Feb 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

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

The M.P.H. program prepares professionals for leadership positions in public health and health-related agencies. Students may specialize in health promotion or health services management. The M.P.H. with a health promotion specialization prepares students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (C.H.E.S.) examination given by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Students who complete the M.P.H. with a specialization in health services management are eligible to take the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Licensing Examination if certain electives have been completed.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


Applicants with clearly identified career goals related to public health are encouraged to apply. Preference is given to applicants who have employment or volunteer experience in a public health or related agency. For application and additional information for the Online M.P.H., please visit the online program webpage.


Application Requirements

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree.
  • Official transcripts. (Unofficial transcripts suffice during the application process, but official ones must be submitted to the Graduate School before students are permitted to register for classes).
  • Minimum undergraduate or graduate G.P.A. of 3.00.
  • No GRE required, but could be supportive if over 25th percentile. 
  • Well-written personal statement, which serves as a writing sample.
  • Resume. 
  • 2 letters of recommendation from professors, instructors and/or supervisors. (It is preferable to include at least one academic reference, if possible).
  • TOEFL score of 90 or IELTS score of 7.0 for international applicants.

Requirements for Accelerated B.S./M.P.H. Sequence

The accelerated sequence leads to both the B.S. in public health and M.P.H. degrees, and is available to all undergraduate public health majors who have:

  • A declared major in Public Health.
  • Finished 92 credit hours of undergraduate designated coursework as approved by advisor.
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Completed all application requirements, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume/curriculum vitae.

Failure to meet requirements of the accelerated sequence may lead to a B.S. degree only, but only after all the requirements for that degree have been met.

Students must complete all the admission requirements for the Public Health B.S. accelerated degree as well as all general education requirements prior to the applicant’s final undergraduate year and have earned at least 92 credit hours. Beginning with the first semester of their final undergraduate year, students will start taking classes in the M.P.H. program as well as completing final university requirements. Successful completion of year 4 courses will count towards the final 28 credits of the undergraduate degree.

Students are required to fulfill all requirements for the M.P.H. degree mentioned in the previous section in order to be awarded this degree.

Non-Thesis Option

A total of 43 semester hours of graduate credit is required for the degree with the non-thesis option.

Students may apply a maximum combined total of 18 semester hours of graduate credit earned as a student-at-large at NIU or in NIU graduate courses taken outside the U.S. or as transfer credit from another institution toward the M.P.H. degree; however, no more than 15 semester hours of combined transfer and study-abroad credit can be used toward this 18 semester hour total.

Thesis Option

Same requirements as the non-thesis option except that 6 additional semester hours of PHHE 699, Master’s Thesis, are required.