Master of Public Health

Total units required for MPH: 42

Program Description

Sacramento State offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration  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 also includes a residency program with three intensive residencies at program start, middle and end. The residency program focuses on leadership development and creating strong personal connections between students, and between students and faculty. 

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: offering core public health content through applied experiences which develop passionate, informed, and practice-based public health professionals; fostering faculty and student engagement in scholarly activities that contribute to the theory and practice of public health using evidence-based applications; and 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 lnternational Programs & Global Engagement 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 CalStateApply application;
  • MPH Supplemental 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).

Minimum Units and Grade Requirements

Units required for the MPH: 42

Minimum cumulative GPA: 3.0

Policies and Procedures

  • A student must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the graduate coursework. Only courses approved by the Program of Study will count toward the MPH degree. It is expected that all courses will be passed with a grade of B or higher in order to count toward the MPH degree. Courses with a grade of C are permitted, as long as the overall GPA is above a 3.00 for the semester, and the course grade of a C is not earned in any course prior to Advancement to Candidacy.  
  • 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.
  • MPH program policy related to violations of student conduct, which includes cheating and/or plagiarism is as follows: the first incident of academic dishonesty in the program will result in a zero for the assignment; the second such incident in the program will result in a failing grade for the course; the third such incident in the program will result in dismissal from the MPH program.
  • 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 a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento.

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

Core Coursework (21 Units)
PUBH 202Ecological Determinants of Human Health3
PUBH 203Public Health Management and Leadership3
PUBH 204Healthcare Systems, Structures, and Policies3
PUBH 207AHealth Research Methods and Analysis (A)3
PUBH 207BHealth Research Methods and Analysis (B)3
PUBH 224Program Planning and Evaluation3
PUBH 295Public Health Practicum3
Concentration Coursework (18 Units)
PUBH 201Behavioral and Social Sciences in Public Health3
PUBH 220Health Policy Analysis 3
PUBH 221Strategies for Community Engagement3
PUBH 222Methods of Health Promotion3
PUBH 223Leadership in Public Health Practice3
PUBH 225Topics in Public Health Seminar3
Culminating Experience (3 Units)
PUBH 500Public Health Capstone3
Other Requirements
Residency Sessions
Total Units42

Capstone Project

The program requires that all students complete a culminating experience, called the Public Health 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 from the list of program  Learning Outcomes in consultation with the instructor.  Achievement of these learning outcomes will be documented in the written Capstone Project and certified by the instructor.

To meet these requirements, students choose a public health problem to solve that reflects current health concerns within a specified population.  Students will analyze the problem using 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, leadership, and community engagement.

Residency Sessions

MPH Students are also required to attend three multi-day intensive residency sessions during the program.  These sessions are designed to immerse students in leadership development, foster community connections, and facilitate cohesion across cohorts.