MS in Public Health

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field
    • A major in the biological, physical, or social sciences is preferred.
    • Students applying to the primary concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health must have completed a full year of general chemistry, at least one semester of organic chemistry, and two semesters of calculus; one course in human physiology is also required for those interested in a secondary concentration in Occupational Safety.
    • Those interested in the ASAC-ABET Accredited MS Program in Industrial Hygiene must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school, including completed course work in college-level mathematics, biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics.
    • Students applying to the concentration in Health Analytics must have completed four math courses in algebra and calculus courses.
    • Exceptions may be granted for applicants with relevant work experience or high-level academic achievements. Exceptions may be admitted with an individually documented plan of study to compensate for deficiencies, although applicants are strongly encouraged to satisfy all deficiencies prior to matriculation. Applicants are invited to consult with the Industrial Hygiene program director about possible deficiencies.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00.
  • Tests Required GRE General. For GRE General Tests, the combined verbal and quantitative scores must be at least 300.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required; the statement should address the applicant’s intended research, career goals, and reason for pursuing the MS degree in the chosen area.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 48; 50–51 for the Epidemiology concentration; 50 for the Cancer Epidemiology concentration; 51 for the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology concentration; 52 for the Industrial Hygiene concentration; and 53 for the Occupational Safety concentration.
  • Course Work At least 32 semester hours must be in courses other than IPHS 598, and at least 9 semester hours must be at the 500-level (requirements for the Biostatistics concentration are described below). No more than 4 hours of IPHS 596 may be applied to the degree.
  • Comprehensive Examination Required only for Biostatistics students.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Thesis or course work only. No other options available.
    • Thesis: Thesis required for all areas, except Biostatistics. Thesis students must earn at least 8 hours in IPHS 598.
    • Course Work Only: Only for Biostatistics students. Comprehensive examination required.

Core Requirements

Course Title
Required Core Courses
Biostatistics I a
Introduction to Epidemiology: Principles and Methods
Foundations of Public Health
Additional Requirements
HIPAA Research Training
Human Subjects Research
SPH Academic Integrity Tutorial

Concentration Requirements

Remaining courses and their distribution depend on the student’s primary (and secondary, where applicable) area of concentration. MS students select from one of the following primary concentration areas:

  1. Biostatistics
  2. Community Health Sciences (admission is suspended)
  3. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  4. Epidemiology
  5. Health Analytics
  6. Health Policy and Administration

Biostatistics Concentration

In addition to core requirements, students must complete the following concentration requirements:

Course Title
Concentration Requirements
Design of Clinical Trials
Sampling and Estimation Methods Applied to Public Health
Biostatistics Methods I
Biostatistics Laboratory
Biostatistics Methods II
Categorical Data Analysis
Survival Analysis
Longitudinal Data Analysis
Biostatistical Consulting
Biostatistical Investigations
Introduction to Probability
Statistical Theory
Electives
A minimum of 8 semester hours of electives. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies which provides a broad introduction to public health.

Community Health Sciences Concentration

Admission to the concentration is suspended.

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Concentration

In addition to core requirements, students must complete the following concentration requirements:

Course Title
Concentration Requirements
Biostatistics II
Environmental Calculations
Students must also complete the division core of 12 semester hours in EOHS courses, choosing at least one course in each of the following three areas: (1) Exposure Assessment, (2) Health Assessment, (3) Risk Assessment and Policy
• Students should see their advisor for a list of courses in each area.
• Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies which provides a broad introduction to public health.

Epidemiology Concentration

In addition to core requirements, students must complete the following concentration requirements:

Course Title
Concentration Requirements
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Current Epidemiologic Literature
Epidemiology Research Seminar
Biostatistics II
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Design of Clinical Trials
Sampling and Estimation Methods Applied to Public Health
Students may use their electives to pursue a course of study in one of the following optional concentrations; or may customize their program of study by selecting from a broad range of course work to meet their career goals and interests. All students must complete sufficient elective hours to bring their total program of study to a minimum of 50 semester hours.

Health Analytics Concentration

  • In addition to core requirements, students must complete the following concentration requirements to reach 48 hours:
Course Title
Concentration Required Courses (32 hours)
Health Data Analytics Using Python Programming
Introductory Special Topics in Biostatistics
Biostatistics Methods I
Biostatistics Methods II
Statistical Learning in Health Analytics
Machine Learning in Health Analytics
Health Analytics Investigations
Categorical Data Analysis
Introduction to Probability
Statistical Theory
Electives (10 hours)
Recommended courses:
Survival Analysis
Longitudinal Data Analysis
One additional elective
  • Students will complete MS Public Health with Health Analytics concentration through course work only. The course BSTT 529 measures the main competency of Health Analytics concentration. This course includes a comprehensive investigation  of either a large or sparse or complex health data set that will require application of numerous health analytics methods with emphasis on public health research applications. A final comprehensive written report is needed to complete the program. At least two faculty members from the division will evaluate the final report.

Health Policy and Administration Concentration

  • MS students concentrating in Health Policy and Administration must complete all of the core requirements for the MS degree. In addition, 25 hours of course work relevant to the disciplinary area of Health Policy and Administration are taken in consultation with the faculty advisor.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies which provides a broad introduction to public health.

Secondary Concentrations

Cancer Epidemiology Secondary Concentration 

  • Epidemiology (EPID) students only
Course Title
Secondary Concentration Requirements
Students electing the Cancer Epidemiology concentration must complete the School-wide course requirements as well as 35 SH of the following courses:
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Cancer Epidemiology
Select two of the following:
Special Topics in Human Nutrition
Advanced Cancer Epidemiology
Genetics in Epidemiology
Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Advanced Special Topics in Epidemiology (Social Epidemiology)
Advanced Special Topics in Epidemiology (Surveillance Epidemiology)

Global Health Secondary Concentration 

  • Open to all onsite MS students

Students earning an onsite MS in Public Health degree in any of the primary concentrations may also enroll in the Concentration in Global Health. Students in the Global Health Concentration program must satisfy school-wide and divisional requirements in addition to the following: IPHS 409, IPHS 410 and an elective (3 hours). Selection of an elective should be made with the help of the student’s academic advisor; and is subject to the offering department’s approval. MS students in the GH Concentration must focus their research thesis (IPHS 598, 8 or 16 hours, as required by the student’s divisional concentration) on a global health related topic either outside the U.S. or domestically through an appropriate alternative venue. In addition, as feasible, students in the concentration are strongly encouraged to select topics of global health relevance when completing all course assignments for their program. Competency in a foreign language is also highly recommended but not required for the program. With proper planning, courses may be used to satisfy both the Global Health Concentration and divisional requirements.

Industrial Hygiene Secondary Concentration 

  • Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) students only
Course Title
Secondary Concentration Requirements
MS students concentrating in the ASAC-ABET-Accredited Program in Industrial Hygiene within the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Division must complete all of the SPH requirements for the MS degree. In addition, students must take:
Biostatistics II
Environmental Calculations
Occupational Health and Safety Practice
Evaluation and Control of Physical Agents
Evaluation and Control of Airborne Contaminants
Evaluation and Control of the Psychosocial Work Environment
Industrial Hygiene Laboratory I
Air Quality Assessment and Management
Applied Industrial Hygiene and Safety
Occupational and Environmental Disease
Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Secondary Concentration 

  • Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) and Epidemiology (EPID) students only
Course Title
Secondary Concentration Requirements
MS students concentrating in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology must complete all of the SPH requirements for the MS degree; and must adhere to divisional requirements as stipulated in their individual program of study. In addition, students must take the following courses for a total of 51 semester hours for the MS degree:
Biostatistics II
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Occupational Health and Safety Practice
Current Topics in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Occupational Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Environmental Epidemiology
Occupational and Environmental Disease
Risk Assessment in Environmental and Occupational Health
Injury Epidemiology and Prevention
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis (Epidemiology Students Only)

Occupational Safety Secondary Concentration 

  • Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) students only
Course Title
Secondary Concentration Requirements
MS students concentrating in Occupational Safety must complete all of the SPH requirements for the MS degree. In addition, students must take:
Biostatistics II
Environmental Calculations
Occupational Health and Safety Practice
Evaluation and Control of the Psychosocial Work Environment
Industrial Hygiene Laboratory I
Applied Industrial Hygiene and Safety
Occupational and Environmental Disease
Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems
Injury Epidemiology and Prevention
Ergonomics and Human Factors
Safety Engineering
Select one of the following:
Evaluation and Control of Physical Agents
Quality Control and Reliability
TSM 421
(Urbana campus course)

Public Health Informatics Secondary Concentration 

  • Online MS - Health Policy and Administration (HPA) students only
Course Title
Secondary Concentration Requirements
MS students concentrating in Public Health Informatics must complete all of the SPH requirements for the MS degree. In addition, students must take the following:
Required Courses
Biostatistics II
Health Information and Decision Support Systems
Development of Public Health Surveillance Information Systems
Selective Courses
A minimum of 16 hours from among the following:
GIS for Environmental and Public Health Professionals
Health Related Database Design and Analysis
Management of Communication Systems for Public Health Informatics Applications
Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Health Informatics
Survey of Public Health Information Systems
Public Health Information Systems Evaluation and Project Management
Web-Based Public Health Information Systems
Geographic Information System Application in Public Health
Datamining Applications in Public Health
Elective Courses
A minimum of 6 hours from among the following:
Informatics for the Clinical Investigator
Knowledge Management in Healthcare Organizations
Consumer Health Informatics
Strategic Planning and Budgeting
Organizational Leadership in Public Health
Geographic Information Systems Integrative Project
Survey of Public Health Information Systems
Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies which provides a broad introduction to public health.
Noncredit Training
HIPAA Research Training and Investigator Training 101

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: