2012 - 2013 Master of Public Health (MPH) and Certificate in Public Health (CPH)

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

Dean: Sheryl Steadman
Program Director: George L. White, Jr.
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 a competent public health professional. The Program prepares students 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 (Cert.PH) 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 internationally recognized for public health professional practice.

The Certificate in Public Health (Cert.PH) is awarded at the completion of the six core courses (18 credits) in three semesters. The Cert.PH 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 (Cert.PH) 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 (Cert.PH) 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 Competencies

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

  1. Assess, monitor, and review the health status of populations and their related determinants of health and illness.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to utilize the proper statistical and epidemiologic tools to assess community needs and program outcomes.
  3. Interpret quantitative and qualitative data analysis within the limitations of the data.
  4. Use methods and instruments for collecting valid and reliable quantitative and qualitative data.
  5. Identify and prioritize the key dimensions of a public health problem by critically assessing public health literature—both quantitative and qualitative sources.
  6. Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological, and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents.
  7. Specify approaches for assessing, preventing, and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
  8. Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations.
  9. Apply theoretical constructs of social and health behavior in planning community interventions.
  10. Articulate the relationship between health care delivery and financing, public health systems, and public policy.
  11. Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management, and evaluation in public health organizations and initiatives.
  12. Function as collaborators on public health projects with the ability to assume leadership roles effectively.
  13. Identify and apply ethical, moral, and legal principles in all aspects of public health practice.
  14. Develop public health programs and strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served.
  15. Apply evidence-based principles and the scientific knowledge base to develop evaluation methods and critically evaluate public health program outcomes.
  16. Effectively communicate public health messages to a variety of audiences from professionals to the general public.

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 the field or classroom experience if the faculty 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:

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 March and applications for May and August graduation are due in September. 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 (Cert.PH), students must satisfy the following conditions:

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 (Cert.PH) Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 18
*MPH 500 Principles of Public Health Practice 3
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health 3
MPH 520 Environmental Health 3
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology 3
MPH 540 Healthcare Management 3
MPH 630 Statistical Methods of Public Health 3

* 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 3
MPH 510 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health 3
MPH 520 Environmental Health 3
MPH 530 Principles of Epidemiology 3
MPH 540 Healthcare Management 3
MPH 600 Public Health Ethics and Leadership 3
MPH 621 Practicum I 3
MPH 622 Practicum II 3
MPH 630 Statistical Methods for Public Health 3
MPH 635 Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics in Public Health 3
MPH 640 Program Planning and Evaluation 3
MPH 690 Capstone Research Project 6
II. Elective Courses 6
MPH 555 Global Health (3)  
MPH 565 Principles of Health Policy and Management (3)  
MPH 575 Introduction to SAS Programming (3)  
MPH 645C Public Health Nutrition (3)  
MPH 655 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)  

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)