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The purpose of the MSPH program is to train public health professionals interested in a career in public health research. This includes those who wish to have a more research-oriented training regimen or individuals who are interested in a research or teaching career or are seeking to continue their academic careers in a doctoral or other terminal degree programs. The degree requirements are similar to that of the MPH program; however, unlike the MPH degree, the MSPH degree requires a research-based master’s thesis or project. 

Core Curriculum

The program has always offered a curriculum embracing the core areas of knowledge basic to public health both recognized from the community as well as our accrediting body the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Similar to the MPH, the MSPH degree requirements consist of the following:

    • Biostatistics - collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of health data; design and analysis of health-related surveys and experiments; and concepts and practice of statistical data analysis
    • Epidemiology - distributions and determinants of disease, disabilities, and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis of health
    • Environmental health sciences - environmental factors including biological, physical, and chemical factors which affect the health of a community
    • Public health administration - planning, organization, administration, management, evaluation, and policy analysis of health programs
    • Social and behavioral sciences - concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and the solution of public health problems

With additional requirements for the research aspect of this degree, the program takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete the required minimum of 45 semester credit hours. Students who undertake their training on a part-time basis because of work or other commitments may require more time.

Switching from MPH to MSPH

Students currently in the MPH program who wish to switch to the MSPH program must request to switch to the MSPH degree (please see the public health policies and guidelines for more information).

Examples of theses and publishable papers done by former MSPH students include:

    • Health Effects of Air Pollution in Utah County, Utah.
    • A Laboratory and Field Evaluation of a Personal Photoionization Detection for Use on Hazardous Waste Sites.
    • Distribution of Lead at a Trap Shooting Range in Pellet Versus Non-Pellet Form.
    • A Comparison of Lead Pet Hair Levels to Human Blood Lead Levels.
    • Impact of Risk Factors for NSAID-Induced Gastrointestinal Complications on the Costs of Therapy: a Decision Analysis Model.
    • Risk Perception at a Highly Publicized Facility Handling Extremely Hazardous Chemicals.
    • Variations in Risk Due to Different Exposure Metrics in EMF Research.
    • Surgical Trends in the Treatment of Diseases of the Lumbar Spine in Utah, 1984–1990.


The MSPH program has been continuously accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1978.