Curriculum

MPH students complete a program of study that provides a mixture of public health, systems, organizational management, and policy instruction with real-world experience.  

Course Sequence 

Week before Fall Semester (2 hrs)
  • SOPH 601 - Thinking in Populations: The Public Health Mindset
Fall Semester (9 hrs)
  • SOPH 602 - Investigation and Control: Acute Public Health Events
  • SOPH 603 - Assessment and Intervention: Wicked Problems in Public Health
  • PHPM 605 - Introduction to Health Policy and Management
Week before Spring Semester (1 hr)
  • SOPH 604 - Framing and Persuasion: Public Health in the Public Sphere
Spring Semester (12 hrs)
  • PHPM 614 - Strategic Planning and Marketing I 
  • PHPM 640 - Health Policy and Politics 
  • PHPM 623 - Health Care Financial Management
  • Select one of the following courses:
    • PHPM 625 - Management Principles for Public Health Organizations 
    • PHPM 637 - Political Foundations of Health Policy 
Summer Semester (3 hrs)
  • PHPM 684 - Practicum
Fall Semester (9 hrs)
  • PHPM 661 - Introduction to Health Economics
  • PHPM 633 - Health Law and Ethics
  • Elective
Spring Semester (9 hrs)
  • SOPH 680 - Capstone
  • Elective
  • Elective

Electives in Health Policy & Management 

Students can choose up to nine hours of electives. Students typically take electives based on their career interests and goals.  Students can take electives in other School of Public Health programs and from other programs at Texas A&M University.

  • PHPM 615 Strategic Planning and Marketing II 
  • PHPM 616 Management of Human Resources
  • PHPM 617 Health Care Quality Evaluation and Utilization Management
  • PHPM 620 Operations Management 
  • PHPM 624 Healthcare Financial Management II 
  • PHPM 631 Health Information Management Systems 
  • PHPM 639 Global Health 
  • PHPM 642 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Policy Issues 
  • PHPM 644 Texas Training Initiative for Emergency Response 
  • PHPM 645 Critical Issues in Health Policy 
  • PHPM 654 Health Insurance and Managed Care

Students can also elect to enroll in Certificate Programs within the School of Public Health and across campus.  Students have participated in certificate programs in Maternal and Child Health, Global Health and Non-Profit Management.  

Practicum Requirement

Aside from classroom instruction, students also have the opportunity and are required to successfully complete a practicum.  A practicum acts much like an internship, but the practicum serves as a dedicated professional (not clerical) work experience where students focus on creating professional quality work products that the organization can use to meet its objectives and affords the opportunity to expand on skills and competencies related to your degree program. 

Students work with the faculty practicum coordinator and contact 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 the expectation to the organization for what the student needs to do during the practicum experience.  In an internship, students might be making coffee, answering phones, filing and making copies.  As the practicum is part of the required graduate school experience, we want students to be add value and help the organization take steps to achieve goals.  Coffee, copies, filing, and phone answering, while important, do not fill that role directly. 

In the MPH program in Health Policy and Management, student work experiences include management- and policy-related roles in local, state health departments, national federal agencies, national and state non-profit 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 to not only understand the disease, condition or issue for themselves, but also to help the organization improve its knowledge in some cases.  Oftentimes, the results of that data collection were used to produce policy briefs, evaluate programs, write grant applications, develop budgets with justification, develop policy briefing books, create SWOT analyses and support the strategic planning process – all with the goal of helping an organization advance its goals in some way for the populations it serves.

The student is responsible for securing a practicum so the student can “try” working in an environment of the student’s choosing.  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 https://public-health.tamu.edu/practice/practicum-documents.html or contact Dr. Hatala at jhatala@tamu.edu