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Public Health

Program and Application Information
Program Director:Dr. Donald Warne
Program Coordinator:Stefanie Meyer
Department Location:Research Park Building 2
Department Phone:(701) 231-6549
Department Web
Application Deadline:March 1, 2016
Degrees Offered:MPH
Test Requirement:GRE The PCAT/MCAT are acceptable substitutes for the GRE requirement. Applicants who wish to substitute MCAT scores for the GRE must include the MCAT score validation .pdf with application.
English Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL ibT 90; IELTS 6.5

Program Description

Public health is defined as the practice of helping members of society live healthier, longer lives. Public health is both an art and a science, and is practiced by multidisciplinary teams of professionals whose training spans a wide array of medical, social, and physical sciences. Public health focuses on the general health of communities through efforts to monitor the spread of diseases, initiatives, (both clinical and policy- oriented) to prevent disease and disability, and by promoting healthy lifestyles through education and community engagement.

The program focuses on rural health, health promotion and prevention, disease state management, and related activities of interest to North Dakota public health care practitioners and policy makers. Specializations include American Indian public health, public health in clinical systems, health promotion, and management of infectious diseases.

Admission Requirements

A admission decisions are based upon full review of all information in the application in order to ensure fairness and to balance the limitations of any single element of the application. Strong preference for admission will be given to applicants with at least one year of practical experience in their field, including practical field experience gained within an academic program.

Minimum Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants must have adequate preparation in a field related to public health and show potential to undertake advanced study, research and practical training as evidenced by previous academic accomplishment and experience.

The Admissions Committee will invite selected applicants for an interview on the basis of the Committee's review of all submitted application materials.

Final decisions will be made after all interviews are completed. Satisfactory completion of a background check is required prior to admission.

Policy on Transfer of Credit

A limited amount of graduate work completed at a regionally accredited North American institution prior to, or after matriculation in the program, may be applied toward the MPH. Graduate work is considered for transfer only on an individual basis and only after the student has completed satisfactory work in the program. Transfer credits approved by the student’s adviser, course instructor, Program Director, and the Dean of the Graduate School will be included in the Program of Study for the MPH degree and recorded on the transcript.

The basic purpose of the transfer policy is to ensure that transferred work is of comparable content, level, timeliness, and quality to that of NDSU's and included on a master’s degree program of study. The following policies are generally applicable to the acceptance of the graduate work for transfer:

  • The work must have been undertaken at an accredited North American institution.
  • The student must have been enrolled at that institution as a graduate student
  • The work must have received graduate credit at the institution where it was earned.
  • The student must have earned a grade of B or better.
  • The work must be less than seven years old at the time the MPH degree is awarded.

The maximum amount of transfer credit that will be accepted toward the MPH degree is nine (9) semester credit hours.

Required Coursework (Council on Education for Public Health Core Area)
PH 731Biostatistics3
PH 741Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health3
PH 704Leading and Managing Public Health Systems3
PH 710Healthcare Delivery in the United States3
PH 720Environmental Health3
PH 751Essentials in Epidemiology3
PH 793Individual Study1-5
PH 794Practicum1-8
Specialization Courses18
Total Credits38-49

*Master’s Paper

The MPH master’s paper is a requirement for graduation for students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program. This is an opportunity to work on public health projects under the direction of faculty and community public health practitioners or researchers. The goal is to synthesize, integrate and apply the skills and competencies acquired in the MPH Program to a public health problem. Completion of the MPH master’s paper requires both written and oral components.


Concepts and competencies learned from MPH coursework are integrated through a minimum of 240 hours practicum that provides an opportunity to apply knowledge in a practice setting. A wide range of settings and opportunities are available and are individually tailored to assure competence in general MPH and specialization-specific skills. The practicum is designed to meet student goals, specialization criteria, and the needs of the agencies or institutions involved. The practicum is selected by the student in consultation with faculty and approved by the adviser. This experience is usually completed in the student's final term in the program and often results in the capstone project written report and presentation. However, students may register for 1 to 3 credits, repeated up to 3 times if appropriate.

All work must be approved in advance by the Director of the MPH program. Students cannot receive credit for past work experience.

For more information about MPH specializations, please visit the MPH website

American Indian Public Health

Donna Grandbois, RN, Ph.D.
Linda Frizzell, Ph.D.
Donald Warne, M.D., M.P.H.

Public Health in Clinical Systems

Molly Secor-Turner, Ph.D.
Mark Strand, Ph.D.
Abby Gold, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.R.D.

Health Promotion

Ardith Brunt, Ph.D., R.D.
Wonwoo Byun, Ph.D.
Mary Larson, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.R.D., C.D.E.

Infectious Disease

Paul Carson, M.D.
Nathan Fisher, Ph.D.
Birgit Pruess, Ph.D.
Jane Schuh, Ph.D.