Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health program provides graduates with skillsets and competencies based on the latest international standards that are required for careers in health administration and management, health education and health promotion, epidemiological health and disease research, health behavioral research, biostatistics, health systems and facilities research, and health policy development. The competencies acquired from this program are sought by a broad variety of employers both in public and private sectors nationally and internationally.

General information

Campus: Astana, Kazakhstan, NUSOM building

Language: English

Delivery mode: Full-time, on-campus

Duration: 2 years

Total ECTS credit: 120

Health-related positions in the United Nations (WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, and others) and unilateral international agencies (USAID) almost always require or prefer candidates with MPH degrees. There is a growing need for MPH-trained personnel as administrators, researchers, and assessment specialists in hospitals and other health institutions. In the private sector pharmaceutical, health insurance and biotechnology companies are hiring public health professionals. Sometimes MPH graduates start their own businesses.

Increasing numbers of universities, both in Kazakhstan and outside Kazakhstan, are hiring MPH graduates for teaching, administrative work, and research. The MPH is also a gateway degree for MPH graduates who want to pursue a doctorate in a public health field in universities outside of Kazakhstan.

MPH Program Aims:

Engage students through transformational education and training in internationally-accepted best practices in population-based approaches to address health, health conditions, and disease determinants for the prevention and control of disease, disability, and untimely death.

  • To provide graduates with competencies in public health sciences to produce health and biomedical research and program evaluations of the highest quality based on international standards.
  • To provide graduates with competencies in management and health service assessment for the administration of health institutions and the development of health policies.
  • To produce skilled public health professionals who draw on knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to ethically define, critically assess, and resolve problems affecting the public’s health.

MPH Program Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the Master of Public Health program graduates will be able to:

  • Assess the health needs of defined populations, including critically characterizing distributions of determinants of health, morbidity, mortality, disability, the burden of disease, and application to inform the development of more effective and more cost-effective interventions.
  • Develop, analyze, and implement targeted health policies, projects, and programs.
  • Assure the appropriateness and effectiveness of a given public health intervention through monitoring and evaluation and other means.
  • Communicate and disseminate public health messages to targeted audiences in the general public and professional groups, including the writing of scientific papers for international conferences and submission to international biomedical and public health peer-reviewed journals.
  • Apply behavioral sciences in public health research and practice, including identifying psycho-social determinants and etiologies of health conditions and design of behavioral interventions to improve health and well-being.
  • Apply biomedical sciences in public health research and practice, including characterizing and evaluating modes of transmission and etiology, pathophysiology, and host responses to vaccines, chemoprophylaxis, and pharmacological methods of prevention, treatment, and management of disease of public health importance.
  • Apply environmental health sciences in public health research and practice, including identification and appraisal of environmental exposures associated with disease, disability, and death, especially for susceptible populations, and conducting risk assessment/risk management analysis.
  • Apply management sciences in public health research and practice, including characterizing health service systems’ organizations and structures, evaluating health delivery system models, assessing and improving health service management through changes in strategic planning and organizational design, applying concepts of human resource management to achieve strategic objectives, and preparing budgets.
  • Utilize quantitative sciences to design, conduct, analyze and interpret quantitative health research and statistical analysis, plan and conduct epidemiological surveillance, and critique and explain published peer-reviewed biomedical and public health literature.
  • Utilize qualitative sciences to design, conduct, analyze and interpret health research and critique
  • Demonstrate integration of new knowledge and skills with previous training and experience by critical and selective application within a personally and professionally relevant context, including fostering life-long learning and open critical thinking.

Career and Educational Opportunities After Graduation:

There is a growing national and international demand for MPH graduates. The Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy identifies preventive medicine, environmental protection, population health, and access to health as priorities- all requiring public health-trained professionals. The Ministry of Health and Social Development and its affiliated institutes and centers, and the National Medical Holding hire MPH-trained professionals.

How to apply

STEP 1. Create your personal account

Register on portal to create a Personal Account. Read the instructions about the application procedure given in your Personal account.

STEP 2. Complete your Application Form and attach the required documents

Fill out the application form and attach the required documents:

  1. Scanned copy of a National ID card or passport;
  2. Scanned copy of secondary school or higher education institution certificate (attestat/diploma) with final academic performance or certificate from the school (spravka) according to the sample in the personal account;
  3. Motivation letter in English;
  4. Valid copies of certificates. The results of standardized tests must be sent directly to the University through test administrators.

STEP 3. Pay an application fee

The application fee is paid online via your personal account with a bank card.

The amount to pay is 5 000 tenge. All application fees are non-refundable.

Step 4. Finish the registration process

Finish the registration process by pressing the “Submit application” button. After submission applicants can’t change their applications.

Step 5. Upload IELTS/TOEFL certificates

Upload IELTS/TOEFL certificates in your personal account in the section "Upload IELTS/TOEFL" and fill up the required information about the certificate.

Further steps

Check your e-mail for notifications from the NU Admissions Department and your personal account to learn about your application status.

If you experience any difficulties with the registration or online application, please contact Refer to your IIN and/or Applicant ID while sending us your requests.

Entry requirements

Candidates applying to the Master of Public Health program are expected to have:

  • an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) and a/or graduate degree (if applicable) in a relevant discipline. During the application period, final-year students may submit official current transcripts for consideration. Applicants recommended for admission must provide final transcripts and diplomas before the end of the Programs’ enrollment term. Graduates of the University are enrolled based on the evidence of the final transcript confirming the degree completion followed by diploma submission within a month;
  • Candidates may be enrolled conditionally based on evidence from graduating university that the candidates have completed the educational program and the candidate expects formal issuance of final transcript and/or diploma by a certain date. In that case, the decision on enrollment shall prescribe the period of time within which the candidate shall provide the necessary documents to the University;
  • a minimum CGPA of 2.75 out of 4.00 or equivalent on the applicant’s degree (bachelor's, master or Ph.D. (if masters and Ph.D. have adopted a GPA approach);
  • the required level of English language proficiency;
  • strong reading, analytical and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GRE or GMAT test (optional). Although an official GRE/GMAT score is not an essential requirement, an applicant can enhance his/her application with a competitive GRE/GMAT score;
  • high level of motivation and a strong interest in the Program outlined in the statement of purpose;
  • 2 (two) confidential letters of recommendation;
  • For Master of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Master in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation programs only: Evidence of any professional and/or voluntary experiences related to biological and/or medical research (optional). Although this is not an essential requirement, an applicant can enhance his/her application with such evidence.

The required level of English proficiency:

1. The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test reports for admission to the Program is an overall IELTS test score of 6.5 or higher (with no sub-score less than 6.0 in each section) or the equivalent TOEFL score (except Home edition) as posted on the ETS website;

2. The absolute minimum requirement for an English language proficiency test report for admission to Nazarbayev University Zero Year of Master’s Programs is an overall IELTS test score of 5.5, with no more than one sub-score of 5.0, or the equivalent TOEFL scores (except Home edition) as posted in on the ETS website.

3. Applicants to the Program, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:

  • one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction, and daily life;
  • an undergraduate or graduate degree was earned in a program that was officially taught in English;
  • the applicant is a graduate of Nazarbayev University.

List of documents to be submitted by the applicants

  • Complete application form;
  • National ID or passport;
  • Official document confirming name changes (if applicable);
  • Degree diplomas with transcripts;
  • An official electronic IELTS/TOEFL certificate (except Home edition) (valid at the time of document submission) sent to the University through IELTS/TOEFL VERIFICATION SERVICES. Code for IELTS: Nazarbayev University. Code for TOEFL: 6762
  • Document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL);
  • GRE/GMAT test certificates valid as of the date of online documents submission (optional);
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation written within the last 12 month (to be provided by referees electronically or in hard copy);
  • Statement of purpose of 500 words or less;
  • 075у medical certificate (for Kazakhstani candidates) or a similar medical certificate with indication of general health (for international candidates);
  • A document stating the presence or absence of a criminal record;
  • Consent of the candidate/student to the processing of personal data;
  • For Master of Pharmacology and Toxicology program only: Evidence of any professional and/or voluntary experiences related to biological and/or medical research shown in a CV, recommendation letter or in any other document (optional).
  • The Admissions Committee and/or Admissions Department may request additional documents when necessary.

Important dates

Important dates for those who are applying for the 2023-2024 academic year:

Application periods for Masters programs:

  • for International applicants: November 30, 2022 – February 28, 2023
  • for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan: November 30, 2022 – April 18, 2023

The final deadline for submission of IELTS/TOEFL, GRE/GMAT certificates:

  • for International applicants: March 15, 2023
  • for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan: May 3, 2023

The start of orientation week (for newly enrolled students): August, 2023

First day of classes: August, 2023

Status assigned to the candidate

All registered candidates can check the status of their application in the Personal account. Description of the status below is presented in the order of assignment to the candidate in the Personal account.

Application in processing. This is interim status, which means that the application is being processed. Admissions Committee will evaluate the application and inform the candidate on further steps/stages. Notification on final results will be sent to your email address.

Does not meet entry requirements. The status is assigned to the candidates who do not meet the minimum entry requirements. It is given after checking the application forms and the documents by the Admissions Department.

Disqualified. The status is assigned to candidates who are disqualified for gross violations of the conditions of the competition. For example, provided deliberately false information.

Rejected by Admissions Committee. At one of the competition stages, the Admissions Committee decided to reject the candidate’s application.

Transfer to another program. At the stage of an application screening the Admissions Committee has decided to recommend the candidate for consideration by the Admissions Committee of another program within the same School.

Pending. Candidate’s application is pending.

Waiting list. The Admissions Committee has finished reviewing the candidate’s application and made a decision to put you on a waiting list. Such candidates should expect notification from the University, as there is a possibility that if other candidates reject to study, they may be sent an invitation letter to study.

Recommended for admission to Zero Year of Graduate programs. The Admissions Committee has decided to recommend the candidate for the Zero Year of Graduate program. “Zero Year of Graduate programs” is a two-semester full-time program for candidates, who do not meet the language requirements for direct admission to Master’s programs, with intensive language, academic and research preparation for Master’s programs.

Recommended for admission to program. Admissions Committee has decided to recommend candidate for the program without going through the Zero Year of Graduate programs.

Recommended for conditional admission. The Admissions Committee has decided to recommend a candidate for the conditional admission with a requirement to fulfill the condition by the deadline specified in the notification.

Withdrawn. Candidate decided to withdraw from the competition.

Accepted Program admission offer. The status is assigned to candidates who received offer letter, signed Enrollment confirmation form and fulfilled all the сonditions of the University indicated in the offer letter.

Accepted Zero Year of Graduate programs admission offer. The status is assigned to candidates who received offer letter to Zero Year of Graduate program, signed Enrollment confirmation form and fulfilled all the сonditions of the University indicated in the offer letter.

Refused admission offer. The candidate was recommended for admission, but refused to study.

Refused in favor of another NU program. The status is applicable for those candidates, who applied for several graduate programs at NU. The status is assigned when the candidate chooses another program.

Deferred. The status is assigned to candidates who were accepted for the program, but decided to postpone their studies until the next year.

Did not submit the documents/Refused. The status assigned to candidates who did not provide originals of the documents by the stated deadline, which means that the candidate refuses to study at University.

Did not come to Orientation week/Refused. The status is assigned to candidates who accepted the offer letter, provided hard copies of documents, but did not participate in Orientation week. The vacant place, if available, can be offered to the candidates in the Waiting list.

Enrolled to program. The status is assigned to candidates who enrolled to the main program by the Decision of the Provost. Candidate officially became a student.

Enrolled to Zero Year of Graduate programs. The status is assigned to candidates who enrolled to the Zero Year of Graduate program by the Decision of the Provost. Candidate officially became a student.


The Master of Public Health Program is a two-year full-time program. The MPH program provides the basic core competencies to practice in a large range of public health fields and to contribute to the body of knowledge in public health and population medicine. The curriculum focuses on basic public health sciences and essential managerial and analytical skills including project planning and evaluation, analytical epidemiological investigation and statistical data analysis and modelling, understanding complex determinants of health and health disparities, effective communications to professionals and the public, and leadership.

Year 1: Semester 1

Year 1: Semester 2

Year 2: Semester 1

Year 2: Semester 2


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