The Master of Public Health Program is working toward a new curriculum that will be fully implemented by the fall of 2019. The information on this page is dedicated to students who matriculated into our program prior to 2019.
Any student who matriculated in 2019 or after will want to access our updated curriculum. Both curricula focus on and interprofessional education and training in public health concepts targeted to working health professionals and traditional students alike. It provides a practice-oriented program for students in all health professions who want to strengthen general knowledge and skills in public health.
|6 required courses||18|
|2 required 1-credit seminars||2|
|1 methods course (chosen from a list of 10 Curriculum Committee-approved courses)||3|
|Electives (choose from a list of approved electives)||13|
MPH core courses
There are six required three-credit core courses that must be completed as part of the Master of Public Health Program. Five of the MPH Program’s six required courses address the five core areas of knowledge basic to public health. The sixth required course provides an overview of the core functions of public health and introduces the students to cross-cutting competencies such as public health communication, diversity and culture, leadership, program planning and systems thinking.
BMI 511 Introduction to Statistics for Public Health
This course provides a breadth in biostatistical methods for public health practitioners. Topics will include research design, data collection methods and database management, statistical computing and programming, descriptive statistics in tables and graphics, and biostatistical methods for summary measures, probability and distributions, sampling distributions, statistical inference, hypothesis testing and statistical comparison, nonparametrics, correlation, regression analysis and survey sampling.
PHS 780 Public Health Principles and Practice
This course provides an opportunity to learn about evidence-based public health and the difference between individual- and population-based strategies for improving health. The format will include lectures, discussions, and problem-based learning. Students will examine a contemporary public health issue using a case study approach, and understand the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to public health improvement.
PHS 785 Health Systems, Management and Policy
This course focuses on topics related to the healthcare system structure, management and organizations, health policy, and healthcare reform and international policies.
PHS 789 Principles of Environmental Health for Public Health Practice
Students in this course will define environmental health and describe its history as a crucial aspect of the history of public health, describe unique elements of environmental health as a public health discipline, describe the U.S. and world health status and issues as background framework to environmental health and describe the major classes of toxic substances and regulations currently in place to manage risks.
Students will learn to apply risk principles and weight of evidence to develop environmental health metrics/indicators for environmental management and decision-making and learn to communicate indicator findings using multiple modes, text, data and maps.
They will develop three environmental health indicators for use in environmental health management and policy/decision-making including understanding the genetic, physiologic and psychosocial factors that affect susceptibility to adverse outcomes. Students will understand differences in scale of use and its impact on availability and use of environmental health data.
Finally, students will discuss solutions to environmental health problems - risk assessment and HIA that integrate across disciplines and account for feedbacks and side effects of interventions - and develop effective risk communication strategies related to environmental health.
PHS 797 Introduction to Epidemiology
This course incorporates lectures and discussions on design, implementation and interpretation of epidemiologic studies; emphasis on methodologic problems in the measurement of disease frequency, natural history and risk factors.
Planning and Management to Promote Health
(Course number will be listed at a later date.)
The course provides content in theory, concepts and methods of program planning and evaluation in the context of health care and community health organizations. The course includes content related to designing and implementing health services quality improvement projects. Basic principles of tools of budget and resources management related to grants or projects are include. Class project includes the opportunity to create program plans, logic models and write grant proposals.
All students in the MPH Program must complete two one-credit seminars.
PHS 787 Field Work Seminar
This one-credit seminar, completed online, outlines the policies, procedures and expectations for students preparing for the MPH fieldwork requirement. Students gain knowledge and learn basic skills to assist them in the implementation of a field placement and/or capstone project. The course is offered each semester and session for an eight-week period. An assignment is due each week.
PHS 795 Principles of Population Health Science
This course provides a foundation for studying population health science. The course introduces students to the multiple determinants of health including medical care, socioeconomic status, the physical environment and individual behavior, and their interactions. MPH students take the course for one credit during the first eight weeks of the fall semester.
Methods courses allow students to develop public health skills. Students are required to complete one three-credit course chosen from the following list of approved courses:
Civil Society and Community Studies 501: Evaluation Research in Practice
This course introduces students to the design and use of evaluation to understand and assess those places within communities (e.g., groups, organizations, networks, associations) that are critical to civil society. The course combines community-based experiential learning (e.g., collaborative action research and/or descriptive analysis of selected settings) with classroom instruction.
Counseling Psychology 719: Introduction to Qualitative Methods
In this course we will explore the philosophical foundations of qualitative methods, connecting them to their homes in education and other disciplines. In addition, we will look across a variety of qualitative methods to examine assumptions about the nature of knowledge and reality, the relationship between the researcher and the researched, issues of standards and ethics, and methods for generating and communicating data and interpretation.
We will read methodological and theoretical works that represent various genres of qualitative research and exemplars of qualitative studies in education. Among the types of qualitative work we will explore are case study, ethnography, grounded theory, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and practitioner research.
Nursing 761: Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement
This course provides content in the concepts and methods of program planning and evaluation in the context of health care and community health organizations. Provides basic content related to designing and implementing health services quality improvement projects.
Public Affairs 871: Public Program Evaluation
(Capacity limited - priority given to MPA and MPA-MPH students)
In this course graduate students study strategies for evaluating the efficacy of public programs, as well as strategies for addressing the challenges of applying program evaluation methods in “real world” policy settings. The estimation of a policy or program’s impact — based on observation and measurement of the program over time, the careful construction of a counterfactual state (what would have happened in the absence of the program) and hypothesis testing and estimation using experimental or non-experimental methods — is often a long and involved process if done well.
As capacities for data collection and storage have expanded and tools for evaluation have advanced, the demands for program evaluation have grown exponentially. At the same time, however, expectations for using information that is readily and regularly collected to inform decision making and to make adjustments to programs as needed to increase their effectiveness have also risen, creating new challenges for the evaluation field.
It is a goal of this course to expose students to “state of the art” methods in program evaluation and to provide them with an understanding of when and how they can be most usefully applied to produce knowledge and evidence of program effectiveness to guide program and policy decision making.
This course focuses primarily on quantitative methods of program evaluation, although we will discuss the role and importance of qualitative research methods as well in the various stages of program evaluation. The course also address the relationship between program theory and evaluation design, ethical issues in program evaluation, the use of data for continuous quality improvement, interpretation of research findings, and the role of evaluation results in program and policy development.
PHS 552: Regression Methods for Population Health
This course serves as an introduction to the primary statistical tools used in epidemiology and health services research, multiple linear regression, logistic regression and survival analysis.
PHS 819: Social Network Analysis and Health
This course provides an overview and synthesis of research utilizing social network analysis in relation to health, drawing on studies by sociologists, economists, computer scientists, physicians and health services researchers. The course enables students to understand how social network data are collected and processed, how to calculate appropriate network measures and how to apply statistical modeling of social network effects on health behavior. The course will survey social network studies related to substance use, smoking, contraception, HIV/AIDS, obesity and many other health conditions. The course will also look at the social networks of health organizations in relation to patient outcomes.
PHS 796: Introduction to Health Services Research
This course introduces students to a variety of perspectives, substantive areas and methodological approaches to health services research that provide the foundation for understanding the structure, process and outcomes of the U.S. health care system. PHS 795 Introduction to Population Health is a prerequisite for this course.
PHS 798: Epidemiologic Methods
The main emphasis of this course is the design and interpretation of epidemiologic studies. The course includes hands-on experience in the evaluation of epidemiologic evidence, the analysis of epidemiologic data, and the discussion of strategies aimed to improve study validity and efficiency. PHS 797 Introduction to Epidemiology is a prerequisite for this course.
PHS 803: Monitoring Population Health
This course is designed to help you learn about using and collecting both quantitative and qualitative data to inform your public health/population health work. The course will provide a very practical approach to analyzing and using existing data sources such as the census, BRFSS, the state's searchable health data system, and others.
PHS 875: Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health and Healthcare
The course's overall goal is to introduce students to the key concepts of health technology assessment, with a focus on cost-effectiveness analysis. This field is multidisciplinary and policy-oriented, which means there are many possible angles from which to teach the material, and a fair deal of context (and pretext) behind it.
It also means, quite simply, that there is a lot of challenging material and many different ways to do basically the same thing and substantial disagreement about what is the “best” way. It is impossible to cover every interesting topic from every angle in a single course.
Upon completing this course, students should have enough understanding of the methods and practice of technology assessment to be able to critically assess technology appraisals and their related academic literature. Beyond that, students should also become equipped with the tools necessary to begin to do their own technology assessment research and to know and be able to reach out to collaborators for further information.
PHS/Public Affairs 881: Benefit Cost Analysis
This course will present the welfare economics underpinnings for evaluating the social benefits and costs of government activities. Issues such as uncertainty, the social discount rate, and welfare weights will be discussed; case studies from the environmental, social policy, and agricultural areas will be studied.
The field experience is a required component for all students in the MPH Program. This requirement provides students with practical experience allowing them to apply and incorporate skills and knowledge learned from the classroom in a public health setting. Students participate in a population-focused field experience following the completion of the majority of their coursework.
Elective courses are intended to deepen a student’s knowledge in one or more areas of public health:
- Health policy and administration
- Global health
- Environmental health
- Cultural competence
- Community health
Each student must complete a capstone project before graduation. It is the final requirement for the MPH degree. The capstone project is based on a non-thesis, culminating master of public health experience. Students demonstrate their mastery of public health competencies through:
- A choice of a formal paper
- 20-30 page research paper/report
- Manuscript prepared for peer-reviewed public health journal
- A choice of an oral presentation
- 10-minute presentation at a community organization
- Poster presentation at Department of Population Health Sciences annual event
- 2-3 minute digital story
- An oral defense (meeting with the student's Capstone Committee to discuss paper)