Master of Public Health Courses at Ashford University

Become an advocate for improved health and wellness with the Master Public Health courses. These classes make up the core of Ashford University’s Master of Public Health degree program. You will explore topics such as health services administration, epidemiology, and behavioral science, while also gaining real-world experience through an in-person public health practicum.


Master of Public Health Class Descriptions and Credit Information

MPH 601 Introduction to Public Health Concepts

3 Credits
This course presents foundational information about the field of public health – its purpose, focus, infrastructure, and tools. The seven program themes (Integration of Science and Practice, Quantitative Foundations, Health Policy, Structural Determinants of Health, Systems Thinking, Leadership, Diversity and Culture) that will be covered in the core courses are introduced in a way that demonstrates the application and integration of these disciplines in the analysis and resolution of public health problems in the community.

MPH 602 Social & Biological Determinants of Public Health

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of current knowledge regarding the social and biological mechanisms of major health concerns in the US and globally. The focus will be on understanding and interpreting the determinants of health and disease in a public health context. Students will examine major public health problems from the past century and the interventions used to address them. Prerequisite: MPH 601.

MPH 603 Applied Behavioral Science

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of the application and use of applied behavioral science. Students will develop an understanding of the theoretical basis of social and behavioral interventions. In addition, students will examine the psychosocial influences on morbidity and mortality where topics covered include definition of the field, sub-specialties, and real world applications, and aspects of the field. Students will examine the social and behavioral factors responsible for health-related behaviors that lead to morbidity, premature mortality and health disparities. Prerequisite: MPH 602, HIA 625.

MPH 604 Principles of Epidemiology

3 Credits

This course provides an introduction to epidemiology for students majoring in any aspect of public health. The focus will be on the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, including describing the patterns of illness in populations and research designs for investigating the etiology of disease. Students will examine quantitative measures to determine risk, association, and procedures for standardization of rates. Prerequisite: MPH 603

MPH 605 Environmental Health Sciences

3 Credits

Students will illustrate the connection between physical, biological, and chemical agents in the environment. Students will also become familiar with data sources, methodologies, and policy approaches being used to address the public health impacts of environmental and occupational health hazards through the use of problem-solving frameworks. Students will also gain a more complete understanding of how built environments can affect multiple aspects of health and the populations they house. Prerequisite: MPH 606

MPH 606 Health Services Administration

3 Credits

This course offers students the opportunity to acquire the leadership and management skills needed to pursue positions of authority and influence in organizations that serve the public and promote public health. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the greater health care system and how they serve culturally diverse populations. Topics to be covered include: overview of the U.S. Health Care System (private and public sectors), interface between Public Health and U.S. Health Care System, various health care delivery structures, health care workforce, health care resources, types of health services, financing of health services and health care coverage, meeting the health care needs of special populations, and critical issues in health services. The student will conduct a community health system analysis. Prerequisite: MPH 604.

MPH 607 Global Health

3 Credits

During the course, a broad snapshot of global health will be presented, providing students with insight into the challenges currently facing global health. Students will also gain an understanding of why tackling global health issues is such an important endeavor with the potential to reduce poverty, build stronger economies, and promote peace. Students will not only be exposed to the major communicable and noncommunicable diseases posing a profound effect on health (especially within the developing world), but they will also learn how socioeconomic and demographic differences can influence the burden of disease. Students will be encouraged to understand that solving global health problems requires the input of multiple disciplines (e.g. the sciences, ethics, economics and diplomacy). Prerequisite: HIA 625.

MPH 608 Health Communication Practice & Theory

3 Credits

This course is designed to examine research and practice in the area of health communication with a special focus on how health media campaigns are planned and executed in order to stimulate change in knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and subsequent health outcomes. This examination will include the review of the history of health communication campaigns, selected case studies of campaigns, and the theoretical foundation for the design and implementation of campaigns health. Prerequisite: MPH 606.

MPH 609 Public Health Education Methods

3 Credits

Research methods are at the center of our approach to knowledge and understanding in public health. An opinion alone does not hold weight. Theories are supported by concrete evidence. This class provides an introduction to this way of thinking, i.e., into methodology or the "science of finding out." The purpose of this course is to train students in how to collect and analyze data on social phenomena in a rigorous and scientific manner. This knowledge requires an understanding of three different components: 1) inquiry and research design, 2) data collection, and 3) data analysis. Prerequisite: MPH 605.

MPH 610 Public Health Program Planning & Implementation

3 Credits

This course is designed to assist individuals to become responsible and productive public health professionals who are capable of planning, implementing, and managing health promotion and education programs for public health. Concepts in community assessment, organization, and mobilization for the purposes of addressing identified public health concerns will serve as the foundation for the public health planning process. Appropriate techniques of partnership building, planning strategies, data collection, data analysis, and evidence-based decision-making will also be introduced. Prerequisite: MPH 609.

MPH 611 Public Health Program Assessment & Evaluation

3 Credits

Public health specialists must develop the expertise and adaptability to manage the complexities of research design encountered in evaluations. Public health specialists must also develop expertise in psychometrics, statistical analysis, and in substantive disciplines, to develop and evaluate tests and assessments. These skills form a strong foundation in theory and methodology coupled with practical experience in real evaluation and assessment projects. Students will learn to apply theory and advanced methods in evaluation and assessment to public health programs, campaigns, and initiatives. Prerequisite: MPH 610.

MPH 621 Public Health Systems

3 Credits

Students will explore the history, basic structures and operations of public health and health care delivery systems based on the 10 Essential Public Health Services. They will learn to apply the core functions and essential public health services framework to public health problems, and identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US. Prerequisite: HIA 625.

MPH 623 Human Resources Management

3 Credits

This course provides a study on managing people in the health care workplace, focusing on the important policies and processes associated with recruiting, hiring, training and evaluating personnel in order to achieve strategic organizational goals. Prerequisite: MHA 622.

MPH 650 Public Health Practicum I

1 Credit

The practicum provides students with a unique opportunity to gain professional experience and apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world public health settings and real-time public health issues. The practicum is critical to students’ academic and professional development and their ability to become competent in the practice of public health. This course includes 30 hours of practicum experience. Prerequisite: Practicum Site approval. 

MPH 651 Public Health Practicum II

1 Credit

The practicum provides students with a unique opportunity to gain professional experience and apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world public health settings and real-time public health issues. The practicum is critical to students’ academic and professional development and their ability to become competent in the practice of public health. This course includes 30 hours of practicum experience. Prerequisite: MPH 650.

MPH 652 Public Health Practicum III

1 Credit

The practicum provides students with a unique opportunity to gain professional experience and apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world public health settings and real-time public health issues. The practicum is critical to students’ academic and professional development and their ability to become competent in the practice of public health. This course includes 30 hours of practicum experience. Prerequisite: MPH 651.

MPH 653 Public Health Practicum Extension

1 Credit

When practicum is incomplete and all courses in the Master of Public Health degree are complete, students must register in Public Health Practicum Extension consecutively until the Practicum is complete. Prerequisite: MPH 652.

MPH 699 Public Health Capstone/Culminating Experience

3 Credits

The Public Health Capstone is an opportunity for students to work on a public health project that is of particular interest to them. The goal is for students to synthesize, integrate and apply the skills and competencies they have acquired to a public health problem that approximates a professional practice experience. The project is done under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: MPH 605