Department of Maternal and Child Health (GRAD)
The Gillings School's Department of Maternal and Child Health was founded in 1950 and is one of the world’s leading academic departments for research, teaching and practice.
We are dedicated to improving the health of women, children, and families — domestically and globally. Our teaching program provides students with broad exposure to maternal and child health population needs and priorities, as well as with the skills to become leaders of tomorrow. Our faculty members represent a rich mix of academic backgrounds and interests and contribute their expertise and leadership in a wide range of disciplines. We invite you to join us as we embark upon an exciting new year of scholarship, leadership, and service.
Degrees and Programs
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Programs
The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) concentration in Maternal, Child and Family Health (MCFH) focuses on the determinants, mechanisms, and systems that promote and maintain the health and safety of women, children, and their families to enhance the future health and welfare of society. Our field is population-based and interdisciplinary, and we provide a strong foundation of knowledge, frameworks, and methods for program monitoring, process/impact evaluation, and program planning and implementation. As graduates, students will be equipped with a highly adaptable toolkit and prepared to lead interdisciplinary efforts that require multiple perspectives and competencies in domestic and global contexts. The degree is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree and is intended for applicants who plan a practice career. It requires 42 credit hours, entailing SPH integrated core courses, MCFH core courses, and three elective courses.
A cooperative arrangement between the Gillings School and the School of Social Work (SSW), the Dual Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work provides knowledge of the major factors associated with maternal health and child health, principles and methods for improving the health of mothers and children, and principles and methods of program planning, management, consultation, and policy analysis in the U.S. and in international settings. The program provides skills related to program planning, implementation, and evaluation; limited scientific investigation; computer applications; interdisciplinary functioning; and consultation as they relate to maternal and child health. The program objective is to develop a public health perspective consistent with population-based strategies for solving community health problems, addressing the responsibility of government and the contributions of scientific investigation and the interdisciplinary approach.
Other Master’s (M.H.A., M.S., M.S.C.R., M.S.E.E., M.S.P.H.) Programs
The terminal M.S.P.H. degree is an option only for students who have, or are expected to have, a terminal health professional or allied health professional degree (examples: MD, PhD, JD). The degree is intended for those who, by virtue of their prior health training, would benefit from more specialization, and who must complete their master’s degree in one year or less. It requires 42 credit hours, entailing five SPH integrated core courses, two MCH core courses, and two MCH skills courses. The program normally requires two semesters and two summers to complete, including six credits (equivalent to five and a half weeks of full-time work) of field training.
This track is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree but have not yet completed a master’s degree. Students in this degree track will earn the Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) degree before completing the requirements to earn the Ph.D. Requirements for the Ph.D. and M.S.P.H. are the same as those listed in the descriptions of those two degrees. As with the original MCH Ph.D. track that requires a master’s degree for eligibility, the Master's-to-Doctorate (MtD) track is intended for applicants who plan a research career, whether in basic or applied research, that is focused on the MCH population.
The objective of the Pharm.D./M.P.H. dual degree is to prepare students for an ever-expanding pharmacist role that increasingly requires proficiency in medication therapy management and health promotion on an individual patient, regional, state, and national level. A public health pharmacist is expected to use their pharmacotherapeutic knowledge and skills, in combination with their public health skills, to “plan, organize, manage, and perform drug-related activities within a specific public health focus or within a public health setting.
Doctoral Program (Ph.D)
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is a residential degree program which develops research scholars capable of producing and disseminating new knowledge and methods for the public health profession in the field of maternal and child health. Each doctoral student is expected to develop and demonstrate competence in at least three areas: core maternal and child health content, research methods and a chosen area of specialization. The specialization area will be related to the student’s dissertation research.
Following the faculty member's name is a section number that students should use when registering for independent studies, reading, research, and thesis and dissertation courses with that particular professor
Julie Daniels, Epidemiology of Reproductive Health, Infant and Child Growth and Development, Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Environmental Exposures Related to Reproductive and Developmental Outcomes
Carolyn Halpern (032), Adolescent Health and Development, Sexual Health, Research Methodology, LGBT Health
Sandra L Martin (040), Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, Sex Trafficking, Violence Prevention, Evaluation
Herbert Peterson (001), International Health, Reproductive Health, Maternal and Newborn Health, Including Family Planning, Implementation Science
Rohit Ramaswamy, Methods and Tools for Implementation of Global Health Programs, Quality Improvement of Health Systems, Technology for Workforce Capacity Building
Alison Stuebe (069), Breastfeeding, Maternal Depression, Lactation, Preterm Birth
Pierre Barker, Improving the Reliability of Effective Health Programs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australasia, and Latin America
John Thorp Jr., Preterm Birth, Birth Asphyxia, Episiotomy, Community Child Health
Ilene Speizer (015), Unintended Pregnancy Prevention, Evaluation of Reproductive Health Programs in Developing Countries, Adolescent Health, Male/Couple Involvement, Gender-Based Violence, HIV Prevention
Gustavo Angeles (075), Health Economics, Research Methods, Program Evaluation, International Health
Dorothy Cilenti (036), Public Health Departments, Systems Development
Sian Curtis (049), Contraceptive Use Dynamics, International Reproductive and Maternal Health, Monitoring and Evaluation Methods for Population and Health Programs, Multilevel Models, Statistical Demography
Claudia Fernandez (031), Leadership Development, Leadership Issues in Healthcare and Related Fields
Sherri Green (025), Maternal Health, Public Health Leadership, Substance Abuse, Violence Prevention
Kavita Singh Ongechi (010), Evaluation of Maternal and Child Health Interventions in Low and Middle Income Countries, Role of Social Factors on Maternal and Child Health Outcomes, Measurement of Maternal and Child Health Outcomes, Newborn Health
Clinical Associate Professor
Thomas Ivester, Critical Care Obstetrics, Health Care Improvement, High-Risk Pregnancy
Anna Austin, Child Abuse and Neglect, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Substance Misuse and Overdose
Janine Barden-O’Fallon (033), Family Planning, Reproductive Health, International Health, Monitoring and Evaluation Methods for Global Health Programs
Oscar Fleming, Implementation Science (Practice and Research); MCH Workforce Development; Early Childhood Development; Maternal and Newborn Health; Qualitative Research, Global Health
Shoshana Goldberg, LGBT Health, Adolescent Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health
Dana Hagele, Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics, Trauma-Informed Care, Mental Health
Aunchalee Palmquist (045), Breastfeeding, Medical Anthropology, Health Disparities, Global Health, Humanitarian Maternal and Child Health, Infant Feeding in Emergencies, Perinatal Mental Health, Human Milk Donation, Trauma Informed Care, Qualitative Methods, Reproductive Justice
Angela Parcesepe (048), Violence, Mental Health Interventions, HIV Risk
Tamar Ringel-Kulka (041), Microbiome, Functional Foods, Probiotics, Obesity, Breastfeeding, Children and Adolescents Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Meghan Shanahan (067), Diagnosis and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Program Evaluations, Prescription Drug Overdose
Catherine Sullivan (072), Breastfeeding, Lactation, Nutrition Education and Support Services
Christine Tucker (013), Maternal Health, Birth Outcomes, Program Evaluation, Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Kat Tumlinson (006), Population and Global Reproductive Health, Family Planning, Quantitative Methodologies
Bharathi Zvara (055), Parent-Child Relationships, Childhood Health and Development Including Self-Regulation, Family Systems and Chaos, Childhood Obesity
Clinical Assistant Professor
Jon M Hussey (34), Child Abuse and Neglect, Child and Adolescent Health, Injury Prevention, Population
Bruce Barron, Mathematical Models of Biological Systems
Jose Belizan, International Maternal and Child Health, Maternal Mortality and Morbidity
Pouru Bhiwandi, Obstetrics and Gynecology, International Women's Health, Maternal and Child Health
Paul Biemer, Survey Research and Development, Statistics
Dorothy Browne, High-Risk Behaviors (Drugs, HIV/AIDS, Sexual Behavior, etc) Among African-American Adolescents and Adults
Martha Carlough, Maternal and Child Health
Roldolfo Gomez Ponce de Leon, Global Reproductive Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Phillip Graham, Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention; Program Evaluation
Marcia Herman-Giddens, Pediatrics, Public Health, Ticks and Tick-Borne Infections
Vijaya Hogan, Infant Mortality, Prematurity, Health Equity
Roy Jacobstein, Family Planning and International Health
Marian Johnson-Thompson, Microbiology, Environmental Health
Michael Kafrissen, Clinical Research, Product Development, Aging
Baker Maggwa, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Operations/Implementation Research
Tekleab Mekbib, Implementation Science
Logan Nickels, Family Planning, Male Contraception, Biochemistry
Krista Perreira, Immigrant Health, Reproductive Health, Mental Health, Cardiovascular Health, Public Policy Analysis
Doris Rouse, Maternal and Child Health, Global Health, Public Private Partnerships
Joseph Telfair, Evaluation, Health Equity/Disparities, Multi-Cultural, Global Health, Public Health Practice-Based Leadership
Wendee Wechsberg, HIV Prevention, Women/Gender Issues, Substance Use, Gender-Based Violence
Adam Zolotor, Child Maltreatment, State Health Policy
Adjunct Associate Professors
Joy Baumgartner, Maternal and Child Health, Global Mental Health, Health Services Research
Mary Jane Benson, Global Reproductive Health, Program Monitoring and Evaluation
Deborah Billings, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Group Care for Pre and Post-natal Care, Gender-Based Violence, Abortion/Post Abortion Care
Shelah Bloom, Reproductive Health, Gender-Based Violence in Global Context
Dalia Brahmi, Sexual and Reproductive Health (Safe Abortion and Contraception), Primary Care
Holly Burke, Family Planning, Contraception, HIV Prevention, Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, Program Evaluation
Cynthia Cassell, Reproductive Health, Global Health, Children with Special Healthcare Needs
Kerith Conron, Social and Psychiatric Epidemiology, LGBT Health
Abigail English, Adolescent Health, Policy and Law, Human Trafficking
Alfredo Fort, M&E, Survey Planning, Sampling, Conduct/Analysis, Theories of Change, Results Frameworks/Indicators, Mixed Methods
Jean Fotso, Family Planning, Nutrition
Elaine Hart-Brothers, Racial Health Disparities, Health Education for African Americans
Dilshad Jaff, Global Public Health
Nathalie Kapp, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Most Specifically in the Areas of Contraception and Abortion
Jack Leiss, Children's Environmental Health, Perinatal Epidemiology
Gerri Mattson, Child/Adolescent Preventive Health, Social Determinants of Health, Development, Foster Care, Children Special Health Care
Donna McCarraher, International Health with Expertise in Research/Programs in Maternal Health, Family Planning, Service Integration
Elizabeth McClure, Perinatal Epidemiology
Cathy Melvin, Behavioral Health, Dissemination and Implementation Science
Sachiko Ozawa, Behavioral Health, Dissemination and Implementation Science
Lucy Siegel, Health Care Access, Quality, Effectiveness and Cost
Paige Smith, Breastfeeding, Violence Prevention, Women's Health
David Sokal, Family Planning, Promoting Research on New Male Methods
John Stanback, International Family Health
Elizabeth Tolley, Contraceptive and Reproductive Technologies, Pregnancy in Microcide Clinical Trial Research
Yudan Wang, Child Development, Quantitative Research Methods
Andra Wilkinson, Adolescent Health Issues, Program Implementation and Outcomes
Nancy Williamson, Monitoring and Evaluation, MCH Programs, Qualitative Research, International Public Health
Adjunct Assistant Professors
Kathryn Andersen, Global Health, Abortion, Contraception, Reproductive Health
Courtney Bonner, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Mental Health, Substance Use, and Violence, Sustainable Intervention
Amy Bryant, Family Planning, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Cecilia Casanueva, Child Abuse and Neglect
Caroline Doherty, Grant Review, Grant Review Process Management
Renee Ferrari, Qualitative Methods, Preventative Health Services, Health Services Research, Maternal and Child Health
Melissa Green, Leadership, Social Media, Health Inequity
Rebecca Greenleaf, National M.C.H. Workforce Development, Curriculum Development
Joumana Haidar, Implementation Science
Nicole Kahn, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health; Disability; the Life Course; Child Development; Teaching Skills/Course Development
Kara McGee, HIV Medicine, Diagnosis/Treatment of Acute HIV Infection, Development of HIV Specialty Program for Nurse Practitioners
Amy Mullenix, Title V, Domestic MCH Structure and Financing, Workforce Development, Preconception Health
Priya Nanda, Population Reproductive Health and Gender Equality
Sandra Naoom, Implementation Science
Constance Newman, Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender-Based Violence in the Workforce
McLean Pollock, Adolescents and Young Adults, Substance Abuse, Violence Against Women, Child Maltreatment
Catherine Sanford, Injury Prevention, Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology
Nana Twum-Danso, Quality Improvement, Large-Scale Change, Community Health and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Sarah Verbiest, Maternal and Infant Care, Social Work
Jennifer Yourkavitch, Equity, HIV and Infectious Disease, Health Systems and Service Delivery, Data Quality, Infant Feeding; Domestic and Global
Anita M. Farel
Jonathan B. Kotch
Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses
This survey course will briefly cover the principal topics in this broad field of knowledge, including domestic and global issues.
Permission of the instructor. For students outside the department of MCH who desire a survey of current issues and programs in maternal and child health. Three lecture hours per week.
This course covers nutrition during the life cycle. Units include women during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation; infancy; childhood; adolescence; and older adults (65+). Nutrient and energy needs, assessment of nutritional status, and cultural and socioeconomic barriers are discussed for each phase.
This course examines unintentional injuries from a public health perspective. The course covers core concepts in injury prevention and control, including the epidemiology of unintentional injury, prevention strategies, behavioral models, child and adolescent injury, messaging framing, the Haddon matrix, and injury surveillance.
This course covers core concepts in violence prevention and control, including the epidemiology of violence, prevention strategies for inter-personal and intra-personal violence, behavioral models that describe power structures that reinforce personal and societal factors affecting self-harm and violence towards others, and violence directed towards children and adolescents.
Globalization--its economic, environmental, political, technological, institutional, and sociocultural dimensions--historically and currently contributes to beneficial and adverse effects on population, community, and family and individual health.
Eliminating health disparities is a national goal for improving the health of Americans. Little to no progress has been made on eliminating disparities among racial/ethnic subpopulations compared to the population of the United States. This course treats basic concepts about the origins of and contributing factors for health disparities.
Featuring international experts from UNC-Chapel Hill and Triangle-based nongovernmental organizations, this course will offer a series of lectures, panel discussions, and debates to inform students' critical thinking on key public health issues in global sexual and reproductive health.
Through lectures and panel discussions this course will use a life span framework to examine selected aspects of sexual development, including perspectives on sexuality; the physical self; sexual attraction, behavior, and relationships; and the implications of these factors for physical and mental health. No prerequisites; all students are welcome.
Special topics in maternal health and child health. Content will vary from semester to semester.
This course introduces the major issues affecting the health and well-being of women during the reproductive years, infants, children, and adolescents in domestic and international settings. First semester of a two-semester course. Permission of the instructor for non-majors.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Second part of a two-part course that introduces the major issues affecting the health and well-being of women during the reproductive years, infants, children and adolescents in domestic and international settings. Second semester of a two-semester course.
This independent study will include selection of a research area that would allow preparation of a coauthored paper for peer-review publication on an approved subject related to infant and young child feeding and care and associated maternal health and nutrition issues.
This course is designed to integrate the theory, research literature, and evidence-supported practices related to leadership in maternal and child health. Students will consider each of the twelve core competencies within the spheres of influence that leaders experience as they develop. Students will hear from public health professionals in the field, consider perspectives of various stakeholders and examine/apply new skills.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. The art and science of MCH research, with an emphasis on applied survey research. Student groups will design and carry out a small study, and present their findings in a poster presentation. Focuses on assessment of MCH population characteristics, secondary data analysis, and the evaluation of MCH programs. A practicum-based course. Three lecture hours per week.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. The MHCH 713 lab, which is a companion course to MHCH 713, introduces students to statistical analysis using Stata. One hour and 15 minutes of lab per week.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Course provides overview of critical issues including major theoretical frameworks, patterns and trends over time, and overview of history of family planning and reproductive health policy development. Three lecture hours per week.
A faculty-supervised field experience in maternal and child health research, community practice, program planning, and evaluation. Students are supervised on-site by department-approved field instructor. An additional field fee of $350 is assessed. Minimum of six weeks.
MHCH majors only. An elective, faculty-supervised field experience in maternal and child health research, community practice, program planning, and evaluation. Students are supervised on-site by department-approved field instructor. Students choosing this elective are not exempt from MHCH 717. Variable number of hours.
Permission of the instructor. This course focuses on the design, organization, and delivery of services for children with special needs and their families, and examines current program development and public policies. Participants analyze the range of services needed by these children.
This course covers the main causes of maternal and under-five morbidity and mortality in developing countries and also the interventions, policies, and research which address these causes. Emphasis is placed on both distal and proximate determinants, measurement and indicators, and conceptual frameworks.
This course provides the students with the basic concepts and methodologies needed to monitor and evaluate programs of global health programs. Course covers M&E systems; conceptual frameworks/logic models; indicators; information sources; evaluation designs and related topics for health programs in developing country settings. This course is required for the MCFH and GH concentrations.
This course will provide an overview of the critical issues in abortion care and policy, both in the US and globally. We will cover the major theoretical frameworks defining abortion care and policy, and the epidemiology of abortion globally and nationally.
Topics covered include the epidemiology of health problems, developmental issues, health services, and psychosocial influences on adolescent problem behaviors. Course materials are useful for research generation and practical application. Three seminar hours per week.
Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Implementation research and practice addresses the gap between the development of innovations in public health and their delivery in routine practice. Course provides an overview of core theories/methods in implementation research and practice plus implementation determinants and strategies at the intervention, individual, organizational, and policy levels.
This course examines contributions of implementation science to global maternal and child health with a focus on research methods, emphasizing implementation science theories, frameworks, and tools in their application to challenges in global health.
The MHCH Gender-Based Violence (GBV) course provides a forum for students to explore contemporary issues in GBV from both a research and practice standpoint. Students will be introduced to a myriad of domestic and international GBV issues, from intimate partner violence and campus sexual assault to sex trafficking.
Prerequisites to be arranged with departmental faculty in each individual case. Two to six hours a week.
This course is designed to integrate the theory, research literature, and evidence-supported practices that promote population health outcomes in MCH. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers opportunities for improving public health systems, health care financing and delivery, and health outcomes for MCH populations.
Master's or clinical four-year degree required. This two-semester clinical course is structured to provide supervised breastfeeding support education in the context of clinical lactation services and public health practice.
Master's or clinical four-year degree required. This two-semester clinical course is structured to provide supervised breastfeeding support education in the context of clinical lactation services and public health practice.
Cultural Humility is part of the required training sequence for second year MPH students in the Global Health concentration. This course is designed to provide students with the skills to work in culturally complex settings and to apply cultural humility when engaging in global health research and practice. GH concentration only.
This graduate seminar provides Maternal and Child Health (MCH) students with an opportunity to examine key theories and qualitative methodologies that advance anti-racist, abolitionist, intersectional feminist, and emancipatory scholarship for health equity and reproductive justice. Students gain a deeper understanding of the intellectual foundations of research justice. And learn to design research questions, data collection strategies, and analytic techniques that decolonize knowledge production. Preference given to students enrolled in the MCH department or MCFH concentration.
This seminar explores the origins of and developments in major maternal and child health policies and programs in order to understand their effects on the health of mothers and children.
Enrollment in MCH doctoral program required. MCH internship to enhance doctoral training in areas of: Section 1: Teaching; Section 2: Practice; and Section 3: Research.
Epidemiology of reproductive and perinatal health outcomes, including infertility, fetal loss, preterm birth, birthweight, congenital malformations, and infant mortality. Includes current knowledge regarding epidemiology of these outcomes and discussion of methodologic issues. Three lecture hours per week.
Critical review of current topics in, and methods for, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology.
A survey of theoretical models used in MCH research and program development, and how those models are used to guide the formulation of questions, hypothesis testing, and evaluation. Fall.
The course follows the research process from the formulation of a research question and the design of a research methodology to the addressing of the question through the design of an appropriate analysis strategy. Three lecture hours a week.
Required preparation, knowledge of Stata or SAS; proficiency in inferential statistics and multiple regression analysis. Instructor permission required for non-second year MCH doctoral students. Program impact evaluation analytic skills seminar. Topics: selectivity, research designs, instrumental variables, difference-in-differences, fixed and random effects, regression discontinuity, matching, and selection models.
Special topics in Maternal and Child Health for graduate students only. Content will vary semester to semester.
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Maternal, Child, and Family Health Concentration
The Maternal, Child, and Family Health concentration focuses on determinants and systems that promote the health and safety of women, children, and their families — with the goal of enhancing overall population health and well-being, as well as that of subsequent generations. With a strong foundation in frameworks and methods for research, implementation science, and evaluation, this concentration equips graduates with an adaptable toolkit for leading interdisciplinary efforts requiring multiple perspectives and competencies in domestic and global contexts.
Requirements for the M.P.H. degree in the Maternal, Child, and Family Health concentration
|M.P.H. Integrated Core|
|SPHG 711||Data Analysis for Public Health Fall 1||2|
|SPHG 712||Methods and Measures for Public Health Practice Fall 1||2|
|SPHG 713||Systems Approaches to Understanding Public Health Issues Fall 1||2|
|SPHG 701||Leading from the Inside-Out Spring 1||2|
|SPHG 703||MPH Pre-Practicum Assignments Spring 1||0.5|
|SPHG 721||Public Health Solutions: Systems, Policy and Advocacy Spring 1||2|
|SPHG 722||Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating Public Health Solutions Spring 1||4|
|Practicum: 200 minimum hours Summer 1|
|SPHG 704||MPH Post-Practicum Assignments Fall 2||0.5|
|MHCH 701||Foundations of Maternal and Child Health I Fall 1||3|
|MHCH 702||Foundations of Maternal and Child Health II Spring 1||2|
|MHCH 713||Research Methods in Maternal and Child Health Spring 1||3|
|MHCH 713L||Research and Evaluation Methods in Maternal and Child Health Lab Spring 1||1|
|MHCH 728||Introduction to Implementation Research and Practice in Maternal, Child and Family Health Fall 2||3|
|MHCH 723||Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation Spring 2||3|
|Elective (Graduate-level courses)||3|
|Elective (Graduate-level courses)||3|
|Elective (Graduate-level courses)||3|
|M.P.H. Culminating Experience|
|MHCH 992||Master's (Non-Thesis) Spring 2||3|
Students will develop the following Maternal, Child, and Family Health competencies, building on the foundational public health knowledge they attain in the Gillings M.P.H. Integrated Core courses.
|MHCP01.||Substantive knowledge: Critically analyze determinants of health among infants, children, adolescents, women, mothers, and families, including biological, behavioral, socioeconomic, demographic, cultural, and health care systems influences across the life course.|
|MHCP02.||Research: Contribute to public health evidence by applying rigorous research methods to address problems relevant to the health of MCFH populations.|
|MHCP03.||Leadership: Lead the development and implementation of MCFH research, policy, and practice across levels of the socio-ecological framework by incorporating family-centered, community-based, culturally competent, and interdisciplinary/inter-professional concepts.|
|MHCP04.||Practice: Understand and apply implementation, monitoring, and evaluation strategies to improve MCFH programs in the U.S. and globally.|
|MHCP05.||Policy: Advance MCFH policy and impact through critical analysis of research, monitoring, and evaluation evidence.|
Please visit Applying to the Gillings School first for details and information. Application to the residential M.P.H. is a two-step process. Please apply separately to (1) SOPHAS and (2) UNC–Chapel Hill (via the Graduate School application). Visit https://gradschool.sites.unc.edu/master-of-public-health/ for more details. If you are interested in the online M.P.H., please visit the MPH@UNC website and fill out an inquiry form.
To satisfy degree and accreditation requirements, a Gillings MPH practicum must:
- Be a public health practice experience.
- Allow for the application of graduate-level public health skills.
- Yield at least two student-generated products, produced in the practicum setting for the practicum setting, that allow for demonstration of five M.P.H. Foundational Competencies.
- Be mentored by a supervisor (preceptor) with public health expertise and experience to guide the practicum work.
- Take place in a location approved for student travel (UNC Travel Policy), and the student must complete UNC Gillings International Pre-Departure Travel Requirements prior to travel if applicable.
- Comprise a minimum of 200 hours (equivalent to five weeks of full-time work).
Gillings M.P.H. students must successfully complete SPHG 711, SPHG 712, SPHG 713, SPHG 701, SPHG 721, and SPHG 722 prior to beginning their practicum. For more information, please visit our M.P.H. Practicum web page.
A milestone degree requirement for all graduate students at UNC–Chapel Hill, including M.P.H. students at the Gillings School of Public Health, is the comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam will cover the public health foundational knowledge and competencies covered in the M.P.H. Core courses: SPHG 711, 712, 713, 721, 722. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate synthesis and higher order learning of the 22 core competencies achieved in the M.P.H. Core courses during the exam. The exam will be administered and graded by Gillings faculty and clear instructions on how to prepare for and complete the comprehensive exam will be provided. Should students not successfully pass the comprehensive exam a remediation plan will be developed. Students cannot retake the comprehensive exam for 90 days after the initial exam and must be registered in at least one credit while taking the comprehensive exam.
M.P.H. students must have permanent grades in all M.P.H. Core or concentration courses before taking the culminating experience (992) course. An Incomplete in any M.P.H. Core or concentration course will prevent a student from beginning the culminating experience (992) course. Each student completes a 3-credit culminating experience and produces a high-quality written product that is completed in the last term of the program of study. The high-quality written product demonstrates a synthesis of two foundational and two concentration-specific competencies appropriate to the student’s educational and professional goals. This culminating experience ideally is delivered in a manner that is useful to external stakeholders, such as nonprofit or governmental organizations, and could take the form of a course-based capstone project or master’s paper but will be tailored to the concentration a student chooses.
Academic Advising and Faculty Mentoring
We are committed to providing quality academic advising and mentoring for all students. We ensure that M.P.H. students get the guidance they need with several components: 1) an orientation program that provides an overview of the types and sources of M.P.H. advising; 2) cohort advising sessions to disseminate information that is relevant to course planning and registration; 3) faculty mentoring that provides students with tailored support for their academic, professional, personal development, and practicum support.
M.P.H. students will complete a 15-credit-hour Integrated Core taught by an interdisciplinary team of instructors. The 6-credit first semester focuses on understanding public health issues, and the second semester, 8-credit focuses on creating solutions to those issues. Lastly, students will complete a 1-credit Practicum Assignments and Interprofessional Practice Activities course in the second year.
All M.P.H. students complete COMPASS (Core Online Modules to Promote and Accelerate Student Success). These self-paced online modules are open for students prior to their first academic year. Students can complete any and all parts of COMPASS up to and including the first week of class.
Students in the M.P.H. program are required to take 9 credits of elective coursework. Students are expected to use their electives in a thoughtful way to strengthen their public health knowledge/skills and are encouraged to consult with their academic coordinator early prior to the registration period for this purpose. In addition to those courses offered in the Gillings School there are many appropriate electives elsewhere in the University.
For information on policies and procedures, please visit the Gillings School Student Handbook website.
Department of Maternal and Child Health