The MPH curriculum requires a minimum of 45 semester hours of graduate credit including 21 hours of core courses, an internship experience (3 credit hours), a capstone thesis (6 credit hours) or project (3 credit hours), the completion of a specialty area or concentration (9 credit hours), and electives (6-9 credit hours). The program can be completed within two academic years (5 semesters including summer semester between the 1st and 2nd year). Six semesters is the expected time to completion for full-time students. Part-time students are expected to complete the program within 5 years (10 semesters). The curriculum structure is described in more detail in the MPH Program Handbook 2016-2017. Descriptions of individual courses and when they are offered can be viewed in the Graduate Catalog.
The 3 credit internship is an intensive, supervised experience required for all students. Students work as a professional in a community health setting for a minimum of 160 hours. The goal is to demonstrate the ability to apply research and theory in a practice-based setting, and to assume leadership roles. Internship experiences are designed and approved in concert with the Program Director and the student's agency preceptor. Students register for HLTH 6471 (3 hours) during the internship period. Note: A criminal background check and drug screen are among the Internship Requirements, this may cost anywhere from $60-$150 depending on the amount and type of screenings required. Students who fail these screening measures and who are unable to be placed in an internship face dismissal from the program.
Each student is required to complete a capstone experience consisting of either a 6 credit thesis or a 3 credit project. In all cases, the capstone experience must be of the student's own design, demonstrate independent learning, and originate under the supervision of a Public Health Sciences faculty member serving as the chair and at least two additional graduate faculty committee members.