Online Master of Public Health Courses

Aligned to Meet CEPH Accreditation

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Online Master of Public Health Courses

Purdue University’s online public health classes are designed to meet the stringent standards of CEPH accreditation. This means you gain a comprehensive understanding of public health functions, challenges, and processes, as well as the skills to create and implement effective programs.

MPH Competencies

The Purdue Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is designed to prepare you for leadership in the public health field. Below you will find information about the core and concentration competencies we believe are crucial for your success. The competencies are aligned with the Council in Education for Public Health (CEPH) professional standards of academic, operational integrity and quality for accredited public health programs.


Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice.
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for given public health context.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.

Public Health & Health Care Systems

  • Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
  • 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.

Planning & Management to Promote Health

  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities' health.
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention.
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs.

Policy in Public Health

  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence.
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes.
  • Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations.
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity.


  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making.
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.


  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and thorough oral presentation.
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.

Inter-Professional Practice

  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.

Systems Thinking

  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

Family and Community Health Competencies 

  • Critically evaluate the social, biological, political, legal, economic and environmental factors affecting the health of families and communities.
  • Evaluate health programs and policies through the application of appropriate quantitative methods, models and best practices.
  • Prioritize community needs, concerns, and resources when addressing family and community health issues.
  • Critically evaluate the factors that create, perpetuate and ultimately eliminate health disparities.
  • Demonstrate communication skills and strategies for promotion of family and community health.

Learn at a Research Institution

The online master of public health program benefits from Purdue University’s status as a major center of research.

Since 2014, the public health faculty and the College of Health and Human Sciences have received 113 grants totaling over $126 million, with $6 to $8 million of that directly impacting MPH research. Students in the online MPH program will have access to this cutting-edge research in the rigorous science-based curriculum.

The curriculum includes a practicum consisting of a 200-hour work experience to ensure that students can apply knowledge in a real-world setting tailored to each individual’s professional area of interest. Purdue's curriculum is aligned with CEPH's core competencies.

The program can be completed in two years (not including the time for the practicum and culminating experience).

Curriculum Fast Facts

Total Courses: 14

Total Credit hours: 42

Program Duration: 2 years plus experiential learning

Core Master of Public Health Courses

  • PUBH 602 — Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior

    Coursework examines the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students explore the development of a conceptual framework for understanding and facilitating behavior enhancement, elimination and/or maintenance in health promotion and education. Topics include current theories regarding health-related behaviors. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 535 — Fundamentals of Epidemiology

    This course is an introduction to epidemiology, the study of the patterns, causes, and impact of disease in populations. Epidemiology comprises an important part of public health and medical surveillance and research, and is a key tool for health policy development. This course will discuss the basic principles and methods of epidemiology, including measurements of disease occurrence and association, study designs, and determination of causality. Contemporary examples will be used to illustrate the application of these concepts. View Syllabus.

    Total Credits Hours: 3

  • PUBH 601 — Introduction to Quantitative Methods of Public Health

    The main goals of this course are to acquaint students with the basic concepts and methods of statistics, their applications and their interpretation as used in public health. Students will learn basic terminology and its meaning, how to calculate various statistical measures and indices, how to quantify health relationships and how to compute and interpret inferential statistical techniques. Students will also acquire the ability to utilize the statistical software packages of Excel and SPSS as tools to facilitate the processing, editing, storing, displaying, analysis and interpretation of health research-related data. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 585: Introduction to Environmental Health

    This course presents an introduction to chemical, physical and biological factors in the environment that affect community health. Students examine health issues, scientific understanding of causes, and approaches to the control of major environmental health problems in industrialized and developed countries.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 604 — Public Health Administration

    An introduction to the principals of management as applied to public health organizations, particularly local health departments. Topics include the organization of the U.S. public health system, legal and ethical obligations of public health administrators, the public health workforce and human resource issues, public health budgeting and finance, and leadership in the public health agency. The course is designed to introduce master's level students in public health to the management skills necessary to successfully implement a public health program. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 606 — Design and Analysis of Public Health Interventions

    This course addresses professional competencies in design, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of health interventions in community settings. Program planning paradigms, determinants of health behavior and behavior change strategies serve as a basis for analyzing health interventions. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

Family and Community Health Concentration Courses

  • COM 645 — Healthcare Communication

    The healthcare environment is increasingly complex, and poses many challenges for communication professionals seeking to improve communication with key health industry stakeholders, including patients, providers, payers, government agencies, and others.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 51250 — International Health Systems: A Comparative Approach

    This course is an introduction to public health priorities from an international perspective, illustrating the interdependent nature of health promotion and disease prevention issues across diverse regions and populations. Coursework examines population health determinants, contrasting industrialized and developing countries and how these influence health goals established by public health institutions, such as the World Health Organization, philanthropic foundations and governmental agencies. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 54750 — Public Health Program and Policy Evaluation

    This 3-credit course provides an overview of the methods required to evaluate the effectiveness of public health intervention or prevention programs and policies. The course introduces a range of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs and the application and tailoring of these designs to evaluations. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • HDFS 590 — Families and Health

    Family ties and family processes in the promotion of individual health and management of disease across the life course are covered. Course topics include: health promotion and disease prevention, disease management, health care, and caregiving in the family context.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 54250 — Public Health Nutrition

    The goal of this course is to educate advanced graduate students on the multidisciplinary challenges that exist in meeting the food and nutrition needs of a growing world population. The course aims to instill an appreciation of the importance of economics, food production and technology, trade, culture, communication, political processes and institutions, demography and related factors in determining adequate food availability and health globally. The end point for this multi-disciplinary perspective is nutritional adequacy, and much of the focus will be on factors that can prevent or limit malnutrition. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

Experiential Courses

  • PUBH 607 — Public Health Practicum

    Students integrate public health theory and practice in a professional setting. The practicum allows students to apply concepts from core and concentration courses, conduct projects and interact with a range of professionals in the designated setting.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 608 — Culminating Experience

    MPH students will show mastery of the public health competencies through a culminating project in their final course. This experiential learning includes training on the formation of competitive grants for non-profit organizations aligned with the student’s interest area. The student will select a topic and partner with a local agency to craft a grant that addresses a need for that particular agency. The student will receive one-on-one support from a faculty mentor and produce both a written and oral presentation at the end of the course.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

Elective Courses

Choose one.

  • PUBH 51350 — Global Health Security and Disaster Management

    This course is a contemporary examination of the growing threat and potential public health consequences of disasters and role of climate change. Additionally, we review the variety of public health and environmental health disasters, their consequences and the role of public health agencies health care systems and practitioners in preparedness, response and recovery from a local, national and global perspective. The course is designed to develop proficiency in analyzing and evaluating the public health response to disasters, the linkage to emergency management frameworks and identifying solutions and methods for improvement.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

  • PUBH 54850 — Public Health Law

    This course examines the role of law in promoting or impeding positive health outcomes. Students will study the authority and limitations of governments engaging in public health activities as well as the types of legal interventions available to promote public health. Students will apply legal principles to public health case studies on topics such as infectious disease, chronic disease, and violence prevention, among others. Students will also apply public health legal research methodologies to current public health issues and discuss the role of law in public health advocacy. View Syllabus.

    Total Credit Hours: 3

Learn More About This Program

You can fill the need for public health professionals and provide vital health services with the online Master of Public Health.

To learn more about the program, request more information or call 877-497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor.