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Public Health, Master of Public Health

Pharmacy Administration and Public Health

Overview

The Public Health program at St. John’s University - the first of its kind in Queens, NY - was created to address the urgent need and demand for public health professionals and to meet the challenges of public health in local, state, national, and global communities.  Offered at both our Queens’ campus and online, this program continues the Vincentian tradition at St. John’s to address poverty and social injustice by empowering individuals to work with local and global communities to improve health and protect the public.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Public Health is one of the fastest growing professions. Public health jobs are in greater demand as the global community faces potential pandemics and disasters, while the national community faces staggering rates of chronic diseases, increasing health care costs, and health disparities.*

Offered through the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the 45-credit evening program, leading to a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, offers a Community Health concentration. The program is built to meet the educational demands of both recent graduates and working professionals.  Classes are held in the evening and can be taken either fulltime or part-time. 

*https://www.bls.gov

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What Makes the St. John's MPH Program Unique

What sets St. John’s University Public Health program apart from other public health programs is that we are the only graduate public health program in Queens, NYC, located at the center of one of the most diverse communities in the world. Our graduate students get local experience that have a global impact! 

  • Only graduate public health program in Queens, NY
  • Located in the center of one of the most diverse communities in the world
    • Students get local experience with a global impact
  • Solid and innovative fieldwork experience
  • Strong collaboration with legacy public health agencies
  • Faculty with diverse and unique experiences
  • Vincentian commitment to the poor, vulnerable, and social justice
  • Multidisciplinary perspective on health issues
  • Individually tailored career guidance
  • Evening classes

Students in the program gain core public health knowledge and experience from our seasoned MPH faculty, making an impact on cross-cutting community health policies, health education/promotion, and health programs, both locally and globally. Since the inception of the program in 2013, our students work on multifaceted local public health projects that have directly informed the work of community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations who serve the most marginalized New Yorkers such as:

  • An impact evaluation of COVID-19 disparities on healthcare service utilization and viral load suppression among vulnerable HIV-positive populations in NYC.
  • A needs assessment for social determinants of health barriers related to childhood obesity in Queens, NY.
  • An outcome evaluation of a web-based referral system providing services for hospital patients at risk of food insecurity in the Bronx, NY.

Based on our their dynamic and impactful fieldwork experiences, our students have gained awards and employment upon graduating with their MPH degree from SJU, many of whom have been hired directly by the organization where they conducted their fieldwork practicum. 

Some leadership positions that our MPH students have gained following graduation include:

  • Public Health Policy Advisor in the US government
  • Operations Manager at a hospital
  • Clinical Analyst for a healthcare insurance company
  • Project Coordinator at a teaching hospital
  • Program Coordinator for community based organizations

Our faculty bring rich public health expertise, hands-on teaching experience, and scholarship to our students from research to practical experience to engineering science. They uphold the Vincentian values, “wherever possible, we devote our intellectual and physical resources to search out the causes of poverty and social injustice and to encourage solutions which are adaptable, effective and concrete.” Faculty draws upon their unique professional backgrounds such as urban health systems, health disparities, HIV/AIDS, indigenous populations, pandemic planning, global health, food insecurity, grant writing, mental health, emergency preparedness, bioterrorism, healthcare access and utilization, and program planning and evaluation, to name a few.

Some of the projects that the MPH faculty are currently working on are:

  • Identifying vulnerable populations’ preparedness and readiness for the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Food and health needs assessment of students urban health systems
  • Youth substance abuse and suicide prevention in Native Americans
  • Global food systems, climate change resilience, nutrition among Indigenous populations
  • COVID-19 in the global health context

    Afolarin Aiyedun

    • Research Interests: Health literacy; mental health public health in the digital age; and behavior change management

    Yolene Gousse

    • Research Interests: Immigrant health; health disparities; and psychosocial determinants of health

    Harlem Gunness

    • Research Interests: Access to healthcare; infectious diseases, emergency (pandemic) preparedness; social determinants of health; hard-to-reach communities; and homelessness

    Wenchen Wu

    Our program has established strong partnership agreements with pioneering public health organizations and stakeholders that have a long-standing history in address public health issues in often marginalized and disenfranchised communities. This unique partnership provides the opportunity for students to learn firsthand of current public health trends, while creating dynamic research, and learning experiences in a complex multidisciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic urban setting. These partnerships also speak to our commitment to serving communities right on our own “backyard” and bringing to students hands-on public health experience to enrichen their academic training.    

    Admission

    Graduate admission at St. John’s University is competitive and selective. Admission to the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is based on an applicant's academic record, recommendation letters, scores on the graduate record exam (GRE) and other factors that reflect a student's academic potential and motivation for successful graduate study.
     
    All applicants must meet current admission criteria, and submit the appropriate documentation, to be considered for the MPH degree. 

    Graduate Admission Application—Submit a completed graduate admission application directly to the Office of Graduate Admission.

    Bachelor’s Degree—Evidence of a baccalaureate degree from a Council for Higher Education (CHEA) regionally accredited college or university. Official transcripts are required from each institution attended.

    Minimum GPA— Applicants need to have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

    Resume or Curriculum Vitae—Include a current resume or curriculum vitae with the graduate admission application.

    Graduate Record Exam (GRE)—Applicants are to supply official GRE scores directly from ETS to the Office of Graduate Admission. There are no minimum GRE requirements and the GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. The school official testing code is 2799. Official GRE scores may be waived for applicants who have a GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and successfully passed college level math/statistics or have professional work experience of 5 years or more. MCAT, LSAT, GMAT or DAT will be accepted in lieu of the GRE. Those students who already hold a graduate degree will be evaluated on an individual basis. International students please refer to the international students section below.

    Letters of Recommendation— Provide three letters of recommendation from college/university faculty or a previous or current employer are required. Reference letters should address the qualities that make the applicant a strong candidate for the MPH degree and additional relevant information. Letters of recommendation are part of the admission process. The Office of Graduate Admission strongly encourages applicants to submit these directly with the Graduate Online Application.

    Personal Statement—Submit a clear personal statement, of no more than 1,000 words. Personal statements should address each of the following areas:

    • Interest in the field of public health
    • Overview of any relevant public health experience
    • Career and professional goals
    • Reasons for pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at St. John’s University; Other information that may be of special interest and importance to the Graduate Admission Committee

    International Students – Additional Requirements May Apply to International Applicants:

    • GRE is required.
    • International applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
    • Transcripts from international universities must be accompanied by an evaluation from a NACES (org) accredited evaluation source.
    • For expedited foreign transcript evaluation service at a discounted rate complete a SpanTran Foreign Transcript Evaluation Request Form. Download the PDF. Please submit the completed form to [email protected]

    For more information, visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at https://www.stjohns.edu/admission/international-admission or contact the office directly at (718) 990-1601 or email: [email protected]

    Applications are accepted throughout the academic year; however, it is highly recommended that the application and supporting requirements be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission at least eight weeks prior to the semester in which the student wishes to begin the program of study.

    Non-Matriculating Student Policy
    For information regarding the non-matriculating student policy, please contact the Department of Pharmacy Administration and Public Health at 718-990-6679.

     

    Career and Education Opportunities

    St. John’s University’s Public Health program prepares students for careers in public health through an array of essential public health services, ranging from evaluating population-based health services to developing programs promoting health and preventing disease. After graduation, public health professionals have the opportunity to work in a variety of industry settings including local, state and federal agencies, community-based organizations, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, private industries, and global health agencies. For more information on career opportunities and the impact of public health, visit the “What is Public Health?” website.

    Examples of careers in Public Health:

    • Program Manager
    • Public Health Analyst
    • Public Health Researcher
    • Program Planner/ Evaluator
    • Public Health Advisor
    • Health Educator 

    Graduates of St. John’s University Public Health program have successfully gained leadership positions as a Public Health Advisor in a federal government agency, Operations Manager at a hospital, Clinical Analyst for a healthcare insurance company, Program Coordinator at a teaching hospital, and Program Coordinator for community based organization.

    For more information on career opportunities visit the Career Services website.

    Facilities and Resources

    Students in the Master of Public Health program at St. John's benefit from outstanding academic, technological, and pre- professional resources.

    Queens Campus facilities include high-tech classrooms, laboratories and our 1.5 million-volume Library, spread across all five campuses. In addition to traditional physical materials, computer terminals located throughout each library provide access to a wide variety of electronic resources. These include the catalogs of the St. John's Libraries; the catalogs of more than two dozen consortium libraries; bibliographic and electronic full-text databases; and much more. These resources are available both on and off campus via the world wide web. In addition, cooperative arrangements with other libraries provide regional, national and international access to materials through Interlibrary Services.

    Our D’ Angelo Center is a five-story, 127,000-square-foot University and Student Center with classrooms, lecture halls, a Starbucks café and full-service food court.

    St. John’s University students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs have access to a variety of academic support services. Students may seek support during their time of study from Faculty Advisors/Mentors, the University Learning Commons, the Institute for Writing Studies, the Career Center, the Library, and attend various workshops hosted by student life.

    Depending on the course, instruction is on Main Campus or at the Dr. Andrew. J. Bartilucci Center, just a few minutes away. The 40,000-square-foot Bartilucci Center features modern classrooms, laboratories, and computer laboratory, and is easily accessible via car or public transportation. The Center is also a venue for outstanding symposiums, seminars, and continuing education courses.

    Courses

    Through a progressive and competitive curriculum, practiced based fieldwork experience and culminating experience, students will gain advanced knowledge and skillsets to develop core and crosscutting Public Health competencies.

    All students must complete a total of 45 credits to satisfy the degree requirements. All students complete 18-credit hours that cover the core discipline areas of public health (biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences), 12-credit hours of foundational courses, 9-credit hours of methods and evaluation, a 3-credit hour fieldwork practice experience, and a 3-credit hour culminating experience

    The MPH degree can be completed on a full-time basis in two years (including summer matriculation) or on a part-time basis (including summer matriculation in up to five years).

    MPH 204 Health Care System and Its Financing 
    MPH 252 Biostatistics
    MPH 275 Introduction to Public Health Management
    MPH 280 Introduction to Epidemiology
    MPH 285 Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences
    MPH 301 Social and Behavioral Health

    MPH 219/ PAS 219 Healthcare Outcomes Assessment
    MPH 230 Urban Health
    MPH 310 Health Disparities
    MPH 311 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    MPH 312 Health Communication
    MPH 315 Global Health and Healthcare in Developing Countries
    MPH 316 Global Environmental Sustainability and Health

    These courses include the concentration courses for Community Health

    MPH 302 Health Care Data Analysis and Management
    MPH 303 Public Health Program Planning
    MPH 304 Public Health Program Evaluation
    MPH 305 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    MPH 306 Research Methods in Public Health

    MPH 317 Public Health Practice
    MPH 330 Culminating Experience

    Fieldwork Practice Experience, MPH 317

    Fieldwork Practice Experience will provide a practical application that will allow students to demonstrate the skills acquired through the MPH coursework in a public health setting. All students complete a 3-credit public health practice course that pairs didactic learning with an applied fieldwork practice internship. Each student is supervised and mentored by a qualified on-site public health professional (site preceptor). In addition to the Public Health Practice, students attend seminars, complete readings and assignments and reflect on their practice experience through journal entries. This course serves as a prerequisite to the Culminating Experience course. Public Health Practice involves Public Health agencies that focus on immigrants, HIV/AIDS, senior care, food insecurities, social disadvantage, obesity prevention and cervical cancer screening.

    Culminating Experience, MPH 330

    Culminating Experience marks the final degree requirement where students demonstrate their mastery of public health competencies and skills gained through the coursework and fieldwork practice experience. The experience requires students to solidify, synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in the classroom and Public Health Practice Experience. In this 3-credit course, students attend regular seminars, plan, analyze, summarize and present their Applied Practice Experience in a final written paper and present in an academic conference. Students also complete a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of required competencies.

    Concentrations

    Community Health addresses a wide range of health challenges across diverse communities. This concentration will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to identify social determinants of health. Through coursework and fieldwork practice experience, students will apply theory and methods for designing, implementing, and evaluating programs aimed at reducing health disparities and promoting health equity. By utilizing appropriate principles and methods from social and behavioral sciences to address behaviors of individuals, groups and the communities. Through this concentration, students will be well on their way to developing a strategy for improving a community’s health. For more information on careers in Community Health following graduation, visit “What is Public Health” website.

    Public Health Program Contact

    Harlem J. Gunness, Ph.D., MPH

    Associate Professor of Public Health
    Director, MPH Program, Associate Professor
    Tel: 718-990-8456
    [email protected]

    Department Contact

    Jagannath Muzumdar, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Pharmacy Administration, Chair, Department of Pharmacy Administration and Public Health , College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

    St. Albert Hall, Room 167
    Tel:  718-990-2945

    Fax: 718-990-6316
    muzumdaj@stjohns.edu

     

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