The Master of Public Health curriculum provides students with core knowledge and skills in the foundational areas of public health. The program is geared towards social justice, addressing inequalities experienced by underserved communities. Special emphasis is placed on understanding social determinants of health and the intersection of theory and practice to make a difference. The program teaches core health knowledge and practical skills to prepare students for the public health arena.
Core curriculum topics include Principles of Public Health, Foundations of Biostatistics, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, Principles of Epidemiology, and Environmental Determinants of Health. The curriculum transitions to the application of public health principles to real-world situations. Students develop cultural competency, ethical, and communication skills, preparing them for leadership opportunities.
Towards the end of the program, students utilize acquired public health concepts, principles, and methods to complete fieldwork and a capstone project during which students analyze, evaluate, and synthesize public health constructs using real-life scenarios.
Saint Mary’s University prepares public health leaders who understand persistent and emerging public health issues and advocate for systemic solutions for improvement of public health and health equity in all communities.
Saint Mary’s University students, graduates, and faculty will have positive impacts on local, regional, and national health; disease prevention; and health equity. Through ethical and socially responsive learning experiences and community engagement activities, the impacts of these actions will help all communities, especially those underserved, achieve effective long-lasting improvements.
Program Structure and Delivery
Courses are delivered fully online or in a blended format. Courses delivered in the blended format integrate face-to-face classroom meetings and online activities or interactions in a planned, instructionally valuable manner.
Upon completion of the Master of Public Health, graduates are expected to be able to do the following:
Program Outcomes related to university mission and vision
- Define the presence of a community or potential community and its subgroups to ensure appropriate place-based public health initiatives.
- Promote health equity through culturally competent community-level communication and engagement plans.
- Integrate public health behavior change theories, interventions, and strategies into community engagement, organizing, and outreach.
- Evaluate, analyze, and report community-level behavior and health change as it pertains to policy, programming, and advocacy activities.
- Apply ethical leadership skills to promote inclusive and respectful collaboration with communities.
Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
- 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, and computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
- Interpret the results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
Public Health and Health Care Systems
- Compare the organization, structure and function of healthcare, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
- Discuss how structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels.
Planning and Management to Promote Health
- 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 the basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
- Select methods to evaluate public health programs.
Policy in Public Health
- 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.
Foundation Courses for MPH Program
Students applying to the MPH program at Saint Mary’s University are required to submit documentation that they earned a “B” or higher in a human biology course and a statistics course or equivalent courses within the last 10 academic years in order to be enrolled in specific courses as part of the MPH program. Documentation of successful completion of required foundation courses must be submitted and approved by the Master of Public Health Program Director prior to enrollment in the following courses.
The MPH program director may request additional documentation, such as syllabi, to determine if a course completed at another university satisfies this requirement.
If a prospective or current student is not able to demonstrate that they earned a “B” or higher in a human biology course and a statistics course within the last 10 academic years, they will be required to take the required foundation course(s) in which prior knowledge is needed before enrolling in specific MPH courses.
Any exceptions granted must be made in writing from the program director before registration will be processed and approved by the registrar.
Students who are required to successfully complete these courses have the option of completing these courses at either Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota or at another institution in order to meet this requirement.
Courses offered through this institution in which a student can enroll and complete in order to satisfy this requirement include BPH300 Human Biology and BPH405 Measurement and Statistics for Health Professionals. In situations where a student wishes to enroll in courses at another university, the student is encouraged to discuss this with the program director prior to enrollment to ensure that the course satisfies the requirement.
Credits must have been earned at a regionally accredited institution, at CHEA and DOE recognized institutions, or evaluated according to the criteria for students with international transcripts.