8040 Master Degree Programs

8040.10 Master in Public Health (MPH)

Contacts:

Ike Okosun, Interim Director, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Christine Stauber, Interim Director, Division of Environmental Health
Terry Pechacek, Interim Director, Division of Health Management and Policy
Daniel Whitaker, Interim Director, Division of Health Promotion and Behavior

The faculty and staff of the School of Public Health (SPH) are committed to providing a supportive academic environment that promotes the growth and progress of students engaged in graduate studies.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program includes a minimum of forty-two (42) semester credit hours of study at the master’s level beyond the bachelor’s degree.

MPH DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Required MPH Core Courses (16 hours):
    • PH 7011 Epidemiology for Public Health (3) (required for Environmental Health, Health Management and Policy, and Health Promotion and Behavior concentrations) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (required for Epidemiology and Biostatistics concentrations).  Note:  Students changing their concentration from Epidemiology or Biostatistics to Environmental Health, Health Management and Policy, or Health Promotion and Behavior will be able to substitute PH 7011 with PH 7711 if already completed.
    • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
    • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
    • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
    • PH 7160 Introduction to Health Care System (3)
  2. Required MPH Research Methods Course (3 hours):
    • PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3)
  3. Required MPH Concentration Courses (18 credit hours).
  4. Required MPH Practicum Course (2 credit hours)
    Students will take two (2) credit hours of a required practicum in the students’ specialty field of study, which equals 240 clock hours.  The practicum is a planned, supervised and evaluated practice experience where graduate professional public health degree students develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to students’ areas of specialization, concentration and/or division.  These opportunities can take place in a variety of governmental or non-governmental agencies and organizations and include local, state, national and international public health agencies to the extent possible and appropriate.

    • PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2)
  5. Required MPH Thesis or Capstone Project Course (3 credit hours)
    Following completion of all coursework, students must complete three (3) credit hours for a culminating experience in the form of a master’s thesis or a capstone project. All students in the School of Public Health who are involved in writing or defending a master’s thesis/capstone project shall register for at least three credit hours of thesis/capstone project credit each semester from the time they finish their course work until the time all requirements for the degree are completed.

    • PH 7990 Thesis (3)
    • PH 7991 Capstone (3)

MPH CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Each of the distinct MPH concentrations (Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Behavior, and Health Management and Policy) have their own program competencies that define what a graduate from that MPH concentration will know and be able to do upon degree program completion. These MPH program competencies are made available in the MPH student handbook, and appear on public health course syllabi. The SPH will only recommend the award of an MPH degree when the student has demonstrated mastery of necessary theories, concepts and content, and demonstrated competence in the skills defined in the competencies for the student’s chosen MPH program concentration.

MPH Biostatistics Concentration

The MPH Biostatistics (BSTP) program concentration trains students to apply statistical principles and methods to problems in public health, medicine, and biology. The MPH BSTP program includes the development of analytic thinking and skill, with an emphasis on applications of research and evaluation in public health. Coursework in this concentration covers the span of biostatistics knowledge, including study design, data management, data analysis, interpretation, statistical reporting, and use of statistical software. MPH BSTP concentration graduates can look forward to excellent career opportunities in academia, government, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, or private industry.  Applicants to the biostatistics concentration should have strong aptitude for quantitative thinking and interest in biomedical and public health applications.

Required MPH BSTP Concentration Courses (12 hours):

  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 8820 Generalized Linear Models (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)

MPH BSTP Concentration Elective Courses (6 hours):
Select at least two (2) pre-approved* courses focusing on advanced statistical techniques and quantitative research methods.  Pre-approved BSTP elective courses include:

  • PH 7028 Introduction to Probability Theory and Statistical Inference (3)
  • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • PH 8885 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3) (may be repeated)

*The above listed pre-approved BSTP elective courses do not need further approval to satisfy the BSTP elective requirement. However, there are other academic departments at the university that may offer satisfying courses including, but not limited to the following departments: Math/Statistics, Decision Sciences, Marketing, Sociology, Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies Research.  Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement generally have course titles including, but not limited to: Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students should seek written, pre-approval of any course(s)—beyond the above listed pre-approved BSTP elective courses—to count towards the BSTP elective requirement. Approval must come from both the Division Director and OAA.

MPH Environmental Health Concentration

The MPH concentration in Environmental Health (EVHT) will prepare students for research and practice in the field of EVHT, which is the understanding of environmental factors, including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of a community. EVHT focuses on the human health effects of agents encountered in the environment, from the molecular to the ecological level, as well as the effects of natural and human-created environments on health. The concentration will provide students with knowledge in the core EVHT disciplines of exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, air pollution, and water pollution. In addition to these core knowledge areas, additional areas of specialization within EVHT include food safety, occupational health, infectious diseases, environmental epidemiology, and urban health.

Required MPH EVHT Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7293 Environmental Health Toxicology (3)
  • PH 7294 Exposure Assessment (3)
  • PH 7345 Introduction to Risk Assessment (3)

MPH EVHT Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of EVHT approved elective courses:

  • PH 7025 Health Disparities (3)
  • PH 7155 Air Quality and the Environment (3)
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7297 Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (3)
  • PH 7299 Sampling of the Environment (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7325 Urban Health Seminar (1)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7540 Introduction to Public Health Laboratories (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)
  • PH 8350  Biological Basis for Disease (3)
  • GEOS 6532 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
  • GEOS 6538  Urban Health Geographic Information Systems (4)
  • GEOS 6644 Environmental Conservation (4)
  • GEOS 6784 Climatic Change (3)
  • BIOL 6428 Medical Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL 6451 Aquatic Pollution and Toxicology (4)
  • BIOL 6480 Principles of Toxicology (4)
  • BIOL 6484 Laboratory Techniques in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (4)
  • NUTR 6170 Food Safety (3)

MPH Epidemiology Concentration

Epidemiology (EPID) is a scientific discipline commonly defined as the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human populations. This broad scope includes understanding the distribution, patterns and causes of adverse health outcomes as well as those associated with their control and prevention, and the complex interaction of factors that play a role in these processes. MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology will afford students choice in the in-depth study of substantive issues such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, STDs and HIV. Students will also have to opportunity to focus on prevention methods. The knowledge and skills obtained in epidemiology will allow MPH EPID graduates to seek employment in areas that: (1) characterize community health status, (2) critically assess determinants of health-related events, (3) formulate strategies to evaluate the impact of health related interventions and (4) foster the application of epidemiologic methods for health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Required MPH EPID Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II
  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing

MPH EPID Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of elective EPID approved courses:

  • PH 7014 Epidemiology of HIV/STD in Public Health (3)
  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3)
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7290 Case Studies in Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7355 Prevention Methods (3)
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Adolescent and Young Adult Health Risk Behaviors (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Public Health (3)
  • PH 8790 Special Topics in Epidemiology (3)

MPH Health Management and Policy Concentration

The MPH health management and policy (HMGP) concentration is concerned with the administration and management of public, not-for-profit, and community-based health care organizations, formulating and implementing health care policy, analyzing the distribution of and access to health care services, financing and reimbursement of health care services, and evaluating quality and outcomes of health care services and programs. The Health Management and Policy concentration draws upon a variety of disciplines, including health administration, health policy, public administration, business, public health law, health ethics, and economics.

Required MPH HMGP Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7130 Leadership and Public Health
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy
  • PH 8250 Health Economics and Policy

MPH HMGP Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least two (2) courses from the following HMGP list A of approved elective courses (6 hours):

  • PH 7012 Health Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health (3)
  • PH 7521 Evaluation Research (3)
  • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)

Select at least one (1) course from the following HMGP list B of approved elective courses (3 hours):

  • PH 7325 Urban Health Seminar (1)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7555 Disability and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7565 Disability Policy (3)
  • PH 7570 Childhood Obesity Prevention (3)
  • PH 8290 Population Health Informatics (3)
  • HA 8190 Health Policy and Ethics (3)
  • HA 8250 Health Economics and Financing (3)
  • HA 8700 Health Services Research and Evaluation Methods (3)
  • HHS 8000 Trends Affecting Health. Policies, Practices, Laws (3)
  • LAW 7244 Public Health Law (2-3)
  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy (3)
  • PMAP 8431 Leadership and Organizational Behavior (3)
  • PMAP 8531 Policy Analysis (3)
  • SOC 7110 Aging Policy and Service (3)

MPH Health Promotion and Behavior Concentration

The concentration in Health Promotion and Behavior (HPMB) will provide MPH students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences to promote health and prevent diseases within populations and communities. This concentration will also provide students with a strong foundation for developing expertise in health promotion by specifically emphasizing public health, ecological, and behavioral contexts throughout the curriculum. Courses are designed to integrate theory, practice, and research.

Required MPH HPMB Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7016 Introduction to Health Promotion (3)
  • PH 7022 Health Behavior Theory for Public Health Research (3)
  • PH 7521 Evaluation Research (3)

MPH HPMB Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of HPMB approved elective courses:

  • PH 7014 Introduction to HIV/STD Public Health (3)
  • PH 7020 Principles of Tobacco Control (3)
  • PH 7025 Health Disparities (3)
  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7035 Topics in Public Health & Reproductive Health (3)
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy (3)
  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3)
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7335 Environmental Health Policy and Practice (3)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment & Health (3)
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Young Adult & Adolescent Risk Behaviors (3)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science (3)
  • PH 7555 Disabilities and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7565 Disability Policy (3)
  • PH 7570 Childhood Obesity Prevention (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)
  • PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Public Health (3)
  • EPRS 8540 Quantitative Methods & Analysis in Education II (3)
  • PSYC 8420 Psychology Research Statistics II (3)

8040.15 MPH Degree Progression

Critical milestones are assessed based on credit hours and semesters completed within the MPH degree program.

  • Milestone #1:  Students are expected to have their thesis/capstone (culminating experience) proposal accepted by their thesis/capstone chair and committee by no later than the completion of 36 credit hours in the MPH program.  The approved thesis proposal form must be submitted to the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services within the same 36 credit hours.  Waivers to this credit rule are by petition only and may be adjusted for approved leaves of absence, medical leave or disability as detailed elsewhere in school or university policies.  Failure to submit an approved thesis/capstone proposal by the conclusion of 36 credit hours will place the student on scholastic probation.
  •  Milestone #2: Once a student initially enrolls in their thesis/capstone course, students are expected to successfully defend and publish (upload to GSU) their thesis/capstone within two academic semesters (including summer).  Failure to complete the thesis/capstone within two academic semesters will place the student on scholastic probation.  Failure to complete the thesis/capstone by the end of the 3rd semester will result in a scholastic exclusion from the MPH program.
  • Milestone #3:  The maximum time limit set by the faculty for completing the MPH graduate degree program is six (6) years from the first semester of admission to the MPH.  After six years, courses will begin to expire in order of first completed, and may require re-enrollment or replacement with advanced coursework to satisfy degree requirements.

If a student’s progress indicates scholastic probation, the student will receive a notice of this from the Director of the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA), and the notice will be sent by e-mail message to their official Georgia State University (GSU) e-mail account. Within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of this notice, the student should submit a memo to the Director of OAA (from the student’s GSU e-mail account) documenting how he or she intends to achieve the relevant milestone before reaching the criterion for initiating a dismissal action. If a student’s progress indicates initiation of a scholastic exclusion action or if a student fails to submit a memo, the student will receive a scholastic exclusion action notice from the Director of OAA.

Students may appeal the pending exclusion action by petitioning the Dean of the School of Public Health but they must do so before the end of the semester in which their progress first indicated initiation of a exclusion action. If they appeal, students are required to submit as part of their appeal an individualized plan, approved by their thesis/capstone chair, detailing dates by which they intend to meet any milestones yet unachieved.

At any time the student believes they may have difficulty meeting the critical milestones, they should immediately consult with their Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services.

8040.20 Master of Public Health /Juris Doctor Dual Degree

The College of Law and the School of Public Health offer a Juris Doctor (JD)/ Master of Public Health (MPH) in the Health Management and Policy (HMGP) concentration dual degree program. This dual program provides an opportunity to pursue studies in law and public health concurrently. The JD/MPH-HMGP enables students to earn both degrees in a shorter time than would be possible if students pursued each degree separately. Dual degree programs include separate, but affiliated degree programs that are linked through shared curricular offerings and collaborative administrative processes.

Credit hours earned in one degree program satisfy some requirements of the other degree program. No credit hours for the MPH courses will be applied toward the JD requirements until a student has completed the MPH; similarly, no credit hours for the JD courses will be applied toward the MPH requirements until completion of the JD. In other words, a student cannot graduate from the JD and MPH in the same semester—a student must graduate from either program in a given semester, and then the second program in a subsequent semester. Students interested in pursuing a JD/MPH must be admitted into and enroll in both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 60 hours of JD coursework in order to qualify for the dual degree program. When admitted to the JD/MPH program, students must complete the first 30 hours of required courses in the JD program as soon as possible (immediately upon JD admission). After completion of these 30 hours of law courses, course enrollment in either college or both colleges concurrently is permitted and may resume. Students must complete the dual degree program within six years of the initial semester of enrollment. Students should be able to complete both degrees in four years.

JD/MPH Dual Degree Admissions

To participate in the JD/MPH dual degree program, students must apply separately for admission to the College of Law and the School of Public Health. Students are strongly encouraged to apply to both programs simultaneously. However, there is some opportunity to apply and enroll in the dual degree program after admission to only one of the schools, if a student has not proceeded too far in that school’s program. Students interested in pursuing a JD/MPH must be admitted into and enroll in both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 60 hours of JD coursework in order to qualify for the dual degree program.

Students must take the LSAT to apply to the College of Law. The School of Public Health will accept the LSAT in lieu of the GRE if a student is admitted into the College of Law first. If a student applies concurrently to the College of Law and School of Public Health, or if a student is admitted to the College of Law after they are admitted to the School of Public Health, that student will need to provide a GRE score as well. Admission into one program does not presume admission into the other. Students who gain admission into both programs and become dual degree JD/MPH students should self-disclose their dual degree status to their JD advisor and the MPH Graduate Advisor immediately upon admission into their second program of study (either JD or MPH). A joint email from the student to both their JD advisor and the MPH Graduate Advisor is preferred. Failure to send this notification to their advisors may result in the student having to complete both programs in their entirety and become ineligible for the dual JD/MPH degree program opportunity.

What can I do with a joint degree in law and public health?

      • Private law practices specializing in health care, pharmaceuticals, and food and drug policy
      • Legal counsel in federal, state, and local government agencies
      • Government affairs and advocacy
      • Research institutions and higher education

Resources like the Network for Public Health Law, APHA Law Section, and the American Health Lawyers Association provide connections to similarly trained individuals throughout the country through conferences, training, and networking. Read more information in the findings from the Network for Public Health Law J.D./M.P.H. Survey.

JD/MPH HMGP DUAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS (106 hours)

MPH – minimum 28 School of Public Health credit hours (+ 14 or more public health-related College of Law credit hours, taken for the JD)

      1. Required MPH Core Courses (16 hours):
        • PH 7011 Introduction to Epidemiology (3) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
        • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
        • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
        • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
        • PH 7160 Introduction to Health Care System (3)
      2. Required MPH Research Methods Course (3 hours):
        • PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3)
      3. Required MPH HMGP Concentration Courses (6 hours):
        • PH 7130 Leadership and Public Health (3)
        • PH 7170 Public Health Policy (3)
      4.  Required MPH Thesis or Capstone Project Course (3 credit hours):
        • PH 7990 Public Health Thesis or Capstone (3)
      5. Required MPH Practicum Course (2 credit hours) or (2 credit hours minimum) of public health-related Lawyering Skills Course:
        • PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2) or Public Health-Related Lawyering Skills Course (2+)*
          *Standard MPH HMGP students complete two (2) credit hours of PH 7960 Public Health Practicum; however, JD/MPH HMGP dual degree students may satisfy this PH 7960 requirement by completing 3 or 4 credit hours of a College of Law lawyering skills course: specifically in the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic at GSUa health law related externship[2], or Health Legislation and Advocacy clinical program[3]. For either a traditional PH 7960 practicum or for a lawyering skills course in lieu of a practicum, the student must FIRST complete all MPH core courses before beginning the practicum or lawyering skills course. If a lawyering skills course is taken prior to completing those required MPH core courses, it will not count for the PH 7960 practicum requirement. Students must submit a Waiver/Substitution form to the School of Public Health for the lawyering skills course to be counted in lieu of the PH 7960 practicum requirement. The School of Public Health will make the final decision on if a completed lawyering skills course fulfills the PH 7960 requirement. Alternatively, JD/MPH student may elect to complete the standard public health practicum course.
      6. Required MPH HMGP Concentration-related College of Law Elective Courses (12 hours):
        • LAW 7240 Health Law: Financing and Delivery (3)
        • LAW 7244 Public Health Law (3)
        • 6 hours of any qualifying College of Law electives related to both health management and policy and law with “B”grade or better– counted below

JD – minimum 78 College of Law hours (+12 or more law-related School of Public Health credit hours, taken for the MPH)

      1. 43 hours of required College of Law course
      2. 35 hours of College of Law elective courses, which include:
        • 12 hours HMGP Concentration-related College of Law Elective Courses:
          LAW 7240 Health Law: Financing and Delivery (3)
          LAW 7244 Public Health Law (3)
          6 hours of any qualifying law electives related to both health management and policy and law
        • 23 hours of additional elective courses
          (3 hours could be a lawyering skills course such as externship, clinic, or summer fellowship for credit, relevant to public health)
        • At least 2 hours of the 35 must satisfy writing requirement (health law or other)

[1] Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic: http://law.gsu.edu/clinics/help-legal-services-clinic/.

[2] Health Law externship: http://law.gsu.edu/experiential-learning/externships/.

[3] Health Legislation and Advocacy clinical program: http://law.gsu.edu/clinics/.