Specializations

The breadth of HBHE course offerings can sometimes be challenging for students to navigate. To help students identify how our course offerings connect to different HBHE-related topics, we have identified several groupings of courses in particular topic areas. We call these “Specialization Areas” within HBHE.  MPH students have the option of pursuing a specialization as part of their HBHE curriculum.  

The current HBHE Specialization Areas are:

Course Mapping and Course Planning

To see how HBHE elective course offerings map onto these specialization areas, please download a copy of the current course mapping table.

Please note that course availability may vary from year to year, especially in order to accommodate faculty sabbatical leaves. Students should work with their advisors and the Department Program Coordinators to anticipate such issues and ensure that they can take the courses they are most interested in.

The Choice of Whether to Pursue a Particular Specialization Area

The HBHE faculty believes that, for many students, taking a variety of elective courses will give them the broadest range of future career options. Students seeking to receive an MPH degree from HBHE are NOT required to pick a Specialization Area, and nor does the HBHE faculty encourage or expect students to do so.  HBHE recognizes, however, that some students may desire or need specific recognition of the depth of their training in a particular specialization.

Completing and Documenting an Area of Specialization

HBHE considers students who complete 3 courses within a Specialization Area to have completed a Specialization in their target area. Such students are then considered to be eligible to use the language “with a Specialization in {Specialization Title}” on their CV or resumé.  For example: “Ms. Educator received her MPH degree in Health Behavior and Health Education with a Specialization in Gender, Sexuality and Population Health.”

If students would like documentation of completion of a specialization, MPH graduates may submit a request to the HBHE Director of Internships and Alumni Relations for a Letter of Specialization. Such requests should be submitted via email and include: the specialization(s) the student completed and a list of the courses completed towards each specialization.  Graduating MPH students may request a letter during their final semester in the program, which will state the condition that the specialization will be granted upon successful completion of their degree.

Notes:
  • A “Specialization” is a Department-level term and does not appear on a graduate’s official University of Michigan transcript.
  • Attempting to complete a Specialization Area does not confer priority or guaranteed enrollment in the related courses.
  • Students who take 3 or more credits of Independent Study may be able to count these credits as 1 out of the 3 required courses for completion of a Specialization if and only if the faculty member is willing to certify the topic as directly related to the Specialization Area.