Curriculum

As an MPH@GW student, you will enroll in core public health courses (15 credits), program-specific courses (15–17 credits) and electives (9–11 credits). The total 45-credit degree program also includes a practicum (2 credits) and a culminating experience (2 credits) in which you apply your didactic education in a real-world setting.

Note that MPH@GW courses are taught in 10-week modules across the calendar year (four modules per year). Each course is designed to deliver the required credit hours within the 10-week module format, with existing courses being formatted to meet this requirement.

Core Public Health Courses

You will begin your MPH@GW program by taking the core MPH courses, which focus on building expertise and understanding of essential public health principles. Full-time students should plan to take 6001, 6004 and 6007 in your first module and complete all core courses within your first three modules.

The Biologic Basis of Disease in Public Health
PubH 6001, 2 credits

The goals of this course are (1) to provide an overview of current knowledge about the biologic mechanisms of diseases that are major causes of death and disability in both developed and developing countries; (2) to understand and interpret the reciprocal relationships of genetic, environmental, and behavioral determinants of health and disease within an ecologic context; and (3) to provide opportunities to analyze, discuss, and communicate biologic principles of disease across the biologic and the public health spectrum.

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Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
PubH 6002, 3 credits

Application of biostatistical principles to critical analysis of retrospective studies, prospective studies and controlled clinical trials, as well as studies in the health services literature. Selection, basic calculations and interpretation of statistical methods for detection of significant associations and differences.

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Principles and Practice of Epidemiology
PubH 6003, 3 credits

This 3-credit course will introduce the general principles, methods, and applications of epidemiology, the basic science of public health. We will be using a textbook that places an emphasis on current methodologic concepts in epidemiology and will also introduce students to newer conceptual models of disease causation. The course is designed for all public health students who will be consumers of epidemiologic literature and for those who will be practicing epidemiologists. Topics covered in the course include; approach and evolution of epidemiology, history of epidemiology, outbreak investigation, measures and comparisons of disease occurrence in populations, major sources of health data in the US and globally, analysis and interpretation of disease patterns, hypothesis development and testing, study design, including a discuss of all of the major epidemiologic designs, analysis of bias and confounding and methods for assessing and for controlling for its effects, concepts of disease causation, screening, public health surveillance, and critical evaluation and synthesis of research. Lectures and case studies include applications of the theory and practice of epidemiology to cancer, other chronic disease, and infectious diseases.

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Environmental & Occupational Health in a Sustainable World
PubH 6004, 2 credits

This introductory course examines the connection between population health and exposures to chemical, physical, and biological agents in the environment. Through the use of problem-solving frameworks, students will become familiar with key data and information sources, methodologies, and policy approaches that address the public health impacts of environmental and occupational health hazards, including the consequences of climate change, demands on natural resources, and industrial and agricultural production. The course will integrate key concepts of environmental health with principles of sustainability to illustrate how public policies and practices on the local, national, and global levels affect population health.

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Management and Policy Approaches to Public Health
PubH 6006, 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to basic principles, concepts and skills related to public health management and policy. The course focuses on management and policy approaches to public health at three different levels: the system, the organization, and the group/individual level. A third of the course will concentrate on the larger, system issues surrounding the organization, financing, and delivery of health services in the United States along with policy typologies/frameworks and the legal basis for health policy interventions. A third of the course will also examine policy and management at the organization level. During this segment, we will explore organization theory and design, organization change, financial management, and crafting a policy analysis for an organizational decision-maker. The last third of the course will be dedicated to the group and individual. Here, we will explore personnel management, teams and team performance, and communication. Throughout the course, the interrelated nature of management and policy will be reinforced.

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Social and Behavioral Approaches to Health
PubH 6007, 2 credits

This course is part of the MPH core curriculum. It examines the complex relationships between social context, behavior, and health at both the individual and community level. It identifies key social and behavioral aspects of health in the United States and throughout the world and presents theories that facilitate interventions aimed at improving health and well-being.

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Practicum Experience
PubH 6014, 2 credits

This course provides the opportunity for MPH students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through their programs of study. A planned, supervised and evaluated practice experience that is relevant to the student’s program is an essential component of a public health professional degree program. These opportunities can take place in a variety of agencies or organizations. Each program customizes Practicum requirements to meet students’ needs.  (Credit/No Credit)

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Culminating Experience
PubH 6015, 2 credits

A culminating experience is one that requires a student to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. It is through this course that faculty evaluates the extent to which the student has mastered the body of knowledge and can demonstrate proficiency in the required competencies.  Each program customizes culminating experience requirements to meet students’ needs.

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Program-Specific Courses

Following your core courses, you will complete program-specific courses that focus on individual public health concentrations.

Introduction to the US Health Services Delivery
HSML 6202, 2 credits

Introduction to the systems that define and shape delivery of health services in the United States. Case studies and presentations on major issues develop an appreciation of dilemmas confronting policymakers, providers and patients: balancing cost, quality and access. Access and disparity, health care professions, facilities, managed care organizations and government health care programs. Policy changes that have had major impact on American health care in the past century.

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Global Health Program Evaluation
PubH 6437, 2 credits

Students will gain skills in the fundamentals of program evaluation and monitoring methods. Students will also understand the evaluation aspects of major international health programs such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative. Country-specific case studies will be used as synthesizing tools to review major concepts and assess student knowledge of key concepts.

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Comparative Global Health Systems
PubH 6442, 2 credits

Examines what national health systems are, how they differ, and how they are performing. Health systems will be analyzed through four different lenses: Health Care Organization; Health Workforce Development; Health Care Financing and Health Policy Development. The course compares health systems and health reforms in seven regions of the world and draws lessons on how health system performance might be improved.

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Planning and Administration of Health Promotion Programs
PubH 6500, 3 credits

In this course students will develop skills to effectively plan, implement and manage programs that address public health problems for defined populations in a variety of settings.

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Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing
PubH 6503, 3 credits

Communication theories and methods used in promoting health and preventing disease. Theoretical background in communication and behavior science and practical communication development methods.

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Community Organization, Development and Advocacy
PubH 6532, 2 credits

Educates health promotion practitioners in how to organize community groups to promote health. The focus is on learning how to use resources available in the community to advocate change.

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Data Management & Analysis
PubH 65XX, 2 credits

This course will introduce students to the practical aspects of dataset creation, data management, rudimentary statistical analysis, and tabular and graphical presentation of results in the user-friendly environment of SPSS. Through hands-on experience, students will learn how to perform such routine tasks as: creating codebooks, entering and cleaning data, deriving new variables from existing ones, choosing and implementing appropriate analytical techniques, graphing and tabulating their results, and documenting and protecting work. Material will be grounded in examples drawn from commonly-encountered situations in prevention and community health, such as needs assessments and various forms of program evaluation.

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Elective Courses

MPH@GW allows you to customize your MPH experience based on your interests and career aspirations. You may focus your electives on a specific field, or select courses from a range of focus areas to design a more holistic MPH education.

Elective courses are subject to change, however some examples of electives from each concentration include:

Health Communication:

  • PubH 6432, Global Health Communication Interventions (2 credits)
  • PubH 6570, Advanced Public Health Communication (3 credits)
  • PubH 6573, Media Advocacy for Public Health (2 credits)
  • PubH 6572, Marketing and Research for Public Health (3 credits)
  • PubH 6571, Social Marketing (2 credits)

Health Policy:

  • PubH 6530, Qualitative Methods in Health Promotion (2 credits)
  • PubH 6335, Public Health and Law (3 credits)
  • PubH 6290, Global Health Security (2 credits)
  • PubH 6573, Media Advocacy for Public Health (2 credits)
  • PubH 6413, Global Health Policy and Analysis (2 credits)
  • PubH 6376, Primary Health Care Policy (2 credits)

Program Planning and Evaluation:

  • PubH 6530, Qualitative Research Methods (2 credits)
  • PubH 6435, Global Health Program Development and Implementation (2 credits)
  • PubH 6438, Social Inequalities and Global Health (2 credits)
  • PubH 6411, Global Health Data Collection (2 credits)
  • PubH 6533, Design of Health Surveys (2 credits)
  • PubH 6572, Marketing Research for Public Health (3 credits)

Global Health:

  • PubH 6432, Global Health Communication Interventions (2 credits)
  • PubH 6435, Global Health Program Development and Implementation (2 credits)
  • PubH 6438, Social Inequalities and Global Health (2 credits)
  • PubH 6411, Global Health Data Collection (2 credits)
  • PubH 6290, Global Health Security (2 credits)
  • PubH 6413, Global Health Policy and Analysis (2 credits)
  • PubH 6571, Social Marketing (2 credits)
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