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The mission of the Master of Public Health program is to prepare dynamic public health leaders to work collaboratively with diverse communities to prioritize and investigate health concerns to achieve lasting social change, and foster health equity to promote the health and well-being of all people.
The Master of Public Health program has two concentrations, community health practice and social epidemiology. The program provides a collaborative, applied approach to education, focusing on health promotion and disease prevention with individuals, families, communities, and organizations. The objective of the program is to provide students with the professional knowledge and practical skills they will need to identify and address community health needs as a working public health practitioner.
MPH in Community Health Practice
The community health practice concentration prepares students to be leaders, innovators, and advocates in addressing community health problems and reducing health disparities. This concentration applies an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and focuses on skill development around community health assessment, program design, and program evaluation. Students learn to appraise community health needs and design, implement, and evaluate interventions to address those needs. The objective is to provide students with the professional knowledge and practical skills to become effective public health leaders.
MPH in Social Epidemiology
The social epidemiology concentration prepares students to be public health leaders that use the methodological approaches of biostatistics and epidemiology to investigate and reduce health inequalities. This concentration focuses on social determinants of health as causes of health disparities and examines the role of concepts such as power and social context. Students learn to use data to inform research, policy, and intervention efforts that lead to effective action aimed at eliminating health inequalities.
During the final year of instruction, students gain practical experience working in the public health field while completing the required practicum. The practicum includes nine months of professional practice and provides students with a structured and integrated application of their coursework. There are a variety of practicum site opportunities available to students that represent a range of settings (e.g. governmental agencies, community-based organizations, health care delivery systems) and public health topics (e.g. sexual/reproductive health, childhood nutrition, refugee and immigrant health). Students choose from an approved list of opportunities and are matched to a practicum site based on their interests and career goals.
During the practicum, students work on a project that address a need or fills a gap at their practicum site. Students receive mentoring and guidance on their project from their site supervisor (public health professional at the practicum site) and faculty advisor. The project serves as the foundation for the capstone thesis, which is developed over a three-course sequence that runs concurrently with the practicum.
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Total hours required||56|
Core MPH Learning Outcomes
All MPH students will be able to:
- Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
- Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
- Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming, and software, as appropriate
- Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice
- Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
- Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels
- Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
- Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
- Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
- Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
- Select methods to evaluate public health programs
- Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
- Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
- Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
- Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
- Apply principles of leadership, governance, and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision making
- Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
- Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
- Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
- Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
- Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
- Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
Community Health Practice
Students in the Community Health Practice Concentration will be able to:
- Access, evaluate, and utilize existing data to develop a community health assessment
- Integrate existing data and collected primary data to create an organizational assessment
- Critically assess and synthesize evidence-based public health research for addressing a health-related issue
- Develop an effective community health project that applies theoretical study design and considers priority population, delivery method, and setting
- Analyze and describe the outcomes/results of the community health project, as well as the implications of such outcomes/results
- Present capstone findings in a scientific poster format suitable for presentation at a professional conference
Students in the Social Epidemiology Concentration will be able to:
- Examine key structural and social determinants of health and the quantitative evidence base underlying conceptual thinking about these factors
- Demonstrate understanding of advanced quantitative modelling strategies commonly used in social epidemiology
- Explain causal associations between social determinants and health outcomes using advanced statistical methodologies
- Construct an appropriate statistical model to understand a health equity issue within relevant statistical assumptions
- Generate a problem focused solution that draws on the capstone findings and the literature and engages the theoretical basis for social epidemiology
Students must complete a total of 56 quarter hours consisting of 7 required core courses, 7 required concentration specific courses, and two elective courses.
All MPH courses are offered during the evening. The program uses a cohort-based model in that students are admitted once per academic year and move through courses together as a single group. Students can complete their degree in two, three, or four years. Students complete the practicum field experience and capstone course sequence in their last year.
Required Core Courses (7 Courses, 20 Credit Hours)
|MPH 501||INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH||4|
|MPH 502||INTRODUCTION TO EPIDEMIOLOGY||4|
|MPH 503||INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH||4|
|MPH 511||HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR THEORY||4|
|MPH 600||PREPARATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE||0|
|MPH 699||PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICUM||0|
Concentration Courses (7 Courses, 28 Credit Hours)
The list of courses required for each concentration can be found under "Concentration Requirements."
Elective Courses (2 Courses, 8 Credit Hours)
Two elective courses, comprising eight credit hours, are required. Students are encouraged to select elective courses that align with their public health interests and career objectives. In addition to the MPH elective courses listed below, students should consider other graduate-level courses at DePaul. A student who chooses to take a course outside of MPH for elective credit must produce a brief rationale for the choice, discussing its relevance to the field of public health and the student’s course of study. Students must receive approval from the Program Director before enrolling in elective courses outside the MPH program.
|PUBLIC HEALTH ETHICS AND POLICY|
|GLOBAL HEALTH INEQUITIES|
|MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH|
|PUBLIC HEALTH AND FORCED MIGRATION|
|GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE|
|QUALITATIVE METHODS IN PUBLIC HEALTH|
|SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC HEALTH|
|INDEPENDENT STUDY IN PUBLIC HEALTH|
Students complete their practicum field experience during their last year in the program. Students are required to commit to 8-10 hours per week to their practicum site, for a minimum of 250 hours over the course of the nine-month placement. Students are required to be physically onsite at the agency for the majority of these hours providing students with a structured and integrated application of their coursework.
During the practicum, students work on a project that address a need or fills a gap at their practicum site. The project serves as the foundation for the capstone thesis, which is developed over a three-course sequence that runs concurrently with the practicum. Students must receive a passing grade on their capstone thesis in order to complete the program and obtain their MPH degree.
Concentrations, tracks and specializations provide focus to the degree. In addition to any degree requirements, students are required to choose one of the following:
The mission of the Master of Public Health program at DePaul University is to prepare public health leaders to work collaboratively with diverse communities to prioritize and investigate health concerns, achieve lasting social change, and foster health equity to promote the health and well-being of all people.
Please see the Admission Requirements on the MPH program webpage.
MPH students receive three levels of advising through the Technical Advisor, Practicum Advisor, and Professional Advisor as described below:
- Technical Advisor: The Program Manager serves as the technical advisor to all MPH students. The technical advisor assists students with curriculum planning, selecting electives, navigating the University, and providing overall assistance to ensure success.
- Practicum Advisor: The practicum advisor is the Director of Community Partnerships. MPH students work with the practicum advisor regarding their practicum, capstone product, and capstone poster.
- Professional Advisor: MPH students will be matched with a professional advisor upon entering the program. MPH faculty members will serve as professional advisors and will be able to offer valuable advise on professional development and career planning.
Upon matriculation, students meet with their technical advisor to create their course plan based on anticipated graduation date (2, 3, or 4 years). Continual assessment of completion date is encouraged, and any changes will be discussed and implemented through the technical advisor. The technical advisor also assists with elective selection and enrollment.
Credit Hours and Enrollment Requirements
Students are required to take a total of 56 quarter credit hours to complete the MPH program. Full-time study is at least eight (8) quarter hours plus practicum during the final year. Most courses earn four (4) credit hours each.
In order to take a full course load in the Autumn quarter of any year, students must have no more than one incomplete grade in formal coursework from the previous academic year. For each incomplete over one, the student must reduce his/her course load by one course. The student will have such a reduced course load for each subsequent quarter until no more than one incomplete remains. MPH students with two or more incompletes are prohibited from taking more than one course per quarter until the incompletes are resolved. The University policy, applicable to all MPH students, regarding incompletes states the following: "Undergraduate and graduate students have at most two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, the incomplete will automatically convert to an F grade."
We do not accept prior academic credit towards the completion of an MPH degree. All students are required to complete the 56 credit hours at DePaul.
Leave of Absence
There is no formal leave of absence process, save for military leaves, for the MPH program. Students can take up to three consecutive quarters off before being discontinued in the system. Students wishing to take some time off must email the MPH Program Director and MPH Program Manager to provide a brief explanation. For students needing to take a military leave, the appropriate form can be found and completed in Campus Connect.
Students who wish to discontinue studies, permanently or for some indefinite period of time, and are in good standing should complete the appropriate process. Withdrawal from or dropping courses may have financial implications. All related information is found here. A student who has withdrawn and subsequently wishes to resume studies must reapply to the program. Readmission is not guaranteed. If a student wishes to gain readmission less than a year from the initial withdrawal date, a readmission form may be completed through the Office of Graduate Admissions. For students wishing to be readmitted more than a year after the initial withdrawal date, a new application for admittance must be submitted through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Repeating Required Courses
Students who fail to earn a B- or higher in any course are required to repeat that course to earn a grade acceptable to the MPH program. No course may be repeated more than one time. In addition, practicum placement and/or degree conferral will be delayed in the event that a course must be repeated. Both grades for the course will appear on the student's transcript and be used to calculate GPA.
If a student's cumulative GPA is below 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) after any academic quarter, the student is placed on probationary status. The student will receive a warning letter stating the specific conditions of probation. Students on probation are required to meet with the Program Director and technical advisor to establish an action plan for addressing the academic probation. Students on probation have one academic quarter to address the specific probation conditions or face dismissal from the program.
Discipline and Discontinuance
Violation of university or MPH program regulations and policies can result in disciplinary action ranging from restrictions on registration to termination of the student's graduate status. Restriction on registration may simply mean that the student is not allowed to register for a full load of courses until he/she has resolved the issue. Other forms of disciplinary action can include lowered grades in coursework, or, in extreme cases, recommendation for termination from the program. The action taken is based on stated policies of the university and the MPH program, the magnitude and scope of student behavior, and current/prior evaluations of student performance.
Due to the serious nature of academic integrity violations, students found to have engaged in such actions jeopardize their status with the MPH program and the university. The MPH program will consider the student's behavior with regard to the ethical and professional standards of public health and may recommend procedures up to and including permanent dismissal from the program.
Requirements for Degree Conferral
In order to be eligible for MPH degree conferral, students must:
- Submit all required paperwork to LAS by the College's deadlines
- Submit all required paperwork to MPH by the Program's deadlines
- Successfully complete the required 56 credit hours in 2, 3, or 4 years
- Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Have a grade of Pass for MPH 600 and MPH 699
- Earn a grade of Pass on the MPH Capstone Thesis
- Present a poster at the MPH Graduate Forum
- Complete a minimum of 250 hours in practicum
Graduation with Distinction
In order to graduate with distinction from the MPH program, students must earn both a 3.75 cumulative GPA and a grade of distinction on their capstone thesis.
Dismissal from the MPH Program
Dismissal from the program may occur under any of the following circumstances (but is not limited to this list). Additionally, students should note that degree conferral might be delayed under any of these conditions.
- Fails to meet what the program, the college, or the university deems to be satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree
- Violates the university standards as specified by the program and college, including academic integrity policies
- Fails to address conditions for academic probation within one academic quarter
- Fails to resolve an incomplete grade (IN, R) in any course for more than two quarters
- Fails to complete MPH requirements for degree conferral as listed above
Students subject to disciplinary action by the MPH program are also subject to the university procedures as described in the Graduate Academic Policies.
MPH Grievance Policy
The MPH program realizes that students may have concerns throughout their academic career that will require the intervention of the university, or that will require a university response. The university has a number of established policies and procedures for responding to specific concerns. The MPH program further acknowledges that students may have concerns not addressed by university policies, which may require further attention. These include concerns about coursework or working relationships with faculty and/or other students.
Students are always encouraged to try and address concerns through direct communication with involved parties. However, there may be time where such attempts at resolution are not successful, or where the assistance of another party may be helpful. In these instances, the MPH program and university have several resources available to students. If requested, all inquiries will be treated confidentially to the extent possible.