Culminating Experience

Effective August 15, 2011, all MPH students enrolling at the SPH will be required to take a capstone course upon completion of all required core courses. 

Capstone Course for MPH Degree Program

Exceptions will be made for students who have completed four of the five core courses and are co-enrolled for the capstone course and the fifth core course.  The capstone course will fulfill the requirement for a culminating experience related to the core public health competencies.  Students must have at least an overall 3.0 GPA and no grades below a “C” on any course listed on their degree plan in order to be eligible to take the capstone course.  Students must apply and be cleared by their department to take the capstone course.  Students blocked for any reason by the Health Science Center will not be allowed to take the capstone course.

The goal of the capstone course will be to encourage students to reflect on competencies they have acquired during their academic program using an evidence-based public health framework that integrates their knowledge gained through courses and experiences at SPH, allowing each student to understand both the overall public health problem-solving approach and the contributions of each discipline to that approach.

Students failing the capstone course will be required to formally register for the course a subsequent time, pay tuition and fees, and receive credit as reflected on his/her transcript.  Students that enrolled in the School of Public Health prior to August 15, 2011, will have the option of taking a comprehensive exam (see section I.E.1).

Culminating Experience for the MHA Degree Program

The MHA culminating integrative experience in health management and the core areas of public health is met through successful completion of the MHA capstone course, PHPM 680:  Health Systems Leadership.  This course requires substantive project work and/or case student analysis that builds upon the comprehensive array of courses and fieldwork students have experienced. 

The capstone course requires integration of knowledge in health policy and management by analysis of readings, project activities, and/or case study analysis.  At least one component will call for the integration of knowledge from the other public health core disciplines with health management.  With respect to the latter component, the PHPM 680 instructor(s) will invite input from faculty in the other core areas in the design and evaluation of student performance of this particular integrative segment following the model outlined in the comprehensive exam procedures (see above).  This component of the integrative experience will require the analysis of an appropriate case study, the development of a strategy, and/or the performance of a similarly demanding task to address health management problems accompanied by information related to the public health core disciplines.