Kyle W., Class of 2018

Master of Public Health
(MPH) in Community
Mental Health

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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

Includes orientation to the Master of Public Health Program including history, philosophy, values, core functions and the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge. Introduction to the available options for attaining public health foundational competencies and competencies in their chosen MPH specialization. Can be taken concurrently with HCA 600: US Healthcare System. Grading is S/U only.

US healthcare system overview, including terminology, components of healthcare delivery systems, financing, personnel, regulation, delivery and consumers. Consideration of the effects of public policy on services.

PrerequisiteHCA 600

Analysis of global public health with emphasis on defining and evaluating preventive efforts to affect the quantitative, biological, economic, social, political, and behavioral determinants of health. Investigation of burden of disease, social justice and equitable health care. Emphasis on reproductive health, population dynamics, complex humanitarian emergencies, globalization and global cooperation.

An introduction to the use of statistical analysis in public health. Provides an understanding of the basic methods and underlying concepts of statistics that are used in public health decision-making. Among topics explored are descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing and non-parametric statistics.

The theoretical basis of individual health behavior. Application of cognitive, psychosocial and environmental theories of health behavior and theories of self-directed and professionally facilitated health behavior change. Emphasis on Behavior Modification, Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory, Stress and Coping, Social Support, and Transtheoretical Model.

PrerequisiteCOH 602, or ANA 630

The study of determinants and distribution of disease and disability in human populations. Empirical analysis of population data related to morbidity and mortality. Investigation of disease outbreaks, risk factors, health outcomes and causal relationships. Critical evaluation of public health literature and study design.

Fundamentals of research methods and statistical analysis of public health data. Includes principles of research investigation, research design, sampling, measurements, and the use of descriptive and inferential statistics for data analysis and hypothesis testing. Focuses on health survey design, sampling methodologies, questionnaire construction and administration, interviewing, and coding procedures.

Explores the roles health advocates assume and how individuals working in public health settings might participate in advocacy strategies to affect policy. Focuses on frameworks for conceptualizing and promoting the right to health as well as strategies to give consumers more power in making decisions, defining issues, designing programs, and developing policies.

Specialization Courses

Course Name

US mental healthcare system overview, including terminology, components of healthcare delivery systems, financing, personnel, regulation, delivery and consumers. Focus on the availability, accessibility and acceptability of services to treat mental disorders in the US. Consideration of the effects of public policy on services for the treatment of mental disorders.

Special focus on individuals with severe and persistent mental conditions. Special consideration will be given to how the contemporary mental health system relates to and is experienced by disadvantaged individuals.

PrerequisiteCOH 602

Substance use disorders examined from the public health perspective. Prevention and treatment of substance use disorders to reduce deaths, disability and human suffering in communities.

Analysis of the evidence-based programs designed to prevent mental illness. Investigation of applications of evidence-based public health in planning and evaluating programs to prevent mental disorders. Analysis of existent programs, databases and professional literature. Design of mental health services and evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed mental health programs.

PrerequisiteCOH 606

Analysis of the epidemiological study of mental illness. Investigation of contemporary applications of epidemiology in investigating disease distribution and etiology. Emphasis on the use of epidemiological studies to plan mental health services, design prevention programs and to evaluate the effectiveness of mental health programs.

PrerequisiteCOH 604

Intimate partner violence, child neglect and abuse, assault, homicide, war and terrorism are explored from a public health perspective. Focus on risk factor reduction and prevention of deaths, disability and human suffering.

PrerequisiteCOH 604

Exploration of biological, psychological, behavioral and social aspects of health sexuality throughout the lifespan. Community level interventions to promote healthy sexuality.

Health Experience Courses

Select one of the following two courses:

Course Name

Demonstrate attainment of public health foundational competencies and specialization competencies through applied practice experience in a global setting. Faculty-led short-term study abroad program. Exploration of the healthcare system and public health issues facing global communities. Tour location and experience the healthcare, economic, political, legal, and cultural environment of a host country. Development of thorough knowledge of global public health through combination of pre-departure study, service learning, on-site lectures and presentations by host country experts and healthcare leaders, post-tour analysis and reflection.

Recommended: Prior completion ofall core and specialization courses prior to enrolling in COH 693C

Demonstrate attainment of public health foundational competencies and mental health specialization through applied practice experience. Students may either work in a mental health agency planning, implementing and/or evaluating a health promotion program or provide a portfolio that demonstrates alignment of volunteer work with the competencies. Grading is H/S/U only.

Capstone Course Requirement

Course Name

Recommended: Prior completion ofall core and specialization courses prior to enrolling in COH 694A

Two-month capstone project of original research related to the contemporary practice of public health promotion. Planning and completion of either a data-based analysis, an evaluation of a health promotion program or primary research related to public health promotion. Student project may require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Student produces a high-quality written product. Grading is S/H/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.