Master of Public Health

mph
Overview 

The Zilber School of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. This professional program provides students with a broad understanding of public health practice with specialty tracks currently available in the areas of Environmental and Occupational Health and Community and Behavioral Health Promotion. Three future tracks — Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Public Health Policy and Administration — will begin as soon as Fall, 2014.

The MPH degree program prepares students for professional public health practice by building practical knowledge and skills, including the applied use of public health research and program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Students learn to address complex public health challenges, including environmental health risk reduction, teenage pregnancy prevention, and the promotion of healthy social and physical environments. The program has a specific emphasis on health equity, social and environmental justice, and community partnerships.

The MPH curriculum includes required core courses in Environmental and Occupational Health, Community and Behavioral Health Promotion, Public Health Policy and Administration, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. Knowledge and skills in these core disciplines in public health helps prepare students to analyze information and consider solutions to public health problems at the community, institutional, and societal levels. Students complete a track curriculum, as well as a required field experience and capstone project. Cross-cutting competencies are separated into seven categories: communications/informatics, diversity/culture, leadership, professionalism, program planning/evaluation, public health biology, and systems thinking. Courses have been designed to fulfill competencies as outlined by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).

Applications

All applicants must complete the required online application and the MPH application checklist.

Apply for early decision before November 1st. Apply before March 1st for full consideration.

The program currently accepts students for the Fall semester to begin studies in September. Applicants must meet Graduate School requirements, plus the following program requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

1. MPH Application Checklist

2. Current Resume 

3. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic experience and potential for graduate work in public health

4. Submission of scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years. Submit scores to Public Health, code 0616

The admissions committee may consider GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores in place of GRE scores. Applicants must request this substitution in writing. 

These materials will be considered in a holistic admissions process with special attention to ensure a diverse student body.

Students will work with their advisors to choose appropriate coursework and to determine a plan of study. Prior to the start of classes in the first semester, students will be required to take diagnostic exams, administered by the Biostatistics division within the School. For admitted students who score below an acceptable level on the Biostatistics diagnostic exam, advisors may suggest remedial courses to best prepare students to succeed in MPH common core coursework.

Successful applicants to the Environmental and Occupational Health track will have upper-level chemistry, biology, and mathematics through at least one semester of calculus.

MPH Degree Curriculum

Students in the Master of Public Health program complete 42 – 45 credits (depending on track). All students must take 27 credits required core coursework, including a field experience and capstone project. Students also complete required, track core courses.

Students should determine their Plan of Study in consultation with their advisor and the Student Services Office. All students must submit a completed Individual Plan of Study Worksheet, available for the CBHP Track and the EOH Track, in their first semester and maintain a current Individual Plan of Study on file with the Student Services Office whenever their plans change. In addition to this At-A-Glance Curriculum Grid, the Public Health Graduate Student Handbook provides template Plans of Study for part-time and full-time students. Full-time students are expected to enroll in 10 – 12 credits per semester to complete the MPH in two years.

Current Courses

PH 701 Public Health Principles and Practice - 3 credits
What is public health? This core course in the UWM MPH program examines fundamental principles designed to improve the health of the public. Classes will cover a range of topics with a primary focus on developing an understanding of public health theories, domains, and practices. Learning will occur through lectures, case studies, reflection, group discussion, and an independent project that examines a contemporary public health issue.

PH 702 Introduction to Biostatistics - 3 credits
Development and application of statistical reasoning and methods in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems in public health; health care and biomedical, clinical and population-based research. Fundamental statistical concepts related to the practice of public health: descriptive statistics; probability; sampling; statistical distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; chi-square tests; simple and multiple linear regression; one-way ANOVA. Use of computers in statistical analysis.

PH 703 Environmental Health Sciences - 3 credits
This survey course will cover the effects that the environment has on humans, and the effects of humans on the environment. Emphasis is placed on the areas that have major deleterious effects on the population, such as infectious disease and toxicology. The student will acquire an understanding of the regulations and monitoring that societies create in order to limit the effects of harmful substances and will be taught the economic realities of producing a clean and safe society. A range of geographic ecosystems is presented, from local (workplace) space to global systems.

PH 704 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology  - 3 credits
This course will introduce the quantitative study of patterns and determinants of health and illness in human populations. Concepts of problem conceptualization, study design, measurement, causal inference, estimation accuracy, and threats and solutions to study validity will be covered.

PH 705 Principles of Public Health Policy and Administration - 3 credits
This course will explore policy that influences population health, provide a framework for understanding the public health policy process, and address the planning, organization, and administration of public health systems.

PH 706 Perspectives on Community and Behavioral Health Promotion - 3 credits
This course will address the philosophical underpinnings, conceptual frameworks, and strategies for the application of behavioral and social science concepts to the goals of public health. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to apply basic behavioral and social science concepts to public health problems.

PH 707 Introduction to Statistical Computing - 1 credit
This laboratory will provide students with hands on experience in SAS programming for basic data management and data processing, data manipulation, and programming.

PH 790 Field Experience in Public Health - 1 to 4 credits
The field experience is an integral component of the Master of Public Health (MPH) curriculum. The purpose of the field experience is to provide a practical public health experience that allows for the application of the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to be applied to real world public health problems. The field experience is a mentored placement engaging both faculty and site preceptors.

Community and Behavioral Health Promotion Required Track Core Courses

PH 725 Theories and Models of Health Behavior - 3 credits
This course will examine critical theories and models of health behavior targeted to each level of the social ecological model. We will examine the historical and public health context for the use of these theories and models. We will also critically assess the utility of these theories in various domains.

PH 726 Community Health Assessment - 3 credits
This course will introduce you to the concepts and techniques of community health assessment. You will learn how to critically analyze and conduct community assessments.

PH 727 Program Planning and Implementation in Public Health - 3 credits
The purpose of the course is to provide the students with an understanding of a systematic approach to the planning and implementation of public health programs. Diagnoses of social, psychological, educational and administrative aspects of public health programs are present. Program monitoring, rigorous methods of impact assessment and the measurement of efficiency are examined.

PH 728 Research Design and Program Evaluation in Public Health - 3 credits
This course provides a theoretical introduction to and experience with the application of research methods and program evaluation in public health. Students are expected to be involved in designing and presenting a research and evaluation plan. Students will receive structured guidance on how to develop conceptual frameworks and project hypotheses, how to collect and analyze data, and how to develop program evaluation plans. Students design and present research and evaluation plans, receive guidance on developing conceptual frameworks and hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and developing program evaluation plans.

Community and Behavioral Health Methods "S" Electives - At least 6 credits

PH 729 Survey Research Methods in Public Health - 3 credits
This course provides an introduction to the application of survey methods with emphases on sampling, survey design and planning, and data collection procedures.

PH 762 Environmental Epidemiology - 3 credits
Tackle current problems in environmental epidemiology. Utilize and expand upon basic epidemiological principles underpinning the problem, evaluate examples of the problem and past solutions in primary scientific literature, and propose new solutions. Focus on examples of local environmental problems (e.g. pollutants in Lake Michigan) and will hear from local experts on problems of the air, water, soil, food supply, consumer products, and indoor spaces. Emphasize the intersection between environmental epidemiology and many other disciplines, including toxicology, environmental science, exposure science, genetics, geography, and others.

ED POL 501 Introduction to Community Organizing - 3 credits
Concepts informing community organizing or collective action for community change in the tradition of Saul Alinsky and related organizers. Introduces concepts such as "cutting an issue," "leadership," "targets."

SOC WRK 662 Methods of Social Welfare Research - 3 credits
Analyze methods of social welfare research and problems in project design and programming. Characteristics of investigations directed to planning, administrative, practice, and scientific objectives.

ED POL 701 Research Methods for Education and Community Engagement - 3 credits

SOC 752 Fundamentals of Survey Methodology - 3 credits

PUB ADM 792 Decision-making for Non-profits and Public Organizations - 3 credits
Research methods including research design, measurement, and analysis. Qualitative and quantitative decision-making methods. Understanding and using basic statistical concepts and techniques in decision making.

MPH Electives - Choose one course for at least three credits

PH 709 Public Health Informatics - 3 credits
This course will provide an overview of the rapidly emerging and evolving field of public health informatics. Public Health Informatics (PHI) lies at the intersection of information technology, information management, and public health with activity ranging from simple data entry, to creation, design and implementation of public health research and health care information systems, to the development of health information systems, security and privacy models supportive of public health policy. This course will include active learning and exposure to new and relevant methods, applications, and tools central to PHI. Technical areas include databases, tools and techniques for acquiring, processing, warehousing, and analyzing public health data. Other areas include utility theory and cost-effectiveness analysis, computer-based decision support systems, user modeling and interface design, intelligent tutoring systems, structured reporting, and data mining.

Environmental and Occupational Health Required Track Core Courses

PH 762 Environmental Epidemiology - 3 credits
We will tackle current problems in environmental epidemiology. We will utilize and expand upon basic epidemiological principles under-pinning the problem, evaluate examples of the problem and past solutions in primary scientific literature, and propose new solutions. When possible, we will use examples of local environmental problems (e.g. pollutants in Lake Michigan) and will hear from local experts on problems of the air, water, soil, food supply, consumer products, and indoor spaces. We will emphasize the intersection between environmental epidemiology and many other disciplines, including toxicology, environmental science, exposure science, genetics, geography, and others.

PH 750 Seminar in Environmental Health Sciences - 1 credit
This seminar/course will survey how environmental exposure to “potential” harmful compounds as well as “known” harmful compounds impacts human health and society.

Biological, Chemical and Built Environment - Choose one non-seminar course - one from each level for a total of at least nine credits

PH 775 Mechanisms of Infectious Disease - 2 credits

EOH 822 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Environmental Disease  - 3 credits
Understanding gene-environment interactions is critical for understanding environmental disease.

PH 745 Developmental Toxicology - 3 credits
An introduction to the field of developmental toxicology and how environmental contaminants influence vertebrate development, including humans.