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Graduate Program Degree Requirements

MPH
mph required courses
completing required courses
mph degree program approval
project and thesis guidelines

PhD
doctoral program courses
completing coursework
qualifying examination
advancement to candidacy
dissertation requirements  
summary of phd requirements
phd program checklist  

Teaching Assistant Roles And Expectations Policy  

MPH Degree

The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health consists of 42 credit hours of graduate work including 3 to 6 elective credit hours and a 6 to 9-credit-hour capstone experience that includes an internship and MPH project or thesis. The program can be completed on either a full or part-time basis with classes offered in the late afternoon and evening. All requirements must be met and the degree awarded within five years following the date of entrance into the program. There is a recommended sequence for completing the MPH program that considers prerequisites and course scheduling.

MPH Program GUIDELINES

 

MPH Required Courses (42 Credit Hours)

HLSA 601
HLTH 606
EPIB 650
HLTH 665
HLTH 670
HLTH 710
EPIB 610
HLTH 780
MIEH 600
HLTH 775
HLTH 785
Project Option
    HLTH 786
    Elective 1*
    Elective 2*
Thesis Option
    HLTH 799
    Elective 1*

Introduction to Health Systems
Foundations of Public Health Education & Policy
Biostatistics I
Health Behavior I
Public Health Informatics & Communication
Methods and Techniques of Research
Foundations of Epidemiology
Community Health
Foundations of Environmental Health
HE Program Planning & Evaluation (Preq 710)
Internship
 
MPH Project
 
 
 
Thesis
Must be thesis-related

* Elective must be public health related, and no course taken prior to enrollment in the MPH program can be used as an elective.

 

Completing MPH Program Requirements

The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health consists of 42 credit hours of graduate work including

  1. Ten required graduate public health-related courses (30 credit hours)
  2. Three to six credit-hour public health-related, advisor approved elective(s)
  3. A nine credit-hour capstone experience comprised of
    • MPH Internship
    • MPH project - or - Thesis

Unless granted a waiver or substitution in writing from the Department, it is expected the student will complete all required courses.

MPH Internship

The internship (HLTH 785) must be completed during the semester preceding the final semester or during the final semester before graduation. By this time, required coursework will have been completed and the only outstanding work may be an elective course, and or the final capstone project or thesis. In the beginning of the semester prior to the internship, the Internship Coordinator will schedule a meeting to provide an overview of the process of identifying an internship placement site and the requirements of the internship semester. The internship is a 10 hour per week minimum (15 weeks) requirement that cannot be waived. Due to staffing and scheduling constraints, the internship is completed during the fall or spring semesters only - there are no summer internships. Internships are typically completed at an agency or organization in, or near, the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, and are approved by the internship coordinator.

For more information about potential internship placement sites, link to the BCH Internship Database.

For additional information contact:
Internship Coordinator
Anne Anderson-Sawyer, MA
301-405-2518
aasawyer@umd.edu

Waivers/Substitutions

Students who have had previous graduate course work equivalent to a required course may request a waiver of that course by completing a "Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course" A maximum of six credit hours earned at another institution can be accepted without replacement (12 credit hours if earned at UMCP). NOTE: If the student wishes to waive further course work (with faculty advisement) or if previous coursework was included in any other degree, it must be replaced with another graduate course of equivalent credit hours. All requests for waivers must be made within the first semester in the program. (Important Notes about Waivers)

Requests to substitute another course, either within or outside the department, for a required course may also be made. Such requests will be considered when a student can demonstrate that the proposed course is equivalent to the required course in question and can provide a rationale to justify taking the alternative course. To request a substitution, complete a "Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course" Requests for substitutions may be made at any time during the program.

Transfer/Inclusion of Credits

Again, no more than six (6) credit hours of graduate work may be transferred from another institution. When moving from non-degree seeking status (i.e. Advanced Special Student) here at UMCP to MPH-degree-seeking status, students may request inclusion of a maximum of twelve (12) credits earned at UMCP. Students wishing to Request Transfer or Inclusion of credits are urged to consult with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies to ensure compliance with Graduate School guidelines.

Developing Your MPH Program Plan

Before they can be cleared to register each semester, students must meet with their advisor to update their program plan. All changes must be approved by advisors. The Department's mandatory advising policy provides for frequent review of each student's program, and permits timely planning for meeting Graduate School deadlines.

 

Requesting Graduate School Approval of Your Degree Program

In addition to the above-mentioned Departmental program plan, the complete master's degree program must also be submitted to the Graduate School for approval using the Approved Program for the Master of . . . . This form should be submitted after filing an Application for Diploma in the semester the student expects to graduate. There is a specific deadline for submitting this form. Consult Deadlines for Graduate Students. Make sure to submit the form on time—this is the student's responsibility.

 

MPH Project and Thesis Guidelines

General Information

In addition to an internship experience, HLTH 785 (3 credits), all Master of Public Health degree students are required to complete either a field-based project (HLTH 786 MPH Project, 3 credits) or a thesis (HLTH 799, 6 credits). The MPH project option provides for two 3-credit-hour electives during the program. The thesis option replaces HLTH 786 and one of the electives with 6 credit hours of HLTH 799.

If you are doing an MPH Project, remember you must work with your advisor EARLY during the final year of the program to select a topic, and anticipate choosing a second faculty member to be part of your committee. Your Project Proposal is due by April 1st for December graduation and by Thanksgiving for May graduation, and a Proposal Approval Form must be submitted to the Graduate Program Director.

The student may register for all credits of the thesis during the semester in which it is to be finished, or register for portions of the total credit hours in each semester while working on it. An incomplete is submitted for any HLTH 799 credit(s) taken until the thesis is completed. Students enroll for the MPH Project (HLTH 786) or Thesis Research Credits (HLTH 799) under the section number of their faculty advisor.

If students are using any University resource, they must be registered for at least one credit. Thus, for example, if the student has been given an "I" for the project, and plans to complete the project and graduate the following semester, that will require being registered for at least one credit in the graduating semester.

 


 PhD Degree

Doctoral students are expected to demonstrate competency in the areas covered by the following coursework, prerequisites, co-requisites, and the equivalent of the Department of Behavioral & Community Health core course work. If prior equivalent coursework has been taken, any combination of the core courses may be waived with approval, using the Request for Waiver/Substitution form. (See Important Notes)

PhD Program Guidelines

Program Co-Requisites

Nine credits of coursework in a minimum of two health topical areas (Examples: smoking, alcohol, nutrition, Foundations of Health Education) may be completed either prior to or following admission and must be completed prior to qualifying examination. They do not count as doctoral curriculum credits, and need not be graduate level courses.

Doctoral Program Courses

PhD Core Courses (30 Credit Hours)

HLTH 670*
HLSA 601
EPIB 650
HLTH 606*
HLTH 665*
HLTH 710
HLTH 775
HLTH 780
EPIB 610
MIEH 600

Public Health Informatics & Communication
Introduction to Health Systems
Biostatistics I
Foundations of Public Health Education & Policy
Health Behavior I
Research Methods
Program Planning and Evaluation
Community Health
Foundations of Epidemiology
Foundations of Environmental Health

PhD Advanced Theory & Applications (6 Credit Hours)

HLTH 666
  **,***

Health Behavior II (Preq)
Elective in Advanced Theory & Applications

PhD Advanced Research Methods & Statistics (12 Credit Hours)

HLTH 652
HLTH 653
HLTH 711
HLTH 712

Quantitative Methods I in Public Health (Preq)
Quantitative Methods II in Public Health (Preq)
Advanced Methods of Research (Preq)
Applied Research Methods in Behavioral & Community Health


* Core requirement that can be waived if this course or equivalent is already completed
    ** Maximum of 9 credits of independent study including mentored research experience
    *** Maximum of two 400-level courses in program. All electives must be taken subsequent to admission.

 

Completing PhD Coursework

Each student is expected to propose an overall program plan by completion of 12 hours of coursework. Before they can be cleared to register each semester, students must meet with their advisor and update their program plan.

Unless waivers or substitutions are granted in writing from the Department, it is expected that all required courses will be completed. All requests for a waiver or substitution will be evaluated by the Graduate Program Director.

Students who are admitted without an MPH degree and wish to pursue an MPH degree in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health may do so if they decide to pursue the master's degree within their first 30 credits (the core courses). However, students must formally apply through the graduate school and understand that admission to the MPH program is not guaranteed nor is funding promised through their PhD application. The only credits that could be used for both the MPH and the PhD are the 30 core credits which are shared by both degree programs. Students must finish all MPH degree requirements before continuing with any PhD program coursework or independent studies.

If an admitted PhD student decides to pursue an MPH degree in Behavioral and Community Health further along in their program (after the first 30 credits), he/she must formally apply through the graduate school and understand that admission to the MPH program is not guaranteed nor is any additional funding. In addition, the student must finish all degree requirements for the PhD before starting any coursework for the MPH degree. If a student decides to apply to the MPH program five years or more after their received their PhD, he/she must repeat the 30 core credits.

Waivers/Substitutions

Students who have had previous graduate coursework equivalent to a core course may request a waiver of that course. If a course requirement is waived, it does NOT have to be replaced with another graduate course. To request a waiver, complete a "Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course"(also available from the Department office). All requests for waivers should be made no later than the semester in which the first 12 credits are completed.

Requests to substitute another course, either within or outside the Department, for a required course will be considered when a student can demonstrate that such a course is equivalent to the course in question and can provide a rationale to justify taking the alternative course. To request a substitution, complete a "Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course". Requests for substitutions may be made at any time during the program; however, plan ahead and make requests early.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination must be taken within the semester the student is first eligible. Students must pass all sections of the In-School and Take-Home examination before beginning the 15 credits of individualized research, and before advancement to candidacy and commencement of dissertation research. The Graduate Studies Director must have approved a completed program of study signed by the student's advisor before the Qualifying Examination.

Refer to the Qualifying Examination Guidelines and the list of PhD Competency Expectations for additional information.

PhD Individualized Research Plan (5 Credit Hours Minimum)

**,***
HLTH 898

Area of concentration (at least two 600+ level courses)
Independent Study/Mentored research experience (3-6 credits)


* Core requirement that can be waived if this course or equivalent is already completed
    ** Maximum of 9 credits of independent study including mentored research experience
    *** Maximum of two 400-level courses in program. All electives must be taken subsequent to admission.

Advance to Candidacy

Once the Qualifying Examination and the individualized research plan are completed, doctoral students must apply for Advancement to Candidacy. The application form should be signed by your advisor and then submitted to the Department Director of Graduate Studies (with a print-out of the PhD Completed Program) for approval before sending it to the Graduate School.

 

PhD Doctoral Dissertation Research (12 Credit Hours Minimum)

HLTH 899

Independent Doctoral Dissertation Research

 

Dissertation Requirements

All Doctoral degree students are required to complete a dissertation-HLTH 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research (12 credits). This can be done using the traditional 5 chapter model or the manuscript model. See link below for manuscript option guidelines. All dissertation credits will be given an Incomplete Grade until the research is completed. The student should enroll under the section number of his/her dissertation advisor. No student may formally propose a dissertation topic until advanced to candidacy.

Manuscript Option Guidelines

 

Summary of Ph.D. Regulations

General Program:

Courses taken at a consortium school are considered UMCP courses if taken for academic credit.

Courses taken at a non-consortium school may be part of a Ph.D. program if: (1) the student has received prior approval to take the course; and (2) the course is taken for academic credit.

A student has five years to be advanced to candidacy.

A student has four years to complete the dissertation after advancement to candidacy.

Although the University has a time limit policy that allows for extensions, only those students making progress in the program will be supported for such a time limit extension.

Any request for subsequent time limit extensions will require substantiation of the need and the reason for requiring such an extension; additional extensions are extremely rare.

Dissertation:

Nomination of the dissertation examining committee must go to the Graduate School 90 days before the dissertation defense

A dissertation committee consists of five members, with the chair to be from the Department of Behavioral & Community Health. At least three members must be from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health graduate faculty.

All dissertation meetings must occur with appropriate announcement 10 working days in advance, and take place in the Departmental Conference Room, 2387 SPH Building (or appropriate alternative location).

To Plan & Announce a Meeting:

  • After scheduling the date and time with committee members, reserve the conference room.
  • Post an announcement on the graduate bulletin board at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.
  • Email the Graduate Program Director the date and time, and include a title and abstract. (The email announcement will be forwarded to all Department graduate students and faculty.)

All meetings, proposal and defense, will be open to graduate students and faculty. All five committee members must be present at the final defense meeting.

The approved proposal format requires three-chapters, with complete versions of the introductory and methods chapters. There is no overall page limit for the full proposal. Complete reference lists for the materials submitted, and all instrumentation proposed must accompany the proposal.

Following approval of the proposal by the appropriate advisor(s) and/or committee, the signed Proposal Approval form should be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Studies.

 

Ph.D. Program Checklist

The checklist for the Ph.D. degree program outlines, in sequence, a series of recommended steps for completing the degree program. This checklist may be used as a guide to help plan activities throughout the program. Consult the Deadlines for Graduate Students (also published in the Schedule of Classes) to be sure of submitting forms to the Graduate School in time.

 

Teaching Assistant Roles And Expectations Policy

Teaching Assistants (TA) are, first and foremost, graduate students pursuing an education, and this should be recognized as their priority. The opportunity to work closely with faculty and undergraduate students in teaching, research, or administrative environments is an integral part of that education. The University and our Department are committed to ensuring that teaching assistant assignments are productive, enhance student qualifications, meet funding support and workload goals, and are consistent with the educational objectives of the student and his or her program. See full document.


 

 
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