2014-2015 Catalog

Public Health

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

FACULTY: Christianson, Gibbens, K. Goldsteen, R. Goldsteen, Hart, Hosford and Renger

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

The Department of Public Health offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Public Health with specializations in Health Management and Population Health Research and Evaluation. The MPH program will prepare individuals to carry out the broad public health functions in local, state, national, and international settings. Goals of the MPH program:

  1. Students will be knowledgeable in the core discipline areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy and management.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in communication, informatics, diversity and cultural awareness, bio-medical skills, professionalism/leadership, and systems thinking.
  3. Students will be able to apply relevant competencies to meet public health needs.

Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.

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

Applicants to the MPH program must demonstrate adequate preparation to complete graduate study for the MPH degree. Evidence of preparation for graduate work is indicated by the grade point average (GPA) from all post-secondary schools attended; a standardized test score, usually the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); work experience and accomplishments; and professional references. All admission decisions are based upon full review of all information in the application in order to ensure fairness and to balance the limitation of any single indicator. Strong preference for admission will be given to applicants with at least one year of public health-related work experience, either paid or unpaid.

 

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. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores must be submitted*. While there is no minimum GRE score required for admission, performance on the GRE is evaluated as an indicator of an applicant’s verbal and quantitative skills.
  5. Graduate applicants must demonstrate academic-level proficiency in English before they will be considered for admission. This requirement must be met by all applicants, regardless of citizenship, residency, or nation of birth. No applicants will be considered for admission until the English Language Proficiency Requirement has been met. The English Proficiency Requirement will not be waived for any reason. This requirement may be satisfied in any of the following ways:
    • A satisfactory score on the TOEFL exam. The expected minimum score is 233 for the computer-based test, 90 for the Internet-based test, and 577 for the paper-based test.
    • An overall minimum band score of 6.5 on the Academic Module IELTS.
  6. Applicants are required to submit the following supporting documentation:
    • Written Statement of Purpose and Goals – applicants must submit a one-page, written narrative describing their education, relevant work experience and current professional career goals. Applicants are expected to comment on plans they have to use their education and training in public health and any personal qualities, characteristics and abilities they believe will enable them to be successful in achieving their professional career goals.
    • Resume
    • Official post-secondary academic transcripts from all institutions attended (transcripts must be sent directly from the institutions to UND or NDSU)
    • Admissions Tests – scores must be sent by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to UND or NDSU. The institution code for the GRE and TOEFL for the University of North Dakota is 6878; the institution code for North Dakota State University is 6474.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who the applicant feels are most qualified to evaluate their academic achievement; clinical, public health or other professional experiences; or leadership potential in public health.
      *

      GRE General Test scores are not required of applicants who are currently enrolled in good academic standing or have completed a doctoral-level degree at an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution of higher learning.

The Admissions Committee will invite selected applicants for an interview on the basis of the Committee’s review of all submitted application materials.

Final decisions will be made after all interviews are completed. Satisfactory completion of a background check is required prior to admission.

Program Requirements

The MPH program requires the successful completion of 42 credits of coursework. The required coursework must be taken in all five core areas to reach a total of 20 credits. Selection of courses will be done in consultation with the program director and other faculty. Students who have completed the core coursework in a previous degree will need to complete courses in the core competencies to add up to a total of 42 credits.

  1. The required core coursework includes the following academic areas:
    • Biostatistics
    • Epidemiology
    • Environmental Health Sciences
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Health Policy and Management
  2. Master’s Paper: Students must complete an analytical paper related to public health, in accordance with School of Graduate Studies standards.
  3. Internship: Students must complete experiential work in an practicum related to public health. The Graduate Director for the MPH program must approve all practicum work in advance.
  4. Specialization Coursework: Student must complete a minimum of 9 credits of additional course work in one of the following specializations. Credits for the specialization track must total 18 complemented by selections from the courses in competency areas.

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 Core Coursework (18 credits):

CEPH Core Area: 

Biostatistics
MPH 531Biostatistics 13
Epidemiology
MPH 551Essentials in Epidemiology3
Environmental Health Sciences
MPH 520Environmental Health3
Social & Behavioral Sciences
MPH 541Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health3
Health Policy and Management
MPH 510Health Care Systems3
MPH 504Leading and Managing Public Health Systems3
Total Credits18

 

Masters Paper - MPH 995 Scholarly Project, 2 credits

Students must complete an analytical paper related to public health, in accordance with each institutions’ School of Graduate Studies standards. All work must be approved in advance by the Director of the M.P.H. program. Students will be assigned an advisor with whom the students will work and who will be responsible for grading student work/progress.

Practicum/Internship - MPH 594 Practicum, 3 credits

Concepts and competencies learned from MPH coursework are integrated through a minimum of 240 hour practicum that provides an opportunity to apply knowledge in a practice setting. A wide range of settings and opportunities are available and are individually tailored to assure competence in general MPH and specialization-specific skills. The practicum is designed to meet student goals, specialization criteria, and the needs of the agencies or institutions involved. The practicum is selected by the student in consultation with faculty and approved by the advisor. This experience is usually completed in the student’s final term in the program and often results in the capstone project written report and presentation. Students may register for 1 to 3 credits in a semester and repeat the registration to a total of 3 credits. All work must be approved in advance by the Director of the M.P.H. program. Students cannot receive credit for past work experience.

Seminar - MPH 590 MPH Seminar, 1 credit

Seminars will be offered for students who have completed the core courses that cover current issues in public health and integrate the cross-cutting competencies of program-planning, professionalism, public health biology, leadership, diversity and culture, communication and informatics and systems thinking.

Specializations

These specializations have a rural emphasis. Rural issues affecting population health and the multiple determinants of population health–medical care, public health interventions, the social environment, the physical environment, and individual behavior–are addressed in each specialization. The specializations provide integrative, creative and practical learning experiences that foster intellectual growth, critical thinking and practical engagement around issues of population health, particularly in rural areas. Graduates are prepared to work in health care delivery organizations, health plans, non-governmental health organizations and government agencies.

Two specializations are offered:

  1. Health Management and Policy; and
  2. Population Health Research and Evaluation.

Health Management and Policy Specialization

The U.S. health care system is changing rapidly as a result of public and private efforts to decrease costs, increase efficiency, improve quality, and provide universal access to care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 addresses these issues comprehensively and is having a major impact on health care delivery, as are other policies at the federal, state, and local levels. Focused initiatives such as those to improve patient safety or advance medical informatics are having a significant effect, as well. This specialization prepares students with skills necessary to improve health care delivery, particularly in rural areas. Students gain skills needed to manage health delivery systems effectively and efficiently, analyze health policies, and communicate successfully to effect change in health policy and management.

Required Courses (18 credit hours):

POLS 500Research Methods3
POLS 501Political and Public Policy Analysis3
POLS 538Public Budgeting and Financial Administration3
POLS 551Health Administration and Organization3
Electives (selected with advisor approval):6
Seminar:Public Administration
Public Policy
Public Personnel Administration
Health Policy
Creation and Management of Social Enterprises
Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship
Problems in Political Science and Public Administration
Advanced Special Topics
Biostatistics 2
Fundamentals of Evaluation
Advanced Evaluation
MPH 570
Or, with approval of advisor, another course may be substituted.
Total Credits18

 

Population Health Research and Evaluation Specialization

Maintenance and improvement of health depend upon research and evaluation that provide information about the kinds of health problems experienced by a population, their origins and the effectiveness of remedies. Health organizations, both public and private, are charged with justifying their activities to their stakeholders with credible research on the outcomes of those activities. This specialization prepares students to produce convincing and scientifically sound information to answer questions about population health, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and provide the basis for improving health policies and programs. The course of study includes training in qualitative and quantitative research methods, policy analysis, advanced biostatistics, informatics, and communication through report writing and presentations. Rural health applications are emphasized, as are the concepts of efficiency, effectiveness, fairness and cultural appropriateness.

Required Courses (18 credit hours):

MPH 532Biostatistics 23
MPH 550Population Health Research Methods3
MPH 560Fundamentals of Evaluation3
MPH 533Advanced Biostatistics3
Electives (selected with advisor approval):6
Health Policy
Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship
Problems in Political Science and Public Administration
Advanced Special Topics
Advanced Evaluation
MPH 570
Or with approval of advisor, another course may be substituted.
Total Credits18

 

Electives (selected with advisor approval):

POLS 531Seminar:Public Administration3
POLS 532Public Policy3
POLS 536Public Personnel Administration3
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 Topics1-3
MPH 532Biostatistics 23
MPH 560Fundamentals of Evaluation3
MPH 561Advanced Evaluation3
MPH 5701-3
Or, with approval of advisor, another course may be substituted

 

 

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 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 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. Essentials in 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 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. F,S,SS.

MPH 590. MPH Seminar. 1 Credit.

The MPH Seminar is a culminating experience. The seminar 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. Corequisite: MPH 995. 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 in a practice setting. The Practicum is designed to meet student goals, specialization criteria, and the needs of the organizations involved. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MPH degree program and completion of core courses. F,S,SS.

MPH 995. Scholarly Project. 2 Credits.

The Scholarly Project is a culminating experience. 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. Corequisite: MPH 590. 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