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2015-2016 Catalog

Public Health

http://www.med.und.edu/master-of-public-health/

FACULTY: R. Goldsteen (Director), K. Goldsteen, Hand, Hosford, Oancea, Schuller, Selya

Degree Granted: Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Mission Statement and Program Goals

The mission of the University of North Dakota Master of Public Health (MPH) Program is to support population health improvement in North Dakota, the Northern Plains and beyond through education, research, and service that create conditions needed to promote health and well being, prevent disease and injury, and advance health and social equity among all populations.

The MPH Program goals are:

  • Education:  to provide individuals with the skills, knowledge and awareness necessary to support and ensure conditions that promote population health improvement in North Dakota, the Northern Plains and beyond.

  • Research:  to conduct and disseminate research that supports health improvement of populations and communities.

  • Service:  to provide public health related service to academic, professional and community organizations.

  • Infrastructure Investment:  to advocate for, build and maintain the resources necessary to support the mission of the program.

  • Workforce Investment: to recruit, support and retain diverse faculty, staff and students who sustain the program’s mission and values.

 

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of the online application and payment of the application fee.
  2. A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university (for U.S. degrees, accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting associations: MSA, NASC, NCA, NEASC-CIHE, SACS-CC or WACS-Sr.).
  3. An undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00. Undergraduate coursework in fields related to public health should generally exceed a GPA of 3.00.
  4. A standardized test.*  One of the following tests is required: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Dental Admission Test (DAT), or Law School Admission Test (LSAT).  There is no minimum score required for admission.  Scores are used in combination with other indicators to determine eligibility for the MPH program.  Standardized test scores must be sent by the testing service directly to UND. The institution code for the UND is 6878.
    1. *A standardized test is not required of applicants who have completed an advanced degree (Master’s degree or higher) in a graduate program at an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution of higher learning. 
    2. *A standardized test is not required of applicants who have a minimum of five years of relevant experience in public health that demonstrates ability to engage in graduate level coursework in the field of public health.  Please contact the MPH Academic Coordinator for more information.
  5. Fluency in written and spoken English.  All non-native speakers of English must meet the School of Graduate Studies requirements regarding fluency in written and spoken English.  Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies website.

Applicants are required to submit the following supporting documentation:

  1. A written statement that describes the applicant’s professional goals and motivation for seeking a degree in public health.  In addition, applicants should comment on any personal qualities, characteristics, and abilities they believe will enable them to be successful in achieving their career goals.
  2. Resume listing work experience, including voluntary, and relevant accomplishments, awards, and honors.
  3. Official post-secondary academic transcripts from all institutions attended.  Transcripts must be sent directly from the institutions to the UND School of Graduate Studies.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who the applicant feels are most qualified to evaluate their academic potential and leadership potential in public health.

The Admissions Committee may request an in-person or Skype interview with an applicant to assist in the decision process.  A background check will be completed on each student before admission is final.

Program Requirements

The MPH program requires the successful completion of 42 credits of coursework. The MPH Core curriculum covers all areas required for public health programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) including biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health, and health management and policy.  The MPH program also requires completion of an 18 credit specializations in either Population Health Analytics or Health Management & Policy; a 3 credit Practicum; and a 3 credit Culminating Experience.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Public Health degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Master of Public Health Program.

Coursework

Required MPH Core Coursework (18 credits):

MPH 531Biostatistics 13
MPH 551Epidemiology3
MPH 520Environmental Health3
MPH 541Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health3
MPH 510Health Care Systems3
MPH 504Leading and Managing Public Health Systems3

MPH Practice Experience

MPH 594 Practicum, 3 credits

The Practicum is a planned, supervised, and evaluated practice experience. It provides an opportunity to apply basic public health competencies acquired through coursework. The Practicum is designed to meet student goals, specialization criteria, and the needs of the Practicum organization.  An approved proposal is required prior to enrollment in this course.

MPH Culminating Experience 

The MPH core courses must be completed before beginning the Culminating Experience.

MPH 995 Scholarly Project, 2 credits

The Scholarly Project is one component of the MPH Culminating Experience, and enrollment is concurrent with MPH 590.  Students complete a project that demonstrates synthesis and application of knowledge acquired through coursework and other public health learning experiences.

MPH 590 MPH Seminar, 1 credit

The MPH Seminar is one component of the MPH Culminating Experience, and enrollment is concurrent with MPH 995.  The course addresses current issues in public health.  Presentations and discussions focus on dissemination, synthesis, and application of knowledge acquired through coursework and other public health learning experiences.

Specializations

The two MPH specializations - Health Management & Policy and Population Health Analytics - provide integrative and practical learning experiences that are designed to foster intellectual growth, critical thinking, and essential problem-solving and communication skills. Graduates are prepared to work in many regional, national, and international settings including public health and other government agencies, health care delivery organizations, health plans, non-governmental health organizations, and academic institutions.  Each specialization consists of 18 credits.

Health Management and Policy Specialization

The specialization in Health Management & Policy provides students with skills needed to manage health care and public health systems effectively and efficiently, analyze and evaluate health policies, and communicate successfully to effect improvements in the health care and public health systems.  The curriculum for the specialization is offered in partnership with the College of Business and Public Administration, which adds depth to the faculty expertise and course offerings available to MPH students.

REQUIRED COURSES = 12 credits

POLS 500Research Methods3
POLS 501Political and Public Policy Analysis3
POLS 551Health Administration and Organization3
MPH 572Health Care Budgeting and Finance3

ELECTIVE COURSES = 6 credits                                                                                                                                  (selected with advisor approval; other courses may be substituted with advisor approval)

MPH 544Leadership of Health Care Organizations3
MPH 554Continuous Quality Improvement for Health Care Organizations3
MPH 570Special Topics in Population Health1-3
POLS 552Health Policy3
POLS 561Creation and Management of Social Enterprises3
POLS 562Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship3
POLS 593Problems in Political Science and Public Administration1-3
ECON 575Advanced Special Topics *1-3

*Advanced Special Topics in Health Economics

Population Health Analytics Specialization

The specialization in Population Health Analytics provides students with skills needed to produce convincing and scientifically sound information about population health, evaluate the effectiveness of population health interventions, and provide the basis for improving health policies and programs.  The course of study includes training in research methods, biostatistics, informatics, and communication of scientific results.  Students learn how to design outcomes and comparative effectiveness studies, collect and analyze population health data, and communicate results.

REQUIRED COURSES = 12 credits

MPH 532Biostatistics 23
MPH 533Advanced Biostatistics3
MPH 550Population Health Research Methods3
MPH 556System Dynamics 13

ELECTIVE COURSES = 6 credits                                                                                                                                  (selected with advisor approval; other courses may be substituted with advisor approval)

MPH 534Bioinformatics3
MPH 535Health Care Data Mining3
MPH 544Leadership of Health Care Organizations3
MPH 554Continuous Quality Improvement for Health Care Organizations3
MPH 558System Dynamics 23
MPH 560Fundamentals of Evaluation3
MPH 561Advanced Evaluation3
MPH 570Special Topics in Population Health1-3
ECON 575Advanced Special Topics *1-3

*Advanced Special Topics in Health Economics

Master of Public Health Certificates

Students who do not wish to obtain the MPH degree, or who already have a degree in public health but wish to add to their credentials, may pursue a graduate certificate, in either Public Health or Population Health Analytics. Each certificate requires completion of 15 credits.  Students wishing to pursue a graduate certificate must meet the admissions requirements of the MPH Program.  All credits from a certificate program can be transferred into the MPH Program, if the student wishes.  In addition, some students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Public Health will be eligible to sit for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) examination (see CPH eligibility requirements for more information).

Graduate Certificate in Public Health

MPH 510Health Care Systems3
MPH 520Environmental Health3
MPH 531Biostatistics 13
MPH 541Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health3
MPH 551Epidemiology3

Graduate Certificate in Population Health Analytics

MPH 531Biostatistics 13
MPH 532Biostatistics 23
MPH 533Advanced Biostatistics3
MPH 550Population Health Research Methods3
MPH 551Epidemiology3
MPH 556System Dynamics 1 *3
*

 MPH 556 may be substitued for MPH 533, if desired

Courses

MPH 504. Leading and Managing Public Health Systems. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to public health systems and their unique role in promoting health and preventing disease in populations, especially vulnerable populations. Organization, financing, and system performance are discussed. Differences between rural and urban public health systems, as well as international differences, are studied. The course covers professionalism, ethics, leadership, and management related to public health. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 510. Health Care Systems. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to health care delivery systems, which provide diagnosis and treatment of health problems in societies. Topics include the organization, financing, and performance of health care delivery systems. Differences between rural and urban health systems, as well as international differences, are studied. Ethical issues related to the delivery of health care are discussed. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 520. Environmental Health. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the key concepts, principles, and applications of the primary science disciplines that underpin environmental health. It provides an overview of the major pollutants including their detection, impact on health, and principles of remediation. Ethical issues related to environmental health are discussed. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 531. Biostatistics 1. 3 Credits.

This MPH Core course introduces the selection, use, and interpretation of basic statistical tests and concepts that may be used in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems in public health and health care research. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 532. Biostatistics 2. 3 Credits.

This course continues the introduction to biostatistics begun in MPH 531 on the selection, use, and interpretation of basic statistical tests and concepts that may be used in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems in public health and health care research. Topics include multiple linear regression, analysis of variance as a special case of multiple linear regression, and an introduction to logistic regression. Prerequisite: MPH 531. F,S,SS.

MPH 533. Advanced Biostatistics. 3 Credits.

This course develops advanced skills in biostatistics, with an emphasis on applied research in public health and medicine. Students learn how to derive quantitative answers to an applied research question by using multivariate statistical modeling. The course covers advanced topics in analysis of variance, linear and logistic regression, survival analysis, and generalized linear models. Prerequisites: MPH 532 and MPH 550. F,S,SS.

MPH 534. Bioinformatics. 3 Credits.

This course introduces bioinformatics techniques and tools in analysis of various types of high-throughput biomedical data, such as microarray, genotyping and next-generation sequencing data. Students will learn the essential principles of conducting genomics research, and will gain hand-on experience of bioinformatics research using real research data. The advanced bioinformatics methods, such as data mining, graph theory, and high performance computing, are discussed. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. On demand.

MPH 535. Health Care Data Mining. 3 Credits.

This course covers data mining concepts and methods that are important for health informatics. Basic topics in clustering and classification, such as hierarchical clustering, logistic discrimination, decision tree, variable selection, Bayesian decision model, and others are introduced. Students learn the techniques of data mining from an applications perspective. Students will have access to large healthcare datasets in a local server computer and have hands-on experience using data mining software. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. On demand.

MPH 541. Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health. 3 Credits.

This course introduces social and behavioral sciences theories and methods that are applied to public health problems. It covers: (1) description of social and behavioral determinants of health and health inequalities; (2) individual- and social/ interpersonal-level theories of health behavior and change methods; (3) theories and methods for improving the health of communities/populations; (4) public health evaluation strategies; and (5) public health policy and advocacy. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 544. Leadership of Health Care Organizations. 3 Credits.

Leaders of health care organizations can promote or inhibit optimum performance and desirable change. Students learn how to analyze and assess leadership qualities through application of leadership theories, methods, and techniques. Topics include leadership versus management, leading organizational change, dealing with workforce and organizational challenges, and related subjects. Prerequisite: MPH major or instructor consent. On demand.

MPH 550. Population Health Research Methods. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of the research process including formulation of a research problem, selection of a research design, construction of an instrument for data collection, selection of a sample, collection and processing of data, and writing a research report. Topics include how to identify a research question; reasons and procedures for reviewing the literature; observational and interventional research designs; and commonly used measures in public health-related research. Prerequisites: MPH 531 and MPH 551. F,S,SS.

MPH 551. Epidemiology. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the basic epidemiologic concepts used to study health and disease in populations including measurement, study design, and related statistical tests. Observational and experimental epidemiologic studies are described and their advantages and disadvantages compared. The course provides an overview of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in populations. Ethical issues related to epidemiology are discussed. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program. F,S,SS.

MPH 554. Continuous Quality Improvement for Health Care Organizations. 3 Credits.

This course provides a detailed view of quality improvement techniques, methods, and evaluation in health care organizations. The knowledge gained from these quality improvement methods enable students to identify, address, analyze, and solve organizational quality shortcomings with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare quality. Topics include quality assessment, quality assurance, total quality management, continuous quality improvement, health care reform related to quality improvement, patient safety, and quality health outcomes. Prerequisites: MPH 510 and MPH major or instructor consent. On demand.

MPH 556. System Dynamics 1. 3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to the System Dynamics field of study which is a computer-aided approach to improving system performance through policy analysis and design. The knowledge and critical thinking skills gained from this course will enable students to work either independently or on interdisciplinary teams to effectively deal with problems arising from dynamically complex systems. Topics include: perspective and process; tools for systems thinking; the dynamics of growth; tools for modeling dynamic systems; instability and oscillation; model testing; and challenges for the future. This course is open to UND graduate students in all disciplines. On demand.

MPH 558. System Dynamics 2. 3 Credits.

This course builds on MPH 556: System Dynamics I. This course will enable students to effectively plan and manage System Dynamics projects by providing knowledge and skill relating to advanced modeling techniques, software capabilities, and client engagement processes. Topics include: model building, documentation and presentation best practices; use of historical data; model calibration and testing techniques; advanced software features; group model building; and implementation challenges. This course is open to UND graduate students in all disciplines. Prerequisite: MPH 556. On demand.

MPH 560. Fundamentals of Evaluation. 3 Credits.

In this course, students gain a basic understanding of the field of evaluation, with a focus on evaluating service-based, public health programs. Topics covered include discussion of the field of evaluation itself including its history, employment opportunities, negative reputation, and countermeasures. Students develop basic evaluation competencies including the ability to evaluate sponsor requirements, evaluate program improvement, evaluate program impact, understand the logic model, and write a professional evaluation report. F,S,SS.

MPH 561. Advanced Evaluation. 3 Credits.

This course develops advanced skills in evaluation, with an emphasis on evaluating service-based, public health programs. Topics include evaluation theories, including the integrated theory of evaluation (ITOE). ITOE provides a framework for bridging theory and practice. Students learn how to develop the logic model, a critical tool for guiding agencies interested in demonstrating the impact of the strategies and programs they implement. Students also learn how to integrate Theory Driven Evaluation (TDE) and utilization-focused evaluation into the logic modeling process. Prerequisite: MPH 560. F,S,SS.

MPH 570. Special Topics in Population Health. 1-3 Credits.

This course explores special topics in the field of population health. Topics vary with faculty expertise and issues current in the field. The course may be repeated for credit if the topics are different. Prerequisite: Approval of Faculty Advisor. Repeatable to 6 credits. F,S,SS.

MPH 572. Health Care Budgeting and Finance. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on learning and applying financial and managerial accounting principles and techniques to health services organizations. The subject matter is designed to provide a working knowledge of accounting, finance, and budget terminology. Components of the class include the evolution of healthcare finance and reimbursement, revenue and expense classifications, financial reporting, budgeting, financial analysis, financing of public health agencies, and the current and anticipated financial impact of healthcare reform on the healthcare industry and health services organizations. Prerequisite: MPH major or instructor consent. On demand.

MPH 590. MPH Seminar. 1 Credit.

The MPH Seminar is one component of the MPH Culminating Experience, and enrollment is concurrent with MPH 995. The course addresses current issues in public health. Presentations and discussions focus on dissemination, synthesis, and application of knowledge acquired through coursework and other public health learning experiences. Prerequisite: Complete all MPH core courses. F,S,SS.

MPH 594. Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

The Practicum is a planned, supervised, and evaluated practice experience. It provides an opportunity to apply basic public health competencies acquired through coursework. The Practicum is designed to meet student goals, specialization criteria, and the needs of the Practicum organization. An approved proposal is required prior to enrollment in this course. Prerequisites: Enrollment in MPH degree program, completion of core courses and consent of instructor. Repeatable to 3 credits. F,S,SS.

MPH 995. Scholarly Project. 2 Credits.

The Scholarly Project is one component of the MPH Culminating Experience, and enrollment is concurrent with MPH 590. Students complete a project that demonstrates synthesis and application of knowledge acquired through coursework and other public health learning experiences. Prerequisite: Complete all MPH core courses or instructor permission. F,S,SS.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
1.800.CALL.UND
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382