The Master’s in Public Health includes introductions to environmental sciences, epidemiology and public health management; methods-related courses on program planning and public health research; and a community concentration with practicum fieldwork.
This 45-credit curriculum can be completed in as little as two years. You receive instruction from distinguished, field-savvy professors on a diverse range of public health topics, perform community fieldwork, and graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience to become a community health leader.
Core Courses: 18 credits
Methods-Related Courses: 9 credits
Community Health Concentration Courses: 18 credits
MPH 252: Biostatistics (3 credit hours)
In this course, students conceptualize different statistical methods and healthcare protocols used to evaluate programs in both clinical and non-clinical public health settings. Coursework emphasizes data analyses involving human and animal case studies and applies concepts learned to other health-related fields, including but not limited to public health.
MPH 285: Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences (3 credit hours)
This class is structured around the things we do as individuals and societies that result in environmental health hazards. Environmental health sciences represent the study of biological, physical and chemical factors that affect a community’s health. Students examine causal links between these environmental agents and their impact on human health. This course also presents basic principles of toxicology and introduces the overall role of environmental risks as they relate to human disease. Students also explore the engineering of policy strategies, including risk assessment.
MPH 280: Introduction to Epidemiology (3 credit hours)
This course introduces the basic concepts of epidemiology as applied to public health issues. It examines how epidemiology contributes to assessing the population’s health, identifies the risk factors that cause diseases and evaluates the procedures for studying and preventing them. Students learn the historical background of epidemiology and understand its practical applications to improving health. The course covers key epidemiological concepts such as measures of morbidity and mortality, association and measures of effect, bias and confounding, and also evaluate published research studies across key epidemiological study designs.
MPH 275: Introduction to Public Health Management (3 credit hours)
This course introduces students to the principles of public health management in addition to the historical evolution of public health infrastructure and practice. Students discuss disease surveillance, conflict and collaboration between public health and medicine, and historical and contemporary ethical issues. In addition, the course: 1) explore public health ethics and responses to conditions such as emergent and chronic infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental illness, birth defects, non-fatal accidents and injuries, natural and manmade disasters, bioterrorist threats, and occupational health hazards; and 2) examine the establishment and measurement of national health objectives in relation to the expansion of public health surveillance systems, strategies for disease prevention and control, and health and wellness promotion.
MPH 301: Social and Behavioral Health (3 credit hours)
Students are introduced to social concepts and processes that influence health status and public health interventions. It provide an introductory background to the kinds of social and behavioral theories that guide our understanding of health-related behavior and explore some of the ways in which these theories and approaches may be used in public health practice. The course also offers insights into psychosocial issues in public health and while familiarizing students with key socio-behavioral concepts such as culture, race/ethnicity, gender, poverty/disparities, and factors related to behavior change, community, organizational climate, and family. Students further explore the role of these concepts in shaping, developing, and impacting public health policies and programs.
MPH 204: Healthcare System and Its Financing (3 credit hours)
This course provides an overview of factors affecting the access, disparity, efficiency, and quality of the U.S. healthcare system. These factors include demographic changes, demand for services, cost shifting, use of health technology, healthcare workforce distribution, financing of services by public and private payers, the rise of cost containment, Medicare and Medicaid, the evolution of the managed care market, and healthcare reform initiatives. Students gain an appreciation of the dilemmas confronting policy makers, providers, and the public, and how to balance the conflicting priorities in the current healthcare system.
Methods-Related Courses: (Select Three)
MPH 302: Health Data Analysis and Management (3 credit hours)
This course helps students develop effective data management skills in clinical and healthcare research. It provides them with an overview of SAS software and teaches technical skills for data management, data analysis, and producing graphs and reports. The course will present opportunities for hands-on experiences and assignments with real-world data from a wide variety of sources such as healthcare administrative files and Health Survey databases from National Center for Health Statistics. Students also discuss other statistical packages such as SPSS and STATA.
MPH 303: Public Health Program Planning (3 credit hours)
This course offers a systematic approach to planning effective public health programs using real-world and evidence-based examples. Students learn the general principles of public health program planning, including needs assessment, design, implementation and evaluation. The course introduces various tools/models to present an overview of the public health program planning process so that students can develop a plan for implementing an effective public health program and/or intervention to address issues affecting the communities at local, national, and international levels.
MPH 304: Public Health Program Evaluation (3 credit hours)
Students receive an indepth understanding of program evaluation, evaluation methods, evaluation design methodology, and application of qualitative and quantitative analysis tools to evaluate data; as well as methods for enhancing the likelihood that evaluation results are utilized. The course examines discuss quantitative and qualitative research methods in addition to a wide variety of research and program evaluation designs and methods used in applied areas of healthcare.
MPH 305: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (3 credit hours)
This course is an introduction to the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as they apply to public health. It focuses primarily on analyzing the spatial-temporal distribution of demographic risk factors for disease outcomesin additiona to implications for planning and targeting public health interventions. Participants acquire hands-on experience using a type of GIS software to create and manage geo-referenced data layers; learn principles of geocoding and the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS); perform queries, searches, and statistical analyses; and create maps and reports for the field of public health. The course focuses specifically on the spatial epidemiology of health disparities and access to healthcare.
MPH 306: Research Methods in Public Health (3 credit hours)
Students learn the fundamentals of research study design, data collection, data analysis and interpreting study results in a public health research or evaluation project. It serves as an introduction to various quantitative, qualitative, mixed method and participatory approaches for undertaking research on issues pertaining to public health and health services evaluation. The course also introduces ethical issues in conducting a public health research.
Community Health Concentration Courses: 18 credits
MPH 330: Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
The Culminating Experience provide continued development of each students’ skills and help advance transitions to knowledgeable public health professionals. Students learn to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in various learning environments and apply the theory and principles to an area of public health practice. This course is integrated with the fieldwork practice experience and requires application of the cross-cutting concepts and core areas of knowledge. Students are required to plan, analyze, and present their fieldwork experience as well as attend seminars. Prerequisite: MPH 317 Public Health Practice.
MPH 219: Healthcare Outcomes Assessment (3 credit hours)
Students benefit from a comprehensive review of economic analysis and health status assessment in the appraisal of health outcomes and program effectiveness in health service research. The course introduces major economic evaluation methods such as cost effectiveness analysis, cost benefit analysis and cost utility analysis in the context of the current healthcare service system. The course also examines the application of economic tools and quality of life evaluation instruments in clinical investigations, health services research, and policy analysis.
MPH 310: Health Disparities (3 credit hours)
This course introduces the concept of health disparities in relation to socioeconomic status (SES) of racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Students compare health status across social, racial and ethnic groups and discusses the concept of socioeconomic status and its association with poverty and poor health. Students discuss disparities in access to healthcare, racial and ethnic bias on the part of healthcare providers, including race-based pharmaceuticals. They also consider public policy interventions and best practices designed to address these disparities. In addition, students examine interrelationships among immigration, assimilation, acculturation, and disparities in minority communities.
MPH 311: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (3 credit hours)
The purpose of this course is to evaluate different approaches to health promotion and disease prevention for different target groups. It focuses on the specifics of intervention, both development and delivery, and how these might vary across settings, behaviors and strategies, emphasizing examples of intervention creation, delivery, and effectiveness. Students will also understand the resources and other practical considerations necessary to produce, deliver, monitor, and disseminate an intervention with demonstrated effectiveness.
MPH 312: Health Communication (3 credit hours)
This course prepares students to collect, manage and organize data to produce information and demonstrate the ability to present this information in meaningful ways to different audiences. Designed to help public health professionals apply sound judgment when making decisions about how to communicate effectively with the public, and it includes theoretical and practical content on persuasive approaches to group and individual change.
In addition, students review audience, message, and channel factors in campaign development and measurement of campaign impacts. Also discussed are communication approaches such as mass media, social media marketing, risk communication, entertainment education, and the ethical dimensions of contemporary issues such as direct-to-consumer marketing.
Fieldwork Practice Experience (200 Hours)
MPH 317: Public Health Practice (3 credit hours)
This fieldwork experience prepares students for professional practice in the public health industry by integrating course work with community public health practices. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) requires MPH students to complete a “planned, supervised and evaluated practice experience.” Each student works in an organization to address a public health issue. The practice is supervised by a qualified, on-site public health professional. As students carry out the assigned projects, they use the skills and knowledge learned in didactic courses. They are able to demonstrate an understanding of public health challenges in practice, which allows them to connect the knowledge and competencies learned in the classroom to the public health profession. Each student submits a final course report to document and track their progress toward goals and objectives. This serves as the prerequisite to the Culminating Experience course (MPH 330). Prerequisites: All core courses.