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Health Behavior, Society and Policy

Master of Public Health (MPH) in Population Mental Health

The MPH degree in Population Mental Health provides students with an in-depth understanding of how public health practitioners could make critically important contributions to decreasing the societal burden of emotional distress, mental illness, substance abuse, alcohol use, and suicide. Problems related to mental health are growing worldwide, and multifaceted solutions are urgently needed. This concentration equips students with a basic understanding of psychopathology. Students will also learn about current treatments, interventions, practices, and policies to improve worldwide mental health and achieve health equity.

The MPH degree in Population Mental Health places an emphasis on the contributions of stigma in mental illness and how disparities impact mental health outcomes. Graduates will be able to identify biological, psychological, socioeconomic, structural, and sociocultural implications for mental health, and create and disseminate policies that promote mental health and wellbeing through preventive interventions.

Ideal candidates for this program include clinicians (physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors, occupational and physical therapists), as well as community workers and advocates (individuals interested in human rights, social justice, advocacy, equity, policy, journalism, and the law). Non-clinicians trained in Population Mental Health will be prepared to work in university settings as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Students enrolled in this program can begin their coursework in both the fall and spring semesters. Most courses are offered in-person with some courses offered remotely or online.


Each Concentration identifies competencies for each degree offered. These competencies reflect the full range of knowledge, skills, and other attributes that a student will acquire as a result of completing the requirements for a particular degree.

Upon graduation, a student completing the MPH curriculum in Population Mental Health will be able to:

  • Examine the relationship between stigma, population mental health, and health inequity
  • Identify biological, psychological, socioeconomic, structural, or sociocultural correlates of population mental health
  • Assess implications of population mental health burden in the US and across the world
  • Analyze the policy context and resource dependencies of the mental and behavioral health delivery systems in the US
  • Evaluate interventions that promote population mental health/wellbeing


Curriculum for the Master of Public Health in Population Mental Health (45 credits)

Students seeking the MPH in Population Mental Health degree must complete 45 credits of academic work with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0; earn no more than six (6) credits bearing grades less than “B,” and complete the degree requirements within six years. Courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted and semester when each course is typically offered is noted parentheses. Students should review the Forward Schedule for long-term course planning and the Course Schedule for each semester to determine when, where, and how a course is offered.

  • CORE COURSES (18 credits)
    • PHCO 0501 - Health Systems and Policy
    • PHCO 0502 - Principles and Methods of Epidemiology
    • PHCO 0503 - Introduction to Environmental Health
    • PHCO 0504 - Introduction to Biostatistics (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0505 - Social and Behavioral Health Sciences in Public Health
    • PHCO 0513 - Leadership and Management Essentials for Public Health
  • PRACTICUM (3 credits)
    Note: Students should review the Practice Experience webpage for information about Practicum.
    • PRAC 0715 - Applied Practice Experience (0 credits) [Prerequisite: APE Learning Agreement and select PHCO and concentration courses]
    • PRAC 0716 - Practicum Capstone (3 credits) [Prerequisite: Completion of the APE and Practicum Capstone Learning Agreement]
    • Review the School’s Registration Calendar for important MPH Practice Experience Registration dates specific to PRAC 0715 and PRAC 0716.
  • REQUIRED COURSES (15 credits)
    Note: Students should review the Course Descriptions in the School Catalog for specific information about prerequisites required for required courses and recommended electives.
    • HBSP 0581 – Adult Psychopathology for Public Health (Spring)
    • HBSP 0582 – Alcohol Use, Society, and Health: A Public Health Perspective (Fall)
    • HBSP 0652 – Program Planning and Evaluation (Fall/Spring/Summer)
    • HBSP 0680 – Mental Health Services and Systems
    • HBSP 0681 – Stigma and Mental Health
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS (0 credits)
    • PRAC 0621 - Interprofessional Education (0 credits) [Fall/Spring]
      Students are required to register for and complete an Interprofessional Education activity prior to graduation.
    Substitutions may be made with the approval from the faculty advisor.
    • HBSP 0600 – Health Behavior and Policy Research Design and Methods (Fall/Spring/Summer)
    • HBSP 0602 – Long Term Effects of Child Inequality & Adversity (Fall)
    • HBSP 0603 – Mental Health and Aging (Spring)
    • HBSP 0621 – Health Care Economics (Fall/Spring)
    • HBSP 0624 – Population Health & Public Policy (Fall)
    • HBSP 0653 – Modifying Health Behaviors (Spring)
    • HBSP 0654 – Public Health Communications/Risk Communication (Spring)
    • HBSP 0655 – Social Marketing (Fall)
    • HBSP 0660 – Dissemination and Implementation Research for Health Promotion (Spring)
    • UGPH 0621 – Public Health and Health Disparities (Fall)
    • UGPH 0640 – LGBTQ Health: Global History & Context (Fall)
    • UGPH 0642 – LGBTQ Health and Health Disparities (Spring)
    • UGPH 0644 – Methods for Hard to Reach Populations (Fall)
    • UGPH 0646 – Transgender Health (Fall)
    • UGPH 0684 – Public Health Aspects of HIV Prevention & Care (Spring)