The University of Colorado Denver is also featured in our ranking 50 Most Affordable MPH Online Programs.
Master's of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver offers one Master's of Public Health track that is entirely online. While the on-campus program has existed for over 10 years and offers multiple specialties, this is a newer program that is geared toward experienced working professionals who cannot fit traditional classes into their busy schedules. The concentration that is available online is Leadership and Public Health Practice, and the curriculum consists of six core classes, six concentration-related courses, and two electives. The core is designed to introduce each of the five main disciplines of public health which include biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, healthcare administration, and health promotion and education. The Leadership and Public Health Practice courses focus on topics like emergency preparedness, research methods, management, policy, and public outreach. While all other classes are predetermined, students get to choose their own electives out of an 11-course list that includes Health Aspects of Aging, Contemporary Issues in School Health, and Introduction to Public Health Informatics.
In the second and final year of the program, each student completes a practicum during their first semester, working in a public health or related organization to gain first-hand experience in the field and also to fulfill a need in the community. Then, the second semester consists of a capstone project in which students demonstrate their competency in the public health field and preparation for professional life after graduation. Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of this 42-credit hour program, and students are never required to come to campus. However, they can take advantage of the resources on campus, meet with faculty, and even take an on-campus elective if desired.
About University of Colorado Denver
The beginnings of the University of Colorado Denver can be traced back to 1912, but at this time, it was simply an extension of the University of Colorado – Boulder and remained that way until 1973. At this time, the state government separated the two schools and created the Colorado University System. Today, the school has grown significantly and now even has its own satellite campus in Lone Tree, Colorado. In 2004, CU Denver combined with CU Anschutz Medical Campus to create the largest research university in the state enrolling almost 19,000 students and offering over 140 different degrees. Another result of this merger was the eventual opening of the Colorado School of Public Health in 2008 which houses the CU Denver MPH degrees. Along with being a leader in research across all disciplines, the university also emphasizes the importance of sustainability, and faculty teach students to examine how their individual field of study impacts society and the environment at large. Many students take part in service learning programs in the community, and every graduate is required to complete some form of experiential learning like a practicum or internship. The U.S. News and World Report included CU Denver on its list of Top Public Schools, and the graduate public health program was rated #31.
University of Colorado Denver Accreditation Details
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the organization responsible for evaluating and accrediting colleges and universities in a region spanning 19 states in the middle of the United States. Accreditation verifies that the school meets predefined standards regarding the quality of education, student engagement, faculty qualifications, transparency in financial and business matters, organizational structure, and overall mission. The process involves a 10-year cycle during which the school documents its achievements and provides evidence that it meets all criteria in a self-study followed by other evaluations including a peer review and site visit. The University of Colorado Denver last had its accreditation recertified during the 2010/2011 school year. While regional accreditation done by the HLC looks at the school as a whole, there are specialized accrediting organizations that focus on individual programs. For instance, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) has accredited CU Denver's public health programs certifying that they provide adequate preparation for professional work in the field.
University of Colorado Denver Application Requirements
Applicants to the CU Denver online Master's in Public Health program must use the standardized SOPHAS application offered through the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Along with the application, students need to submit GRE scores and official transcripts from every college they attended including one that demonstrates completion of a bachelor's degree. An ideal candidate has a GPA of over 3.0, but students with lower scores may be considered as long as they provide an acceptable explanation and plan for improvement in future studies. There is not an official cutoff GRE score, but historically, competitive scores are in the 150 to 160 range for both the verbal and quantitative sections. Other required supplemental application material includes a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a two-page personal statement describing career goals and relevant past experiences that helped shape these goals. The requirements are identical for the online and on-campus MPH programs, but most students admitted to the online programs do have more professional experience in the field. Completed applications must be received by May 1st at the latest, but the deadline for preferred admission as well as scholarship eligibility is January 15th. One other consideration is that, due to licensing requirements and state regulations, students from certain states are ineligible for admission, so applicants are advised to check their state's status prior to applying.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for the University of Colorado Denver's online MPH program is $793 per credit hour for Colorado residents and $1287 for out-of-state students which comes out to a total degree cost of $33,360 or $54,054 depending on residency status. Students are encouraged to apply for a variety of scholarships offered through the department including the Hoffman Master's Scholarship, the ColoHealth "Health Care in America" Scholarship, and the Moran Scholarship Fund among others. These awards are given based on different criteria including academic achievement, financial need, and community service. Other possible funding options include veteran's benefits, outside scholarships or grants, and employer tuition reimbursement programs. In addition, most students submit a FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal graduate student loans. More information about all of these options is available at the University of Colorado Denver Office of Financial Aid.