Master of Public Health (MPH)

A Master of Public Health from a renowned institution.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s mission in public health is social justice driven. You will find yourself immersed in discussion and research about health equity and social determinants of health taught by professors with the same passion as you. Our course-contracted faculty members will share with you their real-world experience and knowledge.

A Master of Public Health from Saint Mary’s will prepare you to:

  • Build a strong foundation in public health knowledge
  • Learn translation of evidence into practice, policy, and public health improvements
  • Apply your knowledge into practice through fieldwork and summative courses
  • Work in a variety of positions within government, healthcare, industry, and non-profit agencies

You’ll focus on understanding persistent and emerging public health issues and learn to advocate for systemic solutions, including addressing health disparity in all communities. 

Why choose Saint Mary's?

Reputation

Our Master of Public Health is designed to align with recognized industry and accreditation standards and delivers an exceptional value.

Convenience

Classes at Saint Mary’s are specifically designed for busy, working adults, offering convenient evening courses to fit your schedule.

You can earn your Master of Public Health in as little as 2 years. 

Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities location and online.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Core Courses 15 cr.
Application Courses 21 cr.
Summative Courses 6 cr.
Total 42 cr.

 


Program Prerequisites

  • 3-cr. College level courses taken in the last 10 years.
  • Human Biology
  • Quantitative Methods or Basis Statistics
    May be fulfilled by GM630 Quantitative Methods

Core Courses: 15 cr.

MPH600 History and Philosophy of Public Health (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of the public health field to begin to explore the gaps and inequities in health outcomes.  Students consider the history of public health practice and research, national and global structural institutions, and basic concepts and theories that inform public health practice.  Emphasis is placed on healthy equity from a population perspective. Major data and research resources are reviewed to support future research endeavors.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Relate public health history, philosophy, and values to current programs or initiatives.
  2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services.
  3. Describe the current health care field as it relates to population health.
  4. Identify and use behavioral health theories to describe examples of public health practice.
  5. Define the fields of environmental health, community health, epidemiology, biostatistics and their interrelationship.
  6. Articulate the social, political, and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities.
  7. Locate and use key public health data sources.
  8. Summarize and analyze current literature and research on public health topics.

MPH605 Foundations of Biostatistics (3 cr.)

This course covers the appropriate use of data in characterizing the health of a population and provides an overview of probability and statistical inference in public health. Students learn the principles of collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. Topics include random variation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, chi-square distribution and linear regression.  Students apply concepts through in-class labs that evaluate statistics used in public health publications.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the role of biostatistics in planning, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting public health research.
  2. Apply basic statistical methods commonly used with public health data.
  3. Use a statistical software package to perform basic statistical analyses, including descriptive and inferential techniques.
  4. Identify the principal national and state public health data sets that are available for analyses.
  5. Articulate the benefits and pitfalls of using statistical significance in interpreting findings.
  6. Evaluate the use and interpretation of statistical analyses in public health publications.

MPH610 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of social, cultural, and behavioral aspects that influence public health.  Students examine socio-cultural structures related to behavioral health and apply concepts and theories to begin to address community health issues.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population's health.
  2. Distinguish social determinants of health from biological and other determinants of health.
  3. Analyze the social structures that influence health status and behavior in individuals and populations.
  4. Use an ecological or systemic analysis to analyze individual, community, and population level problems in mental health, addiction, obesity/nutrition, and violence.
  5. Identify the most important considerations in choosing the right theory to address a health behavior problem in a particular population and context.
  6. Apply basic theories, concepts and models used in public health interventions.

MPH615 Principles of Epidemiology (3 cr.)

This course provides basic epidemiologic concepts and methods for public health practitioners, including an understanding of various measures of risk, disease, and mortality in populations. Students learn types of epidemiologic strategies used to examine associations between risk factors and morbidity and mortality and how to distinguish between a statistical association and a causal relationship.  The course includes an overview of chronic and infectious disease epidemiology using historical and current public health challenges. In addition to studying various aspects of disease in populations, the importance and types of disease prevention are included.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Distinguish between a clinical and a population approach to risk factors and disease.
  2. Articulate biological and genetic factors that affect a population's health.
  3. List major causes and trends in morbidity and mortality in the United States or other large population.
  4. Illustrate how globalization affects global burdens of disease.
  5. Calculate and interpret common epidemiologic measures (incidence and prevalence rates, relative risk, odds ratios) to draw appropriate inferences.
  6. Discuss how various epidemiologic studies (cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, ecologic, and intervention) are used to study statistical associations between risk factors and disease or death outcomes.
  7. Critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic methods.
  8. Use an existing database to describe risk factor prevalence and morbidity and mortality rates for a specific disease in a specific geographic area.
  9. Differentiate between a statistical association and a causal relationship between a risk factor and a health outcome. 
  10. Discuss the science of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in population health including health promotion and the use of clinical prevention services.
  11. Identify ethical and legal implications of epidemiologic practice.
  12.  Interpret epidemiological data, evaluating the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.
  13. Interpret results of data analysis in technical and lay language both in writing and through oral presentation.      

MPH620 Environmental Determinants of Health (3 cr.)

This course examines how urban and rural environmental factors, including social, physical, and chemical, are examined as determinants of health, with an emphasis on current topics related to national issues and laws and strategies used to reduce or eliminate health threats and provide health equity.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Relate key concepts and strategies of environmental sciences to public health practice in various situations.
  2. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health, and ecosystem health (eg, One Health.)
  3. Identify contributing factors, such as biological susceptibility, social, political, and economic determinants of health, to individual and population vulnerability, health, and health inequity.
  4. Analyze possible impacts of a range of environmental factors, including changes in demographics, economics, energy demand, climate, and pollution, on human health and food and water security.
  5. Articulate roles, policies, and regulations of agencies and institution involved in regulating and mitigating environmental and occupational risks.
  6. Connect the concepts of equity, justice, and sustainability to proposed health and environment solutions.
  7. Identify opportunities for and barriers to sustainable changes to promote health, well-being, and equity.

Application Courses: 21 cr.

HS715 Advanced Health Policy and Ethics (3 cr.)

This course examines the ethical, legal, and culturally relevant dimensions of the U.S. health sector, including nonprofit, for-profit, and public health systems. Topics include ethical issues, public policy, stewardship, and compliance standards impacting healthcare finance and delivery; frameworks for ethical decision making; socio-economic impacts on public policy; and strategies for influencing the policy-making process within the health sector.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply frameworks for ethical administrative decision making.
  2. Analyze policies and laws impacting the delivery and financial operations of services for vulnerable individuals and communities.
  3. Evaluate the effect of current policies, payment systems, and regulatory agencies on quality and system performance.
  4. Examine and evaluate policy environment and solutions, while exploring ways to influence the creation and implementation of public policy.

HS720 Strategic Health and Human Services Leadership (3 cr.)

This course focuses on leadership principles designed to create and sustain organizations and programs in the health and human services sectors through the creation and implementation of vision, mission, and reflective practices. Leadership styles coupled with personal, cultural, and ethical awareness are evaluated.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and synthesize ethical and culturally responsive management and leadership principles and styles in the health and human services sectors.
  2. Create a vision and mission to optimize health and human service system performance, including exploration of emerging and innovative system design, technology, and partnerships.
  3. Compare strategic planning models to best support the organizational mission.
  4. Evaluate and apply best practice change management to ensure application of system, workforce, data, and technology-oriented solutions.

MPH630 Public Health Research and Analysis (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of quantitative and qualitative research study design, data collection, and analysis. Ethical issues in health studies and research are explored within the context of research studies and data algorithms.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge.
  2. Interpret and synthesize related literature as a foundation to a research study.
  3. Analyze ethical aspects of research, including informed consent.
  4. Select and evaluate the most appropriate methodology and research design for studies.
  5. Analyze the cultural context and bias in research design and interpretation.
  6. Apply quantitative and qualitative methods and science in describing and assessing a population's health.
  7. Interpret and apply the principles of the ethical practice of public health.

MPH635 Design of Community Health Programs and Interventions (3 cr.)

This course explores the research and process of designing effective public health programs and interventions.  Students use tools and techniques to engage and involve communities, assess community needs, and create appropriate, evidence-based programs and interventions with an emphasis on health equity. Topics include behavior change theory, logic models, community engagement and participation, rationale development, and timeline and budget creation.  

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Define the presence of a community or potential community and its subgroups to ensure appropriate place-based public health initiatives.
  2. Create and use tools that assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities' health.
  3. Select appropriate strategies for different audiences and sectors.
  4. Develop a realistic and valid logic model to support program development.
  5. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs with a focus on health equity.
  6. Critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of program design strategies for different populations and situations.
  7. Apply basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
  8. Integrate public health behavior change theories, interventions, and strategies into community engagement, organizing, and outreach.
  9. Outline expected outcomes to be measured through evaluation.

MPH640 Evaluation of Community Health Programs and Interventions (3 cr.)

This course builds upon concepts and experiences of MPH635 Community Health Program Design and Interventions.  Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods for design and implementation are explored using real examples and experiential learning.  Topics include survey development and execution, interview and focus group design and practice, return on investment, reporting and communicating evaluation results.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Provide rationale for program evaluation in a variety of circumstances.
  2. Critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of evaluation tools for different populations and situations.
  3. Critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of evaluation methodologies for different populations and situations.
  4. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection and evaluation methods appropriate for a given public health context.
  5. Create effective evaluation tools to meet the needs of identified populations.
  6. Implement an effective program evaluation.
  7. Use evaluation analyses to suggest future program development.
  8. Use a combination of communication avenues (oral, written, and visual) to explain evaluation purpose, methods, and findings. 

MPH645 Population Health and Community Organizing (3 cr.)

In this course, students focus on community organizing as a process for collaborative efforts among communities and organizations to identify public health issues, set mutual goals, assess and gather resources, and develop actions to address them in a culturally-competent manner.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify community assets and resources toward building community health initiatives.
  2. Assess community characteristics and capacities in order engage community members as equals in identifying, mobilizing, and addressing public health issues together.
  3. Articulate methods to build social capital among people and organizations to work toward mutually beneficial public health goals.
  4. Practice cultural humility to appreciate, value, and celebrate cultural differences.
  5. Apply community organizing models to community health initiatives.
  6. Articulate the role and ethical implications of health educators working in community organizing.
  7. Plan community public health collaborations with other sectors, including faith communities, public safety, public officials, civic organizations, urban and rural planning agencies.
  8. Build and maintain community and individual partnerships through the use and promotion of leadership, team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.

MPH650 Health Promotion and Communication (3 cr.)

In this course, students learn to plan educational, political, environmental, regulatory, and organizational mechanisms that promote and support wellness conditions and activities for individuals, populations, or communities.  Social media and technology use, marketing methods, and visual and group communication strategies are explored as means to create and disseminate understandable public health information and data.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the perspectives and features of a public health communications campaign.
  2. Apply basic marketing methods and psychology to public health communications.
  3. Plan a comprehensive social media strategy to promote a public health initiative.
  4. Incorporate public health statistical and scientific information into communications in a clear, relevant, and meaningful way to the intended audience.

Summative Courses: 6 cr.

MPH680 Field Experience Part I (1 cr.)

Students select a public health agency, nonprofit, or private institution in which to apply and integrate skills and knowledge gained in the program. At least 240 hours over the 4 field credit experience must be completed on a field project arranged with the organization and meeting program guidelines, preferably at one site. A portfolio approach is used to assess student performance and demonstration of competencies.

Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstration at least five program outcomes, three of which must be foundational, aligned with the field project.
  2. Articulate an understanding of public health organizational and policy issues, administration, research, funding mechanisms, programming, and challenges faced by the organization.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills in the design, implementation and/or evaluation of public health programs.

MPH681 Field Experience Part II (1 cr.)

Students select a public health agency, nonprofit, or private institution in which to apply and integrate skills and knowledge gained in the program. At least 240 hours over the 4 credits must be completed on a field project arranged with the organization and meeting program guidelines, preferably at one site. A portfolio approach is used to assess student performance and demonstration of competencies.

Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstration at least five program outcomes, three of which must be foundational, aligned with the field project.
  2. Articulate an understanding of public health organizational and policy issues, administration, research, funding mechanisms, programming, and challenges faced by the organization.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills in the design, implementation and/or evaluation of public health programs.

MPH682 Field Experience Part III (1 cr.)

Students select a public health agency, nonprofit, or private institution in which to apply and integrate skills and knowledge gained in the program. At least 240 hours over the 4 credits must be completed on a field project arranged with the organization and meeting program guidelines, preferably at one site. A portfolio approach is used to assess student performance and demonstration of competencies.

Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstration at least five program outcomes, three of which must be foundational, aligned with the field project.
  2. Articulate an understanding of public health organizational and policy issues, administration, research, funding mechanisms, programming, and challenges faced by the organization.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills in the design, implementation and/or evaluation of public health programs.

MPH683 Field Experience Part IV (1 cr.)

Students select a public health agency, nonprofit, or private institution in which to apply and integrate skills and knowledge gained in the program. At least 240 hours over the 4 credits must be completed on a field project arranged with the organization and meeting program guidelines, preferably at one site. A portfolio approach is used to assess student performance and demonstration of competencies.

Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstration at least five program outcomes, three of which must be foundational, aligned with the field project.
  2. Articulate an understanding of public health organizational and policy issues, administration, research, funding mechanisms, programming, and challenges faced by the organization.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills in the design, implementation and/or evaluation of public health programs.

MPH690 Integrative Learning Capstone (2 cr.)

Students conduct a critical review of a public health issue, usually based on the field experience. Students examine current published research and available data to identify trends, explore underlying factors, analyze data, and make recommendations. Student write a journal article summary and present a poster presentation to peers and professionals.

Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Pose a public health research question.
  2. Conduct a review of relevant literature.
  3. Analyze public health data.
  4. Make evidence-based recommendations to address identified issue.
  5. Use a journal article format to write a critical review.
  6. Present a poster presentation to peers and professionals.

Connect With Us

Farhiya Farah, Ph.D.

Program Director, MA in Public Health

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH26

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4522

ffarah@smumn.edu

Farhiya Farah Ph.D.