Master of Science (MS) in Population Health

The Master of Science in Population Health program prepares students for a variety of population-oriented leadership, clinical, and research-oriented positions in both healthcare and public health organizations. This fully online program can be completed in as little as one year. Population health is an interdisciplinary field of practice at the nexus of healthcare and public health. This field integrates both healthcare and public health practices to address critical health issues that affect target populations and make significant impacts in the health and well-being of populations.

Program Overview

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread opioid addiction and systemic social injustice, the need for healthcare and public health professionals – especially those trained in population health – has never been greater. Our program prepares students to assume professional roles to meet these 21st century public health workforce needs.Our program prepares students to assume professional roles to meet these 21st century public health workforce needs.

The 30-credit, fully online program is based on a core of public health and health services courses that provide foundational knowledge in public health and health systems, epidemiology and biostatistical principles, health systems leadership, systems thinking, and capacity building for intervention and change. Further, the program’s course content draws from intellectual foundations of prevention, collaboration, and innovation to fit the educational opportunities for a variety of professionals, including:

  • Healthcare leaders looking for ways to improve the impact and efficiency of their organizations through more patient-centered, value-based and socially informed care approaches
  • Clinical providers grappling with ways to improve health outcomes among those they serve
  • Public health leaders looking for new tools to identify and address health issues in their states and communities
  • Public health and health services researchers and scientists interested in outcomes-focused, practice-based applications to improve health and well-being

CAHME Certified 

Our M.S. in Population Health program is one of five founding programs to be certified in population health management by the Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education

Learning Goals

  1. Identify determinants of population health that impact health outcomes in a community.
  2. Describe methods for assessing the health needs of a population.
  3. Demonstrate how to collect, analyze and use data to inform decisions and improve health outcomes of targeted populations.
  4. Communicate effectively about population health issues to constituencies both within and outside of the health system.
  5. Apply population health principles and concepts to develop and implement healthcare and/or public health strategies.
  6. Integrate clinical care and public health practice around an identified community need.

Required Courses

The Master of Science in Population Health is a fully online program designed to be completed in as little as one year. Plan of study summary: core courses (19 credit hours); electives/track (9 credit hours); and capstone course (2 credit hours). 

M.S. in Population Health Plan of Study (Total credits: 30)

Fall (14 credits) 

  • Public Health Foundations (PUBH 659)
  • Epidemiology for Public Health Practice (PUBH 511) 
  • Research Translation and Evaluation for Public Health Practice (PUBH 512)
  • Health Systems Leadership (PUBH 540)
  • Systems Thinking in Public Health Practice (PUBH 541)

Spring (11 credits) 

  • Building and Sustaining Public Health Capacity (PUBH 520) 
  • Impact of Cultural Competence in Healthcare (PUBH 604) 
  • Electives (6 credits)

Summer (5 credits) 

  • Capstone Course (PUBH 684)
  • Electives (3 credits) 
View Catalog

Admissions Guidelines

  • Baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Resume or CV
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • International applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency.
  • WVU applicants in good academic standing – as defined by their respective programs— who completed (or currently enrolled in) a research or professional doctoral degree will be exempt from the above admissions requirements.