2008-2009 Master of Public Health (MPH) and Certificate in Public Health (CPH)

Mission | Goals | Admission | Progression | Probation & Suspension | Graduation Requirements | Program Requirements | Course Descriptions

The Westminster Public Health Program lays a solid foundation for public health practice in the twenty-first century. The Program focuses on developing knowledge and skills needed to be a effective member of the public health workforce. The Program educates professionals to promote and protect public health and safety through education, service, and the application of evidence-based science. The program offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Certificate in Public Health (CPH) that are taught in an executive format, meaning, core courses will be offered every two weeks on a Friday and Saturday during the semester. Some faculty designated courses are offered online. The MPH degree is recognized internationally for the public health professional.

The Certificate in Public Health (CPH) is designed to begin the process of formal and on-the-job training in public health. Because of the severe shortage of trained public health practitioners, public health organizations are pressed to hire many workers without formal public health training. The Certificate in Public Health (CPH) provides a formal education program for those who have already started a public health career through on-the-job training as well as others wishing to enter the public health workforce. It also provides a training program for those students who wish to work in other professions but regularly interface with the health industry. Students who desire to continue their education in public health beyond the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) will be permitted to apply certificate credits towards the Westminster Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is designed for working healthcare professionals in the Intermountain West. The MPH attracts individuals with a commitment to acquire knowledge and skills that will help them advance to leadership positions. Students come from a variety of careers such as health departments, hospitals, integrated health delivery systems, HMOs, group practices, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. MPH students learn leadership and practical skills that help them apply their knowledge and expertise to situations that range from social issues to highly technical problems. The Capstone Research Project enables students to be innovative and analytical regarding a selected local, national, or global public health issue.

Mission

The Public Health Program at Westminster College prepares public health professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote health and prevent illness in Utah, the Intermountain West, the United States and the world. The program is grounded in the belief that to be most effective, public health practitioners should receive formal training in the core concepts of public health, which include; analytic and assessment skills, policy development and program planning skills, communication skills, cultural competency skills, community dimensions of practice skills, basic public health science skills, financial planning and management skills, and leadership and systems-thinking skills. We accomplish this while embracing the core values of Westminster College: impassioned teaching and active learning, respect for diverse people and perspectives, collaboration and teamwork, personal and social responsibility, college-wide excellence, as well as high ethical standards. We also follow the standards set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) to assure excellence in public health education. This educational program prepares public health practitioners to meet the diverse challenges of public health locally, nationally, and globally.

Program Goals

The graduate of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program will be prepared to:

  1. Use analytical and evidence-based methods to analyze data and monitor the health status of a community
  2. Investigate and identify health problems and health hazards in the community
  3. Inform, educate, and empower community members about health issues
  4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  7. Use referral processes to assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
  8. Discuss the aspects of a competent public health and personal health care workforce
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  10. Apply research principles and processes in the exploration of innovative solutions to health problems

Admission to the Program

The application deadline is June 1 of each year. Late applications may be considered if space is available. Applicants must have the following items completed in order to be eligible for an interview for the Master of Public Health degree and Certificate in Public Health (CPH) option:

  1. A completed admission application form with $40 application fee to Westminster College
  2. Evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree
  3. All official college transcripts
  4. Three letters of reference
  5. Personal résumé or vita
  6. Personal statement identifying health background and future goals

The Master of Public Health applicants will submit the above required documents plus:

  1. Graduate (master’s or doctoral) degree or GRE scores from the last 5 years

Progression in the Program

A student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  2. Receive a grade of B- or higher in all courses
  3. Complete the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) option in 2 years from the time of admission
  4. Complete the master’s degree in 4 years from the time of admission
  5. Complete all thesis or project requirements according to the identified time schedules

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

Students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program and the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) option are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point overage (GPA) of at least 3.0. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll. Academic probationary students who fail to earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 that semester will be dismissed from the Public Health Program.

Academic probationary students whose semester GPA is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative GPA still remains below 3.0 will be continued on academic probation. Academic probationary students whose cumulative GPA reaches 3.0 or higher will be returned to good academic standing. To qualify for graduation, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from program probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student may be dismissed from the Public Health Program for any of the following reasons:

  • Violations of the academic honesty policies
  • Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
  • A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or practicum setting
  • A grade below B- in any of the courses

Appeals for Readmission

Students dismissed from the Public Health Program related to field/classroom deficiencies must petition to the Health Sciences Graduate Admission and Progression Committee for readmission if they wish to reenter the program. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered at this time. The Health Sciences Graduate Admission and Progression Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences regarding readmission to the Public Health Program.

Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic evaluation or dismissal through the Academic Grievance Process of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree or Certificate in Public Health (CPH), students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Earn a grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is recommended.

Program Requirements

The core courses required for the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) are as follows:

Certificate in Public Health (CPH)

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

15

MPH 500 Principles of Public Health Practice
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
MPH 520 Environmental Health
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology
MPH 540 Healthcare Management

3
3
3
3
3

TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN PUBLIC HEALTH (CPH)

15

The courses required for the Master of Public Health degree (MPH) are as follows:

Certificate in Public Health (CPH)

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

15

  MPH 500 Principles of Public Health Practice
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
MPH 520 Environmental Health
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology
MPH 540 Healthcare Management
MPH 600 Public Health Ethics
MPH 610 Public Health Leadership
MPH 621 Practicum I
MPH 622 Practicum II
MPH 630 Statistical Methods for Public Health
MPH 690 Capstone Research Project
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
6

II.

Elective Courses
9

Additional MPH coursework

9

TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED FOR THE MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH (MPH)

45