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The purpose of public health is to protect the health of all people. Public health is rooted in social justice and utilizes scientific inquiry and investigation to solve complex health problems. Public health professionals work to prevent sickness, disease and injury, and do so at a total population level, impacting large numbers of people at a time.

A career in public health enables you to serve the community, conduct research, create innovative interventions, develop policy, collaborate with others, advocate for and work with vulnerable populations, and utilize best practices and evidence-based solutions to improve the quality of life of others. Graduates of UCO’s Public Health program go on to work in county health departments, state health departments, other government organizations, tribal health, hospitals, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and private businesses - pursuing their passion to improve the health of people locally, nationally, and/or globally.

As students address health promotion for the metro and state through community engagement, they actively incorporate ethics, creativity, and civic engagement in their work, allowing for transformational experiences for both themselves and the community in which they work. This program intentionally partners with community organizations in order to fill gaps and advance the health of all.


Empowered, ethical, and evolving public health leaders and advocates


The UCO Public Health Program prepares career-ready graduates through scholarly and community engagement opportunities to promote equity, work upstream to address root causes, and advocate for policies, laws, and systems that solve contemporary public health issues and improve health outcomes.


The UCO Public Health Program serves students, prioritizes the public’s health, engages community partners, and values:

  • Evidence-based approaches and best practices
  • Systems thinking
  • Effective public and private policy
  • Inclusiveness, empathy, respect, and humility
  • Cultural and community engagement
  • Politically engaged students, faculty, and alumni
  • Servant and ethical leadership
  • An “All Teach, All Learn” approach
  • Lifelong learning, growth mindset, and grit


  1. Provide transformative and scholarly learning opportunities
  2. Promote perspective-taking, cultural sensitivity, and inclusivity
  3. Utilize scientific inquiry and investigation to solve complex health problems

On Campus

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Courses You'll Take

The MPH at UCO focuses on community engagement, within the realms of public health and health promotion. Many courses are offered in 8-week blocks with a hybrid/online learning environment.

The curriculum includes contemporary issues in public health, resource management, public health policy and ethics, and community engagement, with a capstone where students work in interprofessional teams while applying systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

View All Courses 

Requirements for Admission

  • Online application for admission.
  • Official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts from each institution attended with all degrees posted. All transcripts must be from accredited institutions. Undergraduate transcripts must show a minimum 2.75 GPA overall or 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours attempted.*
  • A current resume, three letters of recommendation (with at least one from a previous professor), and a one or two-page career goals statement that includes a research area of interest in public health is required with the application.
  • Students without an undergraduate degree in Public Health or a related field will be required to successfully complete a no charge, non-credit online foundational module during their first semester in the program. Module content will be developed by program faculty and completed materials will be reviewed by a faculty committee.
Students falling below these standards may qualify for conditional admission. See degree sheet for full list of requirements.

Career Opportunities

  • Community Engagement Director
  • Community Health Manager
  • Public Health Analyst
  • Health Promotion Manager
  • Public Health Director