MPH in Community Health

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The MPH in Community Health focuses on the social and behavioral sciences in public health. Students are provided with the competencies they will need to promote health in urban communities—competencies in assessment, community engagement, program development, grant writing, research, and evaluation. The program prepares students to plan, manage, and evaluate health programs aimed at reducing social and behavioral threats to community health. The curriculum addresses the social determinants of disease and health inequalities with a corresponding emphasis on structural theories of change, informed by social justice principles. Graduates work in a variety of organizations across public and nonprofit sectors in New York and beyond, including service, advocacy and health care organizations.

For students who began matriculating in Spring 2019 or earlier, please review the previous curriculum for the MPH in Community Health Education here.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed SOPHAS application
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited university with GPA (overall and major) of at least 3.0 preferred.
  • Personal statement/statement of purpose (recommended length is 500 words)
  • Background in the field: paid or volunteer experience in public health or related field
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores are required if language of instruction for prior degrees was not English
  • Transcript evaluation from WES or ECE for foreign transcripts.
  • Strong foundation in social and natural sciences; statistics or calculus strongly recommended.

Deadline to Apply

  • Spring 2023: January 1, 2023 (November 1, 2022 for international students seeking an F-1 student visa)
  • Fall 2023: March 1, 2023 (March 1, 2023 for international students seeking an F-1 student visa)

For students who began matriculating in Spring 2019 or earlier, please review the previous curriculum for the MPH in Community Health Education here.

Foundational Knowledge (0 credits) PUBH 601 Foundations of Public Health Knowledge* 
Core Coursework (15 credits) PUBH 610 Public Health Leadership & Management
PUBH 611 Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy
PUBH 612 Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions
PUBH 613 Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research
PUBH 614 Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research
Required Coursework (12 credits) CHSS 622 Community Organizing to Advance Health and Social Justice
CHSS 623 Applied Mixed Methods in Community Health Research
CHSS 624 Community Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Sustainability
CHSS 625 Advanced Seminar on Intersectoral Partnerships
Elective Coursework (9 credits) Three (3) electives chosen in consultation with faculty advisor
Practice Experience (3 credits) CHSS 696 Community Health Practice Collaborative I
Culminating Experience (3 credits) CHSS 698 Community Health Practice Collaborative II
Total Credits Required 42

*Students who have a CEPH-accredited undergraduate or graduate degree in public health are waived from this requirement.

For students who began matriculating in Spring 2019 or earlier, please review the previous competencies for the MPH in Community Health Education here.

Core Competencies:

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  • Apply epidemiological methods to settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming, and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice


Public Health & Health Care Systems

  • Compare the organization, structure, and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and systemic levels


Planning & Management to Promote Health

  • Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design, implementation, or critique of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management (“Resource management” refers to stewardship (planning, monitoring, etc.) of resources throughout a project, not simply preparing a budget statement that projects what resources will be required.)
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs


Policy in Public Health

  • Discuss the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence (This competency refers to technical aspects of how public policies are created and adopted, including legislative and/or regulatory roles and processes, ethics in public policy making, and the role of evidence in creating policy.)
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations (This competency refers to the ability to influence policy and/or decision making, such as through stakeholder mobilization, educating policy makers, etc. Ability to argue in support of (or in opposition to) a position, as in a standard debate, is not sufficient. Students must produce a product that would be part of an advocacy campaign or effort (e.g., legislative testimony, fact sheets, advocacy strategy outline, etc.).)
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity


Leadership

  • Apply leadership and/or management principles to address a relevant issue (Such principles may include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision making.)
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges (“Negotiation and mediation,” in this competency, refers to the set of skills needed when a common solution is required among parties with conflicting interests and/or different desired outcomes. Such skills extend beyond the level of negotiation required in a successful intra-group process; effective communication within a work group or team is more closely related to competency)


Communication

  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate (i.e., non-academic, non-peer audience) public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content


Interprofessional and/or Intersectoral Practice

  • Integrate perspectives from other sectors and/or professions to promote and advance population health (This competency requires direct engagement (in-person or online) between the student and an individual or individuals in a profession or sector other than public health; students must combine the external sector/profession’s perspective and/or knowledge with their own public health training to complete a task, solve a problem, etc.. Role-playing, in which public health students assume the identity of an individual from another profession or sector to which they do not already belong, is not an acceptable substitute for actual engagement with an individual or individuals from a profession or sector outside of public health.)
  • Apply a systems thinking tool to visually represent a public health issue in a format other than standard narrative (Systems thinking tools depict or map complex relationships, demonstrating, for example, how component parts of a system interact with and influence one another. Examples include causal loop diagrams, systems archetypes, network analyses, and concept maps. Logic models and evidence tables are not sufficient to address this competency.)


Systems Thinking

  • Apply a systems thinking tool to visually represent a public health issue in a format other than standard narrative (Systems thinking tools depict or map complex relationships, demonstrating, for example, how component parts of a system interact with and influence one another. Examples include causal loop diagrams, systems archetypes, network analyses, and concept maps. Logic models and evidence tables are not sufficient to address this competency.)


Environmental Sciences

  • Apply concepts from relevant scientific disciplines, such as toxicology and physiology, to anticipate effects of environmental, occupational and nutritional exposures on both human health and overall planetary health
Concentration Competencies:
  • Apply ethical, socially just, and culturally responsive principles and strategies to community organizing, community health assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation activities
  • Engage and partner with communities to assess health problems and propose solutions to health inequities that recognize the role of power and stratification systems
  • Examine the interdependency of various structures and systems that shape health in complex and dynamic ways
  • Develop research and evaluation methods (design, data collection, analysis and interpretation) that will inform solutions to community health issues
  • Examine the roles that diverse sectors can play and the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations in community health initiatives

These sequences are recommended for full-time students. Part-time students are encouraged to meet with a staff advisor to map out an appropriate plan of study.

For students who began matriculating in Spring 2019 or earlier, please review the previous course sequence for the MPH in Community Health Education here.

For students beginning their program during the fall semester:
Semester Course Credits
Year 1 Fall PUBH 601: Foundations of Public Health Knowledge* 0
PUBH 613: Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research 3
PUBH 612: Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 3
PUBH 611: Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy 3
PUBH 610: Public Health Leadership and Management 3
Year 1 Spring PUBH 614: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research 3
CHSS 624: Community Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Sustainability 3
CHSS 622: Community Organizing to Advance Health and Social Justice 3
Elective I 3
Year 2 Fall CHSS 696: Community Health Practice Collaborative I 3
CHSS 623: Applied Mixed Methods in Community Health Research 3
CHSS 625: Advanced Seminar on Intersectoral Partnerships 3
Elective II 3
Year 2 Spring CHSS 698: Community Health Practice Collaborative II 3
Elective III 3
 
For students beginning their program during the spring semester:
Semester Course Credits
Year 1 Spring PUBH 601: Foundations of Public Health Knowledge* 0
PUBH 613: Designs, Concepts, and Methods in Public Health Research 3
CHSS 622: Community Organizing to Advance Health and Social Justice 3
PUBH 611: Health Equity, Communication, and Advocacy 3
PUBH 612: Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 3
Year 1 Fall PUBH 614: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Methods in Public Health Research 3
CHSS 623: Applied Mixed Methods in Community Health Research 3
PUBH 610: Public Health Leadership and Management 3
Elective I 3
Year 2 Spring CHSS 624: Community Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Sustainability 3
CHSS 625: Advanced Seminar on Intersectoral Partnerships 3
Elective II 3
Year 2 Summer CHSS 696: Community Health Practice Collaborative I 3
Year 2 Fall CHSS 698: Community Health Practice Collaborative II 3
Elective III 3

*PUBH 601 should be completed during a student’s first semester. Students who have a CEPH-accredited undergraduate or graduate degree in public health are waived from this requirement.

Check out what recent SPH alumni are doing with their degrees.

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