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College of Health Sciences Master of Public Health

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Master of Public Health Curriculum & Classes

My MPH coursework, especially what I learned in Health Program Planning in Diverse Communities, has served me well in my role as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Ohio Association of Free Clinics. The skills and theories I learned allowed me to co-author tthree grants that raised $61,000 to fund a collaborative project to serve, educate, and empower those with asthma in the state of Ohio.
Emily Odle, UIndy MPH student

A minimum of 45 hours are required for this degree, including 18 hours of core classes, nine hours of essential skills classes, 12 hours of concentration classes, and six hours of professional experience. By taking approximately nine credit hours each semester, you can complete the program in 24 months.

The sample plan of study is as follows:

Year 1 (22 hours)

Fall (9 hours)

The purpose of this course is to introduce MPH students to the ubiquitous nature of public health and multiple career paths in the field of public health. MPH students will become familiar with public health as a distinct profession and with the various community and global opportunities that the UIndy MPH program offers. Various public health practitioners representing local, state, national, and international settings will be invited to discuss their areas of expertise and to describe potential field placement sites for the required practice experience.

This course will introduce the key terms and concepts of epidemiology with an emphasis on application for public health practice and utilizing epidemiology to increase understanding of current population health issues including health disparities. Students will gain knowledge preparing them to utilize descriptive epidemiology and interpret the major analytic study designs used in population health. Examples of applications of epidemiology in modern public health settings that address a range of major, global population health issues will be covered.

This course is designed for students to build knowledge and skills in the cross-cutting public health competency of diversity and culture. Students will be guided through intensive self-analysis followed by examination of the concepts and indicators of cultural competence necessary for effective professional practice with diverse clients, communities, staff, colleagues, and organizations. Evidence and review of the literature on the role of culturally competent health professionals and health disparities will also be included.

This course facilitates exploration and understanding of the multitude of social and behavioral sciences that contribute to public health including psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, communication, and geography. Social, historical, political, cultural and behavioral factors will be critically analyzed to understand how they interact together to serve as determinants of health and health disparities. Emphasis will be placed on applying ecological approaches to population health problems and utilizing social and behavioral science applications as tools for promoting change and designing solutions to improve population health.

Spring (9 hours)

This course provides students with an understanding of the core components of a health system, including management and administration, and the role public health plays within the system. Topics include health system structure, management and administration, health policy overview, role of health and other policies in health disparities, related reforms of health policy, international comparisons of health systems and policies, and population health indicators. Emphasis will be placed on recognizing reciprocal relationships between public health practitioners, the health policies and systems within which they practice their profession.

This course provides students with the breadth of biostatistical methods utilized in public health practice. Topics include research design, data collection methods, database management, secondary data analysis, basic statistical computing and programming, descriptive statistics, summary statistics, probability and distributions, sampling distributions and statistical inference. Emphasis is on the utilization of statistics and data for the evidence based design, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs and policies.

This course examines the myriad physical environmental conditions that impact population health. Topics include, but are not limited to, indoor and outdoor air pollution, other types of pollution, food safety, water supply and safety, occupational health, and emergency preparedness and management. Examples, discussions, and assignments span the local to the global levels with an emphasis on disparities in health, environmental justice, and advocacy for improving environmental health.

Summer (4 hours)

The purpose of this course is for students to systematically prepare for the required professional practice experience in the field. Requirements for the field experience will be detailed. Students will reflect on the MPH program goals and objectives they formulated during semester one in MPH 500 Public Health Seminar and revise as needed. Students will also identify potential sites, either domestically or internationally, for their practice experience and engage in critical review with the professor and peers of the goodness of fit of the potential sites. Expectations of professionalism are included.

This course examines issues of global patterns of health and disease through the lens of the social determinants of health (SDH) and equity perspectives. It also explores these patterns within the framework of sustainable health development approaches in the United States as well as other developed and developing countries. Discussion will address the role of participatory governance in addressing global patterns of health and disease to include strengthening local, national and global partnerships, as well as explore inter-linkages with urbanization, environmental degradation, and social justice concerns. This course is designed to highlight the disparities and inequities within the current global patterns of health and disease to set a foundation for action and research.

Year 2 (23 hours)

Fall (9 hours)

The focus of this course is on understanding and utilizing an equity-based approach to program design and development as a means of tackling health disparities found both in developed and less developed countries. Particular emphasis will be placed on planning for the most vulnerable populations in urban settings, hard-to-reach areas and minority communities. The course will culminate with creation of a proposal in response to a current RFP in the field of public health.

Spring (9 hours)

Summer (5 hours)

The purpose of the graduate public health professional practice and capstone experience is to 1) provide an opportunity for students to apply knowledge and skills of public health competencies acquired through their core and concentration curriculum in an intensive field based practicum and 2) design and deliver four distinct products in conjunction with their field practicum as their culminating experience for the MPH program. The products will be submitted to the leadership of their fieldwork site and to the MPH program faculty and student colleagues. Acceptable sites for the professional practice experience and capstone will require students to synthesize knowledge and skills in public health as detailed by a job description with an emphasis on their area of concentration.

Electives

Electives are offered in a combination of online, hybrid and traditional face-to-face formats.

Skills electives

Choose at least one with MPH prefix. One skill elective may be selected from available graduate courses offered across UIndy upon approval of your faculty advisor:

This course is designed to build the capacity of students to effectively build evidence to advocate for and support strategic interventions targeting health disparities. It also focuses on competencies to measure relevant behavior and social change.

This course is designed for MPH students who are pursuing careers as administrators and managers with supervisory responsibility in public health settings. Broad examination of common human resource issues facing public health administrators is followed by more detailed analysis and skill building for issues such as effective supervision and communication, recruiting, hiring and retention in the public health workforce, labor relations and polices in public health, and multi-sectoral leadership and advocacy required of public health administrators.

This course is designed for students planning careers involving analysis and formulation of, and advocacy for policies that impact population health. Policies across multiple settings including organizational, corporate, local, state and global public policies will be analyzed within the context of various ethical frameworks. Emphasis is placed on comprehensive analyses resulting in recognition of policy as a major tool of public health and recommendations for action and advocacy to impact population health policies.

This course provides instruction and field application of qualitative research methods for studying community health issues. Emphasis is placed on participatory approaches and working directly with community members. Systematic approaches to collection, analysis, and utilization of qualitative data are addressed while maintaining a lens for health equity. Students will learn to identify the kinds of health research issues and questions most appropriate for qualitative methods and recognize practical applications for using qualitative and participatory data for assessment and evaluation of public health programs and policies.

This course provides students with a broad understanding of health informatics and exchange of health information to improve community health. Methods of health information collection, storage and utilization, ranging from organizational level to personal health records will be examined. Emphasis is on the context of rapidly changing regulations and expectations for improved management of public health and health care through partnership between public agencies, providers and patients. Topics include, but are not limited to, electronic health records (EHRs) and related management systems, current and future uses of aggregated health information for public use such as disease surveillance, and legal and ethical issues associated with use of EHRs for public health.

Health disparities electives

Choose at least two with MPH prefix. One concentration elective may be selected from available graduate courses offered across UIndy upon approval of your faculty advisor:

The purpose of this course is to examine sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues including HIV/AIDS at the population level in developed and developing countries. Current and prevalent health issues, programs, services, and policies will be examined through a lens that incorporates social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and behavioral determinants. Health issues and related interventions, programs, measurement and monitoring, and policies will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on skill development of program components or policy advocacy materials related to students’ primary interest area in SRH.

This course focuses on current nutritional challenges affecting health in underserved populations globally including developed and developing countries. Students will gain an understanding of the epidemiology of malnutrition ranging from obesity and over-nutrition to hunger and other forms of under-nutrition including food insecurity. The impact of various nutrient inadequacies at different stages of the life cycle and their functional outcomes in terms of morbidity, psychological well-being, reproduction and growth will be highlighted. The role of world food production, food availability, and supply in relation to nutrition and health will be discussed in the context of socioeconomic development and current political/economic contexts. Emphasis will be placed on the role of public health practitioners in designing and delivering comprehensive nutrition programs and policies in a variety of settings.

This course is designed for students who intend to practice public health in the United States. Health disparities are approached utilizing the definition as differences in the overall rates of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates that are avoidable and unjust. A comprehensive view is taken with examination of differential health outcomes in the multiple areas where health disparities exist in the United States context: across race/ethnic groups, geographic residence, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation status. A health equity perspective is utilized to understand multifactorial, root determinants of health disparities such as cultural factors, socioeconomic factors, racism/discrimination, and political factors. Emphasis is placed on practical skills and strategies for public health practitioners to infuse across multiple programs and policies to reduce health disparities in the U.S.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the content and skills to address the rapid global transition of non-communicable diseases (NCD) as an international health pandemic. Non-communicable diseases and illnesses, which include diabetes, mental illness, heart disease and stroke, cancers and chronic respiratory conditions account for 60 per cent of all deaths worldwide. These major NCDs will be analyzed from a public health perspective and students will develop evidence based programs or policies for addressing a specific NCD in a specific setting of public health practice of their choice. Current research and models of prevention and management will also be critically analyzed.