Online Master of Public Health Degree Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

HLTH 6001 – Program Planning and Implementation in Rural Public Health

Planning, implementing, and evaluating health promotion and health education programs are key skills for functioning effectively as a public health professional. These skills are outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and supported by organizations such as the Institute of Medicine. Making decisions about the types of theory-based programs or strategies to implement based on both the community’s perspective as well as need (evidence), enhances the likelihood of their effectiveness.

HLTH 6080 – Health Policy

Impact of health care public policy, including the health administrator’s role in policy analysis, development, interpretation, and implementation.

HLTH 6002 – Evaluation and Quality Improvement in Healthcare

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the fundamentals of health promotion program evaluation and research methods related to behavioral science and health education. Although the course emphasizes general evaluation and research methodology, specific health program and health policy applications are used as illustrations.

HLTH 6140 – Rural Health Disparities

According to the National Institutes of Health (2005), “Health disparities are differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and related adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.” One of these specific population groups is rural Americans. Rural communities have a history of poor health, increased preventable disease rates, poor living conditions, limited access to health care services, inadequate public health infrastructure, and lower socioeconomic status, which set the stage for a perfect storm of health disparities. However, rural communities are also rich in culture, diversity, history, independence, social capital, and tradition, which can be utilized to improve health outcomes in these isolated and remote areas.

HLTH 6710 – Public Health Concepts

This course will focus on providing students with foundational knowledge of public health. Topics that will be addressed include definitions of public health, organizational structure, history, ethics, essential services, global programs, and future public health.

HLTH 6720 – Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health

Social and behavioral science concepts, diversity issues, theories of health education and promotion, applications to public health issues, and interventions in reference to communication, collaboration, and strategies.

HLTH 6730 – Epidemiology in Public Health*

The course will facilitate students’ understanding of fundamental epidemiological concepts (such as principles of causality), methods (such as epidemiologic study designs), and their practical applications (such as the concept of screening for disease; public health applications of the measures of disease frequency and the measures of exposure-disease association; and their role in public health decision-making).

HLTH 6740 – Biostatistics in Public Health*

Principles of biostatistics in the context of multiple public health applications including basic and advanced statistical techniques for analyzing and investigating public health issues including disparities.

HLTH 6760 – Environmental Health Sciences in Public Health

This course includes the characterization of components of our environment that can adversely affect human health and the policies and regulations designed to protect us. The course covers such topics as air/water quality, food hygiene, sanitation, municipal/infectious/hazardous waste, vector-borne disease, occupational health, legal/risk issues, and global environmental issues.

HLTH 6770 – Grant Writing in Public Health Practice

This course will examine grant language, research versus program grants, funders, different sections of common grants, and the writing of a comprehensive grant proposal. Methods and techniques for writing and managing grant proposals to support public health programs. Emphasis on development of grant proposals, including narrative, program plan, evaluation design, timeline, budget justifications, identifying grant resources, managing funded projects, and developing requests for proposals.

HLTH 6920 – MPH Practicum

This 3-credit-hour (200 onsite clock hours) MPH practicum is to be performed with a rural public health organization (non-profit community-based organization, health department, hospital, etc). The practicum is project-based and the student is expected to produce tangible outcomes (grant proposal, needs assessment, promotional materials, etc.) for the practicum site. The number and type of project(s) are determined by interaction between the practicum preceptor and student. Overall, this practicum should lead to comprehensive participation in the activities of a rural public health agency. It is imperative that public health professionals get practical, hands-on experience before they graduate, and this would not be possible without partnerships with local health professionals in rural health organizations and agencies. Each student will work under the supervision of a practicum preceptor at a rural practicum site, while the instructor of record will be an Ohio University MPH faculty member (generally faculty advisor). The practicum supervisor will complete an evaluation of the student while the MPH faculty member will assign the credit. There are no grades assigned to this experience; only pass/fail credit can be earned.

HLTH 6911 – Capstone

The Capstone Project must be completed in the last semester of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Ohio University Department of Social and Public Health. The Capstone Project provides comprehensive documentation of the student’s comprehension of the MPH Core Competencies. It also serves as the OU Graduate School’s non-thesis equivalent of the mastery of a student’s academic discipline.

*Required for the epidemiology certificate