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Program Distinctives

The UNC Gillings MPH Program in Asheville will be an innovative and collaborative master of public health program that leads the way in advancing health equity in rural communities.

The UNC Gillings MPH Program in Asheville at MAHEC will focus on advancing health equity in rural communities as a pilot program for Gillings One MPH – a single, integrated master of public health curriculum that spans public health disciplines.

Our MPH program will offer many distinctive features including:

High-Impact Learning Opportunities: Small cohorts, team-based learning, cross-disciplinary instruction, and real-world program development.

Rural and Underserved Focus: Students will work with under-resourced populations and community partners from day one. This approach enables students to make a positive impact in these communities while developing the skills necessary to become public health leaders in rural and underserved areas anywhere in the world.

Experiential Case-Based Curriculum: Classes will be taught through real-world cases, focused on current community issues, and led by an interdisciplinary team. The extended community-based curriculum will provide opportunities for student teams to develop and evaluate public health interventions in rural communities.

21-Month Degree Program: Flexible schedule with one day of classroom instruction per week, designed for adult learners and working professionals.

Real-World Impact: The curriculum also features an 18-month community immersion project where students will apply what they’ve learned to create solutions for public health challenges affecting Western North Carolina.

Community Leadership Skill Development

Students will acquire mastery in

  • Data analytics
  • Community assessment
  • Strategic human-centered program design
  • Financial development
  • Program implementation and impact analysis
  • Coalition building and stakeholder development
  • Policy advocacy
  • Public health education
  • Community-based participatory research


Proposed Program Timeline*

Winter 2018

  • MPH student recruitment

Spring 2018

  • Students apply and are accepted for MPH program

August 2018

  • MPH program classes begin

*The UNC Gillings MPH Program in Asheville is currently in the process of securing UNC General Administration Approval.