1. K-State home
  2. »K-State Olathe
  3. »Academics
  4. »Graduate degrees
  5. »Master of Public Health

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health program, or MPH, is a unique, Manhattan-based graduate-level program designed to prepare individuals to better address health issues at the local, state, national and international levels. This interdisciplinary program involves multiple academic departments and colleges. 

Courses for the two areas of emphasis available through 
K-State Olathe

Food safety and biosecurity

Learn to identify and categorize risks, challenges and solutions in the food system for food safety, biosecurity and defense issues in the food production continuum. Courses in this emphasis focus on the multidisciplinary and complex nature of food safety and biosecurity policies, globalization and international trade – and their influence on public health.

See the core courses, required courses and prerequisite courses for this emphasis.

Infectious diseases and zoonoses 

Learn how to strengthen zoonoses prevention and control programs; investigate emerging infectious diseases; enhance the public's ability to respond to bioterrorism and biosecurity emergencies; and coordinate rapid response activities among government, agriculture industries, nonprofit organizations and academia.

See the core courses, required courses and prerequisite courses for this emphasis.


In addition to the 15-hour, five course core, required for all MPH students, students choose an area of emphasis to complete the 42 credit hour program. Emphasis areas available via Olathe are either food safety and biosecurity or infectious diseases and zoonoses. Both provide graduate-level education to individuals currently employed in or anticipating a career in public health.

Topics include the five core areas of public health, and unique courses and topics from your chosen area of emphasis.

Core areas of the public health curriculum

• Biostatistics
• Environmental health sciences
• Epidemiology
• Health sciences administration
• Social and behavioral sciences

Unfinished prerequisites can be completed during the first year of the program.

Courses are offered online, in-person and a hybrid of the two teaching/delivery methods. 


• Graduate School Application

• GRE test scores (no minimum score is required for admission)

• Official transcripts for all college-level course work

• Statement of objectives (narrative letter addressed to MPH director)

• Three letters of recommendation

See Kansas State University's MPH admissions page for more information.

Frequently asked questions


Do I need a certain degree to apply to the MPH program?

No. Public health needs people from all discipline areas. There may be prerequisites required before taking biostatistics, epidemiology and some other courses in a selected emphasis.


How long does the program take to complete?

Students have up to 6 years to complete the program, and can take as many or as few credits/courses each semester as desired. If taking nine credits a semester (three courses), the program may be completed in five semesters. 


What are my career options?

Careers include:

• State public health veterinarian

• Critical research coordinator

• Food and agricultural organizations

• Veterinary services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health

• Inspection Service agency

• The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service

• Quality assurance coordinator for a major food corporation

• Peace Corp

• International non-governmental organizations

• U.S. Army Veterinary Corps

• Biological science lab technician

• American Red Cross

• Nursing/Infection control

• Regional hospitals

• State and local health departments


Why earn a MPH degree?

"As a nexus for the animal health and food science industries in the Midwest, Greater Kansas City is an environment in which MPH graduates can thrive and make substantial contributions."

CEPH accreditation logo


Ellyn Mulcahy, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Professor
MPH Program Director
Kansas State University