School of Public and Community Health Sciences

Tony Ward, Chair

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 eight program opportunities: a PhD in Public Health program, a Master of Public Health program, a Master of Public Health with a Community Health and Prevention Sciences program and five graduate-level certificate programs (Public Health, Epidemiology, Global Health, Environmental Health Sciences, and Public Health Administration).

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. CEPH then accredited both our MPH and PhD programs for the maximum of seven years in October of 2017.

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, implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, conducting research, and regulating 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, Professor, Chair

Annie Belcourt, Associate Professor

Blakely Brown, Professor

Kari Jo Harris, Professor

Erin Landguth, Associate Professor

Kimber McKay, Professor

Sophia Newcomer, Assistant Professor

Curtis Noonan, Professor

Erin Semmens, Assistant Professor

Kathleen (Annie) Sondag, Professor