Purdue University’s online public health classes are designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of public health functions, challenges, and processes, as well as the skills to create and implement effective programs.
The program benefits from the University’s status as a major center of research: Since 2014, the public health faculty and the College of Health and Human Sciences have received 113 grants totaling over $126 million, with $6 to $8 million of that directly impacting MPH research. Students in the online MPH program will have access to this cutting-edge research in the rigorous science-based curriculum.
The curriculum includes a practicum consisting of a 320-hour work experience to ensure that students can apply knowledge in a real-world setting tailored to each individual’s professional area of interest.
The program consists of 14 courses, totaling 42 credit hours. It can be completed in two years (not including the time for the practicum and culminating experience).
Core Master of Public Health Courses
HK 57601 – Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior (3 credit hours)
Coursework examines the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students explore the development of a conceptual framework for understanding and facilitating behavior enhancement, elimination and/or maintenance in health promotion and education. Topics include current theories regarding health-related behaviors.
HSCI 547 – Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credit hours)
Students explore the use of epidemiological methods to study the adverse effects of environmental agents on human health. Coursework focuses on study designs, association and causation, statistical analysis, bias and confounding, modeling of exposure-response relationships, molecular epidemiology and investigation of disease outbreaks. Analytical studies, quantitative measures of association, and critical readings of current literature are emphasized.
HK 510 – Introduction to Quantitative Methods of Public Health (3 credit hours)
The main goals of this course are to acquaint students with the basic concepts and methods of statistics, their applications and their interpretation as used in public health. Students will learn basic terminology and its meaning, how to calculate various statistical measures and indices, how to quantify health relationships and how to compute and interpret inferential statistical techniques. Students will also acquire the ability to utilize the statistical software package STATA as a tool to facilitate the processing, editing, storing, displaying, analysis and interpretation of health research-related data.
HSCI 575 – Introduction to Environmental Health (3 credit hours)
This course presents an introduction to chemical, physical and biological factors in the environment that affect community health. Students examine health issues, scientific understanding of causes, and approaches to the control of major environmental health problems in industrialized and developed countries.
CSR 687 – Public Health Administration (3 credit hours)
The global movement of healthy communities has instigated a wave of social innovation that demands the integration of the capacities, leadership, and innovation from many sectors for promoting a healthy living environment, lifestyle, and wellbeing. Healthcare delivery in the United States is experiencing increasing pressures from consumers, communities, governments, and payers to demonstrate value. Ensuring financial sustainability, providing high quality outcomes, assuring access, and enhancing customer satisfaction have become leading issues. In addition, services increasingly are provided within the context of multi-disciplinary teams and complex organizational and financial arrangements. Meeting these challenges requires strategic leadership and management skills. This course provides a learning laboratory experience for students to appreciate the complexity of the healthcare delivery system and economic metrics for effective delivery of care. Students will be equipped to apply strategic marketing and management concepts to the health context by exploring a variety of settings and building sustainable care models.
HK 675 – Design and Analysis of Public Health Interventions (3 credit hours)
This course addresses professional competencies in design, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of health interventions in community settings. Program planning paradigms, determinants of health behavior and behavior change strategies serve as a basis for analyzing health interventions.
Family and Community Health Concentration Courses
COM 576 – Health Communication (3 credit hours)
Survey of health communication theory and research. Examines issues such as patient-provider and everyday communication, broader community-societal discourse, and organizational and mass health communication. Prepares participants for subsequent more specialized seminars and enriched study in allied specialties.
CSR 590 – International Health Seminar (3 credit hours)
This course is an introduction to public health priorities from an international perspective, illustrating the interdependent nature of health promotion and disease prevention issues across diverse regions and populations. Coursework examines population health determinants, contrasting industrialized and developing countries and how these influence health goals established by public health institutions, such as the World Health Organization, philanthropic foundations and governmental agencies.
HDFS 590 – Health in the Social Context (3 credit hours)
Students explore social ties and interactions with close social partners and their association with individual health, management of disease, and psychological well-being. Students review research on social ties and health from a multidisciplinary perspective.
NUTR 590 – World Food Problems (3 credit hours)
The goal of this course is to educate advanced graduate students on the multidisciplinary challenges that exist in meeting the food and nutrition needs of a growing world population. The course aims to instill an appreciation of the importance of economics, food production and technology, trade, culture, communication, political processes and institutions, demography and related factors in determining adequate food availability and health globally. The end point for this multi-disciplinary perspective is nutritional adequacy, and much of the focus will be on factors that can prevent or limit malnutrition.
HHS 592 – Public Health Practicum (3 credit hours)
Students integrate public health theory and practice in a professional setting. The practicum allows students to apply concepts from core and concentration courses, conduct projects and interact with a range of professionals in the designated setting.
HHS 600 – Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
MPH students will show mastery of the public health competencies through a culminating project in their final course. This experiential learning includes training on the formation of competitive grants for non-profit organizations aligned with the student’s interest area. The student will select a topic and partner with a local agency to craft a grant that addresses a need for that particular agency. The student will receive one-on-one support from a faculty mentor and produce both a written and oral presentation at the end of the course.
Elective Courses (choose two)
CSR 590 - Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations Seminar (3 credit hours)
This intensive course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of health disparities research. Students identify and explore the origins of health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations. Coursework emphasizes understanding and analyzing health disparities from a theoretical lens; interventions; and the various determinants of health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations, including biological and non-biological determinants of health disparities. Students will learn to identify demographic and epidemiological patterns in health status by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status and place. They will also examine theories explaining racial and ethnic disparities in health, specifically in minority and vulnerable groups. The seminar will also help them identify conceptual models and frameworks for reducing/ eliminating health disparities. The course focuses on health disparities primarily in the U.S. context but will also discuss global examples.
ASM 540 – Geographic Information Systems Application (3 credit hours)
This course presents the fundamentals of GIS analysis applied to environmental, agricultural, and engineering-related problems. Topics include data sources, spatial analysis; projections; creating data and metadata, and solving spatial problems.
HDFS 590 – Current Research in Childhood Obesity (3 credit hours)
This course is intended to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge about the development, implementation, and effectiveness of various obesity prevention and intervention. The course will cover topics associated with obesity, such as nutrition, physical activity, sleep, family routines, media use, work-family issues, poverty, stress and culture. The goal of the course is not only to address the theoretical and substantive issues related to child obesity research, but also to develop and strengthen the professional skills of future researchers in the area of child, family and public health.
Learn more about the online public health classes in this program: Complete the form or call us at 877-497-5851 to speak to an admissions adviser.