Kyle W., Class of 2018

Master of Public Health
(MPH) in Community
Mental Health



230K+ Alumni Worldwide


The Master of Public Health (MPH) program prepares professionals for leadership positions in health promotion, disease prevention, community mental health, or public healthcare administration. Public health involves multidisciplinary and collaborative strategies for solving health-related problems and promoting social justice, including programs that serve the public sector at all levels—local, state, federal, and global.

Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the MPH program emphasizes broad-based, state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative skills needed for public health problem-solving. Coursework is designed to help professionals advance their careers within public health, or transition into the field from other health professions. Strategic internships and a comprehensive capstone experience will further enhance your opportunities for professional growth and job placement.

The Community Mental Health specialization prepares you for leadership positions in planning, implementing, and evaluating community-wide prevention programs to enhance mental health.

Admission Requirements

In addition to completing an application, the Master of Public Health program requires the following:

  • Completion of a college introductory statistics course such as BST 322 or MTH 210
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree with a 2.85 cumulative GPA from a regionally accredited institution
  • Proficiency in operating a personal computer, including applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet browsers, and standard email systems

Course Details

Foundation Courses

For the Master of Public Health with a specialization in Community Mental Health, you must complete eight foundation courses, seven specialization courses, one health experience course, and a capstone course.

Course Name

An orientation to the Master of Public Health program, including history, philosophy, values, core functions, and the importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge. Coursework introduces you to the available options for attaining competencies in public health in your chosen MPH specialization. This course can be taken concurrently with HCA 600. Grading is S/U only.

An overview of the US healthcare system, this course explores terminology, delivery system components, financing, personnel, regulation, delivery, consumers, and the effects of public policy on services.

This analysis of global public health defines and evaluates preventive efforts to affect the quantitative, biological, economic, social, political, and behavioral determinants of health. You’ll investigate burden of disease, social justice, and equitable health care, giving special emphasis to reproductive health, population dynamics, humanitarian emergencies, globalization, and global cooperation.

An introduction to the use of statistical analysis in public health. This course provides an understanding of the basic methods and underlying concepts of statistics used in public health decision-making. Topics of focus include descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing, and non-parametric statistics.

This course examines the theoretical basis of individual health behavior. Coursework will apply cognitive, psychosocial, and environmental theories of health behavior, as well as theories of self-directed and professionally-facilitated health behavior change. Special emphasis is given to behavior modification, the health belief model (HBM), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), social cognitive theory (SCT), stress and coping, social support, and the transtheoretical model (TTM).

A study of determinants and distribution of disease and disability in human populations. This course applies empirical analysis to population data related to morbidity and mortality. You’ll investigate disease outbreaks, risk factors, outcomes, and causal relationships. In addition, you’ll learn to critically evaluate public health literature and the design of studies.

This course explores the fundamentals of research methods and statistical analysis used with public health data. You’ll study the principles of research investigation, research design, sampling, measurements, and the use of descriptive and inferential statistics for data analysis and hypothesis testing. Other topics of focus include health survey design, sampling methodologies, questionnaire construction and administration, interviewing, and coding procedures.

This course examines the roles of health advocates and how public health workers might participate in advocacy strategies to affect policy. You’ll focus on frameworks for promoting the right to health and strategies that give consumers more power in making decisions, defining issues, designing programs, and developing policies.

Specialization Courses

Course Name

An overview of the U.S. mental healthcare system, including terminology, delivery system components, financing, personnel, regulation, and consumers. You’ll focus on availability, acceptability, and effects of public policy on services to treat mental disorders in America.

This course focuses on individuals with severe and persistent mental conditions. Special emphasis is given to how the contemporary mental health system relates to and is experienced by disadvantaged individuals.

An examination of substance use disorders from the public health perspective. This course explores the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders to reduce deaths, disabilities, and human suffering in communities.

An analysis of evidence-based programs designed to prevent mental illness. This course investigates existent programs, databases, and professional literature. You’ll explore the design of mental health services and evaluate the effectiveness of proposed mental health programs.

An epidemiological study of mental illness. In this course, you’ll examine contemporary applications of epidemiology in investigating disease distribution and etiology. Instruction will focus on the use of epidemiological studies to plan mental health services, design prevention programs, and evaluate program effectiveness.

This course explores intimate partner violence, child neglect and abuse, assault, homicide, war, and terrorism from a public health perspective. Studies will focus on risk factor reduction and prevention of deaths, disabilities, and human suffering.

An exploration of biological, psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of healthy sexuality throughout a lifespan. Special emphasis is given to community-level interventions that promote sexual health.

Health Experience Courses

Select one of the following two courses:

Course Name

In this faculty-led, study-abroad program, you’ll attain public health foundational competencies and specialization competencies through applied practice in a global setting. You’ll tour and explore the health system and public health issues facing a host country by experiencing their healthcare, economic, political, legal, and cultural environments. This course helps you develop a thorough knowledge of global public health through a combination of pre-departure study, service learning, on-site lectures and presentations, and post-tour analysis and reflection.

In this course, you’ll demonstrate foundational public health competencies and mental health capabilities through applied practice. Coursework includes either working in a mental health agency, helping to plan, implement, and evaluate a health promotion program; or providing a portfolio that demonstrates your program competencies through volunteer work. Grading is H/S/U only.

*It’s recommended that you complete all foundation and specialization courses prior to enrolling in COH 693C.

Capstone Course Requirement

Course Name

In this two-month capstone project, you’ll conduct original research related to the contemporary practice of mental health promotion. Your project will comprise the planning and completion of either a data-based analysis, an evaluation of a mental health promotion program, or primary research related to mental health promotion. Projects may require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, and will culminate with a high-quality written product. Grading is H/S/U only.

*It’s recommended that you complete all foundation and specialization courses prior to enrolling in COH 694C.

Learning Outcomes

Students earning the Master in Public Health degree with a Community Mental Health specialization will learn to:

  • Assess the social, political, and environmental context of mental health in relation to public health practice.
  • Create evidence-based programs to prevent or reduce mental health disorders in community settings.
  • Design an evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of a community mental health program.
  • Identify factors that promote or influence the occurrence, persistence, or severity of mental and behavioral disorders.
  • Apply appropriate research principles and techniques to mental health.
  • Construct an advocacy plan to improve culturally sensitive mental health policies in communities.
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.