CEPH-Accredited. Committed to Equity and Social Justice.
The concept of health equity stems from an understanding that public health and social justice are deeply intertwined. The focus of MPH@Simmons, the Master of Public Health program delivered online from Simmons University, is to prepare students to work toward achieving health equity at local, national, and global levels.
MPH@Simmons students gain the skills to become effective public health practitioners through a blend of online courses, self-paced coursework, and in-person immersion experiences that explore public health through the lens of equity and social justice.
With multiple opportunities to customize their MPH degree, students can develop content expertise in their area of passion and make an impact on the issues that matter most to them.
An MPH Focused on Health Equity
24-Month Traditional Master’s Program
15-Month Accelerated Master’s Program
No GRE Scores Required
of MPH@Simmons alumni earned a promotion, acquired a new job, or entered a doctoral program within one year of graduation.1
Applicants admitted to the upcoming cohort will be considered for scholarship awards.
Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
The Master of Public Health program at Simmons University is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). CEPH assures quality in public health education to promote excellence in practice, research, and service in the field. Our public health bachelor’s degree programs (online and on-campus BS degrees) and our joint degree programs that combine the BS in Public Health with our online MPH program are also accredited.
Public Health Curriculum
The MPH@Simmons curriculum explores core areas of public health – epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health services, environmental health, and social and behavioral health – while exploring the structural determinants of health inequities.
Students can select one of two program options — both offering the same 42-credit curriculum committed to health equity and social justice, with different course loads per term and times to completion
Health Equity Change Project Courses
A Highly Customizable Program
MPH@Simmons students can customize their MPH degree and become content experts in their area of passion within public health, such as maternal health, food insecurity, public health policy, and more. In addition to tailoring their degree to their public health interests, students can select one of two program options and can complete their program in as few as 15 months (Accelerated) or as few as 24 months (Traditional).
Our well-rounded curriculum includes the following opportunities for students to tailor their learning experience:
Many courses allow students to explore issues they are passionate about, by focusing their research and writing assignments on public health topics and communities of their choice. Course customization opportunities include:
Socio-Structural Determinants of Health — Students select a community to study and conduct a critical analysis of a public health issue of their choosing.
Global Health and Political Economy — Students propose how they would solve a global public health issue of their choice if they had a $1 billion budget.
Health Policy Analysis and Change — Students create and deliver a presentation on any law or policy, outside of traditional health domains, that impacts population health.
Applied Research Opportunities
MPH@Simmons provides students with practical, hands-on opportunities during which they work with real communities to examine and address public health issues that matter to them. Students can shape the following research opportunities around their passions, career goals, and interest areas:
Community Based Research for Health Equity — Students work with a community of their choosing and conduct a small-scale, mixed-methods community needs assessment.
Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, and Innovation — Students partner with an organization and participate in community organizing and/or advocacy through a service learning experience.
Health Equity Change Project
The culminating experience of the MPH@Simmons program is the community-based Health Equity Change Project, which provides an opportunity for students to begin making a lasting impact in their chosen area of focus.
During this final project, students select a health inequity they are passionate about, and choose a local organization to collaborate with in their two semesters in the program.
Diving into their issue of choice over a four-course sequence, students design, implement, and evaluate a project that addresses the health inequity in their community, and grow their expertise on the topic while gaining hands-on experience driving meaningful change in public health.
Featured Courses on Health Equity
While other programs may touch on health equity, the MPH@Simmons curriculum weaves the topic into every aspect of the program. Through a series of health equity-focused courses, the MPH@Simmons program trains public health professionals to identify, research, and address the root causes of health disparities.
Community-Based Research for Health Equity
Learn skills of participatory, community-based methods for partnering with communities to understand and address health challenges.
Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, and Innovation
Engage in service-learning as you explore the strategies and tactics of advocating and organizing for community- and policy-level changes to address inequities.
Environmental Health & Justice
Examine how environmental challenges — such as water and air pollution, food quality and scarcity, gentrification, and toxic dumping — affect health.
During the program, MPH@Simmons students are required to participate in two in-person immersions worth a total of 3 credits, one held on the Simmons campus in Boston and one in southern Arizona. During these immersions, students gain firsthand experience in examining public health issues and have the opportunity to collaborate with peers, faculty, local organizers, and public health leaders.
Drive Health Equity
The final deadline for the May 2024 cohort is March 13, 2024.
Our admission committee takes a holistic approach when evaluating each candidate for the program, valuing prior community experience and a passion for improving health equity. To apply to MPH@Simmons, students should first review the application requirements and deadlines.
When you begin your application, you’ll work with an admission counselor who is ready to answer your questions and discuss scholarship opportunities.
To learn more about MPH@Simmons, view our FAQ page.
MPH@Simmons Alumni Make an Impact
MPH@Simmons graduates go on to lead fulfilling careers and work toward achieving health equity at local, national, and global levels. Our graduates go on to doctoral programs and/or hold prominent positions within the field of public health, including2:
Senior Research Administrator, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
Physician, Faculty, and Service-Learning Lead, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Lead Hazard Mitigation Coordinator, Rhode Island Department of Health
Reproductive Health Program Manager, Fenway Community Health
Senior Research Associate, Singular Genomics
Public Health Advisor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clinical Research Coordinator, Pasadena Center for Medical Research
Learn how the MPH@Simmons program propelled some of our graduates forward in their careers:
Lydje Lahens, MPH ’19
Senior Research Administrator at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Lydje Lahens joined MPH@Simmons because the program’s approach to public health aligned with his drive to make a positive difference for the public good. Due to the impact he has made as an activist in the areas of health equity and structural racism, Lydje received an Excellence Award in Community Organizing from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in December 2020. Lydje is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health.
“Working with communities was one of the most powerful things about this program. There is nothing more satisfying than collaborating with a local community and seeing the impact that you make.”
Natalya Martins, MPH ’20
Director of Strategic Initiatives at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
Natalya Martins applied to MPH@Simmons because she wanted to take an upstream approach to advance population health. The program’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, community-based research, and project design made her uniquely positioned to implement positive change through equity-focused programs — and she was promoted to director of strategic initiatives at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners in May 2021.
“The Simmons program and like-minded community helped me gain the skills and drive necessary to incorporate a health equity lens into my day-to-day work.”
Dr. Resa Caivano, MPH ’20
Physician, Faculty, and Service-Learning Lead at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Dr. Resa Caivano chose MPH@Simmons because the program’s unique focus on health equity and health disparities fit her personal and professional goals. During the program’s Health Equity Change Project (HECP), she developed a service-learning curriculum for first-year medical students that focused on the structural issues impacting population health — and implementing that curriculum has become the next phase in her career.
“Every course I took gave me a new perspective and a new way to approach health inequity.”
Gain the leadership skills you need to advance your public health career.
Simmons University was founded in 1899 with the mission of helping students lead meaningful lives and build successful careers. In 2012, Simmons decided to bring that mission online by offering graduate programs that provide students with the same supportive and welcoming learning environment.
Mission and Vision
Simmons Public Health trains public health practitioners to advance population health and health equity through innovative education, transdisciplinary collaboration, applied research and practice, community organizing and engagement, and health advocacy for systems change. Our program prepares students in the general principles and practices of public health, and to address structural determinants of health often situated in historical systems of racism and other forms of oppression.
Simmons Public Health advances a vision where all individuals and communities are assured fair and equitable opportunity to achieve optimal health and well-being, ensuring inclusivity across identities, locations and circumstances.
Renowned Faculty and Leadership
The MPH@Simmons faculty is made up of educators and public health leaders who are committed to improving health equity both at home and abroad. The program is also supported by the Simmons Public Health Steering Committee and Community Advisory Committee who develop and fine-tune the curriculum and immersions to prepare students for the current job market.
MPH@Simmons students have access to a variety of career support resources to help them advance in the field of public health. Career services include résumé reviews, mock interviews, portfolio assessments, and access to the Virtual Career Center.
MPH@Simmons students also receive student memberships to the American Public Health Association (APHA). Benefits of having an APHA membership include being able to network within the world’s largest public health professional organization, opportunities to pursue advocacy work through professional interest groups, and access to career development resources.
“Simmons is picking up on the most important lesson of 19th- and 20th-century medicine: Our focus should be public health and equity in care delivery.”
Dr. Paul Farmer
Former Simmons Friars Leader and Partners in Health Co-Founder
Find Out How You Can Make a Difference in Public Health With an Online MPH From Simmons