The MPH in Health Policy and Management (HPM) prepares students for careers as public policy analysts, advocates for public health and high quality care, and professionals engaged in the development and implementation of health policies. The program provides professional development through a combination of coursework, a health policy or management related practicum, a public health leader-in-residence, and other curricular activities.

MPH in HPM Overview

This two-year, 45-credit program prepares students for careers in both health policy development, analysis and advocacy and program and organization management in public health agencies, foundations, other nonprofits and the private sector. Graduates of our MPH program should be well-prepared to pass the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam, pursue related doctoral studies and/or obtain professional employment in public health and related sectors, nationally and globally (students must pay for their own exam fee).

MPH Curriculum

Our curriculum consists of the CEPH-required multidisciplinary core, the departmental MPH core, an intensive field experience (practicum) and an applied research project (master’s essay) related to the practicum or another “world of practice” problem or issue. The curriculum is structured around the CEPH competency model for MPH students including health policy and management, communication, leadership, professionalism, systems thinking and self-actualization competencies. Although only 45 credits are required to complete the program, students can register for an additional 15 credits to complete a certificate or a self-designed cluster of electives within the four academic terms plus the practicum, typically scheduled during the summer term.

Admission Requirements

MPH students must apply through the on-line, centralized application system, SOPHAS ( Applications will only be considered for fall term admission and must apply by the posted deadline. All MPH applicants are required to provide...

  • Official academic transcripts documenting completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university 
  • Transcripts for all other post-secondary academic credits earned.
  • Prerequisite courses include one college-level mathematics or statistics course and at least two courses in the social sciences, preferably one in microeconomics
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students
  • Writing sample
  • Personal statement
  • Two academic references and one employment reference (if relevant)

Master’s Essay

All MPH students are required to complete a capstone intellectual product under the guidance of a faculty committee. The master’s essay requires the student to synthesize learnings across the curriculum, field site placement, and employment experiences. The MPH in HPM students are encouraged to develop the master’s essay topic from a project, problem, or issue linked to the practicum experience. However, with the permission of the essay advisor, the student may choose to focus the study on a health policy or public health management issue of wider application. The student will submit a written report and make an oral presentation of the essay project to the faculty.

Professional Development

The program provides a cluster of opportunities to encourage and support the student’s professional and leadership development both within and outside the classroom. This includes activities within the course Health Systems, Leadership and Professional Development required for MPH and MHA students, the Public Health Leader-in-Residence, a competency self-assessment process, and the supervised practicum experience. The school’s office of career services also provides a schedule of professional development services including resume preparation, employment interviewing and interpersonal and social skills. MPH students are also encouraged to participate in student governance by becoming active in the HPMA student organization, standing committees at the department, school or University level and/or service activities in the broader community


Our graduates should be well positioned for employment opportunities in health policy, health program management, public health agency, foundation and related nonprofit organization management positions, nationally and globally. Graduates should also be competitive for positions as policy analysts at the federal, state, and local governmental levels and for some post-graduate administrative fellowships in health care systems. To supplement their academic credentials, our students are also encouraged to sit for the CPH certification exam (student must pay exam fee).


Cindy Bryce
Director, MPH program
A612 Public Health
Phone: 412-383-7279

Jessica Dornin
Recruitment and academic affairs administrator
A631 Public Health
Phone: 412-624-3625

Maximize 2020 and Previous Handbooks and Curriculum

MPH News in HPM


Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement 

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investi... (02/26/2020)

Alumna profile: Diane Peterson  

Alumna profile: Diane Peterson

PITT PUBLIC HEALTH MAGAZINE — Looking back, Diane Peterson (HPM ’75) says her unconventional academic journey ended up being the perfect foundation for a career that has taken her all over the world and to the height of her profession. “I’m very proud to be a Pitt grad,” she says. “Even with the ci... (02/20/2020)

Four public health students chosen as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows 

Four public health students chosen as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows

Four Pitt Public Health students have been selected as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. Inngide Osirus and Dzigbordi Kamasa-Quashie of IDM and Yamira Bell and Ariel Snell of the MMPH program will participate for a full year of experiential learning and direct service addressing the needs of d... (05/05/2019)

Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame 

Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame

THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I ... (11/16/2018)
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