Executive Public Health Administration & Policy

Become a leader in public health administration, management, and policy while working full-time.

The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program is tailored to working public and population health professionals currently in or seeking leadership roles in government agencies, nonprofits, health systems, and other organizations that aim to improve the health of populations.

The program is targeted at early- and midcareer professionals who have at least three years of experience working in health or public health settings, and who are committed to managing organizations that improve public and population health.

Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH Info Sheet (PDF)

Advantages of the Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH

  • Efficient. Earn your MPH degree in as little as 25 months, with limited time on campus.
  • Flexible. Primarily online curriculum gives you the flexibility to complete your degree while you work.
  • Exposure. Each cohort includes students with rich and diverse health professional experience, providing broader perspective and deep peer-to-peer learning.
  • High ranking. A degree from a top 10 school of public health provides distinction in competitive career environments.
  • Accessible. In-state tuition for all students regardless of the state of residency.
  • Practical. Focused on developing leadership, health policy, and management skills.

Program Format

The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program is delivered in a learning cohort model that blends online and on-campus coursework and can be completed in as little as 25 months. All students start the program together and progress through the same curriculum, providing opportunities to learn and work together.

Most of the coursework is online. The on-campus commitment includes 5 visits that are each 3-4 days long and focus on leadership, health policy, management, and applied case studies.

The next cohort (Cohort 5) starts in January 2018 with an on-campus visit. Dates for Cohort 5’s five on-campus visits are:

  • January 3-6, 2018
  • September 12-15, 2018
  • January 10-12, 2019
  • September 11-14, 2019
  • January 30-31, 2020

The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program admits public and population health professionals currently in or seeking leadership roles in government agencies, nonprofits, healthcare systems, and other organizations.

Preference is given to applicants who have a strong commitment to managing organizations that improve public and population health and who have at least three years’ experience in the health or public health field.

Admissions Requirements (General)

View admissions requirements

NOTE: The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program does not require the GRE or other graduate exams.

Program-specific Prerequisites

(Note: these requirements are in addition to the general admissions requirements above)

  • Candidates must have at least three years of health or public health experience (displayed on resume or curriculum vitae).

International Applicants

All students who are interested in the Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program are required to have appropriate U.S. immigration documentation. Since this program is mostly online, we are unable to provide international students with study-related immigration documentation in most cases. If you have questions about your immigration status as it relates to this program, please contact the program coordinator.

More information: Instructions for International Applicants

The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program prepares students to take on the world’s most pressing public health challenges. Tuition at SPH remains one of the lowest among top 10 U.S. schools of public health.

All Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH students receive in-state tuition because the program is mostly online, and the University of Minnesota commits to offering online education at in-state rates.

Tuition & Fees

View current tuition & fees

Program-Specific Costs

Estimated Program Costs

Estimated costs for a student entering in Cohort 5 (January 2018)


(All E-PHAP students pay in-state tuition. For Cohort 5, the cost per credit will be approximately $960 in the first two semesters, with an estimated tuition increase of approximately 3% each academic year.)

Estimated total = $42,382*
Books and Software

Approximately $750 per year

Estimated total = $1500
School of Public Health Fee

If the student is registered for

≥ 6 credits, the fee is    $150

1-5 credits $115

Estimated total = $980
University Fees**

Executive students are responsible for some but not all university fees; more information at OneStop

Approximately $85/semester

Estimated total = $340
On Campus Visit Fee

$178 per visit; 5 visits over 2 years

Total = $890
Travel and Lodging There are five on-campus visits; the cost varies depending on the distance the student travels.
Estimated total cost $46,092 + travel and lodging

*Tuition charge is based on credits and includes estimated tuition increases. If the student transfers credits then tuition will be less.

**Most semester fees are applied only to fall and spring, not summer, semesters

School of Public Health Funding

See a full list of scholarships available to public health students

The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH curriculum focuses on management, leadership, health policy, and data analysis.

Students complete at least 42 credits as follows:

  • MPH core curriculum (14 credits)
  • Executive PHAP core curriculum (18 credits)
  • Field experience (2 credits)
  • Master’s project (2 credits)
  • Electives (6 credits)

Students complete electives through a broad range of opportunities to suit their individual learning goals, including current online offerings and courses at the school’s Public Health Institute, offered each summer.

Detailed Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH Curriculum (PDF)

Culminating Experiences

All Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH students complete a master’s project in an area of interest related to population health. Students are encouraged to choose projects at their place of employment.

In addition, students do a field experience if they have not previously worked in government- or community-based population health agencies.

Program Competencies:

Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program competencies are established in accordance with the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and the UMN SPH’s program competencies. These outcomes are measured through annual course and program evaluations and are subject to an accreditation review by CEPH every seven years. The Executive PHAP program’s competencies are:

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of the history and principles of delivery systems relevant to public health policy and administration
  • Management and leadership of public health care organizations, programs and systems
  • Application of high quality, scientifically rigorous research to address problems in public health policy and administration
  • Development and analysis of public health policy
  • Communication skills

Job Outlook

Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH graduates are well positioned to be leaders in public health. The focus on management, administration, and health policy provides knowledge and grows skills to meet the complex challenges facing public health professionals.

What Do Public Health Administration & Policy Professionals Do?

Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH graduates manage public health organizations at the local, state, federal, and international level in planning agencies, voluntary health organizations, mental health agencies, human services organizations, long-term care agencies, international health organizations, managed care plans, community clinics, community organizations, alternative health care delivery settings, and a wide variety of other non-profit organizations.

Our graduates share a strong dedication to preventing disease, promoting health, and serving defined populations.

Examples of Positions Held by Graduates of the Program

Isanti County Public Health, MN
Director, Community Health Services

Hennepin County, MN
Clinic Supervisor and Public Health Nurse

Spectranetics, MN
Director of Clinical Operations

Norton Healthcare, KY

Lorain County General Health District, OH

UnitedHealth Group, MN
Health & Wellness Coach

University of Minnesota, MN
Clinical Research Implementation Services Manager

Gundersen Lutheran, WI
Inpatient Medical Director, Pediatrics

The Public Health Administration & Policy MPH Community Advisory Board helps to ensure that students are fully-prepared to meet the current demands of the public and population health workforce. The Board is comprised of public health professionals, many of whom are alumni. Its mission is to advise both the traditional and executive administration and policy programs on public health priorities, trends in public health practice, curriculum needs, and professional development and networking opportunities.

Past and Present Community Advisory Board Members & Organizations

  • Retired Director of Dakota County Public Health Department
  • Community Relations Director, Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Community Outreach Research Consultant, Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota
  • Director, St. Paul Ramsey County Health Department
  • Program Coordinator, Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E) Phillips Eye Institute
  • Community Care Coordinator Supervisor, Hennepin County Medical Center & President, Minnesota Public Health Association
  • President and CEO, Stratis Health
  • Former MDH Commissioner
  • Director, Patient Experience Services and Patient- and Family-Centered Care, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Senior Advocacy and Health Equity Consultant, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Commissioner, Minneapolis Health Department
  • Retired Health Care Executive and State Medicaid Director
  • Health Care Economics Consultant, United Health Group
  • Retired Professor of Public Health Nursing

Do I need to take the GRE?

No. The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH (Executive PHAP) admissions committee considers undergraduate GPA (and other postgraduate study GPAs) and accomplishment since graduation from college.

When can I start?

A new cohort starts each January. If you are eager to start classes before then, you can take one or more public health core courses as a “non-degree seeking student.” These courses can be applied to your Executive PHAP degree. Check with the program coordinator before enrolling in courses outside of the Executive PHAP program, to confirm that the courses can be transferred to our degree.

Is there money for scholarships?

The program has a small amount of money to support tuition for those who apply by the priority deadline (June 1st). These scholarships are prioritized for employees of government agencies and small community-based organizations which may not be able to provide tuition support.

Can I transfer credits from other postgraduate work to this degree?

If you have taken courses at the UMN or another accredited School of Public Health within the last 7 years, some or all of these credits may be transferable. Other post-graduate work (in programs other than public health) may be transferable and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

I already know that I can’t make one of the on-campus sessions. What can I do?

The on-campus sessions are a really important part of the educational and cohort-building process. We would urge you to try to change your plans, or apply to the next cohort.

I’ve never taken a course online. I’m not sure I’ll like it.

Most people really like the flexibility of online courses and the opportunity to learn with colleagues from all over the country. All course material is offered “asynchronously,” meaning that the student doesn’t have to be available at a certain time to listen to a lecture. The UMN SPH is a leader in online public health education and strives to create quality online learning experiences. Courses are supported by the School’s Office of eLearning Services.

I haven’t been in school for a while. I’m not sure I’ll do well.

The average student in the Executive PHAP program is in his/her mid to late 30s. Thus, you won’t be the only student who hasn’t been in school for a while. During the first on-campus session, before other classes start, we will review how to succeed at online learning. Most courses have teaching assistants, in addition to the instructors, and many have access to tutors. Program staff is here to help you do well.

I’m not very good at math, and I’m worried about the biostatistics class.

Almost everyone worries about the biostatistics class! UMN SPH has an innovative approach to teaching statistics, called Biostatistical Literacy. Access to a brief math refresher course is provided before the course starts. The goal of the class is to understand how to apply statistical concepts to analyzing public and population health problems. During the class, students design and conduct research projects using a virtual population called “The Island.”

I’m not very good at writing.

Writing is the basis of all communication (including tweets, TED talks, and LinkedIn profiles!). Learning to write well is an important part of graduate school, and there are many opportunities in class and during professional development activities to improve writing. UMN has an outstanding Center for Writing, which will assist students, through online consultations, to polish their writing, whether it is a discussion thread post or a Master’s project paper.

What kinds of people enroll in the Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program?

One of the best parts about the Executive PHAP program is the cohort. Students come from many different settings—local, city, and state public health departments, health care systems, community-based organizations, insurers, device manufacturers, advocacy organizations, consulting companies. They share a passion for improving the health of their communities, an interest in using their expertise, and a desire to learn new skills. The group works together to develop multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems.

How much does SOPHAS cost?

It costs $135 to apply to one program, and $50 more for each additional school or program. Fee waivers are available through SOPHAS; they are issued on a first come, first served basis, and the applicant must demonstrate financial need. Detailed instructions on applying for a fee waiver can be found in the FAQ found within the SOPHAS application.

How does this program compare with other executive-style policy and management MPH programs?

Our program is substantially less expensive than most similar programs nationwide, as all students receive in-state tuition rates and low fees at the University of Minnesota. Our program also blends in-person and online learning to maximize the student experience with comparably fewer on-campus days, allowing students to maintain their professional careers. Our program has 17 days of on-campus instruction, while most other programs have upwards of 25 on-campus days.

Application Deadline
(January start)

Scholarship Consideration Deadline: June 1
Final Deadline: November 15

Contact Us

Director & Associate Professor
Rebecca Wurtz, MD, MPH

Program Coordinator

Jennie Kleven

“The Executive PHAP program has greatly enhanced my ability to understand and address the complex issues that affect both individual and community health and well-being. The skills I have gained have been a tremendous asset to me as a practicing pediatrician and physician leader.”
– Jennie Kleven