Jul 17, 2024  
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook 
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health, M.P.H.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Program Description

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.

Program Outcomes

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

  1. Collaborate with the community in the practice of public health and healthcare systems and incorporate interprofessional practice.
    1. Compare the organization, structure and function of healthcare, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
    2. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels.
    3. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.
  2. Promote health equity through culturally competent community-level communication and engagement plans.
    1. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies, or programs.
    2. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.
  3. Integrate public health behavior change theories, interventions, planning and management strategies that promote health.
    1. Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health.
    2. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention.
    3. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
    4. Select methods to evaluate public health programs.
  4. Select public health practices based on scientific evidence.
    1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice.
    2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context.
    3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, and computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
    4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
  5. Incorporate public health planning, management, policy development and evaluation practices that ensure inclusive policies and practices for optimal health for all.
    1. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence.
    2. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes.
    3. Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations.
    4. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity.
  6. Communicate in public health settings and apply ethical public health leadership and system thinking skills to promote inclusive and respectful collaboration with communities.
    1. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation.
    2. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
    3. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.
    4. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision making.
    5. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

 15 cr.

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


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Students applying to the Master of Public Health 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 admitted to the Master of Public Health program. Documentation of successful completion of required prerequisite courses must be submitted and approved by the Master of Public Health Program Director prior to acceptance into the Master of Public Health program. 

Courses offered through this institution that satisfy the admission course requirements include BPH300 Human Biology, and BPH405 Measurement and Statistics for Health Professionals or GM630 Quantitative Methods. 

The Master of Public Health Program Director may request additional documentation, such as syllabi, to determine if a course completed at another university satisfies this requirement.

Any exceptions granted must be made in writing from the Program Director before registration will be processed and approved by the registrar.

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.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55404

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study