit) at the graduate level.

Students' eligibility to remain in the ABM program will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Students failing to meet program or University standards will be placed on program probation for no more than one semester, after which they will be terminated from the ABM program. Terminated students and students who choose not to continue the ABM program will be eligible to receive their bachelor's degree after completing the traditional bachelor's degree requirements.

View WVU Catalog for Required Courses

Admissions Guidelines

In order to be admitted to the ABM program, applicants must:

  • be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Public Health Sciences major.
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • earn a minimum grade of A in PUBH 205: Writing for Public Health Audiences by the time they start the ABM.
  • have completed a minimum of 60 credits, but not more than 75 credits.
    • Transfer students must have completed 24 credit hours as degree-seeking students at WVU before applying.
  • complete the Qualitrics application (open October 1 to March 1).
  • not be enrolled in a dual degree or certificate program.

Students apply using a Qualtrics application form that requires a resume, personal statement and two letters of recommendation.

Students applying to the ABM program cannot have any documented infractions with the WVU Office of Student Conduct or any external law enforcement agencies.

Applications are due by March 1, with program admission decisions communicated by the end of the spring semester. An established ABM admissions work group reviews applications.

View WVU Catalog for Admissions Guidelines