Jun 18, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Public Health - Health Systems and Policy Concentration, (MPH)

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Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree Program

Vikki Nolan, DSc, MPH
Associate Professor, Interim Assistant Dean, MPH Director and Graduate Coordinator
228 Robison Hall

Email: vgnolan @memphis.edu

The mission of the CEPH accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) program is to provide a stimulating academic environment in a metropolitan setting that supports excellence and innovation in education, research, and service to enhance the lives and health of individuals, families, and communities in the Mid-South. Program objectives are: (1) Prepare future leaders in the field of public health by providing the highest quality education and practice opportunities in theories, approaches, methods, and other substantive issues pertinent to public health; (2) Create and nurture an environment conducive to interdisciplinary public health initiatives, with special emphasis on vulnerable populations who suffer disproportionately from illness and disability; (3) Pursue innovative and rigorous research on critical public health issues to prevent disease and injury, promote well-being, and foster overall physical and mental health; (4) Stimulate collaboration with the community to develop effective partnerships in combating the health challenges in our communities, city, state, and region; and (5) Inform public policy, disseminate health information, and increase awareness of public health concerns through disease surveillance, needs assessments, and program evaluation.

Program Admission

A multi-disciplinary faculty admissions committee determines admission to the MPH program. Criteria for the selection process are broad because of the wide range of backgrounds from which students may come. Prior background in public health or health care is not necessary for admission, but may be considered in the admission process. The following is necessary for application:

Applicants must hold a bachelor or graduate degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.00 scale) or a graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the major subject area. Current Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the past five years are required.

Applicants already holding a doctoral degree or its professional equivalent obtained in the United States may be exempt from the GRE requirement. Professional school standardized test scores (MCAT, DAT, and LSAT) may be substituted for the GRE by applicants who are enrolled in or who have already earned post-baccalaureate degrees in areas such as medicine, dentistry, or law. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Letters of recommendation from at least three persons familiar with the applicant’s academic background or experience in public health related issues, specifying in detail the applicant’s capabilities for graduate study and for future performance as a public health professional, are required. At least one letter from a former professor or instructor is required.

Applicants must also submit a statement of purpose in approximately 400-500 words indicating his or her present interests and career goals, including why s/he wants to pursue an MPH degree.

Program Prerequisites

All MPH applicants will be expected to have adequate preparation in the sciences, including at least one college-level course in general biology (including human biology), mathematics (e.g., calculus or algebra), and a social science (e.g., sociology, anthropology, or psychology). Basic computer skills are also expected. Courses in health-related fields such as anatomy, physiology, nutrition, chemistry, physics, and statistics are not mandated, but are strongly recommended. Previous professional or other relevant work experience is also highly desirable, but not required.

Program Requirements:

Completion of a total of 42 hours, including 18 hours of core course requirements; 18 hours of electives, 3 hours of practicum/field experience, and 3 hours of a culmination experience in the form of either a thesis or master’s project seminar. Students may choose a concentration in any of the following areas: Biostatistics, Environmental Science, Epidemiology, Health Systems Management, or Social and Behavioral Sciences. They may also choose to have a Generalist MPH degree. Students can choose to receive a Professional degree within an abbreviated 12 month period. The Professional (12-month) degree is for highly qualified applicants who are able to successfully manage a heavy course load.

Concentration courses include:

Electives (18 hours)

Will be taken with the approval of the faculty advisor.

Possible electives include courses within the concentration areas as well as:


Other courses may serve as electives; students should check with their advisors

Other Requirements

Satisfy completion of PUBH 7985 - Practicum/Field Experience **  (3)

Satisfy completion of PUBH 7996 - Thesis  (3) or PUBH 7992 - Master’s Project Seminar **  (3).

NOTE: Students choosing the thesis option should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.

Pass comprehensive examination.

Retention Requirements

All students enrolled in the MPH program are expected to attain high academic achievement in all courses taken. The following criteria will be used to determine retention status of students:

Students having been admitted unconditionally who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher will be considered in good standing if not more than 2 (two) grades of 2.00 or lower has been earned.

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00. In accordance with the Graduate School guidelines, any student not meeting this requirement will be placed on probation. The MPH Graduate Coordinator will review each student’s academic record to determine whether to request permission from the Graduate School to allow a student who has not maintained a 3.00 GPA to continue to enroll in classes while on probation. The Graduate Coordinator must approve courses for a student on probation. Probationary status continues even if the student has a grade under appeal. If a student remains on probation for two consecutive semesters or remains on probation after taking three courses (9 semester hours) without raising the overall GPA to 3.00, the student will be suspended from the program. Appeals of suspension must be submitted in writing to the Director of the MPH program.

A student who has been suspended from the MPH program will be denied enrollment in PUBH courses subsequent to suspension.

Elective courses applied to the MPH program requirements must have the advisor’s approval.

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