The 45-credit-hour public health program focuses on analytical and applied tools needed to promote and protect the health of populations including local and global communities. Public health researchers and practitioners seek to improve the health of different populations—from neighborhoods and cities to regions and countries. Their work often includes shaping policy, understanding program values and costs, and encouraging healthy behaviors through education and direct action. The program engages skills and utilizes knowledge from social sciences, natural science, health policy, epidemiology, and law. Students in the health policy concentration learn to effectively identify and resolve public health issues in community, private, or government settings. Because the field of public health is interdisciplinary, we have a wide variety of experts representing many academic disciplines. Faculty with degrees and expertise in public health, economics, sociology, environmental science, political science, pharmaceutical outcomes research, and epidemiology teach the program courses.
Upon completion of the MPH core curriculum, graduates will be prepared to:
- Evaluate the use of quantitative and qualitative methods used by researchers to analyze health problems and inform health policy.
- Use concepts and methods of epidemiology to evaluate population health.
- Apply evidence effectively to shape and inform health policy.
- Assess environmental conditions, including biological, chemical, and physical aspects affecting the health of local and global populations and communities.
- Discuss the factors that influence the quality and financing of access to healthcare services and delivery.
- Integrate behavioral, social, and cultural dimensions that impact the health of communities and populations.
- Assess the ethical, legal, cultural, and historical contexts for public health issues and disparities.
- Demonstrate leadership and serve as an advocate to eliminate health disparities and promote equitable access to resources, information, and healthy environments.
- Explain the importance of cultural diversity and community participation as necessary factors for promoting health.
Upon completion of the MPH health policy concentration, graduates will be prepared to:
- Apply knowledge of the context and process of health policy–making within health organizations, communities, and governments.
- Evaluate the effectiveness and quality of specific health programs, and make recommendations for policy improvements.
- Understand how policy can be developed at various societal, governmental, or organizational levels, using appropriate theoretical constructs.
- Describe the relationships among and between private health service providers, private and public insurance systems, and publicly supported health services and programs.
Beginning with core courses in statistics, public health management, epidemiology, environment and health, and the behavioral and social foundations of health, students develop additional knowledge about law, policy analysis, health economics and services, and ethical issues. These offer fundamental competencies and skills, creating a foundation that can be utilized to improve community health. Available electives in risk assessment, social history, nonprofit management, health disparities, and urban health focus student learning in areas of personal and professional interest. Students apply their theoretical learning to real-life situations, where course concepts are integrated with public health practice. A field experience and capstone are culminating experiences that further direct students toward future employment and professional development.
Students learn to develop and shape programs that affect the health of populations. Graduates can advocate for underserved populations through administrative and legislative channels, implement government programs, work in foundations, or direct health activities in industry. Coursework and research opportunities engage health policy, including the roles of government programs and policies, professionals and their organizations, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and community services and education regarding health and disease prevention. Students embrace a broad perspective on community health and help shape health activities for federal, state, or local government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations.