Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice
Public health seeks to understand and address the relationships between determinants of health and health outcomes. Our graduate program prepares public health practitioners to assess the needs of populations; plan, implement and evaluate programs to address those needs; and otherwise assure conditions that protect and promote the health of populations. The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Practice Program, within the Division of Population Health Sciences (DPHS), is designed to meet the challenges of the diverse and complex field of public health, with a particular focus on the needs of Alaska and the Circumpolar North. Students with backgrounds in the natural sciences, social sciences, business, health professions, human services, education, and law have successfully entered the field of public health at the graduate level.
Students may pursue their careers with minimal disruption while working on the MPH degree because all required courses are offered via distance format.
The MPH degree requires core courses in health education, environmental and occupational health, health management and policy, biostatistics, and epidemiology. It also includes coursework in research methods, program evaluation, circumpolar health issues, and management of public health emergencies and disasters, as well as the opportunity to create an individualized emphasis as the foundation for the required Applied Practice Experience (APE) and Integrated Learning Experience (ILE).
Complete the Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees. In addition, students should also meet the following criteria when applying for admission to the MPH program:
- Submit an essay in response to the following prompt: Identify a major public health challenge in your community, describe its extent, and discuss one to two evidence-based solutions to address this challenge. Essays must be no more than 2 double-spaced pages long, be typed using 11 or 12 point font, and include citations and references. The list of references does not count in the page limitations.
- Provide a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
- Submit a personal statement explaining how and why obtaining the MPH degree in Public Health Practice would contribute to the student's career goals. The personal statement must be no more than 2 double-spaced pages long and typed using 11 or 12 point font.
- Completed applications are reviewed once each year. The deadline for fall admission in the MPH Program is March 1. If openings remain available, applications will be accepted until July 1. Students are asked to contact the MPH Program Office prior to submitting an application after March 1. UAA admission must be successfully processed before the MPH Program will consider an application complete. The UAA process may take as long as four months, so applicants are encouraged to apply to the university first and early.
Note also that:
- To the extent that there are limited positions available in the program, preference may be given to residents of the state of Alaska as defined by the university’s policy on residency for tuition purposes. Potential out-of-state applicants should also be aware of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), which could affect their eligibility to enroll in the UAA MPH Program. Preference may also be given to applicants with two or more years of work experience in the field of public health, from underrepresented populations, and/or have completed undergraduate or graduate course(s) in statistics or quantitative analysis.
- Decisions by the admissions committee are considered final. Those who are not admitted to the program are encouraged to strengthen their application before re-application.
Professional Program Fee
A professional program fee is required of all students in the MPH program in addition to course tuition fees, lab fees, course material fees, and student activity fees. The professional program fee is a sum equal to 50 percent of resident tuition, and is charged upon enrollment in MPH courses. The fee contributes directly to program support.
A student in the MPH program is expected to complete a minimum of 6 semester credits each academic year, beginning with the first semester of enrollment. The 6 semester credits may consist of prerequisite courses or program courses. Failure to comply with the 6 credit minimum each academic year may result in the removal from the program. See also General University Requirements for Graduate Degrees for additional requirements to remain in good standing and to meet academic expectations toward the degree.
See the section Advancement to Candidacy.
- Complete the General University Requirements for Graduate Degrees.
- Complete the following program requirements:
|HS A605||Public Health and Society||3|
|HS A610||Environmental and Occupational Health||3|
|HS A615||Health Services Administration||3|
|HS A624||Circumpolar Health Issues||3|
|HS A625||Biostatistics for Health Professionals||3|
|HS A626||Principles of Epidemiology||3|
|HS/SWK A628||Program Evaluation||3|
|HS A629||Public Health Research Tools and Methods||4|
|HS A630||Public Health Emergencies and Disasters||3|
|Complete three focused public health-related emphasis courses at the 600-level with advisor approval||9|
|HS A695||Applied Practice Experience||3|
|HS A696||Integrative Learning Experience||2|
A minimum of 42 credits is required for the degree.
MPH Program Goals and Program-Level Objectives
Based on national accreditation criteria (Council on Education for Public Health, www.ceph.org) and quality standards, the overall MPH Program student goal is to prepare public health professionals who can demonstrate attainment of the following 12 foundational public health knowledge learning objectives, 22 MPH program core competencies, and 5 public health practice generalist track-specific competencies.
MPH Program Foundational Knowledge Learning Objectives
Profession and Science of Public Health
1. Explain public health history, philosophy, and values.
2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services of Public Health.
3. Explain the role of quantitative and qualitative methods and sciences in describing and assessing a population’s health.
4. List major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. or other community relevant to the program.
5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in population health, including health promotion and screening.
6. Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge.
Factors Related to Human Health
7. Explain effects of environmental factors on a population’s health.
8. Explain biological and genetic factors that affect a population’s health.
9. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population’s health.
10. Explain the social, political, and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities.
11. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease.
12. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health and ecosystem health (e.g., One Health).
MPH Program Competencies
Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
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, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
Public Health & Health Care Systems
5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
6. 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.
Planning & Management to Promote Health
7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health.
8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention.
10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs.
Policy in Public Health
12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence.
13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes.
14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations.
15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity.
16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making.
17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.
18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation.
20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.
21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.
22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.
MPH in Public Health Practice Generalist Track-Specific Competencies
Public Health Response
1. Address public health emergencies and disasters with a focus on preparedness, impact, response, and/or recovery.
Applied Research and Evaluation
2. Engage community partner(s) in identifying and addressing public health issues.
Professionalism and Ethics
3. Demonstrate ethical decision-making in public health practice.
Diversity and Cultural Humility
4. Apply concepts of social justice, equity, and/or cultural humility in addressing public health problems in multicultural communities.
5. Analyze the unique social, cultural, and/or environmental conditions affecting population health in the arctic.