Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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MPH in Primary Health Care and Health Disparities

Program Overview

Program of Study

Core Competencies


To support working and distance students, coursework for the MPH in Primary Health Care and Health Disparities program may be completed entirely online. Online MPH students are fully enrolled into the School of Public Health and have the option to complete some of their courses in person.

The program provides a foundation in core public health disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental systems, behavioral theory and health systems organization. In addition, the program’s courses and field experiences address public health policy and practice with particular emphasis on improving primary health care accessibility and quality for underserved populations. The program is based on the concepts and principles of primary health care defined by the World Health Organization, emphasizing improvements in universal coverage, service delivery, public policy, leadership, and stakeholder participation.

Graduates include practicing clinicians, as well as a range of public health professionals are employed by state and local governmental agencies, non-profits and community organizations.

For more information about OHSU’s participation in SARA, refund schedule, and complaint process; please visit OHSU Out-of-State Authorization

Beginning Fall 2018, incoming students will join this program under its new name, Public Health Practice.

MPH: PHCHD Program of Study

Course Number Course Title Credits
Core Courses*  (17 credits)
CPH 540 Health Systems Organization (or HSMP 574) 3
CPH 537 Principles of Health Behavior (or PHE 512) 3
CPH 539 Concepts of Environmental Health (or PHE 580) 3
CPH 541 Epidemiology I (PHE 530 or PHPM 512) 4
CPH 530 Introduction to Biostatistics (PHE 515 or PHPM 524) 4
Program Courses  (26 credits)
CPH 521 Social Determinants of Health and Community Assessment 4
CPH 522 Communication & Informatics 3
CPH 528 Mgmt Practice & QI in Health Care & Public Health Organizations 3
CPH 531 The Social Context of Public Health Policy   3
CPH 535 Professionalism, Ethics & Systems Thinking in Public Health 4
CPH 536 Community Based Participatory Research 3
CPH 538 Public Health Program Evaluation 3
CPH 550 Public Health Program Planning 3
Elective courses from the following  (9 credits)
CPH 507A Current Issues in Public Health 3
CPH 507C Graduate Internship: Integrative Seminar 1
CPH 510 Information Systems for Tracking Population Data 3
CPH 511 Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice 3
CPH 523 Global Perspectives and Program Development 3
CPH 526 Epidemiology of Aging and Chronic Disease 3
CPH 527 Epidemiology of Disease 3
Other courses may be approved by the student’s faculty advisor.
Public Health Field Experience or Practicum  (6 credits)
CPH 509A Graduate Field Experience in Public Health 6
Certified in Public Health Examination (Pass/No Pass)

Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Assess, analyze, and synthesize the health status of vulnerable populations.
  • Identify, develop and manage interventions to promote and protect the health of populations at risk.
  • Lead and participate in interprofessional efforts to address health inequities with community partners.
  • Conduct, participate in or apply research which improves the health of a population.
  • Assess and integrate cultural beliefs and practices into public health interventions.
  • Develop and plan interventions utilizing principles of health systems organization and health care finance to address health disparities.
  • Apply program planning and quality improvement principles in the development, management and/or evaluation of population health services.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in development of a grant proposal.
  • Employ techniques to manage human, fiscal, and other public health resources.

Application questions – Josh Hodsden, MBA

Registration questions – Laura Ehrlich, M.Ed.

Program Director – Elizabeth Waddell, PhD