The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Health Equity is a 45-credit interdisciplinary professional degree. It is a school wide program, currently administered by the Department of Health Services Administration.

The MPH program in Health Equity is designed to train students as public health scientists and practitioners that focus practice and/or research activities on the recognition, description and elimination of health disparities. Health disparities exist across several groups such as race/ethnic groups, geographic residence, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability status.  Public health and health care practitioners and researchers play a critical role in the identification and amelioration of health disparities and in working towards achieving health equity.  

The MPH program in Health Equity is a unique and interdisciplinary program with students taking courses across all departments at UMD-SPH and across the UMD campus. The expertise gained through the MPH in Health Equity prepares students for careers that involve integrating health equity into public health practice at various levels. Various agencies in the state (e.g., county and state health departments) and across the nation (e.g., NIH and CDC), including colleges/universities, health-related agencies, community groups, and even large corporations (hospitals and insurance plans), employ public health professionals with a deep understanding of health disparities in order to design, implement, evaluate, and monitor interventions and policies to improve the health of their constituents by working towards health equity.

To accommodate a variety of career pursuits, students have flexibility in designing their course structure. Once a foundational knowledge is acquired through the MPH program's core requirements, students are encouraged to take electives across a range of disciplines. A large number of elective courses are available within the existing graduate curriculum across all departments in the School of Public Health as well as across other UMD colleges and DC area institutions (View electives).  Students will be advised to work with SPH faculty for recommendations about how certain elective courses will best support particular career aspirations.

The curriculum is adaptable to both a full and part-time student status.

All MPH students with concentration in Health Equity will complete the following five modules:

Module  Description Courses
Module 1 Integrated Core Courses 6 courses
Module 2 Overview Courses 3 courses
Module 3 Methods Courses 2 course
Module 4 Cognate Courses 3 course
Module 5 Internship and Capstone (or Thesis) 2 courses

The elective courses in the Heath Equity MPH cognate area are selected by the student and approved by the advisor so that the MHA competencies are met. There are a large number of courses relevant to the study of health equity offered at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, as well as courses outside the school offered on the College Park campus, at the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, and courses available at other institutions through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. A summary of program requirements is in the table below. Additional requirement for graduation is completion of CITI training.

Module Description and Course Details

Module Semester Course# Course Name Credit

Module 1: Integrated Core Courses

Fall - year 1 SPHL601 Foundations of Public Health 1
Fall - year 1 SPHL602 Applied Data: Epidemiology & Biostatistics  4
Fall - year 1 SPHL603 Applied Data Laboratory 1
Spring - year 1 SPHL610 Program Planning, Development and Evaluation 5
Fall - year 1 SPHL611 Public Health Ethics  1
Fall - year 2 SPHL620 Leadership and Policy Analysis 2
Total Integrated Core  14
Module 2: Overview 


Fall - year 1 HLSA611 Introduction to Health Equity 3
Fall HLSA601 Introduction to Health Services 3
Spring HLSA787 Minority Health and Health Equity 3
Elective Course from other modules, SPH, other schools at UMD, UMB, or consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area** Up to 6
Total Overview Module 9
Module 3: Methods Fall HLSA775 Public Health Research 3
Spring HLSA721 Demographic Data for Health Policy Analysis 3
Elective Course from other modules, SPH, other schools at UMD, UMB, or consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area ** Up to 3
Total Methods Module  6
Module 4: Cognate Cognate - Elective 3
Cognate - Elective 3
Cognate - Elective 3
Total Cognate Module 9
Module 5: Internship, Capstone, Thesis
Fall, Spring, Summer HLSA778 Internship 4
Fall, Spring, Summer HLSA786 Capstone Project (or HLSA 799 Thesis*) 3
Total Internship, Capstone or Thesis Module 7
Total Credits Required for Health Equity 45







** Requires advisor approval 
* Students completing a thesis (6 credits) instead of a capstone project (3 credits) can select to take one less overview of methods or cognate area course to compensate for the 3 additional thesis credits.


How to Apply:

For more information, please contact Kellee White ( or (301 405-6125)

Admission Criteria:

MPH applications are reviewed with consideration to the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Undergraduate and any graduate transcripts
  • GRE scores taken within the past 5 years (Submit electronically to the University of Maryland, code 0485 & 5814)
  • 3 letters of recommendation that address your academic capabilities
  • Statement of goals and interests
  • Relevant academic/work experience