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Aug. 21, 2024

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Online Courses

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Make a Difference in the Health and Well-being of Others

The Master of Science in Population Health program prepares students for a variety of population-oriented leadership, clinical, and research-oriented positions in both healthcare and public health organizations. Population health is an interdisciplinary field of practice at the nexus of healthcare and public health.

This field works to integrate both healthcare and public health practices to address critical health issues that affect target populations and to make significant impacts in the health and well-being of populations. With this degree, all students pay in-state tuition rates. The program is totally online and can be completed in as a little as one year.

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, widespread opioid addiction, and systemic social injustice, the critical need for healthcare and public health professionals has never been greater, especially the need for professionals trained in population health. Our program prepares students to assume professional roles to meet these 21st century public health workforce needs.

Health professional helping an old lady walk down the steps.

The 31-credit, fully online program is based on a core of public health and health services courses that provide foundational knowledge in public health and health systems, epidemiology and biostatistical principles, health systems leadership, systems thinking, and capacity building for intervention and change. Further, the program’s course content draws from intellectual foundations of prevention, collaboration, and innovation to fit the educational opportunities for a variety of professionals, including:

  • Healthcare leaders looking for ways to improve the impact and efficiency of their organizations through more patient-centered, value-based and socially informed care approaches
  • Clinical providers grappling with ways to improve health outcomes among those they serve
  • Public health leaders looking for new tools to identify and address health issues in their states and communities
  • Public health and health services researchers and scientists interested in outcomes-focused, practice-based applications to improve health and well-being.

Kelly Legg, Personal Online Admissions Coach

Kelly is here to help.

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!

Learn More About Kelly Request Information


Population Health M.S. Admission Requirements

Admissions Guidelines

  • Baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

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

Spring 2025 deadline: October 15, 2024
Fall 2024 deadline: June 15, 2024


  • Pay the $60 graduate application fee
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions,
    One Waterfront Place,
    PO Box 6510,
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510,
    or electronically sent to

* WVU applicants in good academic standing – as defined by their respective programs— who completed (or currently enrolled in) a research or professional doctoral degree will be exempt from the above admissions requirements.

Apply Now

Supraja Guppi profile image.

Supraja Guppi

Population Health M.S.
"The professors are available almost all the time to help those in need."

Supraja Guppi chose WVU Online because she is planning a career advancement by pursuing health-related courses. She had already completed a master’s degree in biochemistry when she found out about the new MS in Population Health degree program.

"I heard that professors who teach in the new Population Health MS degree program are excellent at teaching and helping students," she says.

Supraja has been a resident of Morgantown for more than 15 years, where she works full-time at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She was looking for a program where she could balance her work and family life without any hurdles.

"I was nervous initially, but the professors were available almost all the time to help those in need," she says.
"They are flexible for one-on-one sessions to clarify any doubts about the material posted online. The lectures posted are very clear to understand, and you can access them 24/7 and go through them as many times as you want. Students have enough time for quizzes, homework, and exams."

McKenzie Kemp profile image.

McKenzie Kemp

Population Health M.S.
"It is so manageable, especially if you are working full-time."

McKenzie Kemp chose WVU Online because she was working at a full-time job that was not close to Morgantown or any of the WVU campuses. She found that going online was her best option.

"It’s so manageable, especially if you are working full-time."

Now full of enthusiasm, she wants to finish her master’s degree so that she can move to another area and work in the field of population health.

She says the best part of her online experience has been the opportunities that have opened up to her through this program.

"McKenzie is a go-getter and urges other students to "pull the trigger and go after your goals!"

Shipra Gupta profile image.

Shipra Gupta

Population Health M.S.
"The faculty are always there to support and guide you."

Shipra Gupta is a pediatrician in a full-time job, and she needed flexibility and good faculty while she earned her master of science degree.

"With the program being online, you can take it at your pace and the faculty are always there to support and guide you."

Shipra appreciated the fact that the faculty were well-versed in the field and very accommodating to her needs as an online student.

"My fellow students, some of whom I often run into at work, also provided the accountability and kinship you need to get through the coursework."

Her future goal is to become a systems epidemiologist and help improve the quality of healthcare in communities and hospitals.

"You need to be organized and manage your time well, but online learning is an excellent way to follow your dreams."

Steve Davis profile image.

Steve Davis

Population Health M.S.
"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 by the June 30, 2024 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate degree.

The tuition rate per credit hour listed above is for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition and fees increase beginning in the fall term of each academic year.

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.

Your future in Population Health

The Master of Science in Population Health program at West Virginia University will prepare students for a variety of population-oriented leadership, clinical, and research-oriented positions in both healthcare and public health organizations. The design of the curriculum will reflect the program’s belief that both healthcare and public health must take more broader and more intentional perspective of how to identify and address pressing health issues while working for the health of the public. This includes concepts and skills that cover social determinants of health, the nature and process of public health, population health analytics, and population health management, as well as an emphasis management and leadership skills. Students will learn under a comprehensive, competency-driven curriculum constructed to address contemporary and emerging trends.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

The program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in population health, which is an emerging field that focuses on improving the health of entire populations, rather than just treating individual patients. This approach is becoming increasingly important as health systems shift towards a more preventative and holistic approach to healthcare.

Career Outlook for Population Health

The Master of Science in Population Health program prepares students for a variety of population-oriented leadership, clinical, and research-oriented positions in both healthcare and public health organizations. Additionally, this program prepares graduates for employment and advancement opportunities in the following sectors:

  • Hospital and Health care systems
  • Non-profit community health organizations
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Assisted care facilities (e.g., nursing homes)

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required.

Course Title Credit Hours
BIOS 501 Applied Biostatistics 1 3
BIOS 502 Applied Biostatistics Lab 1
EPID 501 Epidemiology for Public Health 3
HPML 523 Healthcare Finance 3
PUBH 520 Building and Sustaining Public Health Capacity 2
PUBH 540 Leading and Managing Health Organizations 3
PUBH 541 Systems Thinking in Public Health Practice 2
PUBH 604 Health Care Cultural Competence 3
PUBH 684 Population Health Capstone 2

Electives (9)

Course Title Credit Hours
PUBH 521 Public Health Prevention and Intervention 3
PUBH 658 Public Mental Health 3
HPML 502 U.S. Healthcare Organization and Delivery 3
HPML 522 Introduction to Data Analytics for Health Administrators 3
HPML 556 Managerial Epidemiology & Strategy 3
HPML 575 Health Insurance & Revenue Cycle 3
HPML 582 Managing Quality Improvement in Healthcare 3
HPML 652 Professional Issues in Health Administration: Law and Ethics 3

Total Hours: 31

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the future look like for Population Health M.S. Degree?

With projected career growth of nearly 20 percent across the country over the next 10 years, Population Health looks promising, Opportunities will exist in a range of fields including epidemiology, policy, education, data analysis, and community outreach. With the growing focus on improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities, the need for skilled professionals in population health is only expected to increase.

How long will it take me to complete the Population Health M.S. degree?

The Master of Science in Population Health degree is fully online. Students can complete this degree in as little as one year.

Why should I choose the Population Health M.S. Degree over another healthcare degree?

Population Health focuses on improving the health of entire populations, which can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of a large number of people. This can be especially rewarding for individuals who are passionate about improving the health of communities and addressing health disparities.

What skillsets are critical for a career in Population Health?

The following skills are critical for a career in Population Health: analytical, communication, critical thinking, leadership, cultural competence, ethical awareness and interdisciplinary knowledge with the ability to collaborate.

WVU Online

Be a decision maker. First, your degree. World-class academics at an exceptional value.

Occasionally a student will encounter an issue with an online course that he or she doesn’t know how to resolve. Should this occur, please visit the link below.

Internal Student Complaint Process

Contact Us

WVU Online
West Virginia University
PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

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