Master of Public Health


Protect and educate public health practices


Be part of the change via an online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at St Ambrose University.

Public health works to protect the health of entire populations, ranging from local neighborhoods to entire countries and regions of the world. Public health professionals work in multidisciplinary teams to identify root causes of health problems and to develop solutions to improve access to health care and reduce inequities.

St. Ambrose University is pleased to offer this online degree due to its established success in delivering a range of accredited undergraduate and graduate health and human services programs as well as its emphasis on inter-professional education, social justice, and person-centered service.


Scholarships available for Spring entry!

Contact our Recruiter to learn more


Ambrose Advantages

  • Established Leader in Healthcare Programs
  • 100% Online Program
  • Learn About Person-Centered Care
  • Dual Degree with MSW

Student in Library

Campus in Fall

student at computer

The SAU public health program emphasizes health equity which reinforces St. Ambrose University's mission of social justice and service. More specifically, SAU students will build their skills in epidemiology, research, and applying evidenced-based interventions to solve global/national/regional/state/community public health issues.

Read our fact sheet on the MPH program (pdf)


More Information on the Master of Public Health Program

Why get my MPH at St. Ambrose?

St. Ambrose University leads the way with top-notch graduate and undergraduate healthcare programs that focus on health equity, inter-professional education, and person-centered service, of which the latest addition is an online Master of Public Health program.

Additionally, the Quad Cities area affords many opportunities for off-campus experiences. These include the public health departments in Rock Island as well as Scott County, the Mississippi Valley Blood Center, the Community Health Care Center, and the American Red Cross.

Having the MPH housed within the College of Health and Human Services reinforces the continued global focus of the College, which prioritizes excellence in teaching, scholarship, practice, and also increases the options for study abroad opportunities that align with other programs such as the Master of Speech-Language Pathology program.

Our Faculty and Staff

St. Ambrose University is proud of the high quality of faculty and staff who take on their role not only as educators, but also as mentors. They're with you every step of the way, guiding you through coursework, research, and practicum.

What is my career outlook with an MPH degree?

Public health is one of the fastest growing academic majors in the United States, and career opportunities in this field are expected to grow substantially in the near future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), public health is a rapidly growing field and will increase its workforce by more than 21 percent. According to the Educational Advisory Board market study, job postings revealed a 31 percent increase in national demand and a 12 percent increase in regional demand (defined as Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota).

Specifically for Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor projects steady job growth for public health professions between 2012-2022.

Your Impact as Public Health Professional
Graduates with a public health degree work with individuals and communities to enhance health by identifying health threats and needs as well as resources to meet those needs. Public health professionals also advocate for and develop policies to address health inequity and increase access to health care for all.

As a leader in healthcare education and proponent of social justice, SAU offers this graduate degree to help solve healthcare inequities locally and abroad.

Graduates of the MPH program at SAU will embark on a career having satisfied these objectives through their coursework and experiences:

1) Use evidence-based decision making to propose novel solutions and policies for public health challenges;
2) Utilize quantitative and qualitative data to address public health problems;
3) Articulate approaches to the development of public health policy and programs focused on increasing access of vulnerable and marginalized populations.; 
4) Apply principles of cultural competence, ethical reasoning, and human rights when interacting in organizational and community settings; 
5) Advocate for ethical and professional strategies in the management of public health programs and organizations; 
6) Demonstrate communication and collaboration in inter professional community partnerships.

What will I learn?

You will take courses covering the broad spectrum of public health which includes quantitative and qualitative research methodologies; quality, management, and outcomes in health systems; health policy, law, and ethics; and translational and community-engagement strategies.

Students will meet regularly with their advisor on a jointly agreed to schedule. The full-time option will require students to take classes during the first 18 months – inclusive of approximately 200 hours of applied practice experience throughout the country – under the supervision of public health and other specialists in selected practice areas.

The curriculum will be comprised of asynchronous, online classes that cover subjects such as:

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Qualitative Research
  • Behavioral/Social/Environmental Health
  • Ethics and Health Equity
  • Health Systems
  • Policy
  • and Evidence-Based Practice/Application

In addition, students will complete elective courses, internships, and a capstone project.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?
The Master of Public Health program has rolling admission, which means you may submit your application at any time throughout the year.

What should be included in my application?

  • An official transcript from all completed programs - bachelor's degree and higher (Prospective students currently enrolled should provide a list of remaining courses and timeline for earning an undergraduate degree)
  • A one-page personal statement
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Evidence of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE scores (waivers available on a case-by-case basis)

What should be included in my Letters of Reference?
These letters should illustrate your capabilities, qualities, and characteristics that speak to your ability to be successful in this program. They can be written by either academic (i.e. a professor) or professional (i.e. a supervisor) sources. 

What should I include/not include in my Personal Statement?
This one-page statement should address how your personal or academic background and experiences will bring a unique perspective to the program and contribute to a diverse and inclusive student community.

I have attended multiple institutions including post-bachelor program(s). Do I need to include these transcripts? If so, where do I send them?
Submit any transcripts that reflect a bachelor's programs or higher to your admissions representative, Kaetln Harrison.

I want to pursue a part-time plan of study. Where do I find a plan that details attending the program part-time?
See the "Part-Time and Full-Time Degree Options" above or email the admissions advisor for information.

Who do I talk to about financial aid?
Speak with admissions representative Kaetln Harrison.

How much does this program cost?

2019-20 Tuition

$625/credit hour (beginning Spring 2019)

Financial Aid

There are several ways to help pay for graduate school. You can see complete information about graduate scholarships, loans, and grants on the graduate admissions page under the heading Graduate Financial Aid.

Housing

Campus housing is available for students enrolled in a graduate program at SAU on an annual, semester, and month-to-month basis.

Graduate Fees

2019-20 Fees

Graduate level students taking 9 or more credit hours $280/yr. ($140/semester)
Graduate level students taking 8 or less credit hours $140/yr. ($70/semester)
Online course fee $60/credit hour

Faculty and Staff

Melissa Sharer, PhD, MPH, Program Director and Asst. Professor

Colleen Doak, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Kate Horberg, Administrative Assistant
Bill Parsons, PhD, Professor
Jessica Roisen, PhD, Professor
Erica Thomas, MS, Asst. Professor 

Adjunct Professors
John Bowser, PhD, Adjunct Professor
Malia Duffy, MSN-FNP, MSPH, Adjunct Professor

Degree Requirements

Master of Public Health (43 credits)

The Master of Public Health program (MPH) is a 43 credit hour, online curriculum sequence with an applied practicum (approximately 200 hours) and integrated learning experience.

It is the only graduate public health program offered by a private, comprehensive university in Iowa.

You will be able to complete the program in 1.5 years as a full-time student or 33 months as a part-time student.

Full-Time and Part-Time Degree Options

In addition to being a proven leader in healthcare studies, St. Ambrose University also offers flexibility with our part- and full-time degree options for the MPH.

Full Time 

By enrolling full-time, you will earn your degree in 1 ½ years. An outline of courses you will take is below.

OPTION 1 - FALL START

Year 1

Fall 1: 510 Global Public Health Concepts and Practice
Fall 1: 515 Health Promotion and Communication
Fall 1: 516 Applied Practicum Experience (APE) and Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) Planning
Fall 2: 520 Epidemiology
Fall 2: 540 Behavioral, Social, Environmental Health
Spring 1: 525 Biostatistics, Quantitative Research
Spring 1: 620 Global Health Policy
Spring 2: 530 Qualitative Research
Spring 2: 630 Public Health Equity and Ethics
Summer 1: 610 Evidence-Based Practice in Public Health
Summer 1: 670 Global Health Systems

Year 2

Fall 1: 680 Management and Leadership in Public Health
Fall 1: 690 Community Health Analysis and Promotion
Fall 2: 695 Applied Practice Experience (APE)
Fall 2: 700 Integrated Learning Experience (ILE)

OPTION 2 - SPRING START

Year 1 

Spring 1: 510 Public Health Concepts and Principles
Spring 1: 515 Health Promotion and Communication
Spring 1: 516 Applied Practicum Experience Planning 
Spring 2: 530 Qualitative Research
Spring 2: Public Health Equity and Ethics
Summer 1: 520 Epidemiology
Summer 1: 670 Global Health Systems
Fall 1: 680 Management and Leadership in Public Health Systems
Fall 1: 525 Biostatistics
Fall 2: 540 Behavioral, Social, Enviornmental Health
Fall 2: 690 Community Health Analysis and Promotion

Year 2

Spring 1: 695 Applied Practice Experience (APE)
Spring 1: 620 Global Health Policy
Spring 2: 610 Evidence Based Practice
Spring 2: 700 Integrated Learning Experience (ILE)

Part-time

By enrolling part-time, you can complete your MPH degree in three years.

OPTION 1 - FALL START

Year 1

Fall 1: 510 PH Concepts and Practice
Fall 1: 516 Applied Practicum Experience (APE) and Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) Planning
Fall 2: 520 Epidemiology
Spring 1: 525 Biostatistics, Quantitative Research
Spring 2: 530 Qualitative Research
Summer 1: 610 Evidenced-Based Practice in Public Health

Year 2

Fall 1: 515 Health Promotion and Communication
Fall 2: 540 Behavioral, Social, Environmental Health
Spring 1: 620 Global Health Policy
Spring 2: 630 Public Health Equity and Ethics
Summer 1: 670 Global Health Systems

Year 3

Fall 1: 680 Management and Leadership in Public Health Systems
Fall 2: 690 Community Health Analysis and Promotion
Spring 1: 695 Applied Practicum Experience 
Spring 2: 700 Integrated Learning Experience

OPTION 2 - SPRING START

Year 1

Spring 1: 510 PH Concepts and Practice 
Spring 1: 516 Applied Practicum Experience Planning
Spring 2: 530 Qualitative Research
Summer 1: 520 Epidemiology
Fall 1: 515 Health Education/Communication
Fall 2: 540 Behavioral, Social and Environmental Health

Year 2

Spring 1: 525 Biostatistics/Research
Spring 2: 630 PH Equity and Ethics
Summer 1: 610 Evidence Based Practice in PH
Fall 1: 680 Management and Leadership in PH systems
Fall 2: 690 Community Health Analysis and Promotion

Year 3 

Spring 1: 620 Health Policy
Spring 2: 695 Applied Practicum Experience
Summer 1: 670 Global Health Systems
Fall 1: 700 Integrated Learning Experience

MSW-MPH

The dual master's degree program incorporates competencies of public health and social work education and practice to provide an epidemiologic/populations-based approach to preventing, addressing, and solving social health problems. This dual degree trains students in population-based prevention and multi-level intervention. Additionally, students gain practical experience in inter-professional practice, cultural competency, social justice, empowerment, leadership and management, research and evaluation, and policy development.

Dual degrees lower the total cost of both degrees (when taken separately) and articulates an intentional path for social workers wanting to explore the practice of public health. Together, these two degrees elevate social work's strengths in cultural and community responsiveness, empowerment, inter-professional teamwork, and care coordination through public health's strategic and epidemiological approach to caring for the underserved and most vulnerable.

Admission Requirements
Students typically enter the dual degree via the MSW Program then apply to the MPH program in their first year of MSW studies. Staggering application meets admissions standards for both programs and multiple decision points for students. Please see the MPH or MSW director if you wish to begin with the MPH.

Review MPH Admission Requirements

Review MSW Admission Requirements

Course Sequence

Download the MSW-MPH fact sheet (pdf)

Year 1

Fall
MSW 510 Generalist Practice I, 3 credits
MSW 610 Human Behavior Theories, 3 credits
MSW 710 SW Research Design, 3 credits
MSW 810 Social Welfare Policy, 3 credits
MSW 591 Field Instruction and Seminar I, 3 credits
Total semesters hours = 15

Spring 
MSW 520 Generalist Practice II, 3 credits
MSW 620 Diversity and Social Systems, 3 credits
MSW 720 SW Program Evaluation, 3 credits
MSW 820 Social Policy Analysis, 3 credits
MSW 592 Field Instruction and Seminar II, 3 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Year 2

FALL
Fall I - First 8 Weeks
MPH 510 Global PH Concepts/Practice, 3 credits
MPH 515 Health Promotion & Communication, 3 credits
MPH 516 Applied Practicum Experience Planning,  credit 1
(synchronous-blended)
Total hours = 7

Fall II - Second 8 Weeks
MPH 520 Epidemiology, 3 credits
MPH 540 Behavioral-Social-Environmental Health, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

SPRING
Spring I - First 8 Weeks

MPH 525 Biostatistics-Quant Research, 3 credits
*MPH 620 Global Health Policy, 0 credits
Total hours = 3

Spring II - Second 8 Weeks
MPH 530 Qualitative research, 3 credits
MPH 630 PH Equity and Ethics, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

SUMMER
Summer I - First 8 Weeks

MPH 610 EBP in PH, 3 credits
MPH 670 Global Health Systems, 3 credits
Total hours = 6

Summer II - Second 8 Weeks
MSW 550 Empowerment SW in Mental Health, 3 credits (elective)
Total hours = 3

Year 3

Fall 
MSW 530 Empowerment Practice I, 3 credits
MPH 680 Management and Leadership in PH systems, 3 credits (counts as MSW Elective)
MPH 670 Community health analysis and promotion, 3 credits (counts as MSW Elective)
MSW 603 Field Seminar III: SW Ethics, 2 credits
MSW 593 Field Instruction III, 4 credits
Total semester hours = 15

Spring 
MSW 540 Empowerment Practice II, 3 credits
MSW *** MSW Elective, 3 credits
MSW 604 Field Seminar IV: Ethical Decision Making, 2 credits
(Capstone project to be focused on public health social work)
MSW 594 Field Instruction IV, 4 credits
Total semester hours = 12

*Substitution available.

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Contact


Kate Horberg

Program Assistant
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-5769
HorbergKatelynH@sau.edu

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