Master of Public Health

About the MPH

Western Michigan University’s program in public health is a 21st century program that moves beyond the traditional public health definitions, but encompasses the ideas of physical, mental and social well-being. The Master of Public Health program incorporates solutions that include social, political, cultural and economic aspects of health so that action can be taken in concert with other sectors of the local, national or global community. We aim to do this by synthesizing public health core courses with these aspects demonstrating the practical use of a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving, program development and leadership models.

The Master of Public Health degree is an exciting offering from the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs and the College of Health and Human Services at WMU. The field of public health is growing and evolving rapidly. The MPH at WMU is designed to prepare leaders for this generalist degree, including competencies associated with:

  • Evidence-based approaches to public health
  • Public health and healthcare
  • Planning and management to promote health
  • Policy in public health
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Interprofessional practice
  • Systems thinking

Through our curriculum and course assignments, students will be introduced to topics and public health theories and practices so that skills will be developed so that graduates with a WMU MPH will be confident entering into their careers adding to the well-being of their community.

Public health, as envisioned by the Institute of Medicine, has three core functions: 1) to assess the status of health and the health care system; 2) to assure that programs and services that achieve and maintain health are in place; and, 3) to lead the development of public policy on health issues. WMU’s MPH graduates need to be equipped to lead their communities in performing these functions.

The degree is offered in an online and hybrid format, with two face-to-face weekend meetings each fall and spring semester at the WMU Grand Rapids Beltline location.

What is new in the program?

Students participate in:

  • Real world applications
  • Applied practice experiences throughout the curriculum
  • Integrated learning experience
  • Professional development opportunities

How do I get started?

Contact Mark Kelley at or Nancy Kibler at for more information or for an appointment to discuss the program.