2010 - 2011 Master of Public Health (MPH) and Certificate in Public Health (CPH)

Mission | Goals | Admission | Progression | Probation & Suspension | Graduation Requirements | Program Requirements | Course Descriptions

Dean, Sheryl Steadman
Program Director, George White
Assistant Director, Han Kim

The Westminster Public Health Program lays a solid foundation for public health practice in the twenty-first century. The Program focuses on developing knowledge and skills needed to be an effective member of the public health workforce. The Program educates professionals to promote and protect public health and safety through education, service, and the application of evidence-based science. The program offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Certificate in Public Health (CPH) that are taught in a format adapted to working professionals, meaning core courses will be offered every two weeks on a Friday and Saturday during the semester. Additional courses may be offered in the evening. Some faculty designated courses are offered online. The MPH degree is recognized internationally for the public health professional.

The Certificate in Public Health (CPH) is awarded at the completion of the six core courses (18 credits) in three semesters. The CPH is designed to begin the process of formal and on-the-job training in public health. Because of the severe shortage of trained public health practitioners, public health organizations are pressed to hire many workers without formal public health training. The Certificate in Public Health (CPH) provides a formal education program for those who have already started a public health career through on-the-job training as well as others wishing to enter the public health workforce. It also provides a training program for those students who wish to work in other professions but regularly interface with the health industry. Students who desire to continue their education in public health beyond the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) will be permitted to apply certificate credits towards the Westminster Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is designed for working healthcare professionals in the Intermountain West. The MPH attracts individuals with a commitment to acquire knowledge and skills that will help them advance to leadership positions. Students come from a variety of careers such as health departments, hospitals, integrated health delivery systems, HMOs, group practices, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. Students learn leadership and practical skills that help them apply their knowledge and expertise to situations that range from social issues to highly technical problems. The Capstone Research Project enables students to be innovative and analytical regarding a selected local, national, or global public health issue.


The Public Health Program at Westminster College prepares public health professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote health and prevent illness in Utah, the Intermountain West, the United States and the world. The program is grounded in the belief that to be most effective, public health practitioners should receive formal training in the core concepts of public health, which include; analytic and assessment skills, policy development and program planning skills, communication skills, cultural competency skills, community dimensions of practice skills, basic public health science skills, financial planning and management skills, and leadership and systems-thinking skills. We accomplish this while embracing the core values of Westminster College: impassioned teaching and active learning, respect for diverse people and perspectives, collaboration and teamwork, personal and social responsibility, college-wide excellence, as well as high ethical standards. We also follow the standards set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) to assure excellence in public health education. This educational program prepares public health practitioners to meet the diverse challenges of public health locally, nationally, and globally.

Program Goals

The graduate of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program will be prepared to:

  1. Apply analytical and evidence-based methods to analyze data and monitor the health status of a community
  2. Investigate and identify health problems and health hazards in the community
  3. Inform, educate, and empower community members about health issues
  4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  7. Incorporate referral processes to assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
  8. Examine the aspects of a competent public health and personal health care workforce
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  10. Apply research principles and processes in the exploration of innovative solutions to health problems

Admission to the Program

See the Admission to the College section for admission requirements.

Progression in the Program

A student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  2. Receive a grade of B or higher in all courses
  3. Complete the Certificate in Public Health (CPH) option in 2 years from the time of admission
  4. Complete the master's degree in 4 years from the time of admission
  5. Complete all masters project requirements according to the identified time schedules

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

See the Grading and Academic Standards page for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from program probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student may be dismissed from the Public Health Program for any of the following reasons:

  • Violations of the academic honesty policies
  • Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
  • A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or practicum setting
  • A grade of B- or below in any of the courses

Appeals for Readmission

See the Grading and Academic Standards page for information on appeals for readmission.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar's Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree or Certificate in Public Health (CPH), students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Earn a grade of B or higher in all graduate courses

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is recommended.

Certificate in Public Health Program Requirements

Certificate in Public Health (CPH) Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 18
. *MPH 500 Principles of Public Health Practice
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
MPH 520 Environmental Health
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology
MPH 540 Healthcare Management
MPH 630 Statistical Methods of Public Health

* Students who have had full time employment as a public health professional for a minimum of three years may appeal to have MPH 500 waived.

Master of Public Health Program Requirements

Master of Public Health (MPH) Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 39
. *MPH 500 Principles of Public Health Practice
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
MPH 520 Environmental Health
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology
MPH 540 Healthcare Management
MPH 600 Public Health Ethics and Leadership
MPH 621 Practicum I
MPH 622 Practicum II
MPH 630 Statistical Methods for Public Health
MPH 635 Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics in Public Health
MPH 640 Program Planning and Evaluation
MPH 690 Capstone Research Project
II. Elective Courses 6
. Additional MPH coursework chosen from the following:

MPH 555 Global Health (3)
MPH 565 Principles of Health Policy and Management (3)
MPH 575 Introduction to SAS Programming (3)
MPH 655 Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Other elective courses must be approved by the director

* Students who have had full time employment as a public health professional for a minimum of three years may appeal to have MPH 500 waived.

Recommended Plan of Study for Master of Public Health

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Year 1 MPH 500 (3)
MPH 510 (3)
MPH 630 (3)
MPH 530 (3)
MPH 540 (3)
Elective (3)
MPH 520 (3)
MPH 621 (3)
MPH 622 (3)
Year 2 MPH 600 (3)
MPH 635 (3)
MPH 640 (3)
MPH 690 (6)
Elective (3)