The MPH degree should be based on a rigorous, structured, and carefully sequenced curriculum that may require prerequisite learning.
The MPH degree should offer in-depth education in concentration areas that are responsive to the interests of students, the strengths of the institution, and the needs of employers.
The minimum number of credit hours for an MPH degree should not be increased beyond the current minimum of 42. To do otherwise would contradict rising concerns about length of time to degree and tuition costs.
Accredited schools and programs should have flexibility in designing many aspects of their MPH degree, including prerequisites and experience requirements, core design, and concentrations.
An in-depth concentration should be a distinguishing element of a 21st century MPH degree.
- Concentration curricula should be designed to provide the rigorous, in-depth, skills-based education that students are seeking and employers are demanding.
- Concentration requirements should consist of at least four courses beyond the introductory level that are appropriately sequenced and layered and that are not parts of the practicum or the culminating experience.
- Concentration options can and should vary across schools and programs, and they need not include in-depth training in each of the five traditional core fields.
- Concentrations should be offered based on the expertise available in the school or program, the needs of local and target-market employers, and the demands of applicants and students.
- Concentrations may include options that are within traditional disciplines, options that cross disciplines, and options that address emerging topics and fields.
- In some settings and for some students a generalist degree may be the most appropriate “concentration” for MPH graduates.
The common element of all MPH degrees should be a well-designed core that covers critical and interdisciplinary content in foundational areas of public health.
- The foundational areas of public health should be congruent across the degree spectrum from the baccalaureate to the MPH to the DrPH, with the depth of learning and the development of abilities increasing appropriately along the spectrum.
- The critical content to be covered in the core element of all MPH degrees is delineated in the final section of this report.
- The core should typically comprise no more than a third of the content or credits of a newly designed MPH degree but may be more, depending on student interests, local needs, and institutional orientation.
- The core can be delivered as a series of integrated learning experiences rather than as a set of distinct courses in the traditional core disciplines.
The practicum and the culminating experience in the MPH degree should be considered primarily as elements of the concentration rather than as elements of the core.
- The practicum and culminating experience elements provide opportunities for applied learning, interdisciplinary content, and integration of concepts and skills.
- The design, duration, and learning objectives of both elements should be clearly specified.
The MPH degree should have distinct and defined learning objectives for each of its major elements, including core, concentration, practicum, and culminating experience.
- The learning objectives for the MPH core should be similar across all accredited MPH degree programs. The number and scope of these objectives should be limited in keeping with the specialty emphasis of the redesigned MPH degree and with the defined percentage of the curriculum devoted to the core, and they should be focused on learning at the level of knowledge and comprehension.
- The concentration learning objectives for a particular MPH degree should assess learning in terms of knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis in a defined specialty area.
- Learning objectives for the practicum and the culminating experience should be linked primarily to the concentration rather than to the core, and they should be focused on higher levels of learning including analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.