Master of Public Health
The Master of Public Health in Health Promotion is ideal for students interested in managing public health programs that address health behavior, disease prevention, and health equity. Students graduate with the ability to plan, implement, and assess public health programs. The program can be completed in as little as 2 years.
The program includes didactic coursework and applied practice experience in public health and the ability to tailor the program to align with students’ specific interests and career goals in public health. Our instructors and applied practice experience supervisors are dedicated to preparing students to serve the public health needs of Northern Arizona communities and beyond.
About Accordion Closed
The Master of Public Health in Health Promotion program prepares students for careers in a variety of public health areas. The MPH program includes required coursework as outlined in the 2 year course plan presented here, and can be completed in as little as 2 years, or stretched out and completed at a part-time pace. Most courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening between the hours of 4 and 9pm.
Students progress through 9 core MPH courses, 3 concentration-specific courses, and 4 elective courses. Students also participate in a 3-credit applied practice experience at a public health agency or research experience of their choosing. Students complete a graduate public health project, which is incorporated into the coursework.
MPH core courses include topics in biostatistics, epidemiology, social and structural determinants of health, behavior change counseling, environmental health, health policy and management, and research methods and program evaluation.
Students also complete coursework in the health promotion concentration with topics in chronic disease epidemiology and prevention, innovations in healthcare and public health, and intervention mapping.
Students plan their coursework to meet personal learning objectives and career goals by completing four electives from disciplines such as Anthropology, Fitness/Wellness, Nutrition, Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sociology, and Applied Indigenous Studies.
Courses include innovative uses of service learning activities, simulation, and case studies, so that students don’t just learn about public health, they learn how to apply these concepts into real world settings.
Program Mission and Goals Accordion Closed
The mission of the NAU Master of Public Health program is to prepare graduates, through learner-centered educational strategies, research, and public service, to practice as public health professionals who support the advancement of population health and the prevention of disease for diverse, underserved communities.
- To prepare competent public health professionals in a timely manner who are capable of planning, implementing, and evaluating health programs and contributing to scholarly endeavors.
- To prepare public health professionals to address the health needs of diverse underserved communities through hands-on learner-centered educational strategies.
- To provide professional growth and service opportunities in public health that supports student and faculty development.
Careers in Public Health Accordion Closed
A Master of Public Health degree provides graduates with the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of their community and beyond. Public health professionals explore public health challenges and propose solutions that are specific to the population affected. They conduct community needs assessments, develop and implement public health programs to address those needs, and evaluate the programs to determine effectiveness.
A graduate degree in public health strengthens depth of knowledge and builds competence in the skills necessary to be effective in the public health field. More experience and graduate degrees lead to higher salaries within the public health field. Employees with MPH degrees often manage public health programs, staff, and budgets.
Public health careers typically fall into one of the following six categories:
- Food, nutrition, and health (visit our MPH Nutrition program site, for more information)
- Health leadership and management
- Epidemiologic and biostatistical methods for research
- Global environment sustainability and health
- Health systems and policy
- Aging and public health
Check out this list of 100 career ideas in public health.
For more information about careers and public health and salaries, visit https://www.bestcolleges.com/careers/public-health-majors/
Admission requirements Accordion Closed
Baccalaureate degree. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a four-year college or university, or its international equivalent with a 3.0 GPA or better in any subject. The baccalaureate degree can be in any subject.
Required pre-requisite courses
Prior to applying please complete the following pre-requisite course:
1 semester of an intro or basic statistics course
Students who have not completed the pre-requisite course prior to submitting their application will still be considered for the program as long as the applicant can demonstrate proof of enrollment in the course. (Upload a screenshot demonstrating course enrollment to the application.)
Students with an outstanding pre-requisite course must demonstrate that they completed the course with a C or better prior to the start of the program. Students will be dropped from the program if the pre-requisite course is not complete, or if a C or better was not earned, prior to the start of the program.
A pre-requisite course completed more than 10 years prior to the application deadline may need to be retaken.
Course plan Accordion Closed
The MPH Health Promotion program can be completed full-time in 2 years, or spread out over a longer period of time at a part-time status.
Approved electives Accordion Closed
MPH Health Promotion students choose 4 elective courses from the following list.
Applied Indigenous Studies (AIS)
AIS 450: Indian Health: Issues in Health Care, Promotion and Policy (Spring only)
AIS 480: Federal Indian Law and Policy (Fall only)
AIS 503: Indigenous Nation Building: Issues of Leadership, Strategic Thinking, Governance, Culture and Development (Fall only)
AIS 504: Global Indigenous Law and Policy (Fall only)
AIS 590 or POS 590: Indigenous Nation Building: Theory Into Practice (Spring only)
ANT 521: Research Ethics, Community, Research, and Vulnerable Populations (Spring only)
ANT 580: Medical Anthropology (Spring only)
ANT 599: Contemporary Developments – Global Health
ANT 599: Contemporary Developments – Health Scholars
COM 540: Introduction to Science Communication (Fall & Spring)
COM 542: Ethics and Strategies in Science Communication (Spring only)
COM 545: Writing Science (Spring only)
Communication Studies (CST)
CST 475: Health Communication (Fall and Spring)
Career and Technical Education (CTE)
CTE 550: Grant Writing (Winter and Spring)
CTE 670: Adult Learners
Educational Psychology (EPS)
EPS 590: Substance-related and Addictive Disorders (Summer and Spring)
ES 600: Critical Approaches to Ethnic Studies (Spring)
Fitness Wellness (FW)
FW 405: Worksite Health Promotion (Summer, Fall, and Spring)
Geographic Science and Community Planning (GSP)
GSP 545: Community Planning and Public Health (Fall only)
Informatics and Computing (INF)
INF 599 Contemporary Developments – Infectious Disease Epidemiology (Spring only)
Nutrition Science (NTS)
NTS 507: Medical Nutrition Therapy I (Spring only)
NTS 425: Nutrition for Sport Performance and Wellness (Fall & Spring)
NTS 415: Nutrition Across the Life Cycle (Fall and Spring)
NTS 445: Food Service Management (Fall and Spring)
NTS 520: Food Science and Culinary Arts (Spring only)
NTS 550: Human Metabolism: Macro and Micronutrients
NTS 607: Medical Nutrition Therapy II (Fall only)
NTS 630: Public Health Nutrition (Spring only)
NTS 650: Current Topics in Nutrition and Dietetics (Fall only)
NUR 560: Rural Theory and Health Policy (Summer, Fall, and Spring)
PSY 623: Bio-behavioral Health
PSY 636: Social and Behavioral Epidemiology
SOC 512: Race, Class, and Gender in the U.S.
SOC 515: Race and Ethnic Relations (Fall only)
SUS 601: Visions of Sustainable Communities (Fall only)
SUS 602: Elements and Contexts of Sustainable Communities (Spring only)
SUS 603: Social Transformations (Fall only)
Health Sciences (HS)
HS 561: American Indian Health Systems (Fall only)
HS 624: Community Based Participatory Research to Improve Health Equity (Spring only)
HS 671 Determinants of Indigenous Health and Resilience (Fall only)
Additional coursework approved in consultation with your advisor.
You may take a maximum of two 400-level courses (6 units) at Northern Arizona University as part of the Master of Public Health program.
Application Accordion Closed
To apply visit the NAU Graduate College website. The application opens November 1st. The priority application deadline is January 15th. Applications that are submitted between January 16th and April 1st may be considered to fill any remaining openings. Required application components include:
- Application fee. The Graduate College requires a $65 application processing fee (non-refundable), which is paid online when you submit your application.
- Resume or Vita
- Personal Statement. Please write a one to two page letter of personal introduction and professional intent. Include the following information in your personal statement:
- The concentration to which you are applying
- Your academic focus or interest areas in health and wellness
- Your professional goals and how the MPH Health Promotion program at NAU aligns with these goals
- Identification as someone from a diverse or historically underrepresented group* (if applicable)
- Experience working with others from a diverse or historically underrepresented group* (if applicable)
- Transcripts. Submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended that contributed to the baccalaureate degree as well as transcripts documenting completion of the pre-requisite course (statistics). If you are enrolled in a pre-requisite course the same semester you apply, please include evidence of enrollment in the pre-requisite course.
- Graduate Record Examination. The Graduate Record Examination is NOT required and is NOT used to evaluate applicants.
- Letters of Recommendation. Applicants need three professional references who will submit recommendation forms on the NAU graduate application portal on their behalf. At least one reference should be a faculty member. At least one reference should be a supervisor or manager. The third reference can be either a supervisor/manager or a faculty member. (Applicants are encouraged to request letters of recommendation from faculty and supervisors at least 3-4 weeks prior to the application deadline.)
- International applicants: Applications submitted after January 15 will not be evaluated for admission, please apply to the next available admission term.
- International Students. If English is not your native language, you must provide proof of English proficiency from one of the following testing agencies:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Scores are sent directly to NAU from ETS
NAU’s Institutional Code is 4006.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Scores are sent directly to NAU from IELTS. The address to send IELTS scores is:
Center for International Education- NAU
Attention: Meaghan Gruber
523 S Knoles Drive
PO Box 5598
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
The minimum English proficiency scores for most programs are: 80 (TOEFL iBT) or 6.5 (IELTS). Scores must be sent directly to the Center for International Education from the Testing Institution.
The TOEFL/IELTS may be waived:
- If you are a native speaker of English. Native speakers are considered applicants who are from and have completed a high school or university education at an institution in an English-speaking country. List of English speaking countries can be found at https://nau.edu/cie/education-abroad/programs/english-speaking-countries/
- If you have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a U.S. university or college.
*Definitions of “diverse or historically underrepresented groups” can be found here, as noted in the NAU Diversity Strategic Plan.
The complexity of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences and intersections of culture and circumstance. Such differences and intersections include race, sex, ethnicity, age, religion, language, ability/disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic, veteran or other status, or geographic region.
Historically underrepresented groups (HUG)
Those diverse groups, identities, and communities that historically are underrepresented, underserved, or marginalized at institutions of higher education.
Tuition and fees Accordion Closed
Up-to-date tuition, fees, and estimated living expenses for all NAU graduate programs can be found here: https://nau.edu/admissions/tuition-and-cost/tuition-expenses/.
Estimated tuition and fees for the MPH Health Promotion program, completed in 2 years are below.
|Resident graduate tuition and fees for 4 semesters||See tuition expenses|
|+ Program Fee at $260/semester for 4 semesters*||$1,040|
|Non-resident graduate tuition and fees for 4 semesters||See tuition expenses|
|+ Program Fee at $260/semester for 4 semesters*||$1,040|
*The program fee covers program management and course-related costs such as CHES study materials, lab materials, and program accreditation fees.
Note: Non-Arizona residents living in the western region of the United States may qualify for in-state tuition as part of the WRGP program. Visit https://nau.edu/health-sciences/wrgp-program/ to find out more.
Additional estimated expenses for the 24-month program:
|Books – up to $500/semester + 2 summers||$2,500|
Note: Extra costs may be incurred due to immunizations, drug testing, or background check requirements that may be required by the applied practice experience facility to which you are placed.
The NAU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid can help students apply for Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Visit https://nau.edu/office-of-scholarships-and-financial-aid/ for more information.
Scholarships, fellowships and awards may also be available. Visit the Graduate College website and hover over Resources in the navigation bar for more information.
Graduate assistantships are sometimes available within the department, depending on available research funding. The MPH Director will send a survey to applicants to gage interest in department assistantships following the program application deadline. Students who complete the survey will be contacted if awarded a Health Sciences Department Graduate Assistantship.
College level assistantships are also available. Visit https://nau.edu/graduate-college/graduate-assistantships-tuition-waivers/ for more information about current assistantship openings.
Applied practice experience Accordion Closed
Students will be placed in a single site or agency for an 120 hour applied practice experience in a public health setting. Students are eligible to complete the HS 608 Public Health Applied Practice Experience course once they have completed a minimum of 75% of their MPH core courses. For full-time students, this means the earliest that they can complete the APE is the summer after their first two semesters.
Applied practice experience activities may include assisting agency staff with various tasks, and working independently on assigned projects.
Students are required to complete extensive paperwork requesting permission to enroll in HS 608 (to complete the applied practice experience) at least 1 month prior to the semester they wish to enroll in the course. The documents the student is required to fill out prior to the applied practice experience invite the client to carefully think through the type of experience that will best align with their career goals, preparing them for work in the public health field.
Students will be able to select an agency they wish to work with or ask for assistance from the Applied Practice Experience Coordinator to find an agency that aligns with their career goals and interests. The Applied Practice Experience Coordinator contacts an agency representative to ask if they are willing to take an intern.
Once a site has been identified and permission has been granted from the agency overseeing the applied practice experience, the student works with their preceptor to select at least three MPH core competencies and two additional CEPH or program-specific competencies they wish to achieve while working with the agency.
During the semester that the student completes the 3-unit applied practice experience (120 hours), students complete tasks assigned by their preceptor, as well as activities within the BbLearn shell. They must submit weekly logs that include their activities and hours completed. The majority of assigned tasks completed with the agency must align with the competencies selected at the beginning of the applied practice experience.
Possible applied practice experience placements include (but are not limited to):
- Center for Health Equity Research (CHER)
- NAU Health Promotion
- Coconino County Public Health Department
- Flagstaff YMCA
- Pinnacle Prevention
- Northern Arizona Healthcare Employee Wellness
- Northern Arizona Public Employees Benefit Trust (NAPEBT) Wellness Program
- Native Americans for Community Action
- North Country Healthcare
Graduate project: The Integrated Learning Experience Accordion Closed
Each student completes a graduate project, the Integrated Learning Experience, that aligns with their chosen public health concentration. Students are encouraged to start thinking about a topic during their first year of the program and to start working on the project in their second year of the program.
As part of the first year MPH coursework, students learn how to write a project proposal and learn methods to support their ability to plan a project.
Full time students are encouraged to begin planning and/or working on the project at the end of the first spring semester or the beginning of the 2nd year Fall semester so that they are ready to present their project during the second year Spring semester in the Graduate Seminar course (HS 698).
Students identify a public health agency and the Integrated Learning Experience is planned out to benefit or support an agency. Graduate projects can include a choice of one of the following: development of interventions, toolkits, trainings, a research project, literature reviews, systematic reviews, policy briefs, or grant proposals.
MPH students must coordinate with an agency and develop a project that benefits the agency. Students may also work with a faculty member from the Department of Health Sciences to support previously established projects that also benefit an agency. Students may develop their own graduate projects and propose them to an agency and a faculty member with similar interests. All graduate projects must be supervised by a Health Sciences faculty member and must be designed to benefit a public health agency.
The final project is submitted in the Graduate Seminar class in the form of a written product and a presentation at the Spring MPH Conference. The project may also be presented at the university’s Graduate Student Government Symposium or Research Symposium.
FAQs Accordion Closed
Q: Is this program offered online?
A: Yes, we now offer this program online and you can learn more information about the Online MPH Health Promotion program by clicking here.
Q: Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in public health to be eligible for this program?
A: No, your bachelor’s degree can be in anything. The only requirement is that you have a bachelor’s degree and that you have taken an intro/basic undergraduate-level statistics course (or passed the AP Statistics Exam).
Q: How many hours of public health experience is required to apply?
A: None. While gaining experience in public health prior to applying will certainly help you determine your fit within the profession, public health experience is not a requirement to apply. We do consider your readiness to serve underserved communities when reviewing your application, so we encourage you to describe experiences or attributes that make you equipped for this work.
Q: How do you evaluate applicants? What do you look for in applicants?
A: Applicants are evaluated based on their GPA; writing ability (as demonstrated in the personal statement); general fit for the program based on career goals and interests; previous experience managing multiple commitments; interest, experience and readiness to serve underserved communities; and letters of recommendation.
Q: Which courses may I choose from to fulfill my 4 electives?
A: See Approved Electives list above. If there are courses of interest that are not on this list, the student can request approval from the MPH Director.
Q: Can I count previous courses taken from other institutions towards my degree?
A: Up to 9 credits may be transferred from another master’s degree, however, these requests must go through several levels of approval and stipulations apply. The university policy regarding graduate course transfers can be accessed here: https://www5.nau.edu/policies/Client/Details/550
Q: Are there assistantship opportunities or other opportunities for funding?
A: There are a few graduate assistantships offered at NAU and prospective students are encouraged to check the Graduate College website assistantship list frequently during the semester they are applying. Check current “at large” assistantship openings at the bottom of the Graduate Assistantships page. There are very few graduate assistantships currently offered within the Health Sciences Department. However, students can apply for TA and RA positions that provide hourly pay (no tuition waiver).
Faculty and staff Accordion Closed
To learn more about our amazing Health Sciences faculty and their research interests, click here.
Meet former or current students Accordion Closed
Anika Martin is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences: Public Health from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Fall 2018. When she’s not working or studying, Anika enjoys going to the gym, exploring new places to eat, and finding new recipes to cook. After graduation, Anika plans on conducting community outreach and implementing health and wellness programs to better the health statuses of marginalized communities in Hawaii. Her graduate research project focused on identifying the perceptions of sexual education among LGBTQIA+ undergraduate students at NAU. Anika’s favorite part of the NAU Master of Public Health program, is the faculty and staff members for their continuous support and mentorship. The quality of education provided from all staff and faculty members was described as exceptional! She also mentions that the Flagstaff community, although very different from what she was used to growing up, was an amazing experience she would never trade for anything in the world. Feel free to contact Anika with and ask her questions about her experience in the program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christopher (Chris) Moreno was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned his bachelors degree in public health and a minor in biology from Northern Arizona University. Chris has many interest areas within public health including: epidemiology, climate change and health, sustainability, mental health, and complementary and alternative medications. His hobbies include hiking, running, rock climbing, and playing disc golf in his free time. After graduation, Chris hopes to gain experience by working in an epidemiology fellowship. His interest in epidemiology is specifically on emerging and infectious diseases, intersecting with climate change and wishes to pursue this career path. His favorite part about NAU’s MPH-Health Promotion program is the boundless opportunities for career, educational, and personal growth provided by the program and the amazing faculty. Feel free to contact Chris with questions on the program or his experience at email@example.com.
Born in Oaxaca, Mexico and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, Omar is deeply focused on immigrant health promotion. Currently he works as a graduate research assistant investigating occupational health risks among Latina housekeepers and was previously involved with initiating contact tracing in Coconino County led by DrPh. Samantha Sabo. Omar plans to apply to medical school and use his experience in public health to support health access for marginalized communities.