Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MS in Population Health Sciences

Population Health Sciences


Program Overview

Gain the knowledge you need as a physician, administrator, clinical researcher, health care professional or behavioral scientist to implement outcome-based strategies and improve the quality of care for your patients, while reducing costs and practitioner burnout.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Make a Difference in the Changing Landscape of Health Care

The 30-credit-hour Master of Science in Population Health Sciences program can be pursued completely online, allowing you the flexibility to earn your degree around your own schedule. Your curriculum can be tailored to meet individual interests. Whether they are clinical, social and behavioral in nature or you’re looking to advance the research infrastructure of your organization, our program can help you reach your goals.

This innovative program can provide you with the ability to proactively address the health care of your patients and communities in diverse settings. For the researcher, we have courses that cover essential areas such as qualitative research methods and data mining. Graduates of this program may pursue or continue leadership careers in clinics, hospitals, primary care offices and other health care settings that emphasize better health care for individuals, patients and communities.

  • Application DeadlineJune 15 for fall admission and November 15 for spring admission
  • Are test scores required?Test scores are not required for applications


The online MS in Population Health Sciences program consists of 30 credit hours. Students have the option of completing a thesis.

Please note that courses are subject to change..

Required Courses (18 hours)

  • Basic Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Essentials of Population Health
  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy and Planning
  • Outcome Research in Population Health

Non-thesis option: Complete 9 hours of elective courses and a capstone experience.

Thesis option: Complete 6 hours of elective courses and 6 hours of thesis research.

Elective Courses (6–9 hours)

Elective courses include:

  • Introduction to Medical Care
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Population Health
  • Data Management
  • Inter-Professional Health Communication
  • Health Care Reimbursement Systems
  • Healthcare Quality and Informatics


Population health is an interdisciplinary field and our degree is beneficial for licensed health professionals, systems administrators and others interested in health outcomes research, evidence-based care and health system redesign. Applications are accepted for fall or spring admission. The GRE or MCAT is not required for admission into our program.

Please note that for applicants with a GPA below a 3.0, an admission test score is strongly recommended in order to be considered for admission. International applicants will need to demonstrate English proficiency with the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or meet other requirements established by the Graduate School.

To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must provide a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation and a curriculum vitae, and meet one of the following sets of requirements.

For applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree within the past five years:

  • Graduated from an accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum GRE score of 300*

*Standardized test scores are not required for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0

For applicants who are health care professionals:

  • Graduated from an accredited institution
  • Hold a leadership position in the health care, health policy or public health fields
  • Completed or be currently enrolled in an MD, PhD or MS/MA degree program
  • Minimum GRE score of 300*

*Standardized test scores are not required for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a graduate degree, or 5 years of healthcare experience.

**Duolingo accepted for non-native English speakers.

Can I still apply if I graduated with my bachelor’s degree more than five years ago and I’m not a health care professional?

  • Yes, applicants can be considered with 3.0 GPA and acceptable GRE or MCAT score.

I eventually want to go to medical school. Can this program help with that? Can I submit my MCAT score instead of GRE?

  • Yes, students often use this program as a bridge program to medical school and an MCAT score will be considered for admission.

What is the Capstone Experience?

  • The Capstone Experience is a planned, supervised and evaluated work experience that complements the student’s classroom education. It allows students the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in their coursework. Students are responsible for completing 120 hours under the guidance of their preceptor and are required to document their completed hours on a regular basis.

What kind of jobs can I get with this degree?

  • This degree is beneficial for licensed health professionals, systems administrators and others interested in health outcomes research, evidence-based care and health system redesign.

Is this program synchronous or asynchronous?

  • The program is asynchronous, and we currently use Blackboard as our learning platform.

You Can Do It

At The University of Alabama we want to help you tell a legendary story, and that begins with a premier education and strong support. You can succeed at earning your degree from wherever you are. Want to know more? Let our graduates tell you their UA Online stories.

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Program Information

Julianna Kearney
Admissions Counselor
(800) 467-0227

Admissions Information

UA Online
(800) 467-0227