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2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin

Master of

Public Health

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Director: William G. Weissert; Assistant Director: Alan Rowan; Faculty: Burdette, Coutts, Lee, McFarland, Showman, Uejio

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy offers the interdisciplinary Master of Public Health (MPH) and the combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health (BS/MPH).

MPH degree graduates are trained principally as health policy analysts. They acquire a rich background in epidemiology, environmental health, health care finance, health behavior, health administration, health policy and policy analysis, and statistical and qualitative analytic skills. Careers are likely to include government agency or legislative staff positions, policy and consulting firms, healthcare organizations, advocacy organizations and lobbying firms, international organizations focused on health and population issues, academic, or media positions.


Students must meet the University's general requirements for graduate admission and must be recommended by the program's admissions committee. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and an acceptable score from the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination are required. The minimum admission guidelines are for an undergraduate upper division grade point average of 3.0 or better and a minimum combined GRE score of 1000 or 150 on the recent GRE test. MCAT or GMAT scores may be substituted for the GRE. Higher attainment on one measure may offset lower attainment on another. These indicators are considered along with other evidence of preparation. For students whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score is required.

The program of study includes a set of required and elective courses, an internship, a capstone project, and an e-folio. Students can set their own pace from part-time to full-time. With appropriate planning, the program's requirements may be completed in three-four semesters and a summer. Other students prefer to follow a more relaxed pace.

For the Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health (BS/MPH), Florida State University undergraduate students may apply up to twelve credits of MPH courses taken while enrolled as undergraduates toward the MPH if they enroll in the Public Health degree program.

In order to better prepare students for overlapping careers in Planning and Public Health, a joint degree program has been created through which a student may earn the degrees of Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science in Planning (MSP). This is one of very few joint degree programs of this kind nationwide. Students will complete requirements for the MPH and MSP with a total of sixty-six credit hours. Some courses overlap, reducing total credit requirements.

Total Credits

Students must complete forty-two credit hours including thirty-three required hours, a three hour internship, and nine hours of electives. A capstone project is included in the core hours. Also required is an e-folio constructed by each student throughout his or her course of study, including indications that public health competencies have been met, examples or projects completed, writing samples, courses, summaries, resumé, and other materials indicating preparedness for a career in public health.

Course Requirements for the Master of Public Health (forty-two credits)

Required MPH core courses (thirty semester hours):

PHC 5300 Environmental Health (3)

PHC 6110 Comparative Health Policy (3)

HSC 5930r Special Topics in Social Science (1–3)

Note: The required topic is Public Health Epidemiology (3)

Note: Alternatively, URP 5521 Public Health Epidemiology (3)

PHC 5945r Internship (3–6)

PAD 5935r Seminar in Public Administration: Selected Topics (1–3)

Note: The required topics are as follows: Health Care Finance (1–3); Health Care Management (1–3)

PUP 5607 Politics of Health Policy (3)

Note: Alternatively, GIS 5400 GIS Application in Social Sciences (3)

HSC 5930r Special Topics in Social Science (1–3)

Note: The required topic is Public Health Core Concepts (3)

PUP 5932r Selected Topics (3)

Note: The required topic is Health Services Organization and Policy (3)

ECP 5538 Healthy Policy Statistics (3)

Note: Alternatively, STA 5172 Biostatistics (3)

Approved MPH Electives (Twelve semester hours): Select six semester hours from Group 1 and six semester hours from Group 2.


GEO 5451 Medical Geography (3)

GEO 5453 Global Health (3)

HSC 5203 Public Health History, Philosophy and Policy (3)

PAD 5845 Public Health and Emergency Management (3)

PHC 6002 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)

PUP 5607 Politics of Health Policy (3)

SYA 6933r Selected Topics in Sociology (3)

Note: The elective topics are as follows: Social Epidemiology (3); Medical Sociology; and Neighborhood, Stress and Unhealthy Behaviors (3)


ECO 5936r Special Topics (1–3)

Note: The elective topic is Health Economics (1–3)

GEO 5908 Directed Individual Study (1–6)

Note: The elective topic is GIS Lab (1–6)

GIS 5106 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3)

Note: Not approved if other GIS course already taken.

GIS 5400 Geographic Information Systems Applications in Social Sciences (3)

HSC 5930 Special Topics in Social Science (1–3)

Note: The elective topic is Health Regulation (1–3)

LIS 5916r Issues in Information Studies (1–3)

Note: the elective topic is Health Informatics (1–3)

SYA 5458 Social Statistics and Data Analysis for Public Health (3)

URP 5272 Urban and Regional Info Systems (3)

Note: Not approved if other GIS course already taken.

Internship (hours included in core above)

The purpose of the internship is to gain practical skills in the application of research methods in an approved health delivery or health policy setting. The 420-hour internship experience is evaluated by the preceptor in the health setting, the student, and the faculty advisor. In special instances, the internship requirement may be partially or fully waived with appropriately documented justification. Waived credits must be made up in an approved elective.

Capstone Project (hours included in core above)

All students must complete a capstone project consisting of a policy-analysis paper on a topic of their own choosing in conjunction with PUP 5607, Politics of Health Policy or GIS 5400, Geographic Information Systems Applications in Social Sciences. The paper will draw upon earlier courses as well as the capstone course to provide a capstone experience. GEO 5451 or 5453 or other GIS course may be required as a prerequisite for GIS 5400.

Prerequisite Courses as needed (three to six semester hours)

Some courses may require prerequisites for students deemed not adequately prepared to handle the course material. Prerequisite credits may not be counted toward core, elective or total credit requirements.


Courses drawn from various departments may be substituted for certain core and elective requirements including introductory research design, statistics, and advanced methods. Substitutions must be approved in advance by the director or director's designee.

Definition of Prefixes

HSC—Health Sciences

PHC—Public Health Concentration

Graduate Courses

HSC 5203. Public Health History, Philosophy and Policy (3). This course provides an introductory overview of the history of public health. The philosophy and concepts basic to public health practice are addressed in depth. Basic skills related to health delivery in the U.S. and throughout the world are reviewed.

HSC 5930r. Special Topics in Social Science (1–3). Interdisciplinary special topics of current interest or utilizing special competencies of faculty. Content varies from semester to semester. May be repeated with the permission of the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Social Sciences.

PHC 5003. Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3). This course discusses chronic disease risk factors, conditions, and diseases and public health approaches within the context of epidemiology. Students learn concepts and methodology in describing chronic diseases and their methods for control.

PHC 5104. Public Health Management (3). This course provides the essentials basic to managing public health programs. Administrative content includes an overview of targeted programs, communications, and planning, budgeting, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.

PHC 5300. Environmental Health (3). This course covers the science behind the basic elements of environmental health and its centrality to human health. It includes the basics of providing a pure water supply, sanitation of waste matters, and common field procedures needed for environmental surveillance.

PHC 5912r. Public Health Capstone and Research Project (6). (S/U grade only). This practical and research application course allows the student to integrate all knowledge gained in the core courses and apply that knowledge in a systematic way through an applied research project that is defended before two faculty.

PHC 6002. Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3). This course introduces the basic methods for infectious disease epidemiology and case studies of important disease syndromes and entities in various disciplines within infectious disease.

PHC 6110. Comparative Health (3). This course provides a comprehensive examination of the structure of healthcare systems from selected countries worldwide. Specific attention is paid to the developmental history of the national healthcare systems, financing, and infrastructure.