Course Descriptions

MPH@Baylor students will complete a total of 42 credit hours divided between required courses, elective courses, an immersion, and a graduate project.

Learn more about individual courses by reading the full course descriptions below. Please note, some courses are pending approval and may be subject to change.

Required Courses

Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior and Public Health (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theoretical thinking and specific theoretical models and concepts of social and behavioral health. This will include theory-based approaches to public health and health promotion. Critical analysis of existing models and future needs of the field is encouraged.

Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)

The purpose of this graduate-level course is to familiarize health education students with the concepts and skills needed in community organization and community health practice. Students in this class will gain understanding and develop skills in the following areas: diagnosing health concerns, understanding the complexities of a community, developing community coalitions, empowering the community, problem-solving and community health intervention strategies/approaches.

Public Health Concepts in Epidemiology (3 credits)

This is an introductory course for graduate students in community/public health and allied health fields to provide a foundation in key epidemiologic concepts. Traditional and new epidemiologic concepts will be presented through theory and practice. Topics will include historical foundations, understanding data sources, study design, and the role of statistics in epidemiology. Class lectures are interspersed with active learning exercises and in-class practice problems to enable students to achieve the learning objectives.

Assessment and Planning in Public and Community Health (3 credits)

This course focuses on needs assessment and program planning in public and community health with specific emphasis on strategies/methods used in assessment, intervention development/implementation, grant-writing, and partnership and interprofessional team building.

Evaluation in Public and Community Health (3 credits)

This course equips students with the skills and knowledge to create a detailed plan for evaluating an intervention (process, outcome, impact measures goals/objectives, analysis, logic model, data collection, etc.).

Administration and Leadership in Public Health (3 credits)

This course integrates an introduction to leadership and administration in public health within the framework of current health policy. On a broad level, students examine health policy. On a more local level, students scrutinize leadership roles and functions within public health settings, considering important aspects of organizational structure and governance, management and ethical decision-making, finance and budgeting, human resource functions, and program evaluation and improvement. Students will examine funding opportunities and explore the relationships between many levels of public health entities. Students will also consider system modification practices in light of policy change.

Research Methods (3 credits)

This course focuses on developmental theory, research design and methodology, gathering of data, statistical analysis and evaluation, and research reporting as they relate to human research. Conducting and interpreting research is a necessary skill that all students at the graduate level should learn. Whether continuing to the doctoral level and higher education; going to medical school; or continuing in public health, health education, health promotion, or other disciplines, research and statistics can be used in everyday professional life.

Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science (3 credits)

This survey course studies the environmental factors that affect the health and safety of a human community. Topics include causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on health, and the genetic, physiologic, and psycho-social factors that influence environmentally compromised health outcomes. Examples of environmental threats include inadequate waste disposal, degraded water and air quality, and disease vectors as well as issues related to bioterrorism and disaster preparedness and management. Lectures and discussion explore environmental risk assessment methods; strategies for effective management and sustainability; regulatory control of environmental exposures; and legal, regulatory, and ethical considerations at the federal, state, and local levels. The course integrates public health strategies with concepts of sustainability and mitigation of environmental risks. 

Statistical Methodology (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is for graduate students to learn to apply descriptive and inferential methodologies commonly used to summarize data. Students will also learn how to interpret and communicate results of statistical analysis. Topics covered in this course include basic statistical terminology, probability distributions, sampling distributions, tests of hypothesis including nonparametric procedures, ANOVA, regression, multiple regression including polynomial regression, categorical data, and communicating and documenting the results of analysis.

Public Health Immersion Experience (2 credits)

During a weekend experience on Baylor’s campus, students are trained on working in interprofessional teams and will be evaluated on related competencies. Students work with professionals and/or other graduate students from outside of public health (i.e., healthcare) to assess community needs and develop recommendations based on a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to health. Preliminary information is gathered about potential organizations for the final, end-of-program internship and a draft internship proposal is developed for the graduate project.

Graduate Project (4 credits)

Students complete a 250-hour (minimum)1 internship as an end-of-program MPH graduate project based on the proposal submitted by the conclusion of their immersion experience. The internship can be completed over the last 1-3 quarters/terms of the program. The purpose of this graduate project is to allow students to engage in a culminating experience where they are able to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a real-world setting, while continuing to gain practical experience and develop professional competencies in a public or community-based setting. Students will develop and submit an electronic portfolio of their documented work.

1If the minimum 250 hours are reached but the project is not complete (or not satisfactory), then the student must proceed past 250 hours in order to reach the point of approval per the site.

Elective Courses

Current Topics in Public Health (3 credits)

This class will focus on current health issues that are affecting public health in the United States and around the world. More specifically, students will examine the public health issues of the past, present, and future and how these issues influence the role of a community health practitioner.

Global Public Health (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the concepts and application of public health in a global context. Students examine health systems across and within countries, including the social, economic, cultural, and political forces and their influence on health outcomes. Organizations, programs, and practices are considered across health issues in a global setting.

Determinants of Health and Health Equity (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of health disparities and inequities in the U.S., based on the social determinants of health, and prepares students to be effective practitioners by approaching public health practice with a focus on equity and the root causes of health outcomes. Factors such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health communication, urban and rural contexts, the built environment, and cultural competency are also examined.

Public Health Policy and Practice (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the process of developing public health policy while demonstrating its implications for public health practice. The application of public health policy is examined across various health issues and determinants to prepare students to inform, engage in, and advance the role of policy in public health. Various theories are applied toward changes in current public health issues, plus applications at local, state, and national levels.

Practicum (3 credits)

This course is intended to allow students to gain practical experience and develop professional competencies in a public health setting. The practicum requires at least 200 contact hours and includes a clearly defined, goal-specific project outcome.