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Working the Plan

The MPH degree in Health Policy and Management produces public health practitioners, managers, and leaders who tackle important problems from many angles. Whether you enter the program with a focused career plan or have just a foggy image of your long-term outlook, we can work with you to develop the best plan for your future.

The plan is a critical piece of your academic career. It keeps you focused, provides direction for your elective courses, points to networking opportunities, and helps you engage productively with your faculty in ways that are enriching and meaningful so that you can build your professional portfolio. Creating a plan on your own may feel overwhelming, but we are here to help.

A cornerstone of your plan is your MPH coursework, a competency-based curriculum designed with rapid success in mind. And the MPH coursework is anchored by the MPH Core Course sequence, which covers the competencies and foundational knowledge that public health experts agree is essential to your success. Core competencies and foundational knowledge have been developed by the Council on Education in Public Health, which has fully accredited our School of Public Health for the past two decades, most recently in 2019 under highly rigorous standards. It’s an important part of who we are and what drives us.

Admissions

We welcome applicants from across the globe, at any age, gender, race/ethnicity, religion, background or professional experience. The power of public health is in the diversity of experience and knowledge that helps us solve public health problems on every level. The greater the diversity, the stronger we become as learners and as public health practitioners.

Our application process is holistic. This means that there is no one piece of your application that will remove you from consideration. We recognize excellence cannot be captured in a single number.

We also review your statement of purpose. This statement is your chance to really sell yourself. While there is no page limit, the best statements of purpose are specific, concise, and tell us how skills in health policy or management are important to you and your future.

In addition, we review your letters of recommendation. We ask that your letters of recommendation be on letterhead and signed by the letter writer. We don’t need your reference to tell us about your grades; we will receive your transcript (and we review those as well). Your references need to tell us what your transcript doesn't show and how you are a good fit for our program.

For more information about the application process, please fill out this request form.

MPH Core Curriculum

Follow this link to access the MPH Course Sequence

The MPH program in Health Policy and Management leverages the innovative Core Curriculum – where students delve into the twists and turns of the dynamic and ever-changing field of public health. In this program, we will help you build skills to address challenging, complex problems without clear right or wrong answers. You will have opportunities to: 

  • explore best practices
  • develop solutions for organizations
  • create and advocate for policy change to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities for underserved populations
  • using state-of-the-art tools and methodologies to track, implement and evaluate progress.

We aim to give you real-world skills to solve real-world problems.

 

HPM Curriculum

Our curriculum includes the following coursework:

  • finance
  • strategic planning and marketing
  • policy
  • economics, and
  • law and ethics
  • management class
  • 3 electives

Electives: Freedom to craft your future

Students choose to emphasize policy, some stress management, some highlight research methods and statistics, and some investigate a specific disease or issue. It depends on your plan. Popular electives include Managed Care, Biostatistics, Women's Health, and Advanced Health Policy. Again, it depends on your plan.

Practicum and Capstone: Experiential courses

Our curriculum also features a practicum that gives you an opportunity to apply your new knowledge, skills and abilities in a real-world setting, and build your professional network. More about the practicum can be found on the school's practicum page.

In the final semester of course work, students engage in Capstone, a culminating experience of the program. In the past three years, students have worked with local, state, and national organizations to create solutions to community problems. Some Capstone groups make strides solving large problems and future Capstone groups continue the work. As every public health problem is different – different populations, different geographies, different stakeholders – each group faces different challenges inherent in “real-world” settings.

Past Capstone projects have:

  • supported the creation of non-profit organizations for maternal and child health and anti-trafficking,
  • recommended how a city-wide smoking ban should be implemented, planned a regional non-emergency medical transportation program,
  • performed a feasibility study for a health navigation program,
  • built a grass-roots advocacy program to bring fluoridation to the local community by partnering with a national advocacy group, among others. 

Competencies

The School of Public Health is a competency-based program. We want each student who comes through the program to be able to be knowledgeable about public health, what it is, and how it works. This knowledge of public health consists of understanding the nature of public health and public health issues – what influences the creation of these problems and what impacts do these problems have on the health of the population or populations based on race and ethnicity, geography, age, income and educational level, among others.

Health policy and management is about addressing these problems at the highest levels, e.g., addressing the society structures that create the problems and leading organizations targeting these problems. 

For example, if obesity is the public health issue of concern, understanding what contributes to obesity is critical to identifying solutions to address that problem. How are different segments of the population, such as youth, elderly, poor, those of low educational levels, and those in various racial and ethnic backgrounds, affected by this problem?

What factors are associated with obesity? Physical activity, diet age, gender, race, income, education, access to healthcare, and geography? How does obesity effect other diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and dementia? Who pays for the treatment for these diseases? 

People who choose a masters of public health (MPH) degree with a concentration in health policy and management want to attain a variety of skills to solve health-related problems in a number of settings, particularly those who want to affect policy and/or manage the organizations that affect policy or deliver public health services.

Practicum

As part of the MPH in Health Policy and Management, you will complete a practicum that gives you real-world public health experience. Many students think of a practicum as an internship, but it so much more. The practicum allows students to act as a dedicated professional with substantial work experiences. The practicum provides an opportunity for our students to leverage their public health knowledge, skills, and abilities to positively affect organizations and communities.

Students work with the faculty practicum coordinator and preceptor at their sponsoring organization to develop a work plan. This work plan functions like a contract between the department, the student and the organization; it sets expectations both for the sponsor organization and the student. The practicum is not an internship where students might be making coffee, answering phones, filing, or making photocopies: you will add real and tangible value that helps your sponsor organization achieve its goals.

In the MPH program in Health Policy and Management, student work experiences include management- and policy-related roles in state and local health departments, federal agencies, national and state nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups, and various initiatives or departments in health and hospital systems related to public health and/or policy.

In these roles, students have created data-gathering tools, collected and analyzed data, and completed literature reviews not only to understand the disease, condition, or issue for themselves, but also to help the organization improve its knowledge and practices. Students produce policy briefs, evaluate programs, write grant applications, develop and justify budgets, author policy briefing books, create SWOT analyses, and support strategic planning processes.

Texas A&M MPH students have substantial flexibility to craft their own practicum experiences. In this way, we empower our students to develop needed skills and make needed connections to begin their careers. To support students, the School of Public Health sponsors a practicum fair every February, and the department practicum coordinator also makes recommendations about search strategies, and provides information about organizations and contacts pertaining to specific areas of interest where possible. Some organizations contact us directly for practicum students. 

For more information about practicum, including the practicum manual and other requirements, please visit the school's practicum page.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Texas A&M is a value leader in education.

Investing in yourself and your future can be a significant expense, but with an even more significant payoff. At Texas A&M, we work to keep those expenses affordable.

Many students are interested in financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and – among the most popular - graduate assistantships for teaching or research. Some assistantships and other types of employment are available at the university, school, and department levels. For more information about university-wide financial aid, please see the link below.

http://financialaid.tamu.edu/Graduate/Types-of-Aid#0-AdditionalAidOpportunities

Texas A&M has one of the strongest networks of any university in the country, so we also learn about external employment opportunities from our alumni, collaborators, partners, and community. These opportunities typically are part-time public health-related positions in the community with flexible schedules for students. Some of our community organizations seek our students by the time they arrive in the Fall.

Here is the most up-to-date information on tuition and fees at Texas A&M:  https://tuition.tamu.edu/. Select Health Science Center, School of Public Health, and Graduate Program.