Public Health, Community Health Concentration, M.P.H.
Andrew Owusu, Program Director
The Public Health program with a concentration in Community Health offers preparation for a wide range of roles and settings within the public health arena, including non-governmental and governmental agencies at international, national, state, and local levels.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admission decisions will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. Admission decisions are based upon consideration of a number of criteria which are believed to indicate a high potential in the graduate program.
Admission to the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program requires
- an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. The candidate must have earned undergraduate prerequisites of at least 18 semester hours in public health or health and human performance professional courses or have a baccalaureate degree in an area determined by the admissions committee to be related to the competencies required in the field of public health;
- an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken;
- completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores. GMAT or MCAT scores can be considered in lieu of the GRE. Successful applicants to the Master of Public Health program typically have scores on the GRE Verbal and Quantitative measures which exceed 146 and 140 respectively with a total combined score that exceeds 286. The Analytical Writing Assessment score is also considered.
Degree-seeking students are expected to take appropriate courses and make satisfactory progress toward their degree objectives as determined by the graduate program. A graduate student at the master's or specialist's level must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 for all graduate work completed at MTSU as well as in the major.
A graduate student failing to meet the applicable minimum cumulative graduate GPA retention standard will be placed on academic probation for the subsequent term. Probation in itself has no serious consequences other than to alert the student of potential academic problems and the requirement to (re)establish satisfactory academic status. Once on probation, a student has three consecutive semesters in which to restore the cumulative GPA to the minimum required. If the student fails to attain the required GPA at the close of the third semester of probation, the student will be suspended automatically.
A graduate student who is on academic probation, then returns to good standing will no longer be on probation. Should the student once again fall below the minimum cumulative graduate GPA for retention (GPA<3.00 for master's or <3.25 for doctoral) during their course of study, rather than being placed on probation again, they will be suspended.
In order to reenroll student must formally appeal the suspension to the graduate program by following established requirements within the program. In the event that a student is suspended and subsequently upon appeal is granted permission to reenroll, should the student fail to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA, there will be no second probationary period. The student will be terminated at the close of the semester and no longer eligible for matriculation in any program at MTSU.
Students whose appeals have been denied by their graduate programs will have the right to appeal this decision by notifying the associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies in writing by the first week of the term following their suspension. An ad hoc committee made up of members of the MTSU Graduate Council from other disciplines will be created. The student and program will have the opportunity to represent both the appeal and decision to the committee at this meeting. The decision of the committee is final.
To graduate from the M.P.H. program, candidate must
- complete either the non-thesis or thesis curriculum to meet Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) requirements. ILE is completed at or near the end of program study (final year or semester).
- If choosing the non-thesis option, successfully complete six (6) credit hours of internship and a related comprehensive report that meets the Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) requirement.
- If choosing the thesis option, select a thesis committee composed of a minimum of two members (one of whom must be from the Department of Health and Human Performance) and complete a minimum of six  thesis credit hours. Candidate must also successfully complete an oral examination relating to the thesis.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
Application deadline: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by February 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- submit application with appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official scores on the GRE;
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
- provide three letters of recommendation from persons who can address their academic qualifications and potential for success in graduate study;
- provide a 400-word statement of purpose giving their reasons for applying to the program, their academic interests, and their professional goals.
The Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health requires completion of a minimum of 42 semester hours.
Candidate must complete either the thesis or non-thesis to meet Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) requirements. ILE is completed at or near the end of program study (final year or semester).
If choosing the thesis option, candidate must
- select a thesis committee composed of a minimum of two members (one of whom must be from the Department of Health and Human Performance);
- Complete a minimum of six (6) thesis credit hours;
- successfully complete an oral examination relating to the thesis.
If choosing the non-thesis option, candidate must successfully complete six (6) credit hours of internship and a related comprehensive report that meet the Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) requirement.
Curriculum: Public Health, Community Health
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Public Health Core Requirements (18 hours)
HLTH 6102 - Theory of Health Education and Behavior
(Same as PSY 6102.) Links behavioral change theory to the research and practice of interventions in health behaviors. Application of the theoretical constructs linked to design, implementation, and evaluation of individual and group behavioral change programs.
HLTH 6200 - Principles of Environmental Health
The effects of environment and occupations on health discussed. Considers such factors as solid waste, water, wastewater, insects, rodents, noise, and occupation. Discusses the historical background of human ecology, communicable disease control, and special programs and problems in public health.
HLTH 6510 - The Nation's Health
Investigates the determinants of health and the role of public health and health care on the health status of the population of the United States. Study of biological, socioeconomic, cultural, and behavioral factors that influence health status and care in America.
HLTH 6710 - Advanced Biostatistics for Public Health
Prerequisite: HLTH 4020, HHP 6700 or equivalent with minimum grade of C, or permission of instructor. Advanced practical problem-based approaches to commonly used public health statistics. Emphasis on data dissemination to non-technical and expert audiences, such as creation of technical reports and infographics. Data analyzed using statistical and data visualization software.
HLTH 6850 - Methods in Epidemiology
Principles and methods of epidemiologic analysis including standardization; stratified analysis; confounding and its control; planning and conducting epidemiologic research; role of multivariate analysis in epidemiologic research.
HLTH 6860 - Program Planning for Health Promotion
Program planning, theories and models of health education and promotion, development of interventions, and program implementation, including mission, goals, objectives, and activities of health education and promotion programs. Introduces needs assessment and program evaluation.
Community Health Concentration (9 hours) or advisor-approved substitution
HLTH 6750 - Applied Survey Methodology for Public Health
Prerequisite: HLTH 6710 or HHP 6700 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Strategies of questionnaire design, administration, analysis, and interpretation in a public health context. Topics include survey sampling, item development, classical test theory and item response theory applications, and culminates in a survey design project in the student's area of research.
HLTH 6870 - Health Promotion
Health promotion knowledge as well as the ability to impart this knowledge to the lay population. In-depth information will be covered regarding lifestyle and its relationship to risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
HLTH 6890 - Social Epidemiology and Population Health
Prerequisites: HLTH 6102 and HLTH 6850. Overview of concepts and research related to impact of social determinants on population health including how society, politics, cultural, and economics influence health outcomes. Social science theory and rigorous epidemiological methods connecting social and health inequalities examined.
Guided Electives in Consultation with Advisor (6 hours)
HHP 6610 - Research Methods in Health and Human Performance
Location of information, methods of research, methods of collecting data, application of the computer in analyzing data, and preparation and presentation of a research paper.
HLTH 5450 - Technology Applications
Prerequisite: Introductory course in computer literacy or equivalent with instructor permission. Corequisite: HLTH 5451. Focus on understanding of and competency in use of a variety of technology applications related to the profession. Students required to enroll in the corresponding lab during the same semester.
HLTH 5451 - Technology Applications Lab
Investigation and application of profession-specific software and hardware applications.
HLTH 6320 - Global Health
Explores patterns of medical care delivery and public health practices; factors that inhibit or enable the reduction of excess morbidity, mortality, and disease among the poor; threats to health resulting from economic crises, unhealthy environments, and risky behaviors; and demographic influences on the status of health around the world.
HLTH 6350 - Spatial Epidemiology
3 credit hours
Lecture and laboratory-based course to learn and apply geographic information systems (GIS) in public health science using spatial data and descriptive epidemiologic methods.
HLTH 6851 - Advanced Methods in Epidemiology
Prerequisites: HLTH 6850 and HLTH 6710/HLTH 7710. Applies the concepts, principles, and methods of epidemiology to public health practice and research. Intended to provide a solid conceptual framework building on HLTH 6850.
HLTH 6855 - Field Epidemiology
Prerequisite: HLTH 6850. Focuses on epidemiologic methods used by field epidemiologists to conduct outbreak investigations and emergency epidemiology.
MGMT 6780 - Health Care Management
An overview of the U.S. health care system, including managed care, governmental and private sector programs and policies affecting the delivery of health care (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance), and legal, ethical, and budgeting issues relevant to managing health care organizations. Presents strategic and operational considerations unique to the management of health care organizations.
PSY 5630 - Death and Dying
An experiential course covering the folklore of thanatology, the funeral industry, handling grief, counseling the bereaved, the hospice concept. Objectives include an attempt to view death with equanimity and personal growth through confronting death.
NFS 6100 - Advanced Studies in Food and Culture
Comprehensive investigation of the roles that culture plays in food practices, beliefs, and health of Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Mexicans and Central Americans, Islanders, Asians, Middle Easterner, and other groups.
NFS 6600 - Nutrition and Obesity
Examines the context, prevalence, causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity and weight-related issues in the United States and other developed and developing societies. Topics focus on the nutrition-related physiological, psychological, sociological, economic, and political aspects of obesity.
Practicum Experience (3 hours)
HLTH 6910 - Special Problems
1 to 3credit hours
(Same as EXSC 6910/PHED 6910/LSM 6910.) Individual study of current problems or areas of interest. S/U grading.
Graduate Project (6 hours)
HLTH 6640 - Thesis Research
1 to 6credit hours
(Same as EXSC 6640/PHED 6640/LSM 6640.) Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.
HLTH 6880 - Internship and Special Projects
3 to 6credit hours
(Same as EXSC 6880/PHED 6880/LSM 6880.) On-site practical experience in an exercise science, health promotion, or sport management program. Those with extensive work experience will develop, implement, and conclude a project (research or applied) in consultation with the major professor.