Master of Public Health

Total units required for MPH: 42

Program Description

Sacramento State offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with an emphasis in Health Promotion, Policy, and Leadership. The MPH degree is offered in a hybrid format to students who are working professionals, providing flexibility to complete the degree in two years (five consecutive semesters). The MPH consists of 42 units incorporating the foundational concepts and competencies of public health as identified by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The program focuses on preparing public health professionals to develop effective strategies for preventing illness and disease within diverse communities, while increasing the student’s capability in conducting health policy analysis and development. The program is offered in a cohort format to help facilitate teamwork and learning. The program offers advanced study for public health professionals working (or seeking employment) as public health educators, policy analysts, health advocates, program managers, and public health consultants in community-based organizations, healthcare settings, local-state-federal governments, and other practice settings.

The MPH program has a practice-oriented approach, emphasizing community-based training in coursework. The program's mission is to prepare public health leaders and practitioners to promote, protect, and advocate for the health and well-being of diverse communities at the local, state and global levels. This mission is achieved through the following coordinated efforts: by offering core public health content through applied experiences which develop passionate, informed, and practice-based public health professionals; by fostering faculty and student engagement in scholarly activities that contribute to the theory and practice of public health using evidence-based applications; and by establishing connections between faculty, students and community partners to address public health problems among diverse populations.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Public Health program, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications:

  • a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • a minimum GPA of 3.0 from the last undergraduate or graduate degree completed;
  • 2 years of full-time, professional work experience in public health or a related field is preferred.

Domestic applicants with foreign documents and international students (F-1 or J-1 visa applicants) must consult the Office of Graduate Studies and Global Education/lnternational Admissions Department for specific application instructions. These students must also submit TOEFL scores; for more information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Applicants must submit the following requirement documents to be considered for admissions:

  • Completed application form;
  • Official transcripts from all higher education (unofficial transcripts may be submitted with the application, but official transcripts must be received before matriculation);
  • A professional resume or CV;
  • Personal statement (essay); and
  • 2 completed MPH Reference Forms from professional and/or academic references.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirements

Units required for the MPH: 42

Minimum cumulative GPA: 3.0

Policies and Procedures

  1. A student must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the graduate coursework. A student may not earn a grade of less than a B grade in any MPH graduate program course. Students failing to maintain a GPA of 3.0 are automatically placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must meet with the Program Director to discuss steps the student must take to remediate coursework or to address the deficiencies identified by the course instructor. Any student who has less than B in any two MPH graduate program courses will not be allowed to continue in the graduate program and will be dismissed.
  2. Students must complete the program within 7 years of enrollment in the first MPH program course.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy for the master's degree indicating the proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admissions requirements;
  • completed at least 17 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. Students will complete the form after planning a degree program in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. The completed form should then be returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Program Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
First SemesterUnits
PUBH 202 Ecological Determinants of Human Health 3
PUBH 204 Healthcare Systems, Structures, and Policies 3
PUBH 207A Health Research Methods and Analysis (A) 3
 Units9
Second Semester
PUBH 201 Behavioral and Social Sciences in Public Health 3
PUBH 207B Health Research Methods and Analysis (B) 3
PUBH 220 Health Policy Analysis 3
 Units9
Third Semester
PUBH 225 Topics in Public Health Seminar 3
PUBH 295 Public Health Practicum 3
 Units6
Year 2
Fourth Semester
PUBH 203 Public Health Management and Leadership 3
PUBH 221 Strategies for Community Engagement 3
PUBH 222 Methods of Health Promotion 3
 Units9
Fifth Semester
PUBH 223 Leadership in Public Health Practice 3
PUBH 224 Program Planning and Evaluation 3
PUBH 500 Public Health Capstone 3
 Units9
 Total Units42

Culminating Experience

The program requires that all students complete a culminating experience, called the Capstone Project, during the last semester before graduation.  The goal of the Capstone Project is to assess each student’s (i) mastery of public health concepts and skills, and (ii) ability to integrate and apply these concepts and skills in practice. 

PUBH 500 is designed to provide a degree of flexibility, such that students can select their own Learning Outcomes in consultation with the instructor.  At the beginning of the term, each student must select at least 70% of the foundational competencies and at least 50% of the concentration competencies to address in the Capstone Project. This selection must be reviewed and approved by the instructor early in the semester, before the project is started.  Achievement of these learning outcomes will be documented in the written Capstone Project and certified by the instructor and second reader. 

To meet these requirements, students will be given a public health problem to solve that reflects current health concerns within a specified population.  Students will analyze the problem using evidence-based, applied research and propose a feasible solution that reflects the capabilities of a public health organization.  Student products will demonstrate a thorough grasp of the concepts, background, and tools necessary to address the issue through health promotion planning, policy development, and community engagement.

The problem analysis and proposed solution must be written in a formal document in one of the following formats:

  • Comprehensive Program Plan
  • Program Evaluation Plan
  • Social Marketing Campaign
  • Policy White Paper
  • Research Paper
  • Training Manual
  • Grant Proposal
  • Written Legislative Testimony