Master of Public Health (MPH)

Harness your passion into a rewarding public health career.

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Why Choose an Online Master of Public Health Degree from Fairfield?

Career
Readiness

Gain practical experience while building your resume as you complete an applied public health capstone project and field experience internship.

Personal
Career Coach

Boost your success through a dedicated career coach. You'll unlock the BELONG program, a customized coaching journey focusing on career planning and building professional skills, positioning you for success beyond graduation.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of community health as you learn from – and alongside – the same types of professionals you may work with in the future.

Program Specifics

Our 100% online MPH is asynchronous (no set log in times) and designed to provide more flexibility to learn on your schedule and at your own pace.

Fairfield University is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The accreditation review will address the Public Health Program, inclusive of the CEPH-accredited BS in Public Health and the online Master of Public Health. Other degrees and areas of study offered by this institution will not be included in the unit of accreditation review. For additional information on accreditation, please visit:CEPH.

Certificate Options

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Faculty Spotlight

photo of Dr. Anthony Santella
Anthony Santella, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH

Dr. Anthony J. Santella is a Professor of Public Health and Director of the MPH program. His research helps improve the sexual health of people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS, gender and sexual minorities, justice-involved persons, youth, and people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Santella earned a MPH in Health Policy and Management from Emory University, a DrPH in Health Systems Management from Tulane University, an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Health Professions Education from Hofstra University and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

photo of Kim Doughty
Kimberly Doughty, PhD, MPH, CES

Dr. Doughty is a Assistant Professor and Director the Public Health Program in the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies. She has received a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of New Haven, a Master's degree in Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University, and a PhD in Public Health Nutrition from UMass Amherst. Prior to joining Fairfield University, Dr. Doughty was a researcher at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center for many years and co-authored peer-reviewed articles on topics including effectiveness of school-based obesity prevention initiatives and impact of dietary interventions on cardiometabolic risk factors. However, her strongest interests are in maternal and infant health and breastfeeding promotion. Her dissertation explored the relationship between breastfeeding intensity and rapid infant weight gain and differences in breastfeeding by maternal diabetes status.

photo of B. Hussain
Bridget Hussain, PhD

Dr. Bridget Hussain is an Assistant Professor of Public Health. She is an clinically trained as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. Her research examines the diet-disease relationship, identifying how nutrition can help prevent, treat, and manage chronic health conditions. Dr. Hussain earned a MS in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and PhD in Epidemiology from New York University

photo of Jessy Planas
Jessica Planas, PhD, MPH, RN, CHES

Dr. Alicea-Planas has worked as a community health nurse in low-resourced areas for over 25 years. Her primary area of interest encompasses chronic disease management, health education and the care of vulnerable populations. In years past she has been part of faculty-led community-engaged trips for public health nursing in Nicaragua and has worked on various community-based research in both urban Managua and rural coffee farm regions in Jinotega. She is also actively engaged in various diversity initiatives both on and off campus.

photo of Jen Ruwisch
Jennifer Schindler-Ruwisch, DrPH, MPH, CPH

Dr. Schindler-Ruwisch completed her BS in Psychology and Public Health at the College of William and Mary and then went on to pursue her MPH at Columbia University. She focused her research on chronic diseases and has special interest in nutrition-related diseases, obesity prevention, smoking cessation, and maternal/child health. She has also studied mobile health (mhealth) as a means of health promotion and decreasing health disparities. After working on cancer prevention initiatives related to tobacco use prevention for several years, she completed her DrPH in Health Behavior at The George Washington University. Her doctoral work focused on breastfeeding initiation and duration in the WIC population. She is passionate about health education and behavioral approaches to disease prevention, specifically in the areas of maternal and child health.

Career Outcomes

Earning an online MPH from Fairfield University positions you for a wide range of career options in the growing public health field. You will develop a broad base of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a variety of settings to protect and improve the health of people and communities.

Degree Courses

Full Time Plan of Study

Credits – 3

This course provides an overview of the evolving structure of the US healthcare delivery system. Since the US healthcare system has been periodically changed in diverse aspects over the decades, its dynamic mechanism should be understood. Particularly the healthcare system encompasses organizations, management, finance, policy, and technology. This course introduces students to the complexity of healthcare, challenges of leadership, the key stakeholders, and the current state of healthcare in the US. As the introductory course for the MHA program, this hybrid course will allow student to acclimate to the program through multiple learning modalities and activities. Collaboration and team building, critical success factors in healthcare, will be a focus of the on-site portion of the course. The cohort will be introduced to many key aspects of healthcare administration as well as acclimating to the rich learning environment of Fairfield University.

Credits – 3

This course presents epidemiologic principles and biostatistical methods for the presentation and analysis of health-related data. Data from a variety of sources will be used to draw inferences about the health status of populations. Biostatistical techniques are used to examine relationships among contributing factors for population health in order to plan and evaluate health services and programs. Epidemiological methods for conducting studies will be discussed in detail, with an emphasis on group and population methods. Ethical issues related to the application of biostatistics and data privacy, such as IRB requirements, genomics, population genetics, clinical trials, and public health epidemiological studies are addressed.

Credits – 3

This course presents the foundational skills required for public health and healthcare provider students to engage in a systematic approach to population health. Disease prevention and health promotion are addressed through examination of social and behavioral determinants. Evidence-based strategies inform how to identify and assess at-risk populations, implement both preventive and therapeutic interventions, and evaluate outcomes at the population level. Models of health behavior change synthesize psychological, biophysical, cultural, ecological, environmental, and social dimensions to analyze population-based outcomes. The roles of national initiatives, public policy and cultural values are explored in relation to health equity to support population health at institutional, local, state, and national levels.

Credits – 3

This course is designed to introduce graduate students without a baccalaureate degree in Public Health to the profession and sciences of Public Health. This course will provide an overview of the history and philosophy of Public Health, its core functions and essential services, and its role in understanding and promoting human health.

Credits – 12

Credits – 3

The focus of this course is on contemporary health policy, its development and implementation, and ways that public health and healthcare system leaders, can influence it. Students will evaluate the impact of health policy on health professionals, consumers, communities, and healthcare delivery systems. Resource allocation, along with the socioeconomic, political, legal, and ethical factors that influence health policy will be examined.

Credits – 3

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the skills needed to develop either a research study proposal or a healthcare improvement proposal. This course prepares the student to identify practice problems and critique current research for relevance and application to practice. An overview of theory is presented as a vehicle for understanding public health or healthcare research. Basic concepts of qualitative and quantitative research methods will be examined in order to plan and evaluate a practice change or answer a research question. Using an evidence-based and/or research approach, students identify a clinical or public health problem within a specific population or setting, considering ethical issues. Students will develop a research study proposal or healthcare improvement proposal for implementation. Students use reflection in the evaluation of public health or healthcare system research.

Credits – 3

This course prepares students to develop, implement, and evaluate Public Health programs and interventions. Students will learn to conduct a community health needs assessment; prioritize health needs; select appropriate intervention strategies; and develop program goals, objectives, and evaluation plans. Pre-requisite NURS 7611.

Credits – 3

This course provides an introduction to statistical reasoning and procedures used in Public Health research. Probability theory, descriptive and inferential statistics, and regression and correlation methods will be covered, with applications using statistical software. Pre-requisite NURS 7601.

Credits – 12

Credits – 6

The fieldwork experience provides each student the opportunity to demonstrate attainment of key program competencies by completing training and practice with a partner agency in their local area. Students will participate in a semester-long public health leadership and professional development seminar while completing their fieldwork experience. This course will fulfill the applied practice experience requirement of the MPH program.

Credits – 3

Prerequisites: NURS 7601, PUBH 7602, PUBH 5303.

The capstone provides an opportunity for students to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout the program by developing an independent scholarly or applied project. With guidance from a faculty member, students will create and evaluate a public health intervention or design and carry out an original research project. In Public Health Capstone I, students develop a detailed plan and written proposal for their project. This course will fulfill the integrative learning experience requirement of the MPH program.

Credits – 9

Credits – 3

Prerequisite: PUBH 6961.

This course is a continuation of Public Health Capstone I. In this course, students complete their capstone projects, by implementing and evaluating the program they created or by collecting and analyzing data to answer an original research question. Students will produce a final paper and presentation for their project. This course will fulfill the integrative learning experience requirement of the MPH program.

Credits – 9

Total Credits – 42

Fairfield Mission

Visionary by nature.
Jesuit Catholic by origin.
The driving force of Fairfield is our mission — to impact the world. It prompts us to ask important questions, to embrace our social responsibilities, and to lead by example. And it’s what has made us a premier institution in the Northeast. Let the mission be part of your journey.

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