Public Health

Degree:Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
Major:Public Health
Specializations:Generalist M.P.H.
Global Health (GHLH)
Health Promotion Education and Behavior (HPEB)
Certificates:Emergency Management
Infection Control
Department:Public Health
Building 38, Room 135
(850) 474-3191
http://www.uwf.edu/mph
College:Usha Kundu, MD College of Health
CIP Code:51.2201
Semester Hours Required For Degree: Minimum: 42

The Master of Public Health provides students with a high quality, multidisciplinary perspective on public health and prepares them to be public health professionals. The M.P.H. degree is the most widely recognized professional credential for leadership in public health.  The Master of Public Health offers three concentrations in Generalist MPH, Global Health (GHLH), and Health Promotion, and Education and Behavior (HPEB). The current Generalist MPH is intended for students who want a broad and general training. The MPH in Global Health is intended for professionals who desire a career in international health and development as well as global health monitoring and evaluation. The Health Promotion, Education and Behavior concentration targets students interested in health promotion and behavior change and CHES certification.  All MPH students complete the five foundational core courses in environmental health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics, and public health policy, providing them with foundational knowledge related to the principles, theory, and practice of public health, in addition to other required and elective courses within the chosen concentration. The program core courses provide students with a background in environmental health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics, health services administration, and an internship in the public health or healthcare community. The required and elective courses offer students the opportunity to tailor their degree to best fit their career goals in public health. Public Health is a broad field that is open to students from diverse academic disciplines including health sciences, education, business, social and natural sciences, and others. This is a fully online program.

The M.P.H. Program is allied with several academic programs within the College of Health to broaden the educational opportunities available to students in the program, including  certificates in Medical Informatics, Infection Control, Environmental Health, and others. Close relationships with state public health agencies in the region as well as with area hospitals and the military provide a strong foundation in population and public health communities for enhancing and broadening the internship/practicum opportunities for students in the program. Out-of-area students may arrange appropriate internship sites approved by the M.P.H. Internship Committee. The UWF M.P.H. Program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited or recognized University
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale from an accredited US institution or recognized international institution.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will be required for students with GPA below 3.20 as follows:
    • GRE minimum scores: Verbal: 150; Quantitative: 146
    • GRE must have been taken in the last five years to be considered for admission.
    • Submission of official GRE test scores (Under some circumstances the GMAT will be accepted); For students currently enrolled in a doctoral program in the public health or health professions the respective admission test scores may be accepted
  • Applicants with an MBBS or equivalent foreign medical degree must submit a course-by-course evaluation report from an acceptable credential evaluation agency to be eligible for the GRE waiver
  • A Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words) that conveys the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in public health and how admission into the program relates to the applicant’s professional aspirations
  • Submission of one personal writing sample (e.g., written reports completed by the applicant or other representative samples of professional writing skills) 
  • Submission of three letters of support recommendation

Applicants with terminal degrees (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) or advanced professional degrees (M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., J.D., D.O., M.S., M.A., etc.) from accredited programs and licensed in the United States may request to waive the graduate admission test requirement but must complete the other admission requirements.

Applicants with insufficient training in statistics or those who have taken a statistics course more than seven years ago may be admitted conditionally pending demonstration of proficiency in statistics within the first year in the program by taking and passing STA 2023 Elements of Statistics or equivalent prior to enrolling in PHC 5050: Biostatistics for Public Health. This is required for students with no background in statistics (e.g., a student who has never taken a course in statistics at the college level). The credit earned in this course does not count toward the graduate degree.

If a student is an international applicant whose native language is not English or the student is from a country in which the primary language is not English, he or she must take an acceptable English proficiency test before applying for admission. Applicants to the University of West Florida are considered international students if they are not U.S. Citizens, dual citizens, or permanent residents. All such students should refer to the International Graduate Admission section of the current UWF Graduate Catalog for information pertaining to international applicants, including requirements for completion of, and scores on the English proficiency test. Other criteria may apply.

Degree Requirements

Students must earn and maintain an average grade of "B" or better in the M.P.H. program in order to remain in good standing within the program and in order to graduate from the program. Students must achieve no less than a grade of "C" in any course in the M.P.H. program. All students admitted after fall 2011 must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours per year.

At the end of their academic program, all students are required to take and pass a Comprehensive Examination with a grade of 70% or better in each of the five core course and five required course domains. See http://uwf.edu/coh/departments/public-health/ for additional information. All students are required to satisfactorily complete a supervised Public Health Internship (total of 6 semester hours) involving field experience in a public health-related area and to submit a written report on research conducted during this capstone experience and to defend the conclusions and recommendations included in their report.  No more than 49% of the program requirements for the degree may be taken in traditional business subjects.

Students qualified to enroll in graduate studies but who do not have the required documents by the application deadline date, or those who do not intend to work toward a graduate degree, may complete up to 12 hours as non-degree seeking students. The Academic Learning Plan for programmatic assessment of the M.P.H. Program includes Student Learning Outcomes. Some exams in this program may require proctoring at testing sites approved by the course instructor.

The Department of Public Health offers M.P.H. concentrations in Generalist M.P.H. Professional, Global Health (M.P.H.- GHLH), and Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (M.P.H. - HPEB).

Generalist M.P.H. Professional

The Generalist M.P.H. is intended for students and working professionals who desire a broad and general training in public health and population health science practice, including translational research. Our students include experienced clinicians from a broad range of health fields, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, social work, and other related fields. We train students to assume leadership roles as members of multidisciplinary public health teams. 

Global Health (GHLH)

The M.P.H. in Global Health concentration is designed for public health students and professionals in low-to-middle income countries working in leadership positions, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and disease prevention and control. The proposed track is designed to respond to the unique workforce needs across different regions of the world. The program builds on the Core Public Health competencies (epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health policy, environmental health, and biostatistics) and a suite of other required courses relevant to global health practice including program implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, leadership and communication. 

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB)

The Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior concentration is geared towards students interested in health promotion and behavior change and includes certification through the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. This concentration exposes students to current and emerging theories in social determinants of health and behavior working with diverse populations on a variety of health topics at nonprofit organizations as well as government agencies.