Maternal & Child Health

One of the first, most highly-rated programs in the nation focused on maternal, family, and child health.

The Maternal & Child Health MPH program is rooted in the principles of social justice and programmatic and policy development needed to improve the health of women, children, fathers, and families around the world. It is one of the few dedicated MPH programs focused on maternal, reproductive, child, and family health in the country — and one of the few to offer a degree that can be completed entirely online.

The program focuses on public health skills development (program design and evaluation, advocacy, epidemiology) and maternal and child health (MCH) content (family health, reproductive health, infant and child health, adolescent health, social disparities, family systems, and women’s health).

See a Prezi presentation about the breadth and depth of the Maternal and Child Health program.

Maternal & Child Health MPH Info Sheet (PDF)

Advantages of the Maternal & Child Health MPH

  • Strong Values. Our program is rooted in the principles of social justice and is committed to serving vulnerable populations.
  • Integrated Health Sciences. Core program faculty includes more than 30 epidemiologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, geneticists, physicians, nurses, and public/community health specialists—giving our students a multidisciplinary approach to public health topics.
  • Supportive Environment. Students receive personal attention from nationally recognized faculty, and a network of more than 10,000 alumni (600 MCH graduates) who serve as mentors, employers and teachers.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum. Our students develop skills in health principles and approaches, health disparities/health inequities, ethics, communications, policy and health systems. They use these skills to promote and improve the health of women, children, youth and families.
  • Flexible. Students in either the Advanced Standing or Standard Tracks may complete their degree entirely online, entirely in-person, or by taking a combination of online and in-person courses.

Affiliated Training Center

The Maternal & Child Health MPH program is enhanced by a training grant from HRSA that provides students and professionals with ongoing education and outreach opportunities. The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health emphasizes:

  • partnership through collaboration with families, community professionals, and other academic departments
  • paid conference registrations, updates on MCH trends, and additional professional education opportunities
  • 4-5 paid opportunities with community partners and the center during the year

Dual-Degree Options

MPH/JD
A partnership between the Maternal & Child Health MPH program and the JD program at the University of Minnesota Law School. Contact Kathryn Schwartz-Eckhardt (epichstu@umn.edu, 612-626-8802), for more information.

MPH/MSW
A partnership between the Maternal & Child Health MPH program and the MSW program at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Contact Kathryn Schwartz-Eckhardt (epichstu@umn.edu, 612-626-8802), for more information.

The Maternal & Child Health MPH program has three flexible curriculum options. Students in either the Advanced Standing or Standard Tracks may complete their degree entirely online, entirely in-person, or by taking a combination of online and in-person courses.

Choose from three Maternal & Child Health MPH emphasis areas:

  1. Standard Track: (48 credits) Ideal for students without advanced degrees and who have limited professional experience. Students may complete their degree online, in-person, or through a mix of both.
  2. Epidemiology Track: (48 credits) Emphasizes quantitative methods and research, training students to become epidemiologists with expertise in data collection, data analysis and data interpretation specific to maternal and child health populations. In-person classes are required.
  3. Advanced Standing Track: (42 credits) For students who either have an advanced degree (e.g., MD, MS, MSW, MEd) or who have at least three years of professional experience related to maternal and child health or public health. Students may complete their degree online, in-person, or through a mix of both. Advanced standing students may matriculate in fall, spring, and summer. Read more about the Advanced Standing Track

Detailed Maternal & Child Health MPH Curriculum Information (PDF)

Students with related experience, a basic understanding of physiological and/or psychological human development, and a quantitative background or interest (for Epidemiology track) are best suited for academic success in the Maternal & Child Health MPH program.

Admissions Requirements (General)

View admissions requirements

Program-specific Prerequisites

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

All Maternal & Child Health MPH Tracks:

  • A strong interest in, and understanding of, maternal, reproductive, child, and family health and public health content (expressed in the applicant’s letter of intent).
  • Work or volunteer experience in a clinical, community-based, public health or managed-care agency/program that focuses on vulnerable populations, women, children, adolescents, and/or families (preferred, not required).

Epidemiology Track: Applicants to the Epidemiology Track are expected to demonstrate strong quantitative skills and a specific interest in working with data upon graduation. They are also expected to have undergraduate coursework in statistics and/or calculus.

Advanced Standing Track: Advanced Degree or 3 years experience

Admission Averages

Average score of admitted student Minimum score
GPA 3.5 3.0
GRE Combined 310 300
GRE Analytical Writing 4.5 3.5

The Maternal & Child Health 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. In fact, we have the lowest out-of-state tuition in the top 10, giving non-resident students access to expert faculty, education, and research at the lowest financial investment.

Tuition & Fees

View current tuition & fees

Funding

See a full list of scholarships available to public health students

As a Maternal & Child Health MPH student, you’ll be trained in research methods and research critique by leading scholars in the field.

See Maternal & Child Health faculty

Faculty Research Highlights

  • Ruby Nguyen’s research involves chronic pain and women, as well as perinatal and reproductive health. She is currently conducting studies of vulvar pain and the role of weight loss and reproductive function in men.

Job Outlook

Maternal and child health professionals are in heavy demand internationally. Several of the World Health Organization’s eight Millennium Development Goals focus on maternal, child, and family health areas, including:

  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Moreover, epidemiologic skills focused on maternal and child health are increasingly required in U.S. city, county, and state health agencies, many of which have departments dedicated specifically to MCH public health advocacy, assessment, and program development.

What Do Maternal & Child Health Professionals Do?

Maternal & Child Health graduates work to promote social and environmental conditions that contribute to the health of women, children, youth, and families. Much of their work is focused on socially and economically vulnerable populations that include women, children, youth, and family members (broadly defined to include fathers, grandparents, etc.).

Graduates work in a variety of settings in city, county, and state health departments and other government agencies; global and domestic non-profit organizations, clinics, and agencies; universities; and research institutes.

Maternal & Child Health work emphasizes:

  • Policy development
  • Population-based solutions to complex health problems
  • Research and needs assessments
  • Program development and evaluation

The University of Minnesota has one of the most respected programs of its kind in the world, founded by internationally recognized maternal, child, and family health leaders.

Examples of Positions Held by Recent Graduates of the Maternal & Child Health MPH Program

Minnesota Department of Health (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Health Educator, Newborn Screening Program

Allina Health (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Senior Clinical Data Analyst

Denver Public Health (Denver, Colorado)
HPV Program Coordinator

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Washington, DC)
Project Officer – HIV/AIDS Bureau

Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative
International Planned Parenthood Manager

Save the Children US (Washington, DC)
Senior Specialist – Food Security Monitoring and Evaluation

Washington State Department of Health (Seattle, Washington)
CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow

Novu, LLC (Minnesota)
Health Engagement Marketing Manager

In the past 10 years, Maternal & Child Health MPH graduates have completed field experiences in almost 200 sites in the U.S., Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.

The program’s affiliated HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Health, has solidified the position of the Maternal & Child Health program in the community and has contributed to extensive reach to government and private organizations.

Every year, the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Health sponsors about 20 professional events. Many of these events are free and/or registration is waived for MCH students.

Maternal & Child Health students also have opportunities for one-on-one mentoring with alumni and community leaders through the SPH mentoring program.

Affiliated Center

The Maternal & Child Health MPH program is enhanced by the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Health (HRSA-funded) that provides students and professionals with ongoing education opportunities and maternal, child, and family health news. The Center provides social and other media opportunities for anyone who is interested in maternal, child, and family health, vulnerable populations, or public health, including:

  • two active electronic newsletters (one with general maternal, child, and family health content; the other with adolescent sexual health content);
  • a publication about emerging topics in MCH; and
  • Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts

Opportunities to sign up for any of these resources — or to check out center events, news, and resources — can be found on the Center website.

Student Guidebook

Maternal & Child Health Student Guidebook (PDF)

Application Deadline

Scholarship Consideration Deadline for Fall Admission: December 1

Final Deadline for Fall Admission: May 1

Spring Admission (advanced-standing program only): November 15

May and Summer Admission (advanced-standing program only): March 1

Contact Us

Enrollment and Program Development Manager
Kathryn Schwartz Eckhardt
612-626-8802
schwa139@umn.edu

Program Director
Ellen Demerath
ewd@umn.edu

doctors placing medical device on baby

Maternal & Child Health MPH student Neely Miller with support from SPH professor Ellen Demerath uses neuroimaging and neurogenomics to study the tie between gut bacteria and early brain development.

Sonja Ausen-Anifrani

“My experiences at SPH blew the doors wide open to all of the possibilities to work with different communities as part of public health work.” Read More
– Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, Maternal & Child Health MPH graduate