A master’s degree in public health from MU can help you advance your career in population-based or public health service. If you want to promote the health and well-being of communities in Missouri and elsewhere, this may be the degree for you!


The Master of Public Health degree is a 45-credit-hour program that may be completed on campus or online. You will select from one of two emphasis areas.

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Emphasis Areas

Health Promotion and Policy

The Health Promotion and Policy emphasis combines a thorough knowledge of behavior change theory and program planning and evaluation with valuable knowledge of how policy decisions are influenced and made. Particularly attractive to students with undergraduate degrees in psychology, social work, political science, communications and other related fields.

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Message from our emphasis area director, Dr. Brian Houston.

Veterinary Public Health

Students in the Veterinary Public Health emphasis area receive training in zoonotic disease prevention, food safety and other emerging issues in animal and human health. An ideal complement for an undergraduate degree in animal science, biology or related fields. This program is offered in person only.

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Want to know more about Veterinary Public Health emphasis? Check out these videos.

  • Veterinary Medicine and Public Health faculty member, Dr. Tim Evans and MPH alumna & adjunct faculty
  • Hayley Yaglom, answer frequent questions about the Veterinary Public Health emphasis
  • Dr. Sharon Deem, Director, Institute for Conservation Medicine, is an MPH preceptor for a One Health research project at the St. Louis Zoo.


Dual Degree Options

MPH/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Students must be admitted to both the college of Veterinary Medicine and the Master of Public Health program independently. Both degrees can be earned simultaneously or within a semester of each other, depending upon the student’s choice of schedule. Current DVM students must apply to the Master of Public Health Program prior to the start of their third semester. Likewise, MPH students who are interested in the DVM program must apply prior to their third semester. Shared DVM/MPH courses are at no extra charge to enrolled DVM students. A number of the non-shared MPH courses (regular tuition) are online and distance-mediated.

MPH/MA Journalism

Combines Health Promotion and Policy with Strategic Communication in the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Graduates are well-positioned to find employment in risk communications and public health information in the public or private sector. Students must be admitted to the School of Journalism and the Master of Public Health Program independently.

MPH/Master of Public Affairs

This dual degree offers students with a particular interest in public health policy and management the chance to complete both degrees in three years, rather than the four required for two stand-alone degrees. Students must be admitted to both the Truman School for Public Affairs and the Master of Public Health Program independently; on-campus option only.

MPH/MSW Social Work

Students can earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) and a Master of Public Health (MPH) with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Policy. Graduates of the dual degree will be well-positioned to find employment as a health policy advocate, health agency administrator or in an integrated behavioral health setting as a care managers, health coach, patient advocate, counselor, or team leader. Students pursuing dual degrees must be independently admitted to  each program. Only on-campus Regular Standing (RS), full-time MSW students (both clinical or PP&A concentration) will be admitted to the program.

For sample plans of study, visit the School of Social Work.


Application Process


Application deadlines depend on what semester you wish to begin classes.

  • Fall: June 1 (extended to July 1 for the Fall 2020 semester)
    • Peace Corp Fellowship: February 1/ Fall even years
    • International students*: May 1
  • Spring: Oct. 1
  • Summer: April 1

*Applications from international applicants will only be accepted for Fall semester admission, unless the applicant is currently a University of Missouri (MU) student enrolled in another full-time program.

Admissions Criteria

Candidates must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or other institution of post-secondary education.
  • A grade point average equivalent to at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work.

International/non-native English speaking applicants must also have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. For the TOEFL, a score of 550 or better on the paper-based version, or a score of 80 or better on the internet-based version.  For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required.

How to Apply

Upload the following to the MU Office of Graduate Studies online web application:

  • Personal data Sheet
  • Personal essay addressing this prompt: Identify and describe a significant current public health issue in the United States or globally. What more could be done to address this issue and where do you see an opportunity to participate as a public health professional? 
    • Essays should be two to three pages typed, double-spaced, written in Standard English with accepted spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  Essays should be written in a professional tone and style and identify your role in public health.  Your essay should demonstrate a basic understanding of public health issues, present a persuasive argument related to the public health problem identified, provide support for ideas presented, demonstrate logical organization and presentation of ideas, and provide a feasible approach to understanding the issue.  Use of accepted writing formats, such as the American Psychological Association published standards is encouraged.  Address the following essay prompt:
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae. Please explain any significant gaps in education or work experience.
  • Contact information for two (2) letters of recommendation to be submitted by individuals who are well-acquainted with your academic experience and can attest to your intellectual, experiential, and interpersonal abilities. At least one (1) of these letters must come from a professor or other academic official.
  • Unofficial copies of your transcripts of coursework from all universities, colleges, and/or technical schools you’ve attended in the past. If admitted, official copies of your transcripts must be sent to the MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
  • International /non-native English speaking applicants only: Official TOEFL or IELTS if your native language is not English. The TOEFL exam results must be current (taken within two years of admission to the MPH Program), and scores must be sent directly and electronically by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) to the MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies using the Institutional Code: 6875 (University of Missouri) and Department Code: 0616 or 50 for the internet-based version.

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If you have questions about the application process, email Turner Rafter at trafter@health.missouri.edu.

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