Master of Science in Population Health Sciences Degree

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Clinical Practice

What is Population Health?

Population Health is an interdisciplinary field that integrates clinical care and public health practices to prevent, reduce and manage human disease. Population Health achieves these goals by using patient-centered approaches to understand the needs of a diverse clientele and by incorporating a value-based health care system.

Bringing diverse stakeholders together under one umbrella to overcome common challenges in health care (e.g., low provider to patient ratio in rural communities) Population Health identifies mutually beneficial solutions that work for everyone.

Benefits of a Degree in Population Health?

The changing landscape of healthcare will require intellectual investments in the future of health. Those interested in acquiring a degree in Population Health from The University of Alabama will benefit from a value-based culture that embraces diversity, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative thinking. The Master of Science in Population Health Sciences degree is designed to suit the educational needs of professionals from diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Social and behavioral scientists interested in health outcomes research
  • Providers seeking additional training in the structure and delivery of health care in an evolving system
  • Hospital administrators and office managers looking to expand current roles and responsibilities in clinical settings
  • Anyone in the health care field interested in identifying best practices to adhere to Value-based Payment Systems in an effort to increase reimbursement rates and improve health outcomes

Unique Attributes of Our Program:

  • Offers flexibility with convenient online classes for students who wish to pursue a degree while working
  • Specifically designed to prepare graduates to succeed in a value-based health care system
  • Led by diverse faculty with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, public health, psychology, business, exercise, health education, and health policy
  • Features a variety of electives and two program focus areas to allow tailoring of the program to students’ individual interests
  • Provides hands-on training in classes that range from qualitative research methods to data mining

Benefits of Joining Us

The College of Community Health Sciences has incorporated faculty from its Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and UA’s Culverhouse College of Business to expand the depth and breadth of our program. Our faculty are passionate about research, teaching and service, as well as addressing the needs of our patients and the community we serve. University and community partnerships that are designed to create innovations in health include:

All of Us

A national effort to understand how genes, environment, and lifestyle can uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine. Dr. John C. Higginbotham, professor and chair of Community Medicine and Population Health and Associate Dean for Research and Health Policy for UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, is one of the site Principal Investigators for The University of Alabama.

TelePlay

A community-based project spearheaded by Dr. Lea Yerby. The project is designed to connect a primary care provider and parents in Pickens County, Alabama, with The University of Alabama Autism Clinic to identify children at risk for autism by piloting Teleplay, an interactive and secure online communication system.

Appropriate Care and Treatment In Our Neighborhoods (ACTION)

ACTION places a nurse practitioner and a social worker on TFRS’ alternative response units that respond to low-acuity medical and behavioral health 911 calls. ACTION is a collaboration between the College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS) and Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Services (TFRS). The program includes researchers Dr. Martha Crowther and Dr. Abbey Gregg from CCHS.

The Department of Community Medicine and Population Health is housed in the College of Community Health Sciences, which is the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Our departments include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Community Medicine and Population Health. The multidisciplinary training and partnerships with various content experts will enable us to:

  •  Address the needs of our diverse clientele
  •  Provide service learning for involved parties
  • Establish new relationships with communities, clinicians, and local partners
  • Solidify existing relationships

Applicant Requirements

For more information please visit The University of Alabama Graduate Catalog.

Applicants who have completed a Bachelor’s degree within the past five years

  • Graduated from an accredited program and university
  • Undergraduate GPA 3.0 or above
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitæ
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score

Applicants who are healthcare professionals

  • Graduated from an accredited program and university
  • Holds a leadership position in the Healthcare, Health Policy or Public Health fields
  • Holds or currently working towards an MD, PhD, or MS/MA degree
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitæ
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score

Please note: International students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS).

Each application will be vetted thoroughly, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should provide documentation indicating all education, training, and experience.

Meet Some of our Professors

Abbey Gregg, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor

Department of Community Medicine and Population Health
Institute for Rural Health Research

Dr. Gregg’s research interests focus on adoption of evidence-based practices and new health care delivery models in safety-net clinics. Her work involves studying the potential of school-based health centers as Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and investigating access to long-acting reversible contraceptives for women served by publicly funded clinics.

Read More about Abbey Gregg

Raheem Paxton, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Community Medicine and Population Health
Institute for Rural Health Research

Dr. Paxton’s research interests include development, implementation and evaluation of theory-based physical activity and dietary intervention for at-risk and underserved populations. He has recently expanded his research to include rural children and older adults living in Alabama.

Read more about Raheem Paxton

Lea Yerby, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Community Medicine and Population Health
Institute for Rural Health Research

Dr. Yerby’s research focuses on rural health disparities and health care quality outcomes in Medicaid populations. Her current research efforts include access to Autism Spectrum Disorder screening and early intervention for rural children in early childhood, and evaluation of health outcomes with innovative Medicaid delivery approaches.

Read more about Lea Yerby