Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Public Health (MPH)

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Division of Public Health
Dr. Michelle Gamber, Director
Health Professions Building, 1775 North Sector Court, Office 232, (540) 665-5560

Public Health Program

The Division of Public Health is designed to advance the School of Health Professions’ mission by preparing public health students to approach population level health issues with evidence-based approaches that address a broad range of health issues at the individual, community, national and global level. This program will provide students with an opportunity to analyze current health problems from a variety of interdisciplinary and interprofessional viewpoints. This program focuses on rural and underserved populations, providing students with training in public health issues facing those living and working in rural and underserved areas. The MPH program blends the strengths and experiences of the Health Professions programs at Shenandoah University along with the community health agencies of Virginia and the surrounding areas.

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is an interdisciplinary graduate degree in public health. The program provides coursework opportunities for students to obtain broad knowledge and basic skills in public health. Students are exposed to rural and underserved population health through advanced coursework, and gain experience in applying basic skills and advanced knowledge to health problems in rural or urban settings during applied practice experiences. The MPH program prepares students to enter a wide range of public health positions that address today’s most challenging population health issues.


Upon completion of this program of study, students will be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based approaches for the development and evaluation of social and behavioral health interventions.
  • Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.
  • Examine patterns of disease and injury in human populations and apply findings to the control of health problems.
  • Evaluate environmental factors that affect the health of a community including biological, physical and chemical factors.
  • Apply statistical reasoning and methods in addressing problems in public health. 
  • Design, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve individual and community health.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communicating with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities. 
  • Develop public health programs or strategies that are responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the communities being served.
  • Demonstrate ethical choices, values and professional practices implicit in public health decisions. 
  • Demonstrate the attributes of leadership in public health. 

Admission Requirements

The Master of Public Health degree offers a graduate program delivered in a fully online format (except for the applied practice experience). This learning model requires students to work independently, think critically and be fully engaged in the online learning environment.  Students are expected to act professionally in interpersonal, interprofessional, group and community-based experiences.

Admission requirements include:

  • SU Graduate Application
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended
  • A 3.0 cumulative grade point average
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Two letters of reference
  • CV or resume
  • Personal Statement
  • GRE (or other accepted exams-see website below for more info)
  • TOEFL exam (for non-native speakers of English)

For additional information, check the website at: https://www.su.edu/admissions/graduate-students/public-health-application-information/.


Degree Requirements

 The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree requires a minimum of 45 credit hours of graduate public health courses for graduation. Students must begin coursework in the fall semester of the year they gained acceptance into the program. Full-time students must progress through the program within four years including the applied practice experience. Part-time students must progress through the program within six years including the applied practice experience. 

Progression in the program is based on the following: completion of all coursework with grades of “B-” or better; maintenance of a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA); satisfactory annual evaluation; payment of all university tuition and fees; completion of health, safety and criminal background checks (if required at applied practice site).

Students who receive grades of “D+,” “D,” “D-“ or “F” in a course are not permitted to take any new courses in the program and are placed on academic probation until all required work has been successfully completed. Courses may be repeated only once. Failure to successfully complete the designated requirements within two semesters results in termination from the program. Students who receive grades of “D+,” “D,” “D-“ or “F”  in more than two courses will be dismissed from the program.

PH 700 requires students to gain applied experience in a public health setting. Students are responsible for securing a suitable site, finding a preceptor and gaining final approval of the work that will be conducted at this site with their advisor.  Additionally, if the selected site requires immunizations (including, but not limited to COVID), a criminal background, drug testing, etc. before a student can begin working at that site, it is the student’s responsibility to comply with these requirements and/or find a new site.  Failure to find a suitable site for the applied practice experience will result in the student not successfully completing this requirement and not graduating from the program.  In order to successfully complete this requirement, students must be at their designated site in-person for a minimum of 180 hours (at the same site) and successfully complete all agreed upon components of this experience. The final approval and final grade will be completed by the student’s advisor.  Additional information on the applied practice experience can be found in the Division of Public Health Student Handbook.

In addition to policies and procedures of the university as identified in this catalog and the Student Handbook, public health students are responsible for reading, understanding, and implementing the policies and procedures found in the Division of Public Health Student Handbook.

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