MPH Curriculum | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

MPH Curriculum

Required MPH Courses

Course Requirement Course # or Equivalent Credit Hours Required Suggested Semester
Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences GSPH 5304 3 1st Year Fall
Introduction to Biostatistics GSPH 5311 3 1st Year Fall
Introduction to Public Health GSPH 5313 3 1st Year Fall
Responsible Conduct of Research and Communication in Public Health GSPH 5316 3 1st Year Fall
Introduction to Epidemiology GSPH 5307 3  1st Year Spring
Basic Environmental Health Sciences GSPH 5309 3  1st Year Spring
Public Health Policy GSPH 5310 3 1st Year Spring
Community Based Methods and Practice GSPH 5334 3  1st Year Spring
Applied Practice Experience GSPH 5319 3 1st Year Summer
Organizational Leadership and Management GSPH 5315 3 2nd Year Fall
Issues in Rural Health GSPH 5329 3 2nd Year Fall
Integrated Learning Experience GSPH 5399  3 2nd Year
Electives   9 2nd Year
Total Program   Minimum of  45 hours  


GSPH 5304: Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences (CORE)

This core course focuses on the behavioral sciences and their influence on public health.  As a core course, this is an overview. We will briefly cover many aspects of the behavioral sciences, including individual, community, organizational, and social impacts on health. We will focus on the ecological model of health and discuss social determinants of health. 

GSPH 5311: Introduction to Biostatistics (CORE)

This course will introduce students to basic biostatistics as used in public health practice.  Students will learn to describe, measure, and analyze public health problems.  Prerequisite: Leveling exam required for all students registered for course.

GSPH 5313: Introduction to Public Health 

This introductory course will explore the history of public health, the successes and challenges faced by public health practitioners over the years, and the current trends in public health in the United States. Students will learn the core competencies of public health and the essential functions of public health, and how public health is practiced in the United States.

GSPH 5316: Responsible conduct of research and communication in public health

This three-credit hour course applies an active, participatory approach to help public health and health care professionals learn about the regulatory environment as well as the normative ethics of conducting public health research as well as how to better communicate more effectively in written and spoken communications. 

GSPH 5307 Introduction to Epidemiology (CORE)

This core course will introduce students to basic Epidemiology as used in public health practice. Students will learn to describe, measure, and analyze public health problems. They will practice outbreak investigations and learn about epidemiologic research designs.

GSPH 5309: Basic Environmental Health Sciences (CORE)

This course is an overview of the major areas of environmental health and provides students with an understanding of hazards in the environment, the effects of environmental contaminants on health, and various approaches to address major environmental health problems. Areas of emphasis are environmental epidemiology, toxicology, agents of environmental disease and policy and regulation.

GSPH 5310: Public health policy (CORE)

The course presents competencies surrounding public health policy formulation. The main focus will be on the policy issues in the U.S. health care system, but some global health will be explored. The course will include application of principles of policy formulation, development, budgeting, implementation, evaluation and analysis. An historical overview of seminal health policy events in U.S. history is also explored through competing stakeholder dynamics.

GSPH 5334: Community Based Methods and practice

In this course we will explore community based research methods in Public Health, including Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). We will discuss the history and principles of community based research, the ethics of this type of research, and methods to involve communities in our research. This is a practice intensive course.

GSPH 5319: Applied Practice Experience

The purpose of this course is to allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning to public health problems within a mentored learning experience. Guided by the instructor, students will identify career goals and work interests that can be met within an appropriate public health agency or related entity.  The student will develop a plan, milestones, timeline and metrics that will be used to evaluate their practical experience. Prerequisites: GSPH 5304, 5307, 5309, 5310, and 5311.


During the second year, students will take the remaining required courses and complete any electives.The Integrated Learning Experience will be completed in year two. For part-time students, and those students completing a research thesis, more time may be needed to complete the program.

GSPH 5315: Organizational leadership and management

The course will provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the management of public health organizations. The student will understand various leadership methods, decision making strategies, strategic planning and how to create an organizational vision. Prerequisites are: GSPH 5313, GSPH 5304, GSPH 5307, GSPH 5309 and GSPH 5310.

GSPH 5329: Issues in Rural Health 

This Three-credit hour course focuses on rural health issues and their influence on public health. This course will delve deeper into these challenges, addressing the specific physical and cultural characteristics of rural areas that make them so different from their urban counterparts. Additionally, this course will address epidemiological methods to assess rural health issues such as ethical principles and environmental hazards. Students will be challenged to interpret results of data, assess population needs specific to rural communities, propose strategies to build coalitions using and partnerships. During the course of study, students will apply systems thinking tools to research public health issues, solving skills to identify interventions and present findings both in writing and using oral presentations. They will also look a public health program planning from a community-focused lens and focus on overcoming specific barriers that are driving disparities in rural areas. Prerequisites: GSPH 5304,GSPH 5307,GSPH 5411 

GSPH 5399: Integrated Learning Experience 

The Integrated Learning Experience requires the student to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. The student will choose between four alternative integrated learning experiences. The first option is a research thesis. The second option is a public health project. The third option is a comprehensive exam. The fourth option is a capstone course. Prerequisites: GSPH 5304, GSPH 5307, GSPH 5309, GSPH 5310, and GSPH 5311.

More Information

Student Progress Form and Registration

Per Department of Public Health guidelines, each student is to meet with their faculty advisor prior to registering for the next semester. Please have your Evaluation of Student Progress form when meeting with your advisor. Once your course schedule is approved and all holds have been removed, you may proceed with registration. A step-by-step guide on how to register for courses is below.

 Evaluation of Student Progress

 Student Registration Guide

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