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Zilber School alumni at Milwaukee City Hall

The accelerated MPH Public Health Policy program allows high-achieving undergraduate students in the public health major the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health in five years, rather than the usual six.

The five-year accelerated master’s program consists of 3.5 years in undergraduate status and 1.5 years in graduate status. You’ll develop relationships with our expert faculty in your freshman year that will grow through graduation and beyond.

The BS/MPH in Public Health Policy prepares high achieving students to analyze and influence local, state, and federal policies that directly or indirectly impact the level and distribution of health in populations. Our program is nationally distinct in its inter-sectoral, systems-level, and justice focused curriculum.

Program Type

Accelerated Master’s

Program Format

On Campus
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Alumni Spotlight

Since earning her MPH in public health policy and adminstration, Jazzmyne Adams now oversees OTO Clinomics research activities to improve health outcomes in the community as they relate to otolaryngologic diseases.

She also ensures integrated health care delivery between observed clinical patient presentation and clinical practice of physicians.

Jazzmyne Adams, MPH – Public Health Policy

Jazzmyne Adams, MPH – Public Health Policy

Graduate coursework in Public Health Policy uses a “Health in All Policies” approach that emphasizes the social, political, and economic determinants of health. Students gain foundational understanding of social and policy theories, and their relevance to public health practice and policymaking. We uniquely train students in quantitative analysis, econometric policy analysis, and qualitative research methods, with application to real-world public health policy problems.

Through hands-on learning and mentored field placements, accelerated MPH students develop new specialized skills and ways to improve the health of communities. Public health at UWM is your home to learn, connect, and make a difference!

The bachelor’s The bachelor’s in public health requires a minimum of 120 credits. The MPH with a concentration in Public Health Policy requires 48 credits. Up to 30 graduate course credits may be double-counted toward the BS in public health.

Undergraduate Courses

At least 33 credits in general education and foundations courses.

Public Health Major Required Courses (48 credits)

PH 101: Introduction to Public Health (3 credits)
PH 142: Exploring Global Environmental Health (3 credits)
PH 201: Public Health from Cells to Society I (3 credits)
PH 202: Public Health from Cells to Society II (3 credits)
KIN 270: Statistics in the Health Professions: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
Or SOCIOL 261: Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology (3 credits)
PH 302: Health and Disease: Concepts and Contexts (3 credits)
PH 303: Climate Change, the Environment & Human Health (3 credits)
PH 304: Foundations of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 319: Introduction to Health Disparities (3 credits)
PH 327: Foundations for Action in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 346: Environmental Health and Disease (3 credits)
PH 355: Public Health Research Methods I (3 credits)
PH 410: True Lies – Consuming & Communicating Quantitative Information (3 credits)
PH 427: Strategies for Action in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 428: Project Implementation & Evaluation for a Healthy Society (3 credits)
PH 455: Public Health Research Methods II (3 credits)

Elective credits – up to nine credit hours to reach 120 credits

Graduate Courses

MPH Required Common Core Courses (24-25 credits)

PH 702: Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
PH 703: Environmental Health Sciences (3 credits)
PH 704: Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 705: Principles of Public Health Policy and Administration (3 credits)
PH 706: Perspectives on Community and Behavioral Health (3 credits)
PH 708: Health Systems and Population Health (3 credits)
PH 790: Field Experience in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 791: Leadership in Public Health (1 credit)
PH 800: Capstone in Public Health (2 credits)

Required PHP Track Courses (12 credits)

PH 776: Qualitative Approaches in Public Health Policy and Administration (3 credits)
PH 777: Quantitative Research Methods for PH Policy and Administration (3 credits)
PH 779: Public Health Policymaking and Policy Analysis (3 credits)
PH 785: Principles of Public Health Economics (3 credits)

Content Elective – choose one (three credits minimum)

PH 700: Structures of Inequality and Population Health (3 credits)
PH 719: Social Justice in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 730: Overview of Children with Special Health Care Needs (3 credits)
PH 752: Public Health and Mental Health (3 credits)
PH 769: Critical Perspectives on Nutritional Epidemiology and the Food System (3 credits)
PH 784: Social and Economic Policy as Health Policy (3 credits)
PH 820: Maternal and Child Health Foundations, Policy and Practice (3 credits)
PH 859: Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities in the United States (3 credits)
ED POL 630 G: Race and Public Policy in Urban America (3 credits)

Other classes as approved by MPH faculty advisor.

Methods and Practice Electives – Choose two (six credits minimum)

PH 726: Community Assessment (3 credits)
PH 727: Program Planning and Implementation in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 728: Program Evaluation in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 729: Survey Research Methods in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 763: Epidemiology for Equity (3 credits)
ED POL 601: Foundations of Community-Based Organizations (3 credits)
ED POL 602: Proposal Writing and Fundraising Skills for Community-Based Organizations (3 credits)
NONPROF 791: Nonprofit Advocacy and Public Policy (3 credits)
PUB ADM 630: Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector (3 credits)
PUB ADM 763: Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration (3 credits)
URBPLAN 791: Intro to Urban GIS for Planning (3 credits)
BUS ADMIN 755: Health Care Administration and Delivery Systems (3 credits)
BUS ADMIN 766: Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)

BSPH core competencies

  1. Explain the importance of respect for diverse values, beliefs, cultures, and the dignity of individuals and communities in public health practice.
  2. Explain the history and philosophy of public health, including its core values, theories, concepts and functions in society.
  3. Collect and analyze public health data using fundamental quantitative and qualitative methods and instruments.
  4. Locate and evaluate primary scientific literature and other information sources (e.g., media) to inform evidence-based public health approaches.
  5. Outline evidence-based approaches—using data, assessment and evaluation—to address public health problems.
  6. Explain why and how public health professionals should ethically engage in interactions with study/program participants, community (partners and stakeholders), and others to address population health and health equity.
  7. Develop advocacy strategies for multilevel social policies and interventions to promote population health.
  8. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of health promotion interventions for specific populations.
  9. Discuss ethical social, ecological, political and community approaches to public health dilemmas.
  10. Explain the natural history of human health and disease, their biological and environmental origins, distribution among populations, and strategies for their prevention, management and control.
  11. Explain the interrelationship between hazards in the natural and built environment, and human and population health.
  12. Explain multilevel and ecosocial pathways through which social, economic, legal, and political structures and systems affect population health and health inequities across the lifecourse.
  13. Interpret environmental, regulatory, legal and economic structures, as well as their interactions, within communities and health systems from the perspective of social justice and human rights.
  14. Apply fundamental concepts and features of public health interventions and programs, including their planning, implementation, assessment and evaluation.
  15. Communicate public health evidence and concepts to diverse audiences using a variety of modalities and media.

Public Health Policy Competencies

  1. Integrate ethical principles into public health policy, practice, and research by ensuring respect for diverse values, beliefs, and cultures and the dignity of individuals and communities.
  2. Conduct policy analysis in public health policy, identifying and assessing policy options, outcomes, and potential contributions to population health and health disparities.
  3. Apply policy theory to identify the actors, structures and forces that influence and shape the public health policy process.
  4. Analyze quantitative data to assess the relationship between policy, policy malleable factors, and public health relevant outcomes.
  5. Collect and analyze qualitative data to inform public health policy recommendations.

Please note: All courses are subject to change. Please consult the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information. Additional Resources

Accelerated MPH in Public Health Policy Careers

Graduates with a master’s in public health policy go on to work for state and local health departments, nonprofits, policy think tanks, advocacy organizations, or with elected officials to analyze, develop, and implement health-related policies at the city, state or national level, among other opportunities.

Job placements for recent MPH public health graduates include:

  • Wisconsin Population Health Fellowship (Wood County Health Department)
  • National Cancer Institute Health Communications
  • Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
  • University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Health research consulting firms
  • Other nonprofit organizations
Phoenix Do
  • Professor, Public Health Policy/Epidemiology
Xiaobei Dong
  • Assistant Professor
Linnea Laestadius
  • Associate Professor, Public Health Policy
Renee Scampini
  • Teaching Faculty II, School of Public Health

Public Health Policy Faculty Research Expertise

D. Phuong (Phoenix) Do, PhD: Socioeconomic health policies; racial/ethnic segregation and neighborhood effects; racial/ethnic health disparities; quantitative methodologies.

Xiaobei (Shel-bay) Dong, PhD: Health disparities and how health policies affect health care access and service utilization for disadvantaged populations, such as people with disabilities, racial/ethnic minorities, and older adults with chronic conditions.

Linnea Laestadius, PhD, MPP: Public health and technology; social media communication; commercial determinants of health; tobacco regulatory science; qualitative methods.