Public Health, Master of Public Health

Department of Health Sciences

College of Health and Human Services

This program prepares you for professional practice in public health and applied research settings as well as further academic study in public health related fields. Through quality classroom instruction, applied practice experience, and a public health project, students will be adequately prepared for employment within public health agencies.
Students will be able to choose from two concentrations – (1) Health Promotion and (2) Nutrition. For students in the Health Promotion concentration, an Indigenous Health track is also available, which prepares graduates to support public health initiatives within indigenous communities.

This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Health Promotion - Emphasis (ending Summer 2020)
  • Nutrition - Emphasis (ending Summer 2020)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    Read the full policy.


In addition to University Requirements:

Minimum Units for Completion 48 - 65
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research is required.
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The Master of Public Health prepares students for public health professions emphasizing the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health programs and policies. We aim to prepare public health professionals to address the health needs of diverse and underserved communities in northern Arizona and beyond. Students gain knowledge and skills in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health research, program planning and evaluation, health policy and management, and environmental health. We support student development through offering high quality instruction, which includes opportunities for professional growth and community engagement in public health and nutrition. The Health Promotion concentration addresses chronic disease prevention and epidemiology, social and structural determinants of health, and innovative uses of technology in public health and health promotion. Students in the Health Promotion concentration can tailor their program plan electives to align with their career interests. Students in this concentration also have the option of completing an Indigenous Health track, which prepares students to support public health initiatives relevant to tribal communities. The Health Promotion concentration is designed for students who are interested in public health careers or other allied health fields. The Nutrition concentration emphasizes public health nutrition, culinary arts, foodservice management, and clinical nutrition. The Nutrition concentration is designed for students who are interested in careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. With the training, research, and internship experiences offered in both concentrations, graduates are well prepared to address the health needs within their communities.

Student Learning Outcomes
We will be pursuing accreditation from the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH). We are aligning our core MPH coursework with their required learning outcomes, which are as follows: 
1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels
7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs
12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
In addition, the MPH concentration in Health Promotion will have coursework that aligns with the following student learning outcomes:
Unit 1. Foundational Knowledge. Applies foundational sciences to food and nutrition knowledge to meet the needs of individuals, groups, and organizations.
Unit 2: Client/Patient Services. Applies and integrates client/patient-centered principles and competent nutrition and dietetics practice to ensure positive outcomes.
Unit 3: Food Systems Management. Applies food systems principles and management skills to ensure safe and efficient delivery of food and water.
Unit 4: Community and Population Health Nutrition. Applies community and population nutrition health theories when providing support to community or population nutrition programs.
Unit 5: Leadership, Business, Management and Organization. Demonstrates leadership, business and management principles to guide practice and achieve operational goals.
Unit 6: Critical Thinking, Research and Evidence-Informed Practice. Integrates evidence-informed practice, research principles and critical thinking into practice.
Unit 7: Core Professional Behaviors. Demonstrates professional behaviors and effective communication in all nutrition and dietetics interactions.
See Detailed Learning Outcomes for more information.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Prerequisite courses complete with a grade of C or better, or in progress at the time of application to the program:
Master's Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $260 per semester for the Health Promotion emphasis, and $435 per semester for the Nutrition emphasis have been approved for this program.