The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Community Health graduate program at East Stroudsburg University prepares students to enter the dynamic and challenging field of public health as researchers and practitioners working to prevent disease and improve quality of life in our communities. Through a well-integrated program of study, students receive instruction in the core public health disciplines of biostatistics, environmental Health, epidemiology, health policy & administration, and social and behavioral sciences, while also developing specialized experience in public health areas of interest through integrated field-based learning and capstone experiences.
The MPH program has been accredited by Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1990. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit public health programs. The Master of Public Health in Community Health Program at East Stroudsburg University stands among the nearly 1,500 graduate public health schools and programs in the country in compliance with a set of rigorous standards to bring students the highest quality education possible and does so at a lower tuition rate than most other MPH programs in the region.
What is Public Health?
Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities in which they live, learn, work, and play. While a doctor treats people who are sick, those working in public health focus on prevention of illness and injury by addressing their fundamental causes and through promotion of healthy lifestyles (American Public Health Association). Public health professionals work in health systems, health departments, universities, government, and non-profit sectors to address fundamental threats to human health including access to healthy food and physical activity, tobacco cessation and drug prevention, protection for waterways and clean air, emergency preparedness, and access to high quality and affordable healthcare. Other public health professionals work to prevent disease through creation of dynamic health education and screening programs held in a variety of community settings. Still others work to influence health-related policy- there is vast potential for success in public health across a range of settings, populations, and health conditions.
Public health students and graduates work to address specific health conditions including:
- Reproductive and sexual health
- Tobacco, alcohol, and other drug abuse
- Physical activity and sedentary behavior
- Poor nutrition
- Cancer control and prevention
- Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases
- HIV, influenza, zika, and other infectious diseases
- Lead poisoning and other environmentally-driven health conditions
- School health needs and community violence prevention
Public health students and graduates work different populations including:
- Women, children & adolescents
- Student health & college wellness
- Employee health & worksite wellness
- Senior & geriatric health
- Rural vs urban communities
- International populations
Public health students and graduates work in different work settings such as:
- Hospitals and health systems
- Local, state, and federal government
- Local, federal, and international non-profit organizations
Public health students and graduates use a range of public health skills and approaches including:
- Behavior change interventions and health education
- Program development and evaluation
- Social media based prevention & social marketing
- Epidemiology and health research
- Development of health policy
- Administration of health services
- GIS Mapping and health informatics
Students in the ESU MPH program learn in the classroom, but more importantly, apply what they learn through dynamic field-based and research experiences that enable students to gain hand-on skills while serving our community. Students apply their knowledge of management, evaluation, data analysis, policy development, health education, and beyond though projects with:
- City/county/regional health departments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
- State health departments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
- K-12 schools and university wellness offices.
- Federal and international agencies including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Major health systems including Geisinger, Lehigh Valley Health Network, and St. Luke’s University Health System.
- Health-focused non-profit agencies including The United Way of Monroe County, The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, PVEN food pantry, Street to Feet Homeless Day Center, Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center, and more.
ESU MPH Program Details
The MPH in Community Health is a 42-credit program encompassing 39 required credits and 3 credits of electives. Combining the elective credits with the required applied practice experience (6 credits) and integrated learning research experience (3 credits) enables students to tailor a substantial portion of the program directly to their area of public health focus. Courses are primarily delivered in-person and are supplemented by hybrid and online course offerings to enhance flexibility in scheduling.
Three approaches to MPH in Community Health completion are available at ESU:
- In 2017-2018, a one-year accelerated track was unveiled in which highly qualified students are eligible to complete their degree in 12-months of intensive study.
- Traditional full-time students can complete the program in two academic years.
- Part-time degree completion is also available; part-time students have up to four years to complete their degrees.
Required MPH Courses are listed below and are supplemented by a wide range of elective course offerings.
- HLTH 537: Community Health Practice for Health Educators (3 credits)
- HLTH 538: Health Policy and Administration (3 credits)
- HLTH 555: Health Education Evaluation (3 credits)
- HLTH 557: Computer Applications in Health Education (3 credits)
- HLTH 560: Scientific Foundations of Health Behavior (3 credits)
- HLTH 561: Epidemiology (3 credits)
- HLTH 562: The Physical Environment and Community Health (3 credits)
- HLTH 563: Public Health Measurement Sciences/SPSS (3 credits)
- HLTH 570: Introduction to Research (3 credits)
- HLTH 571: Health Research Problem – Integrated Learning Experience (3 credits)
- HLTH 581: Public Health Seminar-Applied Practice Experience (3 credits)
- HLTH 586: Field Experience and Internship- Applied Practice Experience (6 credits)
Application to the MPH in Community Health at ESU is rolling and students may initiate study in the fall, spring, or summer terms. For priority admission for the fall term, including opportunities for graduate assistantship positions and consideration for the 12-month accelerated degree completion track, applications should be submitted by February 28th. Application materials and general application questions should be directed to the Graduate College.
Applications must include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- An undergraduate minimum grade point average of 2.50 (4.00 basis) and a 3.00 in the area of specialization during the junior and senior years.
- Completion of the GRE*
- ESU Graduate College application
- Three letters of recommendation
- Professional resume or CV
- A purpose statement outlining interests and experiences relevant to public health study and goals surrounding graduate study
*The GRE requirement is routinely waived for students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above and for those with recent MCAT scores or their equivalent. Contact the program director with questions.