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Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management

The MPH in Health Policy and Management (HPM) prepares students for careers as public policy analysts, advocates for public health and high quality care, and professionals engaged in the development and implementation of health policies. The program provides professional development through a combination of coursework, a health policy or management related practicum, a Public Health Leader-in-Residence, and other curricular activities.

MPH in HPM Overview

This two-year, 45-credit Program prepares students for careers in both health policy development, analysis and advocacy and program and organization management in public health agencies, foundations, other nonprofits and the private sector. Graduates of our MPH Program should be well-prepared to pass the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam, pursue related Doctoral studies and/or obtain professional employment in public health and related sectors, nationally and globally.

MPH Curriculum

Our curriculum consists of the CEPH-required multidisciplinary core, the Departmental MPH core, an intensive field experience (Practicum) and an applied research project (Master’s Essay) related to the Practicum or another “world of practice” problem or issue. The curriculum is structured around the CEPH competency model for MPH students including health policy and management, communication, leadership, professionalism, systems thinking and self-actualization competencies. Although only 45 credits are required to complete the Program, students can register for an additional 15 credits to complete a Certificate program or a self-designed cluster of electives within the four academic terms plus the Practicum, typically scheduled during the Summer Term.

Admission Requirements

MPH students must apply through the on-line, centralized application system , SOPHAS ( Applications will only be considered for Fall Term admission and must apply by the posted deadline. All MPH applicants are required to provide:

  • Official academic transcripts documenting completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university 
  • Transcripts for all other post-secondary academic credits earned.
  • Prerequisite courses include one college-level mathematics or statistics course and at least two courses in the social sciences, preferably one in microeconomics
  • Current GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students
  • Writing Sample
  • Personal Statement
  • Two academic references and one employment reference (if relevant)

Master’s Essay

All MPH students are required to complete a capstone intellectual product under the guidance of a faculty committee. The Master’s Essay requires the student to synthesize learnings across the curriculum, field site placement and employment experiences. The MPH in HPM students are encouraged to develop the Master’s Essay topic from a project, problem or issue linked to the Practicum experience. However, with the permission of the Essay Advisor, the student may choose to focus the study on a health policy or public health management issue of wider application. The student will submit a written report and make an oral presentation of the Essay project to the faculty.

Professional Development

The Program provides a cluster of opportunities to encourage and support the student’s professional and leadership development both within and outside the classroom. This includes activities within the course, Health Systems, Leadership and Professional Development required for MPH and MHA students, the Public Health Leader-in-Residence, a competency self-assessment process and the supervised Practicum experience. The School’s Office of Career Services also provides a schedule of professional development services including resume preparation, employment interviewing and interpersonal and social skills. MPH students are also encouraged to participate in student governance by becoming active in the HPMA student organization, standing Committees at the Department, School or University level and/or service activities in the broader community


Our graduates should be well positioned for employment opportunities in health policy, health program management, public health agency, foundation and related nonprofit organization management positions, nationally and globally. Graduates should also be competitive for positions as policy analysts at the Federal, State and local governmental levels and for some post-graduate Administrative Fellowships in health care systems. To supplement their academic credentials, our students are also encouraged to sit for the CPH Certification exam.


Elizabeth Van Nostrand, JD 
Director, MPH Program
A733 Public Health 
Phone: 412-383-2231

Jessica Dornin, MSL
Recruitment and Academic Affairs Administrator
A631 Public Health
Phone: 412-624-3625

MPH News in HPM


Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame 

Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame

THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I ... (11/16/2018)

Pitt Public Health students gain "invaluable' experience during NAHSE case competition 

Pitt Public Health students gain "invaluable' experience during NAHSE case competition

The NAHSE case competition is a scholarship program for students in health administration, business administration and public health. The team members were ABBY MONYEI (HPM '19), KEXIN CHEN (HPM '19) and DEBORAH WOKPETAH (HPM '20). "They really enjoyed the opportunity to develop their competencies ... (10/30/2018)

Simenson, Salerno, Saal-Ridpath selected for future health leaders program 

Simenson, Salerno, Saal-Ridpath selected for future health leaders program

PITT WIRE - Three students from Pitt Public Health were selected for the inaugural class of The Milken Institute’s Future Health Leaders Program. The students, ASHLEY SIMENSON (EPI '19), JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20), and KAITLYN SAAL-RIDPATH (HPM '20), are among a dozen of fellows selected nationwid... (10/18/2018)

Fann is a new associate at Dinsmore Law Firm 

Fann is a new associate at Dinsmore Law Firm

NATIONAL LAW REVIEW - Alumna MELISSA FAN (HPM '12) is hired as an associate at Dinsmore Law Firm. Melissa focuses her practice on health care law, corporate law, regulatory and compliance issues and food and drug law. She received her JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Before joini... (09/24/2018)
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