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Health Science and Recreation Department

Master of Public Health Program

San José State University offers an MPH degree with a specialization in community health education in two formats; On Campus (regular session) and also online (through the College of Professional and Global Education). Both on campus and online students engage in the same rigorous course of study. The MPH degree on campus offers students the flexibility to complete their degree in two years or more, depending on personal circumstances. The MPH online option is offered through Special Session and is a fast-paced, 24-month program of study.

Our MPH Program was founded in 1970 to prepare community health education practitioners and has been continuously accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1974. CEPH is the independent agency officially recognized to accredit graduate programs in public health. As stated in its mission statement, CEPH assures quality in public health education and training to achieve excellence in practice, research and service, through collaboration with organizational and community partners. The SJSU MPH Program is well-known for its practice-oriented, community-based training. The program's essential mission is:

To provide professional education that prepares both students and graduates with knowledge, conceptual frameworks, health education and public health competencies, in order to develop programs, build community capacity, and advocate policy for health equity.

The MPH program's mission is achieved through an integrated program of instruction, scholarship, and internships in partnership with a diverse network of community programs and practitioners. Our ultimate goal is public health and social justice through planned, organized, and empowering community efforts.

Additional information is available on the Master of Public Health website at www.sjsu.edu/hsr/academicprograms/mph/

Graduate Admission

University Admission

Candidates must apply through the CSU admissions portal, Cal State Apply, and meet all university graduate admissions requirements.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

Program Admission

New students are admitted once a year, and begin course work during the fall semester in both online and campus formats. A detailed Admissions Information Packet is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/hsr/academicprograms/mph/oncampusprogram/applyingtotheprogram.

Applications for the Campus and Special Session Online formats are accepted between October 1 and May 1 for fall admission. Applications received by February 1 are eligible for early review and admission. Applications received between May 1 and June 1 will be considered on a space available basis. Applications received after June 1 will not be eligible for review and will require resubmission for consideration for the next application cycle. Applying to the MPH program, both campus and online, requires two parallel, but separate, application processes. All MPH applicants must:

A. Submit a complete university application through Cal State Apply. Successful applicants must be admitted to the university by the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations.

B. Submit a complete application to the MPH program, which includes:

  1. At least two letters of recommendation on official letterhead, signed, and include contact information for author
  2. Resume/CV
  3. Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages)

Additional information and the Application Packet are available on the department website: http://www.sjsu.edu/hsr/academicprograms/mph/admissions/index.html

Program Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

Students can be admitted in either classified or conditionally classified standing. To be admitted to the Master of Public Health Program in Classified status, an applicant must possess a baccalaureate degree with overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester or quarter units, demonstrated multicultural experience, and a clear commitment to public health as evidenced through work or volunteer experiences.

Program Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Admission with Conditionally Classified standing is available to Campus format applicants only. If an applicant's preparation for advanced graduate work is considered inadequate to meet the course prerequisites or other departmental requirements, the applicant may be admitted with conditions that will include taking longer than two years to complete the program and taking writing and/or computation preparation courses. The program admissions letter will explain terms and requirements.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

Matriculated graduate students must submit a Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy a minimum of one semester prior to graduating. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy for the MPH degree are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section "Graduate Degree - Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)" for details.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

Course Requirements

To meet the requirements for the MPH, a student must complete 42 units (and satisfy the program GWAR requirement) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

In consultation with the department graduate coordinator, the candidate will develop and pursue a plan of study. The candidate must successfully complete all requirements of the selected plan including the course work specified in the Master's Degree Approval Program. The MPH program requires grades of B- or better to pass courses.

Culminating Experience

The student must complete one of three culminating experience options: Plan A (Thesis), Plan B (Project), or the courses-only Plan B (Comprehensive Examination). Master's theses and graduate projects may only be undertaken by regular session MPH Campus students upon departmental approval and will require additional units. The Plan A (Thesis) option requires additional 6 units of coursework and College of Graduate Studies approval of the completed thesis. The Plan B (Project) option requires a minimum of 3 additional units of coursework.

Plan A (Thesis)

Campus students opting to complete a master's thesis will take the HS 299, Master's Thesis twice for an additional 6 units over program requirements. The student is responsible for securing the commitment of a full-time tenured or tenure-track MPH faculty member who agrees to serve as thesis committee chair. The student must also secure the commitments of two additional university faculty members, one of whom must be a full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty member, to serve as the student's thesis committee. The student must write a thesis proposal and have it approved by the thesis committee, and pass the HS 205 and 215 courses before enrolling in the HS 299. The thesis must meet university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. It will be written under the guidance of the candidate's thesis committee chair with the assistance of the thesis committee.

Plan B (Project)

Campus students opting to complete a master's project will take the HS 298, Graduate Project for an additional 3-6 units over program requirements.

Plan B (Comprehensive Exam)

All Online students and Campus students opting for the courses-only option must pass the Comprehensive Exam (given once a semester) to earn the MPH degree. The Comprehensive Exam is the student's opportunity to demonstrate mastery and integration of the knowledge and skills of the MPH curriculum. The comprehensive exam is a written exam that that is administered on campus in a computer lab.

Special Session Program Information

Academic Programs offered through Special Session are operated by the College of International and Extended Studies (IES). Registration and enrollment in a Special Session course or program must use the special session application form and will follow special session fee and course schedules. Note that regular session students seeking to enroll simultaneously in a special session course or program will trigger a separate and additional set of fees. This may require an additional enrollment appointment from the Registrar and it may have implications for financial aid status or requirements. Please visit the IES website for more information.


Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see http://info.sjsu.edu/gcw.html.
Requirements of the Masters42
Required Courses25
HS 200. Contemporary Practice in Public Health2
HS 201. Groups and Training: Theory and Practice2
HS 215. Qualitative Methods for Public Health Practice3
HS 262. Health Policy and Organization3
HS 265. Environmental Health3
HS 271. Theoretical Foundations of Public Health3
HS 272. Health Promotion Planning and EvaluationGWAR3
HS 276. Community Organization and Health Promotion3
HS 277. Multicultural Communication for Health Professionals3
Leadership3
Three units of leadership and administration selected in consultation with graduate advisor.
Quantitative Methods6
HS 205A. Quantitative Methods for Public Health Practice I3
Additional three units of quantitative methods selected in consultation with graduate advisor.
Evaluation Methods3
Three units of program evaluation methods selected in consultation with graduate advisor.
Required Practicum5
HS 291A. Fieldwork Seminar1
HS 291B. Fieldwork Practicum1-2
Students take 2 units of HS 291B
HS 291P. Professional Development1
One unit of professional skills development in consultation with graduate advisor.
Culminating Experience
Students in the MPH program complete a Plan B (Comprehensive Exam). Campus MPH students have the option of choosing either a Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Project) instead. The thesis and project options require additional coursework.
Plan A (Thesis)
HS 299. Master's Thesis3
The Plan A (Thesis) option requires two consecutive semesters of the HS 299 for an additional 6 units of coursework.
Plan B (Project)
HS 298. Graduate Project3
The Plan B (Project) option requires an additional 3-6 units of coursework.
Plan B (Comprehensive Exam)

Total Units:42

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.