Master of Public Health in Urban Health (MPH)

Program Overview

Through innovation in experiential education, research, and service, the Master of Public Health Program in Urban Health at Northeastern University trains diverse and skilled professionals who promote and protect the health of urban communities.

In order to help prepare the next generation of urban public health leaders and professionals, the MPH Program in Urban Health offers our diverse graduate students a variety of course options.

Online, In-Class, or Hybrid

Evening Classes
Part-time or Full-time

Course Offerings

Supportive Learning Environment
with Outstanding Student Mentoring

Program Director Welcome Video
Student Testimonials

Click each box to learn more about our program


The MPH Program in Urban Health is a professional (non-thesis) master’s degree program offered by the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Department of Health Sciences. Characteristics of the curriculum include academic rigor and competency-based education in a supportive and engaging learning environment. The curriculum components meet the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) accreditation requirements.

All MPH degree candidates must complete a total of 42 credits consisting of:

5 courses, 3 credits each = 15 credits

  • Biostatistics in Public Health
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health Administration and Policy
  • Society, Behavior, and Health

3 courses, 3 credits each = 9 credits

  • Principles and History of Urban Health
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Health in the United States
  • Urban Community Health Assessment

1 course, 3 credits = 3 credits

Students choose either:

  • Health Education and Program Planning
  • Techniques of Program Evaluation

3 courses, 3 credits each = 9 credits

Elective courses may be taken on a range of public health topics. Cross-departmental offerings are included in elective courses and provide MPH students with unique opportunities to focus their interests in emerging areas of urban public health practice. Some areas of interest and sample electives include:

Health Promotion/Education

  • Health Advocacy
  • Health Education and Program Planning
  • Techniques of Program Evaluation


  • Advances in Measuring Behavior
  • Advanced Methods in Biostatistics
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Intermediate Epidemiology
  • Principles of Population Health
  • Qualitative Methods in Health and Illness


  • Economic Perspectives on Health Policy
  • Evaluating Healthcare Quality
  • Food, Food Policy, and Health
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Strategic Management and Leadership in Healthcare

Special Interest

  • Exercise in Health and Disease
  • Global Health
  • Neighborhood and Public Health
  • Public Health Nutrition


MPH students are also able to use their electives to pursue certificate opportunities. Currently, the MPH Program has joined with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern to offer a certificate pathway specifically for MPH students. To learn more about the WGSS certificate option, please click here.

Minimum 200 hour, community-based internship (3 credits)

The goal of the Practicum is to provide the opportunity to integrate and apply classroom learning in a public health work environment, enabling students to observe and learn from professionals in the field. The student contributes to a community’s resources and to the solution of public health problems, while developing practical skills and personal confidence as a public health professional. The practicum serves as a transition point for the student from education to professional practice.

The nature and location of the practicum is flexible. Students have completed their practicum in many different settings, including:

  • Boston Public Health Commission
  • Veteran’s Association Medical Center
  • Brookline Public Schools
  • Multicultural AIDS Coalition
  • Boston Urban Asthma Coalition
  • Granada Health Clinic, Nicaragua
  • Harvard Catalyst Public Communication Program
  • Synthesis Health Systems
  • Massachusetts Joint Committee on Health Care Finance
  • MyTown
  • Beacon Health Strategies
  • Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance
  • Massachusetts International Community Economic Development
  • JRI Health
  • John Snow, Inc.


Students in our program also have access to Northeastern’s Experiential Network (XN), which pairs students with industry partners to complete short (six-week), virtual projects that complement their academic work and enables them to build their professional network at the same time.

To learn more about how public health internships, like our program’s Practicum requirement and those offered through Northeastern’s Experiential Network (XN), can be used to gain pre-professional experience, click here.

Capstone Project (3 credits)

As a culminating experience, students are required to complete a Capstone Project, an extension of the required Practicum. The Capstone Project provides students with the opportunity to develop or take on projects of mutual interest to a public health agency and the student in a range of diverse public health practice settings reflective of a particular urban health focus.

The Capstone Project provides students with the opportunity to integrate their theory and practice experiences in a major research, program planning, policy development, management, service delivery, or evaluation project. Community-based participatory projects are actively encouraged and, to the extent possible, Capstone Projects have as a goal the active contribution to the health of the local community.

Capstone Projects are student led and designed in consultation with community partners. Faculty members provide guidance and mentoring. Students participate in a Capstone Seminar intended to support the integration of their practice and analytic experiences.

Students may enroll in the MPH program on a part-time (1 to 2 courses per semester) or full-time (4 courses per semester) basis. In general, the curriculum requires two years of full-time study to complete, but can be completed in up to five years, if done on a part-time basis.

The on campus versions of the 8 core Public Health and Urban Health courses meet once a week and are taught from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, facilitating enrollment for students who work full or part-time. Various electives are also offered during the evening, the summer, as intensive courses, or in hybrid on-campus/online formats.

Curriculum subject to change


The MPH Program accepts students for entry in both the Fall and the Spring. Specific details and deadlines are outlined below.


Fall Entry

Spring Entry

Applicants accepted On Campus: Domestic and International

Online: Domestic and International

On Campus: Domestic only
Online: Domestic and International
Delivery options Hybrid on campus/online
100 percent online
Hybrid on campus/online
100 percent online
Student status Full time
Part time
Full time
Part time
Application deadline 2/1 priority*, 5/15 final 10/15

* The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications for the Fall in February and recommends applicants interested in merit-based scholarships and financial aid submit by the 2/1 priority deadline. International students who need to change their visa status to F1 should also submit by the 2/1 priority deadline.

All applicants must apply via the SOPHAS application system:

The application process for the hybrid on campus online program and the 100 percent online program are the same. Select your preferred delivery option when applying via SOPHAS. Please note that international students holding study visas must take classes on site.

Dual degree applicants (eg, BS/MPH; JD/MPH; PA/MPHPharmD/MPH) apply via a separate application system; please visit those programs’ websites for more information.

Admissions Checklist

Click each required application item for more information.

Completed Application via SOPHAS
Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
Official Transcripts
Official Test Scores
Three Evaluations
Personal Statement

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the tuition costs for the MPH Program in Urban Health?

The program is 42 semester credits. For up-to-date information regarding Northeastern University tuition per credit, please refer to the University’s tuition page. Tuition is the same for on-campus and online only students, as well as for domestic and international students.

What kind of financial assistance is available?

Merit-based aid

The MPH Program offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to qualified students.

Dean’s Scholarship

Tuition scholarship subject to the following guidelines:

          • Full-time students in graduate degree and certificate programs are eligible for a graduate tuition scholarship of up to 1/3 of their tuition to a maximum dollar amount not to exceed the tuition charged for 4 semester hours in each term of full-time registration.
          • Part-time students in graduate degree and certificate programs are eligible for a graduate tuition scholarship of up to 1/4 of their tuition to a maximum dollar amount not to exceed the tuition charged for 2 semester hours in each term of part-time registration.
          • Provisional, special, and other students are not eligible for scholarships.
          • All applicants are automatically considered for this scholarship. Nothing additional, besides a completed application, is needed.

Double Husky Scholarship

The Double Husky Scholarship helps Northeastern alums returning to the institution to earn their graduate degrees by providing a tuition discount of 25 percent. Alums are automatically considered for the scholarship when they apply to the MPH Program.

Full-time students and part-time students starting in Fall 2014 and beyond are eligible. If students receive other grants or scholarships from Northeastern, the award of higher value will be given.

Full Circle Scholarship

The Full Circle Scholarship offers a 25% tuition discount to graduate applicants who embody Northeastern University’s values of experiential and global learning. If you have completed a term of service with the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, or have spent 1-year abroad volunteering or teaching English Language Learners (ELL), you are likely eligible.

If you’d like to apply for the Full Circle Scholarship, please include in your SOPHAS application a letter from your director, supervisor or program manager on organizational letterhead verifying your service. If you are an Overseas ESL Teacher or Volunteer you may submit your contract showing your term of service.

Graduate Fellowships in Urban Health Research

This fellowship provides graduate students with valuable opportunities to gain hands-on experience working on urban health research studies, learn about preparation of grant applications, attend research seminars, receive mentoring from experienced researchers, and meet local and national experts in the field. To date, the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice (IUHRP) has funded 25 fellowships (2 undergraduates and 23 graduate students) in its Student Research Fellowship Program. Some of these student fellows have had multiple year awards. Student Fellows are assigned to an ongoing research project at the IUHRP through which they receive training in: data management, coding, and analyses; conducting critical literature reviews; grant writing; preparation of manuscripts and presentations; and field data collection. For further information please visit the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice‘s website.

Graduate Achievement Award

The Graduate Achievement Award is a competitive scholarship that recognizes talented and motivated applicants who are seeking to earn their Master of Public Health in Urban Health. Recipients of this award are given a 15% tuition discount for the duration of their time in the program.

Graduate Student Scholarship

These scholarships provide a predetermined tuition discount by awarding students a specific number of graduate semester hours in free tuition (typically MPH students are given awards that cover four to six credits). There is no work requirement, and applicants are automatically considered for this scholarship. Nothing additional, besides a completed application, is needed.

Lifetime Learning Membership

The Lifetime Learning Membership allows parents and siblings of full-time undergraduate day students to return to school and receive a 25 percent tuition discount. In order to be considered, MPH applicants should email to Alison Gillis, the MPH Program Manager at, the Northeastern University ID number of your son, daughter, or sibling (who must be currently enrolled at Northeastern as a full-time undergraduate day student) at the time of your application.

Martin Luther King Fellowship Scholarship

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Graduate Fellowship Program provides up to nine graduate student scholarships each year, covering full tuition and general fees for the student’s graduate program. The Program is administered by the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an accomplished scholar who exemplified the utmost qualities of leadership. In keeping with the high standards exemplified by Dr. King, recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Graduate Fellowship should be of African origin, demonstrate high standards of leadership, and have a record of community service.

Professional Advancement Award

The Professional Advancement Award is a competitive scholarship that recognizes the talent and experience of select applicants to advance the field of public health with a focus on improving the health of urban communities. Recipients of this award are given a 25% tuition discount for the duration of their time in the program.

Need-based aid

Federal financial aid and institutional scholarships may be available to qualified students. The Office of Student Financial Services provides the most up-to-date information and recommends that every student consider applying for financial aid, regardless of his/her income and assets. You may also call 617.373.5899 or email

We also encourage you to visit the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health webpage, Financing Your Degree, for more information.

How many students do you accept each year?

The MPH Program in Urban Health does not place a cap on the number of qualified applicants it accepts. Typically, it enrolls approximately 30 to 40 new students each year. We value small class sizes so that students are able to receive personal attention and have opportunities to learn in interactive, rigorous, and supportive learning environments.

The Admissions Committee reviews applications for Fall and Spring on a rolling basis from October through June and is typically able to render decisions within a four-week time frame. Please note that the Admissions Committee will only review an application once it is considered complete (ie, coursework has been verified, official test scores have been received, and all letters of recommendation have been submitted).

Can I speak to a current student in the program?

Absolutely! Please email Alison Gillis, the MPH Program Manager, at who will put you in touch with a current MPH student who can give you his or her perspective on the program!

Can I take a class without being admitted to the MPH Program in Urban Health?

If you would like to take a class in the MPH Program without officially enrolling, you may register as a Special Student at Bouvé College of Health Sciences. You may complete up to 12 credits of MPH core courses and then apply to the program.

What employment opportunities are there for a graduate of the MPH Program in Urban Health?

A graduate from MPH in Urban Health program has both the technical expertise to address specific urban health issues as well as the strategic and cultural competency needed to interact effectively with and be an advocate for diverse urban populations. Completing your public health training at Northeastern University affords the opportunity to learn from and work with urban public health professionals striving to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities in the Greater Boston area and beyond.


Graduates with an MPH degree are employed in number of varied professional settings including: federal, state, and local health agencies; universities and colleges; hospitals; ambulatory medical centers; nonprofit organizations; community-based agencies; insurance and pharmaceutical industries; health maintenance organizations; and private foundations.

There are a number of online resources with open positions for individuals beginning or continuing their careers in public health. A few are listed below:

Where can I find information related to the MPH Program’s policies and regulations?

For an overview of the curricular policies that guide our program, please consult the Bouve College of Health Sciences Graduate Handbook

Upcoming Events

March 6, 5:30pm – 7:30pm: This is Public Health Graduate Fair, Arlington, VA


March 10: Graduate Open House

Behrakis Bouve

March 28-29: National Food Policy Conference, Washington, DC

Food Policy Conference

April 14-15: Global Health & Innovation Summit, New Haven, CT

Global Health And Innovation Summit

April 26-27: Health Datapalooza, Washington, DC

Health Datapalooza

March 6-8: Health Information and Management Systems Society Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV

HIMMS Annual Conference

Contact Information

We welcome any questions you might have about our program! Please feel free to send general program inquiries and admissions-related questions to

Neil Maniar

Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH
Program Director

Alison Gillis

Alison Gillis, MPH ’13
Program Manager

Request Program Information

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Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health

The MPH Program in Urban Health CEPH Accreditation Self Study Document and CEPH Accreditation Final Report are available upon request from the Program Manager, Alison Gillis, at

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