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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Master of

Public Health

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy


Director: Amy M. Burdette; Faculty: Coutts, Dowd-Arrow, Lee, McFarland, Rowan, Sherron, Uejio, Mahony, Barath, Ramírez-Surmeier, Peek

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy offers the interdisciplinary Master of Public Health (MPH) and the combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health (BS/MPH) Pathway.

MPH degree graduates are trained principally in health policy but also acquire a solid background in epidemiology, environmental health, health care finance, health behavior, health administration, health policy and policy analysis, and statistical and qualitative analytic skills. Careers are likely to include positions in government agencies or legislative staff, policy and consulting firms, healthcare organizations, advocacy organizations and lobbying firms, international organizations focused on health and population issues, academia, or media. As an accredited program from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the Master of Public Health program at Florida State University establishes itself as an innovative program that focuses on providing the best education for our future public health professionals. The MPH degree is a professional, terminal graduate degree intended to prepare students for a lifelong career in Public Health.

With a concentration in Health Policy, students will learn a transferable skill set to analyze and affect policy, reduce health inequities in the U.S. and abroad, and improve the health of communities. Students will also be trained to analyze data, influence public policy, study and monitor threats to public health, and/or conduct health research.


Students must meet the University's general requirements for graduate admission and must be recommended by the program's admissions committee. A candidate is admitted to the program by meeting the general requirements for graduate study. All applicants must take the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), or equivalent, prior to admission to the program. International Students must submit official English Proficiency Test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) if their native language is not English.

The program of study is a total of forty-two (42) credit hours, where students complete thirty-three (33) core credits and nine (9) elective credits. The 200-hour internship class, PHC 5945, is completed within the thirty-three (33) core credit hours. Students choose their nine (9) electives from an approved course list posted by the program every semester, based on availability of classes.

We accept applicants for both full-time and part-time* tracks.

Average time for completion:

Full-time (9 credit hours/semester; 6 in summer): ~2 years

Part-time (6 credit hours/semester): ~3 – 4 years

*The MPH program is a classroom-based program with limited distance-learning options. However, the program offers most of our core classes after 5p Monday – Thursday to accommodate students who work full-time. However, the program cannot promise classes to be offered outside of traditional work hours. It is the responsibility of the student to work with their place of employment.

Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health (BS/MPH) Pathway

For the Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health (BS/MPH) Pathway, Florida State University undergraduate students may apply up to twelve credits of MPH courses taken while enrolled as undergraduates toward the MPH if they enroll in the Public Health degree program. The combined bachelor's/master's pathway allows academically talented students the opportunity to acquire their MPH degree in a shorter time.

Undergraduate students may take up to 12 hours of graduate level work while completing their bachelor's degree. These hours will count towards both the 120 credit hours needed for the bachelor's and the overall 42 credits hours needed for the master's degree. Admission into the BS/MPH pathway does NOT grant admission into the Master of Public Health Program. This pathway is designed to allow undergraduate students to take graduate level coursework. Students would still need to take the GRE and apply to the MPH program by the appropriate deadlines. Students must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Minimum 3.25 GPA and minimum GRE score between 148 – 160 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the exam OR minimum 3.5 GPA (GRE waived for combined, but still required for graduate school application)
  • 90 credit hours of completed coursework
  • Two semesters (24 hours earned) at FSU
  • One page paper showing intent and interest in program
  • Instructor permission for each course
  • Meet with graduate academic program specialist to discuss course availability

Students who believe they are eligible for admission into the combined pathway, and would like to participate will need to contact the Public Health Academic Program Specialist for the application.

Joint Planning and Public Health Graduate Pathway (MPH/URP) Requirements

In order to better prepare students for overlapping careers in Planning and Public Health, a Joint Graduate Pathway has been created through which a student may earn the degrees of Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science in Planning (MSP). This is one of very few Joint Graduate Pathways of this kind nationwide. Students will complete requirements for the MPH and MSP with a total of sixty-six credit hours. All students complete a ten-week, full-time (or 400 hours) internship in a planning or public health related agency or organization. The internship should have planning or public health policy-related content. Some courses overlap, reducing total credit requirements. Students would need to apply to both degree programs separately, and if admitted to both, would be in the joint graduate pathway.

Course Requirements for the Master of Public Health (forty-two credits)

Required MPH core courses (thirty-three semester hours):

1st Year Required Courses:

PHC5936 Selected Topics in Public Health (1) [Proseminar]

ECP 5538 Health Policy Statistics (3) (Must be taken within first year)

PHC 5300 Environmental Health (3)

PHC 5155 Health Services Organization and Policy (3) (Must be taken in first semester)

URP 5521 Public Health Epidemiology (3)


PHC 5001 Public Health Epidemiology (3)

URP 5525 Health Behavior and Education (3)


PHC 5475 Health Behavior and Education (3)

2nd Year Required Courses:

PAD5216 Healthcare Finance

PAD5884 Healthcare Management

PHC 5945 Internship (3)

PHC 6110 Comparative Health (3)

PHC5151 Politics of Health Policy (3) (Capstone)

SYA 5458 Social Statistics and Data Analysis for Public Health (3)

Approved MPH Electives (Six semester hours):

Electives sections can be tailored to suit a student's needs and interests, such as policy, business, economics, epidemiology, administration, sociology, statistics, and other fields. Current approved MPH electives are subject to availability.

EAP 5845 Academic Writing for International Graduate Students (3) (International students only)

ECP 5536 Economics of Health (3)

FOS 5205 Food Safety and Quality (3)

GEO5451 Medical Geography (3)

GEO5453 Global Health (3)

GIS 5101 Geographic Information Systems (3)(must also take GIS 5101L)

HUN5297 Eating Disorders, Body Image and Healthy Weight Maintenance (3)

INR 5935 Special Topics (3) [Politics of Hunger and Malnutrition]

LIS 5418 Introduction to Health Informatics (3)

LIS 5419 Consumer Health Informatics (3)

LIS 5631 Health Information Sources (3)

LIS 5661 Government Information (3)

PAD 5845 Public Health and Emergency Management (3)

PHC 5003 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)

PHC 5936 Selected Topics in Public Health (3) [Guns, Public Health, and Wellbeing; Leadership in Public Health, Maternal and Child Health; Indigenous Health Meets Modern Medicine; College Health]

PHC 6002 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)

POS 5698 Selected Topics (3) [Comparative Federalism]

RCS 5080 Medical Aspects of Disability (3)

SOW5455 Grant Writing and Grant Management (3)

SYA 6933r Selected Topics in Sociology (3) [Neighborhood and Health; Becoming an Adult in Strat. Society; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Health and Life Course; Medical Sociology]

SYD 5045 Introduction to Demography (3)

SYD 5133 Population Data (3)

SYD 5136 Life Course Epidemiology (3)

SYD 5215 Health and Survival (3)

SYD 5225 Fertility (3)

SYO 5416 Stress and Mental Health (3)

SYO 6407 Race, Ethnicity, and Health (3)

URP 5059 Community Involvement and Public Participation (3)

URP 5272 Urban and Regional Information Systems (3)(not approved if other GIS course already taken)

URP 5526 Healthy Cities, Healthy Communities (3)

Internship (hours included in core above)

The purpose of the internship is to gain practical skills in the application of research methods in an approved health delivery or health policy setting. The 200-hour internship experience is evaluated by the preceptor in the health setting, the student, and the faculty advisor.


Courses drawn from various departments may be substituted for certain core and elective requirements including introductory research design, statistics, and advanced methods. Substitutions must be approved in advance by the director or director's designee.

Definition of Prefixes

HSC—Health Sciences

PHC—Public Health Concentration

Graduate Courses

HSC 5203. Public Health History, Philosophy and Policy (3). This course provides an introductory overview of the history of public health. The philosophy and concepts basic to public health practice are addressed in depth. Basic skills related to health delivery in the U.S. and throughout the world are reviewed.

HSC 5930r. Special Topics in Social Science (1–3). Interdisciplinary special topics of current interest or utilizing special competencies of faculty. Content varies from semester to semester. May be repeated with the permission of the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Social Sciences.

PHC 5001. Public Health Epidemiology (3). This course is designed to introduce the student to basic concepts of applied epidemiology and to learn critical evaluation of peer-review literature. The course combines theory and practical knowledge of how epidemiology is practiced in the field.

PHC 5003. Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3). This course discusses chronic disease risk factors, conditions, and diseases and public health approaches within the context of epidemiology. Students learn concepts and methodology in describing chronic diseases and their methods for control.

PHC 5104. Public Politics and Policy Analysis (3). This course provides the essentials basic to managing public health programs. Administrative content includes an overview of targeted programs, communications, and planning, budgeting, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.

PHC 5151. Health Services Organization and Policy (3). This course is intended to instill an understanding of American health policy and the policymaking process, including problems, policies, programs, issues, interests, institutions, organizations, financing, and delivery of health services, the ACA, and reform agendas.

PHC 5300. Environmental Health (3). This course covers the science behind the basic elements of environmental health and its centrality to human health. It includes the basics of providing a pure water supply, sanitation of waste matters, and common field procedures needed for environmental surveillance.

PHC 5475. Health Behavior and Education (3). This course covers the various theoretical models used to explain the behaviors and predict the behavior processes that influence human health outcomes. Educating persons about the risks of certain behaviors is a fundamental component of a holistic model of health.

PHC 5625. Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Health and Health Professions (3). This course provides an overview of legal issues facing the health care industry, and provides students with a basic knowledge of health law and ethics. Students are provided with realistic knowledge of health law and how its applied to the real world.

PHC 5912r. Public Health Capstone and Research Project (6). (S/U grade only). This practical and research application course allows the student to integrate all knowledge gained in the core courses and apply that knowledge in a systematic way through an applied research project that is defended before two faculty.

PHC 5936r. Special Topics in Public Health (3). This course covers a broad range of important topics in public health not typically offered.

PHC 5945. Internship (3). (S/U grade only). This internship places students, under faculty supervision, in employment situations related to their academic interest; research related to a problem or issue facing the sponsor of the internship.

PHC 6002. Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3). This course introduces the basic methods for infectious disease epidemiology and case studies of important disease syndromes and entities in various disciplines within infectious disease.

PHC 6110. Comparative Health (3). This course provides a comprehensive examination of the structure of healthcare systems from selected countries worldwide. Specific attention is paid to the developmental history of the national healthcare systems, financing, and infrastructure.