MPH Program Basics
The following link provides information on the basics of the MPH program. Please read through it, and also look at the information provided below that provides more clarification and guidance.
This is the official MPH Student Handbook for 2014-2015 which may be of interest to you:
GSR 960 & 961
The GSR “courses” are actually two online module completion courses. They are required for completion, before your practicum; they basically ensure that all students are aware of the ethical standards and guidelines when conducting research. These are not on your timetable on PAWS, like the rest of your courses. When registering for your courses, keep in mind, that these GSR courses can be completed within a few hours (or a weekend); so don’t fret!
PUBH 806: Pathobiology
As of right now, PUBH 806 is listed as a core course that must be completed before your practicum, however; you will soon be told in Foundations that it is not required for your practicum. The PUBH 806 course is meant for students that do not have a degree in what is designated as a “health science” background by the School of Public Health (Dentistry, Medicine, Physical Therapy, etc.). All other students are required to take this course, within the time-frame to complete their program. This course is also designated to complete one of the 5 elective courses you are required to take. When making your timetable, PUBH 806 is not required to complete within your first year, you may take it in your second year**.
**Please note: PUBH 806 is only offered in the Fall Term, at one time. PUBH 806 also conflicts with Analytical Epi, and Health Management (as of right now). Please make sure that you take all of these into consideration when planning your courses
PUBH 990: Public Health Seminar
This seminar class runs once a week (this year it was on a Thursday), for 1 HR. You are required to have a clicker, which you use to participate during the presentations. Each week MPH 2nd year students present their practicum experiences from the past summer, as well as guest presentations from various faculty and community organization members. As an MPH student, you are required to attend at least 75% of the seminars (within your 2 years), in order to receive credit for this seminar. Essentially, do not think of PUBH 990 has another course in your schedule, but more so as a mandatory and consistent meeting you have to attend and participate in.*
**Please note: You must add PUBH 990 each term to your class schedule when registering for classes
Guidance from your Sr. MPH-ers!
PUBH 800 & 805: Epi and BioStats
You may have heard many things about these two courses in particular, “Don’t take them together”, “Take BioStats first semester, incase you fail it!”, etc. Hopefully, the following breakdown will answer any misconceptions you’ve heard, and ease your class registration process.
Epidemiology: PUBH 800
Epidemiology is offered both in Fall and Winter terms, and whichever term you take it, you will experience the same workload and expectations.
Epidemiology is a very structured course, but it also relies on Self-Learning. You will be required to read one chapter a week, prepare for a weekly quiz, and watch video lecture notes. The course forces you to review each week, which really does help you prepare for the midterms and the final (to an extent). Whether you have previous Epidemiology/Statistics experience, or you are learning it for the first time; this course will test your application to a higher degree (and higher pace). It is a course that you will benefit from the most, if you form study groups!
BioStatistics: PUBH 805
Biostatistics is offered both in Fall and Winter terms. Please note: As of now, to take Analytical Epi (2nd Year Elective), you are required to have BioStatistics II as a pre-req. If you are interested in pursuing Epidemiology, or want tot keep that option open, it would be better to take BioStats I first term, and then BioStats II in the second term.
BioStats is a hard course in the sense that it takes a lot of work to fine-tune the skills (both mathematical and english!), and the exams will test your endurance. It is best to plan to take this course, (as much as possible), when your social/personal life is in stable condition, to allow you to really put enough time into this course (you really can’t afford to fall behind in this course!).
Epi & BioStats
Everyone has their own opinion in regards to what order these courses should be taken, and whether it is feasible to take these two courses together. With the information above, as well as the information outlined below, hopefully you find your own answer.
(+)Pros and (-)Cons
(+) Epidemiology First Term: has a good pace throughout the semester, and its structure forces you to keep up with the course work steadily, which can be a good stepping stone into Grad School Studies.
(+) BioStats Second Term: gives you a term to get back into the “school mode” if you have been out of school for quite some time, as this course is demanding academically, and requires self-discipline.
(+) BioStats Second Term: allows you to use the month of December (if you are proactive), to brush up on some basic statistics to help strengthen the “common knowledge” that is expected of you.
(-) BioStats Second Term: You will not be able to (as of now) take BioStats II which is a pre-req for Analytical Epi (2nd year elective).
(-) BioStats Second Term: is a late afternoon, ending in the evening course; for those that have accommodations quite a distance from the school, BioStats in 2nd term, may be inconvenient with the Winter weather conditions.
(-) Epidemiology First Term: has weekly quizzes, chapter readings, video lectures, presentation, and assignments (in addition to examinations); it can become overwhelming in first term for some.
PUBH 803 & 807: Community-Based Group Project Courses
These two courses (Health Promotion and Health Planning & Evaluation) both have a large community group project that comprise a great deal of your mark (~50%). Some of your fellow students have taken each group project in separate terms, as well as in the same term; it all comes down to how you plan to make your timetable. Be aware that the more compact your timetable is (i.e. You have only one free day in your schedule), the harder it will be for you to work with groups, and your community leaders. Additionally, the heavier you make your term (in terms of course load), the less time you will have for group meetings, discussions and ultimately working on your projects. These are group projects, and although you receive group marks; this is Grad School, and your colleagues will expect you to equally contribute, as will your professor.
*Please note that the SPHSA is currently working to improve certain flaws in the course structure for the MPH program, please look out for updates. This information is advice from the current MPH students, you should not use this as a concrete blueprint or “how-to-guide”; please pick your classes based on your individual needs, and work ethic. If you need further questions or clarifications, feel free to contact the SPHSA, and speak with any of our officers: firstname.lastname@example.org