Program Director: Tanya Benedict, Ph.D, CPH
Program Office: Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Rm. 211

Graduate Study in Public Health

The Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the field of public health, which is defined by the Institute of Medicine in The Future of Public Health (1998) as “what we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions for people to be healthy.” The program specifically focuses on the “conditions” that relate to the medical and social determinants of health that play a critical role in health care disparities: physical and social environment, biology and genetics, human behavior, and access to quality care. To maximize access to geographically-distant and working student populations, course content is offered online with the majority of course offerings in a fully asynchronous manner.

Program Goals

Students who complete the Master of Public Health degree will be able to:

  1. Identify the totality of health problems and needs of defined populations.
  2. Evaluate mechanisms by which the health needs of defined populations can be met.
  3. Demonstrate competency to carry out broad public health functions in local, state, national and international settings.
  4. Plan, implement, and evaluate programs to address identified public health needs in cooperation with community members.
  5. Assure conditions that protect and promote the health of populations.
  6. Synthesize and publicly communicate findings from research, practical experience, and critical self-reflection on a selected topic of public health concern.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree or higher: Applicants for the Master of Public Health must have a baccalaureate or higher degree. Applicants who do not hold a post-baccalaureate degree must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study.
  • Application and application fee of $50.
  • Curriculum vitae: Applicants should include relevant education, employment history, certifications and licensures, teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliates, professional associations, experience and background in health, public health or health care.
  • Essay: In two pages or less, applicants should respond to the following questions:
  1. Describe how your personal qualities, accomplishments, academic background and professional experience will contribute to your success in the Creighton MPH program.
  2. Explain how successful completion of this program will assist you in achieving your professional goals.
  • Recommendation forms: Applicants are required to provide three recommendation forms, to be completed and submitted by persons other than family members who are capable of assessing their performance in an academic or work setting.
  • Transcripts: Applicants must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities they previously attended. Issuing institutions must send the transcripts directly.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): All international applicants from countries in which English is not the primary language must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 100 iBT (213 CBT/550 PBT). International applicants who received their baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution in the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Africa (English-speaking only) are not required to submit a TOEFL score report.

Degree in Public Health


MPH 601. Organization and Management of Public Health Services. 3 credits.

This course examines the organization, delivery, and financing of health care services from a managerial and policy perspective. Specific focus will be given to the role, responsibilities, and functions of public health services; the integral relationship of public health within the larger health system; and management principles and practices applicable to public health organizations.

MPH 604. Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health. 3 credits.

This course is an exploration of concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and solution of public health problems. This course will focus on the basic set of competencies that is central to the field, including identifying theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.

MPH 605. Epidemiology. 3 credits.

This course offers a foundation for the study of the distribution, history, and determinants of disease and disability in human populations. In addition to examining the biological basis of health, the course will explore social epidemiology and the interrelationship between the social and biological determinants of health.

MPH 606. Environmental Health. 3 credits.

This course examines the environmental factors that impact population health. This course focuses on the biological, physical and chemical agents affecting human health. Additional topic areas that will be explored include the regulatory framework for environmental health, workplace health, and contemporary issues in environmental justice.

MPH 607. Biostatistics. 3 credits.

This course focuses on descriptive and inferential statistical concepts, methods, and the applications of statistical methods in the analysis and assessment of population health.

MPH 608. Health Communication and Informatics. 3 credits.

This course provides a foundation for understanding the concepts and best practices in health communication and for developing skills in building effective communication campaigns with multiple and culturally diverse audiences. Recognizing the importance of informatics in health communication, this course will also address skills in the use of information technology for the retrieval, management and dissemination of information that promotes population health.

MPH 609. Introduction to Community-Based Participatory Research. 3 credits.

This course provides an introduction to Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR). This course is NOT a methodology course; CBPR is an approach to conducting research that can be used with many research designs and methodologies. lt is intended to provide students a grounding in the goals and application of CBPR; the theoretical background that informs CBPR; an introduction to theories of race, ethnicity, power, difference, gender and sexuality; the formation and maintenance of community partnerships; the use of CBPR to promote health equity and social justice; and the introduction of CBPR techniques to institutional review boards and funders.

MPH 610. Pre-Practice Preparation. 1 credit.

Opportunity to establish site, preceptor and focus of the practice experience. Complete site requirements and learning contract prior to beginning MPH 611. P: MPH 601, MPH 602, MPH 604, MPH 605, MPH 606, MPH 607, MPH 608, MPH 609.

MPH 611. Practice Experience. 3 credits.

Opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through core courses and elective/area of concentration under the supervision of a qualified preceptor who is a public health professional. P: MPH 601, MPH 602, MPH 604, MPH 605, MPH 606, MPH 607, MPH 608, MPH 609, MPH 610, and 9 credit hours of MPH electives.

MPH 612. Capstone. 3 credits.

In this final required course of the degree program, students are expected to integrate insights gained and competencies acquired throughout the program. Applying methods of scholarly inquiry and composition, students will synthesize insights and findings from their practice experience in a publishable-quality article or commentary and will present the findings to fellow students and faculty. P: MPH 601, MPH 602, MPH 604, MPH 605, MPH 606, MPH 607, MPH 608, MPH 609, MPH 610, MPH 611, and 9 credit hours of MPH electives.

MPH 615. Ethical Issues in Population Health: A Global Perspective. 3 credits.

This course provides students with a foundational understanding of the ethical issues related to public health as a discipline and to its practice. The course will emphasize the global dimension of these issues along with their national and local repercussions. While students will explore the theoretical issues with the discipline itself (in regards to the ethical framework best fits population health enterprise), there will also be a more in -depth study of concrete cases that will highlight the multiple and global dimensions of health and healthcare. Global public health ethical issues will be explored within the context of the social and systemic factors that affect population health across the globe. Concrete cases that will be explored may include (but will not be restricted to): globesity, pandemics and vaccination, disasters and humanitarian aid, conflict of interest in screening and medical guidelines, medical research agenda and global justice, and healthcare professionals’ education and migration.

MPH 633. Health Economics and Finance. 3 credits.

The course examines fundamental theories in health economics and health care finance and the application of these theories in public health administration. The course emphasizes and understanding of economic issues within the larger social and political context in which public health operates. Economic and finance theories and practices pertinent to the public health sector as well as concepts and practices in financial management that support the successful leadership and administration of public health organizations will be explored in this course.

MPH 634. Health Planning and Marketing. 3 credits.

This course focuses on the understanding and application of health planning and health care marketing models and practices. The course encompasses a range of health planning and marketing models, methods and applications including health systems planning, strategic planning and marketing, program planning and social marketing for public health services. Recognizing the integral role of program evaluation in the planning process, this course will also review best practices for the integration of program evaluation as a component of the overall plan.

MPH 635. Public Health Leadership. 3 credits.

The purpose of this course is to explore leadership theories, identify leadership challenges, and analyze best practices in public health leadership. Emphasis is given to reflection and self-development of decision-making and leadership styles in assuming leadership roles within public health organizations.