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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance







Anderson, Elaine A., Full Member


Epstein, Norman B., Full Member

Quinn, Sandra Crouse, Full Member

Associate Professor

Bynum, Mia Smith, Full Member

Kim, Jinhee, Full Member

Leslie, Leigh A., Full Member

Mokhtari, Manouchehr, Full Member

Roy, Kevin, Full Member

Shenassa, Edmond D., Full Member

Assistant Professor

Hurtado Choque, Ghaffar,

Jones, Marian Moser, Full Member

Lewin, Amy, Full Member

Mittal, Mona, Full Member

Steinberg, Julia, Full Member

Thoma, Marie,

Research Assistant Professor

Maring, Elisabeth F., Full Member

Professor of Practice

Kessel, Saumuel 'Woodie', Full Member

Professor Emerita

Braun, Bonnie, Full Member

Professor Emeritus

Hofferth, Sandra L., Full Member

Koblinsky, Sally A., Full Member

Randolph, Suzanne M., Full Member

Wallen, Jacqueline, Full Member

More MCHS Faculty Information

Maternal and Child Health (MCHS)   

Program Title and Classification

Maternal and Child Health

Graduate Degree Program

College: Public Health


Maternal and Child Health is an interdisciplinary field in which empirical research, epidemiological data, and policy analyses are used to understand individual, family, community, and sociocultural factors that influence health behaviors, health outcomes, and use of health services by mothers, children, adolescents, and their families (including fathers). The MCH program prepares students to advance research, policy, and practice to improve the health, safety, and well-being of these groups, with a particular emphasis on low income and ethnic minority populations. The program equips students to address MCH issues at both the family and population levels. It is unique in its focus on the whole family system and family health policy.


Ph.D. graduates in MCH are prepared for academic and research positions in colleges and universities; high level administrative or research positions in city/county/state/national health and human service agencies; and leadership positions in nongovernmental and advocacy organizations. MCH graduates are also increasingly hired by private health care organizations such as hospitals, HMOs, and health insurers.


The Department of Family Science prepares students to describe, explain, and improve the quality of family life through applied research, education, therapy, human services, policy analysis, and advocacy.  The approach is interdisciplinary, emphasizing individual, interpersonal, and social change.  The program of study is based on a systems or ecological paradigm, combining the perspectives of interrelated professional fields of maternal and child health, family science, couple and family therapy, family policy, behavioral science, and human services.  Graduates are prepared for careers in the public, non profit and private sectors, including university teaching, research, family policy analysis, and administrative positions in human service and public health programs.

Admissions Information

The Department seeks imaginative, intelligent, and highly motivated students with a desire for challenge, a commitment to excellence, and a well-developed sense of social responsibility. Applicants must have a Master’s Degree in Public Health or a relevant behavioral or social science discipline. Students with Master’s Degrees other than an MPH must complete missing courses (biostatistics, epidemiology) within one academic year of their entry into the program.

We are fortunate to attract gifted students who are concerned about public health, social and ethical issues and who view their future profession in a broad context.

Students are selected on the basis of:

  • performance in previous undergraduate and/or graduate coursework
  • the strength of GRE scores taken within the last five years
  • letters of recommendation
  • quality of empirical Master’s Thesis (for those with a Master’s degree)
  • relevant work experience
  • professional goals congruent with those of the program

Applicants to the MCH Ph.D. program should have an MPH degree or a social/behavioral science master’s degree that focuses on family, maternal, and/or child health issues (including mental health). Students without the MPH degree must complete the required 5 public health core courses (biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences) within one academic year of their entry into the program. Applicants should also have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0.

Important: Applicants to the Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. program are required to submit two applications for admission. First, they will submit an application to SOPHAS and second, they will submit a separate application to the University of Maryland.

Go to to fill out an application to SOPHAS. An application to the SOPHAS system is $120, which will cover all public health programs to which a student chooses to apply. All applicants to the MCH program must submit the following supporting documentation:

  • The SOPHAS application form
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions from which you earned credit
  • Official GRE test scores, taken within the last 5 years (Institution Code: 0485)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • CV/Resume

Approximately one week after application to SOPHAS, applicants will receive an email from the University of Maryland College Park Graduate School with instructions for completing the second supplemental application. They will be directed to the application and a $75 non-refundable fee will be processed when it is submitted. Students submit the following information:

  • Maryland Residency Information
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Demographics

All information required for this application should be submitted on-line and will be sent directly by Graduate Admission to the Department of Family Science for review. No additional hard copies are required.

Standardized test scores (GREs) are to be sent directly from Educational Testing Service (if no category exists on ETS form, please fill in 'other' and write FMSC, code 5814). GREs must be taken in time to reach our department before the December 15th deadline. Allow 2 weeks to receive your scores.

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
15 Dec
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
15 Dec

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Core Requirements

Doctoral students must complete 51 credits beyond the master's degree. Students must also complete a research internship, pass a qualifying exam, and complete a dissertation and oral defense. 

Required courses:

FMSC 606: Ethnic Families and Health Disparities (3 credits) FMSC 660: Program Planning and Evaluation in Family Science (3 credits)
FMSC 689: Research Internship (3 credits) FMSC 710: Maternal and Child Health from a Life Course Perspective (3 credits)
FMSC 720: Study Design in Maternal Child Health Epidemiology (3 credits) FMSC 730: Key Topics in Maternal and Child Health (3 credits)
FMSC 750: Family and Health Policy (3 credits) FMSC 780: Qualitative Methods in Family and Health Research (3 credits)
FMSC 850: Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology (3 credits) EPIB 650: Biostatistics I (3 credits)
EPIB 651: Biostatistics II (3 credits) Electives approved by Graduate Director (6 credits)
FMSC 899: Doctoral Dissertation Research (12 credits) 51 credits total


The Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. program requires 51 graduate credit hours beyond the master's degree, including a maternal and child health core (24 credits), a research methods core (15 credits), and the dissertation (12 credits). Students in the PhD program advance to candidacy after completing required coursework and passing a written qualifying examination. After advancement to candidacy, students must complete a dissertation proposal and oral defense, followed by doctoral dissertation and oral dissertation defense.

This program provides interdisciplinary training in research, practice, and policy relevant to health problems and services for women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families (including men). The MCH program prepares students to advance research, policy and practice to improve the health, safety, and well-being of these groups, with a particular emphasis on low income and ethnic minority populations.

Students admitted full-time to the Ph.D. program post-master's can complete this program within three years.


Facilities and Special Resources

Center for Healthy Families: This Center is the training and research arm of the Couple and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Family Science. Departmental graduate students and faculty provide clinical and educational services to families from surrounding communities in this state-of-the-art facility. Master’s and doctoral students use data collected at the Center for research projects.


The University’s close proximity to the nation’s capital, the state capital in Annapolis, federal executive departments, and headquarters of national professional and public interest associations provide research and internship placements for studying family policy unmatched by any other graduate program in the discipline. The Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area offers rich opportunities for research on culturally and socioeconomically diverse families. The campus and department have excellent computer facilities. Students have ready access to the University’s extensive library systems, as well as holdings from the Library of Congress, the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, National Archives, and many other library collections.

Financial Assistance

Fellowships and Graduate Assistantships are available to students admitted into the MCH Ph.D program.

Contact Statement

For additional information, please contact: Dr. Sandra Quinn (MCH Program Director) or Dr. Kevin Roy (Graduate Director).
Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. Program
Department of Family Science
1142 School of Public Health, Bldg. 255
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-3672
Fax: 301-314-9161



Sandra Quinn, Program Director of the Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. Program
Sandra Hofferth, Ph.D.

Department of Family Science1142 School of Public Health, Bldg. 255
College Park

MD, 20740

Telephone: 301-405-8825

Fax: 301-314-9161


Associated Information


Adolescent Health; Child Development; Child Health; Developmental Psychology; Epidemiology; Ethnic Families; Family Health; Family Planning; Health Policy; Human Development; Maternal and Child Health; Men’s Health; Mental Health; Program Design and Evaluation; Public Health; Special Health Care Needs; Women’s Health


Family Science (FMSC)