Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)


Our nationally accredited Master of Public Health program prepares you for professional leadership positions in public health and other health-related agencies. This degree provides you with the skills necessary to identify health issues on a large scale. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to analyze topics such as health concerns in cities versus rural areas, childhood obesity or the health effects from climate change. And you’ll be prepared to create programs and lead organizations to improve the health of a whole population.

With a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach that employs the latest research, you’ll learn how to analyze the behavioral, social, economic, political and professional forces that shape community health in order to meet the a diverse populations’ health needs. With a wide variety of electives to choose from, and online courses, our program is also flexible to meet your needs.

Our M.P.H. program offers two dynamic specialization options: health promotion or health services management.

Specialization in Health Promotion

The Specialization in Health Promotion program provides skills necessary to design, conduct and evaluate programs to assist people and communities in choosing healthier lifestyles and preventing disease. These specialists also create programs to change the living and working conditions that influence health. Graduates are prepared for roles in local, state, federal and tribal health departments, corporate and hospital wellness programs, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and more. Their job titles include patient educator, program or division director, community engagement specialist and community health program specialist.

The M.P.H. with a health promotion specialization prepares you to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination given by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. 

Specialization in Health Services Management

The Specialization in Health Services Management program focuses on interdisciplinary aspects of health services management including costs, quality, accessibility, delivery, organization, financing, human resources and healthcare services outcomes. Health services managers work in hospitals, clinics, local, state, federal and tribal health departments, mental health facilities, long-term care facilities, health insurance companies and more. Job titles include program manager or director, health administrator and business manager.

Completing the M.P.H. with a specialization in health services management and completing certain electives, you are eligible to take the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Licensing Examination.


CEPH logo

The Master of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs. Because of CEPH accreditation, you can rest assured that the education you receive will be of the highest quality and is up to date with the latest trends in the field.

As part of the accreditation process, every seven years, we must re-assess how well the program meets the criteria for Master of Public Health Programs set by CEPH. Although this program has been continually accredited over the past 20 years, our last reaccreditation was in 2016, and will last until 2023.

Tuition news

NIU has recently eliminated the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate for both undergraduate and graduate students, making it financially easier for you to take advantage of our excellent programs. Learn more.

Our students say...

"The resources and mentorship available through NIU’s M.P.H. program creates an intellectually challenging and collaborative environment. This program strengthens you with an array of skills a public health professional needs. The variety of electives gives one freedom to tailor a career based on one’s own interests."

Tejasvi Diccar, B.D.S., M.P.H., current student

"I love the online M.P.H. program at NIU I can study at home by myself and do the work when I want to do it."

Steve Hohbein, B.S., current student

"The NIU M.P.H. program is an excellent, well-designed learning experience, taught by professors in small classes who take a personal interest in all their students. They teach real world skills to students from diverse academic backgrounds."

Sujata Oak, M.D., current student

"The Master of public health program at NIU worked with my schedule. I had the flexibility to work on projects and assignments on my own time. Also, NIU’s program is one of the most cost effective programs."

Michelle Hess, M.P.H., (‘15)