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. MPH@GW students also have the opportunity to take elective coursework from other online graduate programs delivered by several top-tier colleges and universities. You can learn more about cross-university courses here.

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

Biostatistical Applications for Public Health

Principles and Practice of Epidemiology

Environmental & Occupational Health in a Sustainable World

Management and Policy Approaches to Public Health

Social and Behavioral Approaches to Health

Practicum Experience

Culminating Experience

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

Global Health Program Evaluation

Comparative Global Health Systems

Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs

Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing

Community Organization, Development and Advocacy

Data Management & Analysis

Focus Areas & Electives

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 focus area include:

Health Communication:

  • PubH 6430, Global Health Communication Interventions (2 credits)
    This seminar provides students a foundation in key behavior change and communication theories relevant to global health communication interventions. Case studies in lectures and readings illustrate the application of theory in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health communication programs. Skills attained will enable students to apply theory to public health practice within a global context. In addition, students will practice essential communication skills for public health practice.

     

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  • PubH 6514, Preventing Health Disparities (2 credits)
    The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how social, political, and economic factors contribute to disparities (e.g., racial/ ethnic, gender, geographical) in health and health care and how to use evidence-based approaches to prevent or address health disparities. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand, define, measure, and develop methods to address health and health care disparities. This course will review theoretical frameworks and methodological tools for students to conduct research and develop interventions to reduce health disparities. The main objectives for this course include examining personal attitudes, acquiring knowledge, and gaining the skills to evaluate, discuss, and develop the programs/interventions/policies designed to prevent or address disparities in health and health care.

     

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  • PubH 6570, Advanced Public Health Communication (3 credits)
  • PubH 6571, Social Marketing (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the use of marketing to change the behavior of people, populations, and policy makers in ways that are in their, and society’s, best interest. Students in this skills-based course will study and work in teams to apply a range of marketing strategies to a real-world situation.

     

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  • PubH 6572, Marketing and Research for Public Health (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the use of marketing research techniques to better understand customers of public health programs, and thereby to improve program design, implementation, and effectiveness. A range of qualitative and quantitative techniques will be studied for their relevance to program planning, development, continuous improvement, and outcome evaluation.

     

    In the commercial sector, the purpose of marketing research is to help managers and marketers know their (prospective or current) customers, so that they can develop products and services that will provide value to – and be valued by – their customers. In public health we must always keep in mind that, for the most part, public health programs are voluntary in nature. That is to say, our prospective customers are free to accept or reject the products or services that we offer them. Our success therefore typically hinges on our ability to design products and services that benefit populations and are valued by beneficiaries in our intended target audience. This course is intended to teach you how to use marketing research techniques to do just that.

     

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  • PubH 6573, Media Advocacy for Public Health (3 credits)

Health Policy:

  • PubH 6530, Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health (2 credits)
    This course is intended to provide an introduction to qualitative data collection and analysis for public health practice and research. The course introduces the philosophy, goals, and basic methods of qualitative research as applied in public health (e.g., in behavioral research, health communications development, program development, program evaluation, and health policy). Through readings, lectures, and short field exercises, students will become acquainted with the set of methods most commonly used to collect and analyze qualitative data. Data collection techniques will include in-depth interviewing, mapping, participant observation, focus groups, and systematic methods of qualitative data collection. After completing the course students will be able to prepare an interview guide, conduct an in-depth interview, and analyze and write up the results from a qualitative project.

     

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  • PubH 6335, Public Health and Law (3 credits)
    Designed for students in the health professions and law, this course examines how law can both promote public health and conflict with the constitutionally protected rights of individuals. It introduces the legal concepts that underlie the public health system and inform public health policy making in the United States. Topics to be covered include the role of law in public health care and policy (e.g., governmental powers vs. civil liberties, regulation of public health); major areas of public health activity (e.g., health promotion, immunization, screening, and treatment); and the future of public health.

     

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  • PubH 6399, Global Health Diplomacy (2 credits)
    This course introduces students to the concept of Global Health Diplomacy, starting with historical case studies of how diplomacy has been used to advance health agendas, and conversely, how health issues have been used to improve diplomatic relations between countries. We introduce students to formal health diplomacy, multi-stakeholder health diplomacy and informal health diplomacy, and provide comparative studies of how different countries have devised health diplomacy strategies. This course will challenge students to read and interpret health related agreements, negotiate a position, and assess the policy context while trying to advance a health agenda.

     

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  • PubH 6573, Media Advocacy for Public Health (3 credits)
  • PubH 6376, Primary Health Care Policy (2 credits)
  • PubH 6368, Law, Medicine and Ethics (2 credits)
    Designed to address those issues in law, ethics, and policy that focus on the scope and limits of individual autonomy within the health system. The specific foci are: reproductive health; human sexual relations; the refusal of potentially lifesaving medical treatment; assisted suicide; and research involving human subjects.

     

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Program Planning and Evaluation:

  • PubH 6530, Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health (2 credits)
    This course is intended to provide an introduction to qualitative data collection and analysis for public health practice and research. The course introduces the philosophy, goals, and basic methods of qualitative research as applied in public health (e.g., in behavioral research, health communications development, program development, program evaluation, and health policy). Through readings, lectures, and short field exercises, students will become acquainted with the set of methods most commonly used to collect and analyze qualitative data. Data collection techniques will include in-depth interviewing, mapping, participant observation, focus groups, and systematic methods of qualitative data collection. After completing the course students will be able to prepare an interview guide, conduct an in-depth interview, and analyze and write up the results from a qualitative project.

     

    Close

  • PubH 6533, Design and Conduct of Community Health Surveys (1 credit)
  • PubH 6571, Social Marketing (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the use of marketing to change the behavior of people, populations, and policy makers in ways that are in their, and society’s, best interest. Students in this skills-based course will study and work in teams to apply a range of marketing strategies to a real-world situation.

     

    Close

  • PubH 6572, Marketing Research for Public Health (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the use of marketing research techniques to better understand customers of public health programs, and thereby to improve program design, implementation, and effectiveness. A range of qualitative and quantitative techniques will be studied for their relevance to program planning, development, continuous improvement, and outcome evaluation.

     

    In the commercial sector, the purpose of marketing research is to help managers and marketers know their (prospective or current) customers, so that they can develop products and services that will provide value to – and be valued by – their customers. In public health we must always keep in mind that, for the most part, public health programs are voluntary in nature. That is to say, our prospective customers are free to accept or reject the products or services that we offer them. Our success therefore typically hinges on our ability to design products and services that benefit populations and are valued by beneficiaries in our intended target audience. This course is intended to teach you how to use marketing research techniques to do just that.

     
    Close

Global Health:

  • PubH 6430, Global Health Communication Interventions (2 credits)
    This seminar provides students a foundation in key behavior change and communication theories relevant to global health communication interventions. Case studies in lectures and readings illustrate the application of theory in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health communication programs. Skills attained will enable students to apply theory to public health practice within a global context. In addition, students will practice essential communication skills for public health practice.

     

    Close

  • PubH 6514, Preventing Health Disparities (2 credits)
    The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how social, political, and economic factors contribute to disparities (e.g., racial/ ethnic, gender, geographical) in health and health care and how to use evidence-based approaches to prevent or address health disparities. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand, define, measure, and develop methods to address health and health care disparities. This course will review theoretical frameworks and methodological tools for students to conduct research and develop interventions to reduce health disparities. The main objectives for this course include examining personal attitudes, acquiring knowledge, and gaining the skills to evaluate, discuss, and develop the programs/interventions/policies designed to prevent or address disparities in health and health care.

     

    Close

  • PubH 6399, Global Health Diplomacy (2 credits)
    This course introduces students to the concept of Global Health Diplomacy, starting with historical case studies of how diplomacy has been used to advance health agendas, and conversely, how health issues have been used to improve diplomatic relations between countries. We introduce students to formal health diplomacy, multi-stakeholder health diplomacy and informal health diplomacy, and provide comparative studies of how different countries have devised health diplomacy strategies. This course will challenge students to read and interpret health related agreements, negotiate a position, and assess the policy context while trying to advance a health agenda.

     

    Close

  • PubH 6121, Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (3 credits)
    Epidemiologic methods for the study of environmental and occupational health problems. Epidemiologic exposure assessment methods and methods relevant to cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, and cluster investigation studies. Sources of and evaluation of biases and confounding, as well as survey and questionnaire design.

     

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  • PubH 6133, Climate Change and Social Change (2 credits)
    Explore the drivers of climate change and outcomes with particular focus on health dimensions. Will address drivers, obstacles, vulnerabilities, inequality and adaptation as well as technical and social solutions.

     

    Close

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