School of Public and Community Health Sciences

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Located in Missoula, Montana, the University of Montana (UM), School of Public and Community Health Sciences (SPCHS) is housed within the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences (CHPBS).  The Montana Board of Regents approved the SPCHS administrative unit in March 2005, with its first class of students enrolled during the Fall 2006. 

The SPCHS affords students three program opportunities: a 42-credit online Master of Public Health (MPH), a 12-credit online Certificate of Public Health (CPH), and a 90-credit campus-based PhD in Public Health (PhD). 

We are the first and only Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited program in our state.  The CEPH Board of Councilors approved the University of Montana’s original application for accreditation on June 20, 2009.  The CEPH Board of Councilors acted at its June 21-23, 2012 meeting to accredit our MPH Program for a five-year term, extending to July 1, 2017.  Our PhD program in Public Health became CEPH accredited on December 20, 2016.

What is public health?

Public health practitioners work to solve the world's most pressing health problems.  They focus on preventing disease by promoting a healthier lifestyle, implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems as a way to achieve these goals.

  • What does public health encompass?
    • Public health practitioners work to improve the health of individuals and communities both locally and globally.  They confront health issues such as controlling infectious disease and reducing environmental hazards.  They also work to develop applications in prevention programs to improve health.
  • What impact does public health have on our lives?
    • Public health impacts our lives by creating healthier communities, reducing the impact of natural disasters and global epidemics and addressing health disparities.
  • What types of careers are available in the field of public health?
    • Public Health encompass a wide variety of careers: Epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health administration, community health, and preparedness or preventive medicine.

Core Faculty

Tony Ward, Associate Professor, Chair, Ph.D.

Annie Belcourt, Associate Professor, Ph.D.

Kari Jo Harris, Professor, Ph.D., MPH

Erin Semmens, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., MPH

Curtis Noonan, Professor, Ph.D., MA

Erin Landguth, Research Associate Professor, Ph.D., MS