Expand the section navigation mobile menu
Woman talking to a group of students outdoors

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program in the Department of Public and Environmental Wellness prepares you to help improve the health of individuals and communities via a skills-based, hands-on approach. Using an innovative teaching model, the program incorporates service-learning opportunities and community-based participatory research throughout the curriculum. The courses are offered in the evenings in a hybrid format.

NOTE: The Public Health Scholarship Program provides an opportunity for need-based funding. This is available for MPH students and public health combined program students. Additional information can be found below or on the School of Health Sciences’ Scholarship website.

We offer distinct Graduate Certificates in Epidemiological Research, Global and Population Health Services, and Health Equity that may be taken independently or as part of the MPH degree.

Oakland University's Public Health program is presently seeking reaccreditation. If you wish to provide written feedback on the program to the Council on Education for Public Health, we invite you to send an email to the following address: [email protected].

The Master of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). For a copy of the CEPH report, please contact Caress Dean.

Program Overview Curricular Requirements Apply

Partnering with local non-profits, health care agencies, corporations and more, you will have the opportunity to determine community needs and develop initiatives that make a positive impact while engaging in public health practices, including needs assessment; program planning, implementation, and evaluation; health policy formation; and health literacy campaigns.

Curricular Requirements can be found in the graduate catalog.

For a copy of the MPH Student Handbook, please email Caress Dean.

Council on Education for Public Health Competencies

MPH Foundational Public Health Knowledge

Profession and Science of Public Health
1. Explain public health history, philosophy and values
2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services
3. Explain the role of quantitative and qualitative methods and sciences in describing
and assessing a population’s health
4. List major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the US or other
community relevant to the school or program
5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in population
health, including health promotion, screening, etc.
6. Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge

Factors Related to Human Health
7. Explain effects of environmental factors on a population’s health
8. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect a population’s health
9. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s health
10. Explain the social, political and economic determinants of health and how they
contribute to population health and health inequities
11. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease
12. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal
health and ecosystem health (e.g., One Health)

MPH Foundational Competencies

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health
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

Public Health and Health Care Systems
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

Planning and Management to Promote Health
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

Policy in Public Health
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

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

Interprofessional Practice
21. Integrate perspectives from other sectors and/or professions to promote and advance population health

Systems Thinking
22. Apply a systems thinking tool to visually represent a public health issue in a format other than standard narrative

Concentration Competencies

Oakland University's Master of Public Health Program provides its students with a rigorous and community-engaged curriculum that gives them the cutting-edge skills they need to engage in evidence-based public health. This will include translating empirical evidence into public health practice, as well as building the evidence-base through rigorous descriptive and evaluation research. Additionally, students will be able to specifically apply these skills to address health inequities through culturally competent intervention research and practice.

  1. Apply principles of community-based participatory practices in collaboration with a community partner to assess community needs.
  2. Develop an evaluation plan of a public health intervention.
  3. Develop a grant proposal in response to a request for proposal.
  4. Use a community-engaged participatory process to collect, analyze and report the results of primary data in collaboration with a community partner.
  5. Apply the environmental source-disease model to inform hazard prevention and control practices in communities.

The program’s goals addressing instruction, research and service are as follows:

Goal: To provide a high-quality, evidence-based and community-focused educational curriculum that prepares students for successful careers in public health.

Goal: Engage in theory-based research, including community-based participatory research, to further knowledge and understanding of core public health issues.

Goal: Faculty will launch productive health-related partnerships with relevant organizations.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Goal: Promote an environment that fosters diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the program.

No matter where you are on your path to earning a master's degree, OU’s MPH program has an option that’s right for you. Choose from three flexible tracks to complete the 44-credit program. Students should estimate 10-12 hours of work per week for every 4-credit course.

Option 1: 2-year plan (8-12 credits per semester)
This option is ideal for individuals interested in completing the degree at an accelerated pace, and is not recommended for anyone working more than 20 hours per week.

Option 2: 3-year plan (4-8 credits per semester)
Geared toward individuals who want to pursue the degree part-time, this option allows for flexibility based on personal circumstances.

Option 3: 5-year plan (4 credits per semester)
Designed to fit into your busy schedule, this option enables students to balance work and family life, while pursuing the degree at a slower pace.

Option 4: 6-year plan (4 credits per semester)
Designed to fit into your busy schedule, this option enables students to balance work and family life, while pursuing the degree at a slower pace.

For a breakdown of specific coursework by semester in each option, please email Caress Dean.

Application deadlines:

  • Fall semester:
    • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular), July 15 (late)
    • International student application deadline: May 1 
  • Winter semester:
    • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular)
    • International student application deadline: September 1
  • Summer semester:
    • March 1 (regular)
    • International student application deadline: January 1

Learn more about OU's Master of Public Health Program

We invite you to attend one of our scheduled MPH Info Sessions. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn about OU's Master of Public Health program and hear more from a faculty member as well as a current student.

Click here to register

Information Session Dates Delivery Format
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at noon  Online
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at noon Online
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 6 p.m. Online
Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at noon Online
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 10 a.m. Online
Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at noon Online 
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at noon Online
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at noon Online
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 10 a.m. Online
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at noon Online
Friday, March 1, 2024 at 1 p.m. Online
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at noon Online
Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 10 a.m. Online
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at noon Online
Tuesday, May 16, 2024 at noon Online
Tuesday, May 29, 2024 at 10 a.m. Online
Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at noon Online
Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at 6 p.m. Online

Admission Requirements

  • The Graduate School application (additional details can be found on the Graduate School's website)
  • Goal statement of no more than 1000 words describing:
    • Reason(s) for seeking an MPH degree
    • Interest in pursuing a master's degree at Oakland University's Master of Public Health program
    • Public health experiences through work, volunteer, or courses
    • Long-term public health professional goals
    • Explanation of life experiences and the circumstances of a low GPA (if applicable)
  • Official transcripts indicating a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution
    • Transcripts for any graduate certificates or post-baccalaureate courses in progress or completed should be submitted and will be taken into consideration during the review process. 
  • Undergraduate overall grade point average of at least 3.0
    • A minimum grade of at least a B- in an undergraduate statistics course and an undergraduate writing or writing-intensive course is recommended.
  • Three (3) recommendation forms and supporting letters from faculty members, supervisors, or professional mentors
    • Recommendations from faculty members are encouraged but not required.
  • A current resume
  • International applicants will additionally have to meet the University's standards established in the International Student Supplemental Application Packet - additional details on the packet can be found on the Graduate School's website.


  • Admitted or enrolled in OU’s Master of Public Health or public health combined program
  • Completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • United States citizen, national or permanent resident

Award Criteria

  • Economic need (determined by applicant’s family income reported in the Federal Student Aid Family application, in accordance with the Health and Human Services’ Federal Poverty Guidelines)
  • Educational background (first-generation college student - i.e. neither parent completed a four-year degree)
  • Environmental background (history of foster care or rural residence)

How to Apply

  1. Email program director Dr. Caress Dean at [email protected] 
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  3. Additional verification will be required

Scholarship Recipient Requirements

  • Attend mandatory orientation in August
  • Sign the PHS commitment form confirming understanding of all program qualifications/requirements
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Expectation of a minimum two-course load per academic semester
  • Complete three months of practicum addressing health disparities and health inequities in medically underserved communities
  • Attend at least one job fair or networking event
  • Seek employment in medically underserved areas
  • Report on program experience and post-graduation employment
  • Maintain active connection as an alum

Additionally, new applicants will be preferred over past Public Health Scholarship awardees.

With an increasing concern for public health needs around the world, the career outlook for individuals with an MPH degree is positive and expected to grow in coming years. Professional opportunities are varied in both the public and private sector, including:

  • International health organizations (e.g., World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders)
  • Federal government agencies (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health)
  • State and local health departments (e.g., Michigan Department of Community Health and Oakland County Health Division)
  • Voluntary and philanthropic organizations (e.g., American Red Cross, Kresge Foundation, Skillman Foundation)
  • Corporations and worksite wellness sites
  • Local hospitals (e.g., Beaumont Health, Henry Ford Health System)
  • Non-profit community-based organizations (e.g., Migrant Health Promotion, Alternatives For Girls)

Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 2022), employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow 12% from 2021 to 2031. As of May 2023, the average annual pay for MPH jobs category in the U.S. is $116,386 (ZipRecruiter).

Examples of where our alumni work:

  • Oakland County Health Division
  • Monroe County Health
  • Genesee County Health Department
  • Ascension Health
  • Greater Flint Health Coalition
  • MedNetOne Health Solutions
  • Meridian
  • University of Michigan School of Nursing
  • Karmanos Cancer Institute
  • National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
  • Southeastern Michigan Health Association
  • Spectrum Health
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services



Comprised of dedicated public health professionals across Southeast Michigan, the OU Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) plays an integral role in providing counsel on program strategies and objectives, public health priorities, and trends in public health practice. Promoting the program in the community, and advancing professional development and networking opportunities are central to the board’s mission.

Name Agency
Andrew Cox, MPH, REHS Macomb County Health Department
Christina Harvey Oakland Schools
Lisa McKay-Chiasson, BS, MPH Oakland County Health Division
Christina Golding-Jewett BSN, RN, CCM Honor Community Health
Krista Willette, RN, MSA Macomb County Health Department
Matthew Stiffler, PhD Center for Arab Narratives
Contessa Rudolph Henry Ford Health
Anthony (Tony) Drautz, DHA, MSA, RS/REHS Oakland County Health Division
Jenifer Hughes Oakland Southfield Physicians
Elijah Olsen Oakland University
Atoysha Bassene, MPH Oakland University
Aleksandra Vucevski, MPH Oakland University
Caress Dean, PhD, MPH Oakland University
Rebecca Cheezum, PhD, MPH Oakland University
Mozhgon Rajaee, PhD, MPH Oakland University

Dr. Caress Dean
Associate Professor and Director
Public Health
3156 Human Health Building
[email protected]

Dean's Office
Human Health Building
(248) 370-3562
[email protected] 

School of Health Sciences

Academic Advising
3070 Human Health Building
433 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-2369

Dean's Office
Human Health Building
(248) 370-3562
[email protected]