Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree

Master of Public Health

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Impact Other’s Lives With a Public Health Master’s Degree

The public health field focuses on the health and wellness of entire communities. It explores evidence-based ways of preventing diseases and injuries, promoting health education and tracking outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Master of Public Health at Grand Canyon University (GCU) follows a curriculum designed with modern public health challenges in mind. Offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, this online MPH degree provides a comprehensive framework for understanding public health challenges on a local, regional, national and global scale.

Study public health and prepare to pursue a career in service to your community. Examine best practices in designing, planning and implementing health programs and services. Learn to apply the principles of strategic leadership, while aligning public health programs with organizational vision and objectives.

12% Growth

Estimated 12% growth for health education specialists and community health workers expected from 2021-2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics3

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Course Topics in the Online MPH Degree Program¹

You can develop an academic foundation in the field with our Master of Public Health degree. GCU is committed to providing an accessible, flexible education for working professionals. Fit your online MPH classes around your current schedule and meet your professional obligations while positioning yourself to potentially further your career objectives.1 During the program, you will take courses including the following:

  • Social and Behavioral Principles of Public Health
  • Application and Interpretation of Public Health Data
  • International Perspectives in Community Health
  • Leadership and Management in Public Health
  • Communication for Behavior Change

The online Master of Public Health degree transitions you from exploring theoretical concepts to applying your skills.1 You will take the Public Health Practicum course to practice your knowledge and skills. It requires a minimum of 150 hours of supervised field experience.

This online MPH degree also requires completion of the Public Health Capstone course.1 It involves the completion of a professionally developed project, based on your particular interests and career objectives.

Total Credits: 48
Online: 8 weeks
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Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance


Career Paths for MPH Degree Graduates

Health education specialists and public health workers are often drawn to this field because they have an enduring desire to help individuals, families and communities.

Community health programs, such as vaccination programs and preventive medicine education initiatives, can have a positive impact on communities. Public health professionals may work in social service agencies, health policy and planning organizations, state health departments and healthcare companies.

Some of the specific jobs that may be related to the MPH degree include: 

  • Medical and health services manager
  • Community health worker 
  • Health education specialist
  • Health specialties teacher, postsecondary

Some community health workers choose to focus their career on one specific aspect of public health. These might include health education, policy analysis, disaster management or global health. Some choose to pursue work in their own communities in the U.S., while others may consider going abroad to pursue opportunities working in disadvantaged countries.

Grand Canyon University is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health. The accreditation review will address the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Other degrees and areas of study offered by this institution will not be included in the unit of accreditation review.

FAQs About the Master of Public Health Degree

Our frequently asked questions are here to provide you with more information on important aspects of a career in public health and earning your MPH degree.

Earning an MPH degree online can lead to a career helping the local community feel safe and healthy.1 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health education specialists and community health workers have a median annual salary of $48,860 as of May 2021.2

The MPH degree online requires a total of 48 credits for completion. Most of the master’s in public health online classes are eight weeks in length.1

Those who pursue a master’s in public health are often passionate about helping improve the lives of others in their communities. Healthcare degree programs, as well as medical and science degree programs give healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn how to affect change within their communities at a high level through studying advanced coursework that they can directly apply to their profession.

Additionally, several public health occupations expect faster than average job growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for health education specialists and community health workers to increase by about 12% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 15,200 jobs in the field.3

An MPH degree is considered to be a professional, practice-oriented degree, meaning it is a degree that can prepare you with a broad curriculum in the application of health sciences, business and education. An MPH degree for public health is considered an academic degree that is more research-oriented and is designed to continue your education beyond earning an MS. There is also a heavier focus for hands-on application of the sciences in the MS degree program.

If you’re interested in pursuing your MPH degree, first review our graduate admissions requirements to help determine eligibility. To learn more about gaining admittance into the online MPH degree program, fill out the form on this page to get in contact with a university counselor.1

1 Excludes programs with residencies and practicums.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers, as of May 2021, retrieved on May 9, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as medical and health services managers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entrylevel salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

3 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022 which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, retrieved on May 9, 2023.

Course List

48 credits
Degree Requirements:
48 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the health care professions. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the broad field of public health, professional roles, and the basic principles of disease prevention and health promotion among communities and populations. Students examine historical trends in the field, the 10 Essential Public Health Services, and how public health services are designed and delivered within the public health infrastructure. The course introduces students to the upstream causes of morbidity and mortality across the life span and how the public health system in the United States addresses these causes.

Course Description

Learners in this course identify social and behavioral approaches in public health to effect change at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels. Learners examine the influence of the social, political, and economic landscape of the community on perceptions of health, and assess the readiness of individuals and the community for change. Learners explore the social determinants of health and apply theoretical frameworks to address public health issues and reduce health disparities. Learners also evaluate the best methods to empower change and engage communities in public health initiatives with sensitivity to the diverse spiritual, cultural, and psychosocial needs of the populations they serve. Learners research specific issues related to health equity, applying a theoretical framework, identifying contributing factors, and proposing appropriate interventions. Prerequisite: PUB-510.

Course Description

This course introduces epidemiological principles and methods to study, quantify, and assess the distribution and determinants of disease among populations. Learners examine the influence of biological and social factors on population health, including epigenetics, infectious disease, and foodborne illnesses. Learners evaluate epidemiologic study designs and apply measures of association as methods for determining relationships. Prerequisite: PUB-520 or PHN-600.

Course Description

This course introduces learners to the application and interpretation of data to assess, design, and justify public health programs. Learners learn the basics of data management and statistical analysis using real-life public health data sets. Learners consider the implications of crafting a clear research question, identifying available and quality data, applying appropriate data analysis methods, and effectively communicating the results. Research standards and ethics are emphasized in contributing to evidence-based public health practice. Prerequisite: PUB-540.

Course Description

In this course, learners consider the interrelationship between human health and the natural and built environments. Learners examine current environmental issues and the human activity that affects public and global health, such as climate change, disease transmission (One Health), urbanization, pollution, as well as the impact of these changes over time. Learners also study the ethical implications of environmental strategies related to community design, occupational health, and policy influencing human health. Prerequisite: PUB-510.

Course Description

This course focuses on using communication to positively influence understanding of health information, decision making, and health behavior. Students examine ways to serve as public health change agents though effective and ethical communication practices. Through an emphasis on health literacy and cultural competence, students learn to design public health communications and select appropriate communication channels for a variety of audiences, including individuals and communities. Students also consider the role of the public health professional as a trusted source of health information and examine strategies for combating misinformation within communities. Prerequisite: PUB-520.

Course Description

In this course, students learn and apply competencies related to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion and disease prevention programs. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources. Focus is placed on needs assessment, selecting interventions, measuring program outcomes, and collaborating with stakeholders. Students identify methods for data collection, tools for program and resource management, and strategies for assessing effectiveness of programs, including cost-benefit analysis. Prerequisites: PUB-520, PUB-550, and PUB-610.

Course Description

In this course, students examine the intricacies of public health policy development and examine the role of federal, state, and local government in the provision of public health programs and services through health policy and law. Emphasis is placed on the role of the public health professional in advocating for public and community health, health equity, and social justice. Students learn advocacy strategies for mobilizing communities, coalitions, and organizations to support and implement policy. Through careful analysis of public health policy and consideration of the implications of Health in All Policies approaches, students learn how local, national, global, social, and economic policies have broad implications for human health. Students also have the opportunity to learn how to structure and write a health policy analysis, including economic and budgetary impacts of policy options. Prerequisite: PUB-610.

Course Description

In this course, learners synthesize the impact of globalization on community health and the complexities of partnering with communities for development among resource-constrained populations. Learners review the history of international public health efforts and theories underpinning current global health initiatives. There is an emphasis on the role of faith and ministry-based organizations in global health advocacy and initiatives. Learners examine the challenges of building real collaboration across public, private, and local entities, and explore best practices for the integration of faith-based and professional public health principles to establish sustainable local development. Prerequisite: PUB-540.

Course Description

This course applies principles of strategic leadership and management of public health services within different sectors. Cultural differences in leadership and management are explored to build partnerships leveraging community and organizational strengths. Learners explore how to align public health programs with organizational mission, vision, and objectives for sustainability and growth. There is particular emphasis on the collaborative nature of public health, developing cross-cultural competence, and the unique aspects of leadership within various types of agencies, including faith-based organizations. Learners hone their communication, negotiation, and servant leadership skills to empower and influence others working together to improve the health of populations. Prerequisites: PUB-620 and PUB-650.

Course Description

This practicum course is designed to provide learners an opportunity to transition from theory to practice in public health. The learner reinforces, integrates, and applies concepts, principles, and skills gained during coursework that are essential to professional competency. Learners are required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of applied practice experience in an approved public health setting under close supervision of a qualified preceptor approved by the college. Learners reflect on their applied practice experience, discuss the application of theory and concepts in practice, identify personal strengths, describe professional development opportunities, and develop a professional portfolio. Practicum/field experience hours: 150. Prerequisites: All previous coursework and a release by the Office of Field Experience.

Course Description

This capstone course is an integrated learning experience that provides students the opportunity to apply public health skills based on their professional interests and goals. Students demonstrate competency through the development of a written, professionally prepared project that can be included as part of a professional portfolio. Students tailor a project based on their professional interests and goals, with the option to write a grant proposal for a public health initiative, develop a comprehensive policy analysis, conduct a secondary data analysis, or complete a program evaluation plan. Prerequisite: PUB-680.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.