May 23, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog

MPH/MS in Geography

Overview: Master of Public Health (MPH)/MS in Geography

The SPH and the Department of Geography at the University of North Texas (UNT) at Denton have developed a cooperative agreement that allows students to pursue the MPH and a MS in Geography. The dual MPH in Public Health and MS in Geography involves the application of geospatial analysis and technology to the study of public health. Applications include disease surveillance, health risk analysis, health access and planning, policy development, and community health profiling, of relevance to all fields in public health. Students in this program will apply methods of geospatial analysis to public health research, practice, and policy, for example, utilizing geospatial tools and predictive modeling to explore changes in morbidity and mortality based upon environmental influences (such as air quality, water quality, and climate change) and socioeconomic indicators (such as healthcare access, income, and education). Students will learn the application of GIS software and geodatabase design to access, manage, and analyze health data from a spatial perspective.

The Public Health MPH/MS Geography dual degree program is comprised of 60 credit hours. Students complete 24 credit hours in Public Health, 18 credit hours in Geography, and 18 credit hours of shared coursework. Shared courses, although dual-listed, have the same competencies. A maximum of 18 of these shared credit hours may be transferred to the student's MPH or MS degree program to satisfy degree requirements. In addition to the thesis (EOHS 5395/GEOG 5950) as a culminating experience, students also complete the Public Health Practice Experience (EOHS 5297) and Certification in Public Health (PHED 5000) exam.

Program Competencies

By the conclusion of the MPH/MS Geography Dual Degree, a student will be able to:

  • Understand geographic information science principles in the context of public health
  • Know the methods of geospatial analysis of public health information
  • Apply appropriate geospatial methods to public health research, practice, and policy
  • Use GIS software and geodatabase design to access, manage, and analyze spatial health data.


Total hours for degree:  60

Master's of Public Health - 42 Hours

Master's of Science in Geography - 36 Hours

Required courses in Geography - 18 Hours

  • GEOG 5145 Epidemiological Research Methods in Spatial Perspective
  • GEOG 5510 GIS for Applied Science
  • GEOG 5520 Intermediate GIS
  • GEOG 5550 Advanced GIS
  • GEOG 5160 Foundations of Geographic Thought

Elective courses in Geography - 3 Hours

  • GEOG 5210 Seminar in Urban Geography
  • GEOG 5410 Location-Allocation Modeling
  • GEOG 5600 Seminar in Environmental Policy
  • GEOG 5700 Global Environmental Change
  • GEOG 5960 Computational Epidemiology
  • GEOG 5960 Introduction to Remote Sensing

Shared Courses - 12 Hours

Culminating experience in Geography and Public Health (Applied Thesis) - 6 Hours

  • GEOG 5950 Applied Thesis or EOHS 5395 Thesis  (topic must meet requirements for both GEOG 5950 and EOHS 5395)

Additional Information

  1. New students are encouraged to apply simultaneously to both programs. Students currently enrolled in only the Public Health program or Geography program have 18 credit hours to decide if they would like to enter the dual degree program. Before they have completed 18 credit hours, they may apply to the program in which they are not currently enrolled. If a current Public Health student, they must apply to the Geography program for the following fall semester. If a current Geography student, they can apply to the public health program any semester (fall, spring, or summer). If they are accepted, they must submit new degree plans to both of their programs to ensure that their academic record reflects the dual degree program.
  2. At the end of this program, students will have two degrees - one in public health and one in geography. The programs share 18 hours and coordinate the thesis that fulfills both degrees.
  3. Students will have a 3-person faculty committee - with at least 1 member from Geography and 1 member from Public Health.
  4. Culminating Experience in Public Health Practice (Comprehensive Examination and Practice Experience) - Students will pass the CPH Examination during their Culminating Experience. In PHED 5297, students will complete a Practicum Portfolio, which will include a poster presentation, notebook, and reflection paper.
  5. Culminating Experience in Geography (Applied Thesis) and Public Health (Thesis) - Dual degree students must complete a major independent project. This project is completed through 6 hours of Thesis (in geography or public health). This project will be decided by the student and the student's committee, and must be broad enough to incorporate the knowledge and tools acquired in both programs.
  6. Although UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth and UNT Denton are part of the University of North Texas System, they are separate universities. They have separate admissions, separate financial aid offices and different academic calendars. It is important that students let administrative offices know that they are a dual degree student, particularly the financial aid office. Although there is a high level of cooperation between the two programs, students will be enrolled at two universities. They will apply to two universities, submit separate degree plans to two universities, apply for graduation to two universities, and graduate twice.

Dual Degree Admission Requirements for MPH/MS Geography Applicants

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution.
  • Submit an application to SOPHAS (School of Public Health Application Service) at
  • New students are encouraged to apply simultaneously to both programs for the fall semester. Application deadlines for Anthropology are February 15th and May 1st. However, a student may decide to apply at any time prior to the 18 SCH cut-off (see below).
  • For students currently enrolled in the MPH or Geography programs, they have 18 SCH to decide if they would like to complete the dual degree program.  If a current MPH student, they must apply to the Geography program for the fall semester. If a current Geography student, they can apply to the SPH during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
  • Students are not given dual degree status until they have been successfully admitted to both the MPH and MS in Geography programs.
  • Submit complete, official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.
  • Submit official scores from one of the following graduate admissions examinations: Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), Law School Admissions Test (LSAT, or Pharmacy School Admissions Test (PCAT).  The examination requirement is waived for applicants possessing a professional doctoral degree with a license to practice in the United States.
  • Applicants with foreign transcripts must also include an official WES or ECE transcript evaluation report listing course-by-course U.S. grade point equivalencies.
  • International applicants must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in oral and written English before being granted admission.  Minimum TOEFL exam requirements: written=550; computer-based=213; internet-based=79.  The TOEFL is waived if the applicant has earned a high school diploma or a bachelor or master degree from an accredited institution within the United States or Canada.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages)
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • If invited for an interview, applicants are expected to participate in either an on-campus interview or a technology-assisted interview.
  • Once an offer of admissions has been extended to a student, official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended must be resubmitted directly to the SPH Office of Admissions, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., SSC-120, Fort Worth, TX 76107-2699.

Once an offer of admission has been extended to an international applicant, the Health Science Center will not issue immigration papers for student visas until the following documents have been received and approved by the Health Science Center:

  • Proof of financial resources
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended should be resubmitted both in English and the student's native language.

Admissions Decisions and Deferments for Dual Degree Applicants

Applicants will be furnished written notification regarding their admission status by the SPH Office of Admissions.  Statements by other Health Science Center personnel concerning the applicant's admissibility are not valid until confirmed in writing by the Office of Admissions.

Students who are admitted to a degree program and plan to enroll are required to submit an Admission Decision Form along with a non-refundable $200 assurance fee that will be used toward tuition upon arrival. Applicants admitted to a degree program that do not intend to enroll in the semester for which they applied must contact the Office of Admissions to request deferment. Deferments must be made in writing and cannot exceed one year from the original acceptance date. There is a non-refundable deferment fee of $300 that will be used toward tuition upon arrival; the deferment fee is due at the time the request is made.

Information submitted in the application materials must be complete and correct. Prospective and current students must notify the proper institution officials regarding any changes in the information provided on their application. Falsification or omission of any information on the application documents will void a student's admission, cancel their enrollment, and/or result in appropriate disciplinary action.

All materials submitted during the application process become the property of the Health Science Center and cannot be returned.

Financial Assistance

To be eligible for scholarships and assistantships offered by the SPH, applicants must complete the admission application by March 15. For additional information or assistance, please contact the Office of Admissions at 817-735-2401 or Toll Free at 1-877-868-7741. You can also email us at