Master of Public Health

The purpose of the Master of Public Health Program is to prepare graduates to improve the health of populations with primary focus on New Mexico, the Southwest, the United States/Mexico border region and south of the border. Its mission is for graduates to work in partnership with New Mexico’s diverse communities, tribes and the public and private sectors to build on community strengths and to increase the capacity within the state to respond to public health problems. See Master in Public Health for admissions information, course requirements and course descriptions.

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Community and Preventive Health is granted through the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. The Master in Public Health Program is located in the Institute for Public Health and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

The curriculum promotes an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to research and interventions to address health problems, provides multiple opportunities for students to practice public health skills in communities and fosters critical thinking about issues addressed by the students. Students will be drawn from a broad range of social science, biomedical science and clinical disciplines. Specific core content areas include: principles of public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, health policy/health services administration and cultural and social health theory or rural health.

To complete the degree, students must complete 42 credit hours and either complete a thesis; professional paper; or the integrative experience course (PH 597). All students must complete an oral master’s exam. Students may petition to reduce their total credit hours for graduation based on demonstrating knowledge of core competencies or core classes (up to 6 hours). Students may enroll either full-time or part-time and have seven years to complete the degree.

Nina B. Wallerstein, Dr. P.H., M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley
Howard Waitzkin, Ph.D., M.D., Harvard Medical School
Associate Professors
Jonathon Eldredge, M.L.S., Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Larry Leeman, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, M.P.H., M.S., University of California, Berkeley
Andrew Rowland, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Kristine Tollestrup, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Assistant Professors
Magdalena Avila, Dr. P.H., University of California, Berkeley
Lisa Cacari-Stone, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Alexis Handel, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Celia Iriart, Ph.D., University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Victoria Sanchez, Dr. P.H., M.P.H., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Research Assistant Professors
William Athas, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Margaret Menache, Ph.D.,Duke University
Veronica Plaza, M.D., M.P.H., University of Rosario, Rosario Argentina, M.P.H., University of New Mexico
Professors Emeriti
David Bennahum, M.D., University of Geneva, Professor of Law, University of New Mexico
Lily Velarde, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
William H. Wiese, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard Medical School

Other Faculty
Nicola Baptiste, B.A., Instructor
James Cheek, M.D., M.P.H., University of New Mexico, M.P.H., Johns Hopkins
Nathaniel Cobb, M.D., Harvard Medical School
David Broudy, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
David Espey, M.D., Wake Forest University, North Carolina
Cheryl Ferguson, M.P.H., University of New Mexico
Floyd Frost, Ph.D., University of Washington
Lyndon Haviland, Ph.D.,Harvard Medical School
Frankie Perry, M.A., University of Michigan, Nursing, Nazareth College
Cliff Reese, J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH
Thomas Scharmen, M.P.H., University of New Mexico
Janet Yagoda-Shagam, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, M.S., University of Arizona
Corinne Shefner-Rogers, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins
Malcolm Siegel, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Victor Strasburger, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Cathleen Willging, Ph.D., Rutgers University, M.P.H., University of New Mexico

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • B.S., B.A. or equivalent from an accredited U.S. institution or a recognized international
  • GPA must be at least 3.0.
  1. All students must have
    • • Recent (5 years) GRE scores: preferred verbal & quantitative scores of 500 each and analytical writing of 4 and above, or
    • • MCATS: preferred score of 10 and N in writing, or
    • • GMATs: preferred score of 500 and above.
    • • Use Institution Code 4845 and departmental Code 0616 to indicate where your scores should be sent.
  2. M.D.s & Ph.D.s are exempt from submitting the above test scores.
  3.  Foreign students must take the TOEFL examination and score at least a 560.
  4. Students are required to have experience in the public health field. Experience could be in community development, research, health education, health science, health promotion or other health-related work. Experience can be paid or voluntary. Call our office if you are unsure if your experience satisfies this requirement.
  5. If you are applying as a foreign student you must check with the office of International Admissions, University of New Mexico, Student Services Center, Room 140, Albuquerque, NM 87131-5267. Feel free to contact International Admissions for further information regarding your application at (505) 277-5829.

Students are admitted for the fall semester only. Applications are due in the Office of Admissions by February 1 of each year. Screening of completed applications will begin February 1. Applications received by that date will be given first consideration for admission and financial assistance. Applications received or completed after that date but before the university deadline for the fall semester will be considered on a space available basis only.

The application process is a self-managed process whereby each applicant is expected to compile all the information required. Complete detailed instructions are included in the application packets.

Send these materials to the Admissions Office:

  1. The Application/Residency form
    • a. An Application Form
    • b. A Residency Form
  2. An Application Fee of $50.00
  3. Two official transcripts from each academic institution you have attended.

Send these materials to the Master in Public Health:

  1. Letter of Intent
  2. Resume: include public health experience, can be paid or voluntary.
  3. A minimum of 3 Letters of Recommendation.

Incomplete packets will be returned by the Office of Graduate Studies without processing.

International students must check with the Office of International Admissions, The University of New Mexico, Student Services Center, Room 140, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (505) 277-5829, for further information regarding your application.

Students not yet admitted to the program or who would like to take courses may do so as long as they meet any prerequisites for those courses. Students may take courses in non-degree status or enroll in courses as graduate students if they are enrolled in another graduate program. Students may take up to 17 credit hours as a non-degree or other graduate student status. Courses taken in this status will transfer and be counted toward the degree.

For further information or to request an application packet write, call or go to Web site

Master of Public Health Program
The University of New Mexico
Family Practice Building, Room 165
MSC09 5060
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Phone (505) 272-4173
FAX (505) 272-4494

Degree Requirements for the Master in Public Health

The following four core courses must be taken:    
  PH 501 Principles of Public Health 3
  PH 502 Epidemiologic Methods I 3
  PH 506 Environmental/Occupational Health 3
  STAT 538 Biostatistical Methods 3
Choice of one of two health systems courses:    
  PH 507 Health Care Systems 3
  PH 510 Public Health and
Health Care Management
3.   Choice of one of these two courses:    
  PH 505 Social and Cultural Theories and
Models: Community Interventions
  PH 552 Public Health Program Planning 3
4.   Additional required courses:    
  PH 508

Theory and Practice Seminar I                       (Mandatory in 1st semester, CR/NC.)

  PH 509 Theory and Practice Seminar II
(Mandatory in 2nd semester, CR/NC.)
  PH 511 Writing for Public Health Professionals (CR/NC) 1-2
  PH 513 Public Health Seminar 1 F,Sp
  PH 598 Public Health Practicum 2  
5.   Choice of one of three culminating experience options:    
  PH 596 Professional Paper 3  

  PH 597 Public Health Integrative Experience 3  

  PH 599 Master's Thesis 6  
Joint Degrees:  Concentrations:
• M.P.H./M.S.N.   • Epidemiology
• M.P.H./M.D.
  • Community Health

26-31 credits will be taken from the core curriculum.

Electives–The balance of credits toward the 42 credit requirement can be taken in the Masters in Public Health Program or throughout the University in departments such as Health Education, Public Administration, Communications & Journalism, Anthropology, Community and Regional Planning, Law and others, under the supervision of an M.P.H. advisor. Students taking courses in other departments must do so in consultation with their faculty advisor and with approval by the M.P.H. Program Director.


The student completes the core requirements in each discipline. The prototype is designed for the Master in Public Health concentration and M.S.N./Community Health Nursing.

The non-thesis option requires the professional paper to be completed while enrolling in a course designed to facilitate this activity in M.P.H. This paper will also serve to meet the requirements of the Master’s Comprehensive Examination in Nursing under the non-thesis option, and is expected to reflect a combination of perspectives in the dual degree plan.

The thesis option requires the thesis to be completed while enrolling in thesis work under the Nursing number; again, the expectation is that the research will combine the perspectives of both degree plans. Contact M.P.H. program advisor for more information on M.P.H./M.S.N. dual degree.


The dual status M.D./M.P.H. requires five years of integrated learning. This integrated learning enhances opportunities for medical students to acquire public health knowledge and skills with the goals of 1) reducing disparities in health status within New Mexican populations 2) strengthening physician advocacy and leadership skills in health policy development 3) fostering evidence-based interventions and 4) using assessment skills to better determine population needs and interventions. Each M.D./M.P.H. student would be able to successfully complete both degrees in an integrated fashion.

Student applies simultaneously to both the M.D. and the M.P.H. programs and indicates on the two applications that they are applying for dual status. Students must meet the requirements of both programs and be accepted into both programs in order to be considered dual status.

Students will be admitted to each program separately, yet once they are admitted to both programs, they qualify as dual status students. For more information on the M.D./M.P.H. dual status, contact the M.P.H. program.

Public Health Minor
(15 credit hours)

The public health minor will provide a basic understanding of the core principles, sciences, and skills behind the discipline of public health. The two core classes in the minor include the basic behavioral and social sciences and the science of disease causation and distribution. One other course is required from a menu of M.P.H. core courses. Two other M.P.H. electives can be of student choosing.

  Required Core Classes (6 credit hours)
PH 501 Principles of Public Health (fall course)
PH 502 Epidemiology Methods I (fall course)
  One Other Course from M.P.H. Core Courses
(3 credit hours)
PH 505 Social and Cultural Theories and Models:
Community Interventions
PH 552 PH Program Planning
PH 506 Environmental/Occupational Health
PH 507 Health Care Systems
PH 510 Public Health and Health Care Management

Electives (6 credit hours)
Students may choose other M.P.H. courses constituting a minimum of 6 credit hours. It is expected that these courses will further the student’s own research or professional project. All courses must be completed with a ‘B’ or better.

Potential M.P.H. Minors
Master’s and Doctoral level graduate students enrolled in Departments of Anthropology, Communication and Journalism, Sociology, and Psychology; School of Law, Nursing and Pharmacy; Programs in Community and Regional Planning, Water Resources, Nutrition, Education, Latin American Studies, among others.

Potential M.P.H. Degree
Public health minor classes can transfer into graduate classes if students are admitted into the M.P.H. Program.

Community Health Concentration

Mission: The mission of the Community Health Concentration is to prepare students for leadership roles in population-based disease prevention and health promotion in public and private settings. The philosophical foundation of the concentration relies on a community capacity building, empowerment approach to promote social justice and equity in health. The concentration is designed for students with prior experience, education or interest in community-focused public health practice or research that values diversity, self-reflection and critical analysis of evidence-based practice and practice-based public health approaches.

Description: Guided by the social-ecological approach, the Community Health Concentration emphasizes training in the basic core principles and skills of community needs and assets assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation, and policy development and their application to a broad array of health and social issues in population and community-based public health disease prevention and health promotion. The purpose of this concentration is to provide students with the multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills necessary to plan, implement, and evaluate public health programs at multiple levels of the social-ecologic framework.


Students completing the Community Health Concentration will take the following courses:

  Community Health Concentration Required Curriculum Total Units-12
PH 505 Social and Cultural Theories and Models:  Community Interventions 3
PH 510 Public Health and Health Care Management 3
PH 552 Public Health Program Planning 3
PH 555 Public Health Evaluation Methods 3
  Community Health Concentration Selected Electives  
  Choose one course:   
PH 554 Public Health Policy, Politics and Social Equity 3
PH 564 Public Health & Health Care Communication 3
CJ 550 Health Communication 3
One other elective with community health intervention skills. The following are recommended. Other options require guidance from your advisor. (minimum 2 credits)
  Two courses among the following:  
PH 504 Rural Health 3
PH 507 Health Care Systems 3
PH 568 Popular and Empowerment Education 2
PH 577 Public Health Leadership in Policy and Advocacy (2 cr hours required for CHC students.) 2
PH 580 Community Assessment 3
PH 560 CBPR Research Methods  
Selected health communication courses within the Department of Communications and Journalism  

Epidemiology Concentration

The Epidemiology Concentration will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to collect, analyze and interpret epidemiologic data for the solution of public health problems. The concentration will prepare students for employment as a master’s level epidemiologist or research scientist in various settings such as the New Mexico State Department of Health, The University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and other public health research and service organizations. Questions about the Epidemiology Concentration can be directed to any of the three core epidemiology faculty: Drs. Alexis Handal, Andy Rowland, and Kristine Tollestrup.

In addition to the core curriculum the Epidemiology concentration requires:

  1. Completion of 15 credits in graduate-level courses in epidemiology and biostatistics as outlined below and
  2. Completion of a field experience (PH 598–Public Health Practicum) emphasizing epidemiologic practice in an applied public health setting;
  3. Demonstration of competencies in epidemiology through the culminating experience.

In addition, for students concentrating in epidemiology, the chair of their culminating experience committee should be a core epidemiology faculty member, or an epidemiologist or biostatistician agreed upon by the Epidemiology Curriculum Committee.

  Required Courses (9 credits)  
PH 520 Epidemiologic Methods II 3
PH 534 Epidemiology Data Analysis 3
STAT 539 Biostatistical Methods II 3
Elective Courses (6 credits)
Likely to be offered at least once every two years.   
PH 522 Seminar in Epidemiology 1
PH 527 Chronic Disease Epidemiology 2
PH 528 Infectious Disease Epidemiology 2
PH 530 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology 2
PH 531 Perinatal Epidemiology 2
PH 532 Cancer Epidemiology 2
STAT 574 Biostatistical Methods: Survival Analysis and Logistic Regression 3

Additional elective epidemiology courses may be developed.

Courses in Public Health (PH) are categorized in content areas.  The category for each course appears in parenthesis at the end of the course description according to the following legend:

Core (C); Community Health (CH); Epidemiology (E); General Electives (G).


PH 501. Principles of Public Health. (3)

PH 502. Epidemiologic Methods I. (3)

PH 504. Rural Health. (3)

PH 505. Social and Cultural Theories and Models: Community Interventions. (3)

PH 506. Environmental/Occupational Health. (3)

PH 507. Health Care Systems. (3)

PH 508. Theory and Practice Seminar I. (1)

PH 509. Theory and Practice Seminar II. (1)

PH 510. Public Health and Health Care Management. (3)

PH 511. Writing for Public Health Professionals. (1-2)

PH 512. Public Health Proposal Writing Workshop. (1)

PH 513. Public Health Seminar. (0-1 to a maximum of 3 ∆)

PH 520. Epidemiologic Methods II. (3)

PH 521. Introduction to Epidemiology. [Web-Based Introduction to Epidemiology.] . (1-3 to a maximum of 3 ∆)

PH 522. Seminar in Epidemiology. (0-1 to a maximum of 4 ∆)

PH 525. Epidemiology Surveillance. (2)

PH 527. Chronic Disease Epidemiology. (2)

PH 528. Infectious Disease Epidemiology. (2)

PH 530. Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology. (2)

PH 531. Perinatal Epidemiology. (2)

PH 532. Cancer Epidemiology. (2)

PH 533. Public Health Research Methods. (2-3)

PH 534. Epidemiology Data Analysis. (3)

PH 540. Disparities in Health: Introduction to Public Health for Medical Students. (3)

PH 541. Epidemiology and Biostatistics. (1-4 to a maximum of 4 ∆)

PH 542. Community-Based Service Learning. (3)

PH 552. Public Health Program Planning. (3)

PH 554. Health Policy, Politics and Social Equity. (3)

PH 555. Public Health Evaluation Methods. (3)

PH 557. International Health. (2)

PH 559. The History of Public Health. (3)

PH 560. Special Topics in Public Health. (1-3, no limit ∆)

PH 561. Maternal Child Health Issues. (3)

PH 562. Women’s Health Issues. (2-3)

PH 563. Social Medicine in Latin America. (2)

PH 564. Public Heath and Health Care Communication. (2-3)

PH 565. Public Health: Law Policy and Ethics. (3)

PH 568. Popular and Empowerment Education. (2)

PH 569. American Indian Health Issues. (2)

PH 572. Community Health Intervention Models. (2)

PH 573. Introduction to Public Health Planning and Evaluation. (1-2)

PH 574. Community Health Improvement Strategies. (1)

PH 575. Public Health Leadership on Facilitation. (1-2)

PH 576. Public Health Leadership in Cross Cultural Communication and Conflict. (1-2)

PH 577. Public Health Leadership in Policy and Advocacy. (1-2)

PH 578. Environmental Health Policy. (2)

PH 579. New Mexico Border Health. (2)

PH 580. Community Assessment. (3)

PH 581. Fundamentals of Public Health. (1-2)

PH 582. Basic Public Health Epidemiology. (1-2)

PH 583. Health Systems and Globalization. (2)

PH 584. Child Health & Child Rights. (3)

PH 585. Public Health Mental Health. (3)

PH 586. Public Health Law. (3)

PH 587. International and US Health Policy Reform. (2)

PH 588. Tuberculosis, HIV and Malaria: Local and Global Perspectives. (3)

PH 593. Independent Studies. (1-3, no limit ∆)

PH 596. Professional Paper. (1-3 to a maximum of 3 ∆)

PH 597. Public Health Integrative Experience. (3 [2] )

PH 598. Public Health Practicum. (1-6 to a maximum of 6 ∆)

PH 599. Master’s Thesis. (1-6 to a maximum of 6 ∆)

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809