Master of Public Health - MPH

Program Description

St. Catherine University is the first university in the Twin Cities metro area to offer a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Global Health. The MPH degree is a rigorous multi-disciplinary professional degree program for students desiring a career improving public health through population health program development and evaluation, implementation of behavioral, environmental or policy interventions and evidence based practice.

The program prepares graduates to lead and positively influence ongoing and emerging population health threats globally and locally. Students in the MPH program will learn advanced skills on how to apply public health theory and methods to prevent epidemics and the spread of disease, promote healthy behaviors, prevent injury, respond to disasters and assist in recovery, and assure the quality and accessibility of health services. Students will learn strategies for engaging communities to create positive and sustainable change. Consistent with the mission of St. Catherine University, an MPH in Global Health will be grounded in Catholic intellectual inquiry and social teaching to develop transformational leaders and advance the well-being of women and men around the world.  

The program is offered in the evening and/or on weekends in a hybrid or fully online format providing flexibility for working professionals and those with family responsibilities.

Graduate Outcomes

Students will gain foundational public health knowledge and demonstrate core public health and global health competencies through coursework, an international experience, a 200-hour practicum, and a capstone project. The following competencies are emphasized:

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATIONAL COMPETENCIES

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of 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 and 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 societal levels

Planning and Management to Promote Health

  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation 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
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health

  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policymaking process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • 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
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity

Leadership

  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges

Communication

  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice

  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking

  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH GLOBAL HEALTH COMPETENCIES

  1. Analyze the roles, relationships, and resources of the entities influencing global health
  2. Apply ethical approaches in global health research and practice
  3. Apply monitoring and evaluation techniques to global health programs, policies, and outcomes
  4. Propose sustainable and evidence-based multi-sectoral interventions, considering the social determinants of health specific to the local area
  5. Design sustainable workforce development strategies for resource-limited settings
  6. Display critical self-reflection, cultural humility, and ongoing learning in global health

Accreditation

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the accrediting body for programs and schools of public health.  

The St. Kate's Master of Public Health (MPH) in Global Health is an applicant for CEPH accreditation.  The site visit is scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year.

More information about accreditation can be found on the CEPH website

Degree Requirements

The MPH degree is conferred upon candidates who have met the following requirements:

  • Completion of required courses
  • Attainment of overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of capstone project and oral presentation
  • Completion of one international experience
  • Completion of a 200-hour practicum

One international experience approved by the department is mandatory and can be fulfilled by:

  1. Completing the 200-hour practicum at an approved international site, or
  2. Participating in a summer or January-term faculty-led global studies course abroad

Years to Complete the Program

The full time program of study includes a minimum of 44 credits taken over two years. The program must be completed within ­­­­5 years.

"3+2" dual degree option

St. Catherine University offers a fast track, "3+2" dual degree option for a limited number of St. Kate's students enrolled as bachelor's degree-seeking students in the following majors: Biology, Communication Studies, Economics, Nutrition Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Health, Women and International Development, and Women's Studies (refer to the Pre-Professional Programs section of the undergraduate catalog for details). Qualifying students will complete their undergraduate major in three years. In their fourth year - while still enrolled at the undergraduate level - students will begin taking MPH courses while completing remaining undergraduate courses. In their fifth year, students will complete the MPH while enrolled as graduate students. Eligible students must meet all MPH admission requirements.

Transfer Credits

Requests for transfer of credit are considered on an individual basis and only graduate courses will be eligible. A total of nine relevant credits of transfer and special classes can be applied toward the MPH degree with the approval of the program director. To be eligible for transfer, the course must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution.

Progression Policy

Requirements to Remain in Good Standing

In addition to fulfilling University requirements and following all University policies for graduate program standing and progression, students enrolled in the MPH in Global Health Program must observe the following requirements to remain in good standing:

  • Successfully complete all required course requirements
  • Earn a grade of B or better in each graduate course
  • Maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average
  • Successfully complete a capstone project and oral presentation
  • Successfully complete one international experience
  • Successfully complete a 200-hour practicum experience
  • Demonstrate satisfactory professional attitudes and behaviors as defined by the program

Practicum Evaluations

Student Evaluation of Practicum:  During their practicum, students are required to complete the evaluation at the end of the practicum period. The information from these evaluations will be used to update the data on each practicum site, correct deficiencies if present, and as a resource for placing future students in that site. 

Preceptor Mid-Practicum and Final Evaluation of Student Performance: The student is to remind and encourage the preceptor to perform a mid-practicum evaluation to point out strengths and weaknesses that the student has demonstrated during the first-half of the practicum. In this way, students are able to work on those areas of weakness for the remainder of the practicum. The preceptor is responsible for evaluating student performance during the practicum, at the end of the practicum as well and is encouraged (but not required) to discuss this evaluation with the student prior to the completion of the practicum. Students are evaluated on their public health skills as well as interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and systems-based learning.

Grading of practicum:  Students are expected to maintain their overall GPA minimum of 3.0 to remain in good academic standing in the MPH Program. The practicum is pass/fail. If a student receives a final grade that is below 80%, the student must repeat the practicum. The final grade is determined by multiple factors including the preceptor evaluations, the final poster presentation, attendance, professionalism, and completion of required assignments (see individual syllabi).

If the student is not performing at an acceptable academic and professional level at the practicum site, and is either removed or dismissed from the site prior to the end of the practicum due to poor performance or unprofessional behavior, an investigatory process will be completed by the Program and Fieldwork Coordinator. If it is determined that the student earned a less than satisfactory grade for that practicum, the student will have to repeat the practicum in its entirety. Once again, depending on the academic standing of the student, he/she may be subject to dismissal from the program.

Students are expected to behave in a professional manner consistent with the Professionalism Guidelines for the MPH Student. Behaviors indicating difficulty in displaying responsible learning, such as failure to attend class regularly, chronic tardiness, unsatisfactory work, difficulty with interpersonal communication, etc., normally require the student to delineate professional development goals and strategies as a part of the plan for professional development to resolve these problems. Failure to improve or achieve competency in professional behavior may lead to sanctions.

Students will be closely monitored throughout their practicum experience. Preceptors are required to notify the Program and Fieldwork Coordinator immediately upon having concerns about a student in order that necessary remedial work can begin as soon as possible.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation if:

  • A grade of B– or less has been earned in a course or
  • The overall GPA is less than 3.0

Students are notified in writing by the program director that they have been placed on academic probation. Students may be required to take a reduced credit load during the probationary semester. This determination will be made by the program director in consultation with the student's advisor.

If students receive an unacceptable grade, they may repeat the course once. The original grade will remain on the transcript, but only the replacement grade will be calculated in the GPA. The program director maintains the right to deny registration to any student who is not progressing satisfactorily.

Removal from Probation

Students are removed from academic probation by:

  • Earning a grade of B or better in two or more courses in the following semester
  • Achieving a grade point of 3.0
  • Completing all required course assignments

Students will be notified by letter from the program director that they have been removed from academic probation

Students may be offered a second semester of extended probation if substantial progress is made towards improving grades but conditions have not been fully met. The program director approves extended probation in consultation with the faculty and faculty advisor.

Conditions for Professional Behaviors Probation

Professional attitudes and behaviors will be considered in the student's overall evaluation and progress in the program. Students may be placed on probation for demonstration of unprofessional behavior(s). Failure to improve specific behaviors identified by the faculty as problematic will result in dismissal from the program.

Conditions for Program Dismissal

If conditions for removal from probation or extended probation have not been met, the student will be dismissed from the program. The program director will notify the student in writing. In addition to academic reasons, students may be dismissed from the program for:

  • Violation of the Institution's policy on academic integrity
  • Violation of the Institution's policy on student conduct

 (The complete document on student conduct, including the process for implementation, may be found on Kateway under St. Catherine University's Student Policies.) Students may appeal an academic probation or dismissal from the MPH program by following the Student Complaint Process outlined in St. Catherine University's Student Policies on Kateway.

Readmission to the Program

Readmission to the program is based on appeal to and approval from the program director in consultation with the faculty. Students may be readmitted to the program on a provisional acceptance basis after one semester if they have a clear plan and have satisfactorily corrected all the terms of the dismissal. The decision to re-admit students to a full admission status will be made in collaboration between their advisor and the program director.

Program for St. Catherine Undergraduate Seniors Taking MPH Courses

Qualified seniors enrolled at St. Catherine University the opportunity to take 1-2 courses (up to 6 credits) in the MPH program while completing their undergraduate degree. These graduate credits count as electives toward the bachelor’s degree, or (with approval) as course replacements within the student’s major in the undergraduate program. Additionally, the credits apply toward the graduate degree if the student is admitted into the MPH program after completing the bachelor’s degree.

Eligibility
Undergraduate students must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the Program:

  • Current enrollment in a St. Catherine bachelor’s degree program (CFW or CFA)
  • Completion of at least 92 semester credits by the first day of the graduate class
  • Completion of at least 16 credits in residence in the CFW or CFA bachelor’s program
  • An institutional cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • In need of elective credits (or approved course replacement within the major) to complete their bachelor’s degree requirements
  • Approval from the Academic Advising Office

Please note: being eligible for the Program (based on the above criteria) does not guarantee approval by the MPH program director to enroll in a graduate-level course.

Interested students must meet with Academic Advising to confirm eligibility and to obtain guidance in completing the application.

If the student is eligible for the Program, the academic advisor will forward the material (along with a copy of the student’s current St. Catherine University transcript) to the MPH program director for review. If the program director approves the request for graduate-level enrollment, the director and student will discuss course options for the upcoming semester(s). The student then works with her academic advisor to register for the graduate course(s) during the upcoming registration period.

Both the Academic Advising Office and the MPH program reserve the right to limit the number of undergraduate students in the graduate courses. Students who receive approval for graduate enrollment will be registered for specific graduate courses on a first-come, first-served basis. Undergraduate students must complete all of the course work and meet the same academic expectations required of the graduate students in the MPH classes.

Acceptance to the Program and enrollment in a graduate-level course does not guarantee admission into the full MPH degree program (or other St. Catherine University graduate programs) if the student applies for graduate admission in the future.

Required Core Courses
HLTH 6000Critical Issues in Global Public Health3
HLTH 6010Principles of Epidemiology and Biostatistics I3
HLTH 6020Principles of Epidemiology and Biostatistics II3
HLTH 6040Global Health Policy and Governance3
HLTH 6110International Perspectives in Environmental Health Sciences3
HLTH 6130Social and Behavioral Health Theories and Applications3
HLTH 7100200-Hour Practicum4
HLTH 7200Capstone3
Required Global Health Track Courses
HLTH 6030Design and Implementation of Global Health Programs3
HLTH 6050Monitoring and Evaluation of Global Health Programs3
HLTH 6100Ethics and Human Rights for Global Health1
Select Two Skill-based Elective Courses from:6
Health Communication
Qualitative Research Methods
HLTH 6230
Health Economics and Policy
Quantitative Data Analysis
Project Management
Population Health Informatics
Select Three Topic-based Elective Courses from:6-7
Half-term Courses:
Global Issues in Women's Health
Infectious Diseases
Nutrition in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Violence as a Public Health Issue
HLTH 6380
Healthcare Systems Strengthening (2 credits)
Global Noncommunicable Diseases
HLTH 6953
Independent Study (pending departmental approval)
January Courses:
Refugee and Immigrant Health
Public Health in Conflict and Humanitarian Emergencies
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) in Public Health
January Term Courses Abroad:
The Cultural Context of Leadership (also offered spring semester)
HLTH 6953
Independent Study (pending departmental approval)
HLTH 6993
Child Family Health International Global Education Program Course
Summer Course:
HLTH 6953
Independent Study (pending departmental approval)
Summer Term Course Abroad:
HLTH XXXX
Service and Learning in Zambia
Total Credits44-45