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Master of Public Health – Health Practice and Leadership

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Courses

Learning Format

Improve Population Health Outcomes

The MPH degree with an emphasis in Public Health Practice and Leadership (PHPL) is focused on examining social and political systems that influence the health status of populations and then learning how to influence and/or design, implement, and manage broad, system-level instruments to improve population health outcomes. These instruments might include programs in public health agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or healthcare provider settings, or policies at the local, state, national, or international governmental levels.

MPH student laughing with her classmates.

The MPH emphasis in PHPL has a dual emphasis on acquiring both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Thus, this degree is ideal for recent graduates or early- and mid-career public health professionals seeking to develop or advance their careers in a variety of health care settings. Additionally, the professional practice component of the program has been designed to place students in public health settings and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to address real-world problems.

Upon completion of the MPH degree with an emphasis in PHPL, students will be prepared to continue developing their careers as leaders, managers, public health professionals, policy analysts, program evaluators, advocates, or health program managers in a variety of public health, government, health care, or other professional settings. In addition, our students will be prepared to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level.

Public Health Practice and Leadership Area of Emphasis Competencies

In addition to the standard MPH Foundational Competencies required of all MPH students, our emphasis in Public Health Practice and Leadership also prepares students to meet 5 competencies specific to the emphasis. These include:

  • Develop skills to influence the effective production and implementation of health policy.
  • Assess structures and processes for effective health services management.
  • Employ processes and applications that positively effect both individuals and group goals.
  • Develop analytic and statistical skills for application to health service issues.
  • Appraise theory and skills in policy, management, and leadership to examine and influence real world health issues.

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Kelly Legg, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

As a graduate of the WVU with a degree in business administration, Kelly understands your needs and is here to support and simplify the enrollment process for you. You can have open and honest discussions with her about how your passion in life can become your career. Contact Kelly today!

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Master of Public Health – Health Practice and Leadership Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 for applicants with no professional work experience
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 for applicants with at least 3 years of professional work experience
  • Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA are considered based on professional experience
  • WVU requires international students to submit English proficiency scores. Minimum score requirements are as follows:
    • Academic IELTS: 6.5
    • TOEFL iBT: 79 (WVU accepts MyBest scores)
    • PTE Academic: 53
    • Duolingo English Test: 105

Please Note: There are both SOPHAS and WVU application fees.


  • Applicants must apply via the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
    • Submit as soon as possible. Do not wait for SOPHAS to receive transcripts, recommendations, or test scores.
    • Allow up to four weeks for SOPHAS to verify and process your application.
    • Applications must be complete and verified by SOPHAS by the following deadlines:
      • June 15th for Fall admission (April 15th for international applicants)
      • October 15th for Spring admission
  • Upon acceptance from SOPHAS, students will receive correspondence from the WVU School of Public Health regarding their acceptance and instructions to complete the WVU Graduate application.
    • All application information submitted to SOPHAS will be transferred directly to WVU Admissions
    • Please note: There are both SOPHAS and WVU application fees.

For the SOPHAS application, applicants must submit:

  • A statement of purpose and objectives
  • Three letters of reference
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae
  • All university transcripts (SOPHAS requires original transcripts from ALL U.S. institutions attended, even study abroad)
  • WVU requires international students to submit TOEFL scores
  • Please note: The GRE requirement has been removed for the current application cycle. However, should you choose to submit your official GRE test scores, use WVU School of Public Health SOPHAS GRE code: 0157

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Steve Davis profile image.

Steve Davis

Master of Public Health
"I promise all my students that I will see them successfully through my courses, provided they are determined to put in the work and effort."
"I originally thought I was going to run nonprofits, and thus pursued graduate degrees in social work and public administration."

His first job after graduate school involved establishing a research program for the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine, where many of the projects sought interventions to reduce suffering and increase the quality of care.

After 19 years conducting research in Emergency Medicine, Steve accepted a faculty position in the WVU School of Public Health in 2018. Since joining Public Health, he has developed a teaching style that is student-centered.

He believes learning does not take place in the context of anxiety and fear.

"My first teaching philosophy is related to this. No student should ever have any fear about failing if honest effort and engagement are put forth,” he says. “I encourage them to reach out to me at any time for assistance."

Another part of his teaching philosophy: Laughter is the best medicine.

"In my undergraduate classes, I have become somewhat known for my historically bad dad jokes," he laughs.
"Co-learning is a gift. As much as I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as your instructor, I am equally excited to learn from you."

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.

Master of Public Health – Health Practice and Leadership total degree cost: $38,148 – Residents and Non-Residents

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

The future for graduates with a Master of Public Health degree

MPH graduates can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities in a growing field that is essential to the well-being of individuals and communities. With their skills and knowledge, they can play an important role in improving health outcomes and addressing some of the most pressing public health challenges of our time.

The benefits to pursuing a Master of Public Health degree

Some of the emerging areas of public health that MPH graduates may find particularly promising include global health, health equity and social justice, digital health, and environmental health. As society becomes more aware of the importance of public health, the demand for qualified professionals in these areas is likely to increase.

Career outlook for Master of Public Health graduates

The future for Master of Public Health (MPH) graduates is quite promising as public health has become an increasingly important field in recent years. MPH graduates can expect to find employment opportunities in a variety of settings, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, research institutions, and healthcare systems.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" in all PUBH and emphasis coursework.

Course Title Credit Hours
PUBH 610 Contemporary Foundations of Public Health Practice 2
PUBH 611 Epidemiology for Public Health Practice 2
PUBH 612 Research Translation and Evaluation in Public Health Practice 4
PUBH 613 Public Health Program Evaluation 3
PUBH 620 Building and Sustaining Public Health Capacity 2
PUBH 621 Public Health Prevention and Intervention 3
PUBH 629 MPH Capstone 1
PUBH 630 MPH Field Practicum 3
PUBH 640 Health Systems Leadership 3
PUBH 641 Systems Thinking in Public Health Practice 2
PUBH 696 Graduate Seminar 1
General Elective (Approved Elective Courses available from MPH Director and/or MPH Advisor) Fraud: Criminology/Legal Issues 3

Required Area of Emphasis (15)

Area of Emphasis Credit Hours
Public Health Practice and Leadership 15

Total Hours: 44

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete this degree?

The MPH degree will take 2-3 years to complete, depending on course load.

Is an MPH degree worth it?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of epidemiologists is projected to grow 26 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow 31 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Many occupations that would fit this degree are in high growth expectancy.

What kind of jobs can I expect with this degree?

Master of Public Health (MPH) graduates can find employment opportunities in a variety of settings, depending on their interests and specialization. Some of the jobs for MPH graduates include:

Epidemiologist: An epidemiologist studies the causes and patterns of disease in populations. They design and conduct studies, collect and analyze data, and communicate findings to policymakers and the public.

Health Educator: Health educators develop and implement programs that promote healthy behaviors and prevent disease. They work in a variety of settings, including schools, community organizations, and healthcare facilities.

Public Health Consultant: Public health consultants work with organizations and agencies to develop and implement public health policies and programs. They may provide guidance on disease prevention, health promotion, or emergency preparedness.

Biostatistician: Biostatisticians use statistical methods to analyze public health data and help researchers and policymakers understand health trends and patterns. They work in a variety of settings, including academic institutions, government agencies, and healthcare organizations.

Health Policy Analyst: Health policy analysts’ study and analyze health policies and programs to assess their effectiveness and make recommendations for improvement. They may work in government agencies, advocacy organizations, or consulting firms.

Environmental Health Specialist: Environmental health specialists investigate and evaluate environmental factors that can impact human health, such as air and water quality, food safety, and hazardous waste. They may work in government agencies, consulting firms, or non-profit organizations.

Global Health Specialist: Global health specialists work to address health issues and diseases that affect populations around the world. They may work for international organizations, government agencies, or non-profit organizations.

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