Graduate Bulletin

School of Public Health


The School of Public Health, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, offers graduate training that addresses some of the most challenging health issues of our day, including AIDS, drug abuse, genetic diseases, women's health, workplace hazards, environmental crises, health care reform, and the health problems of poor and minority populations. A unique partnership between the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health, in affiliation with the Albany Medical College, the School has a faculty of approximately 200, the majority of whom are engaged in laboratory research, scholarly investigation, or policy-making activities in the New York State Department of Health, including the renowned Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research.

In addition to its five graduate academic programs in Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Health and Toxicology, Epidemiology, Biometry and Statistics, and Health Policy, Management and Behavior, the School offers a professional, interdepartmental program leading to the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and Doctor of Public Health (Dr. P.H.) degrees. Professional Education students select one of six areas of concentration in one of the School's five academic departments. Public health internships, available in many different public or private health agencies, enable students to integrate practical experience with course work. In addition to the M.P.H. and Dr.P.H., two-year Residency Programs in Preventive Medicine and in Dental Public Health are available for physicians and dentists interested in broad training in the public health field.

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Health and Toxicology are based largely in the laboratory, offering training in the basic sciences that underlie the field of public health. M.S. and Ph.D. programs are also offered in Epidemiology, and Biometry and Statistics. An M.S. program is offered in Health Policy, Management and Behavior.

The School of Public Health has more than 250 students from a wide variety of academic, racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, and is always interested in increasing the diversity of its student body. Many students who work full-time in professional careers take courses at the School on a part-time basis.

Graduates of the School of Public Health find job opportunities within state and local health departments, hospitals, federal agencies, research laboratories, health care consultancies, community and advocacy groups, and other health-related organizations. The health care field continues to be the fastest growing sector of the American economy, and public spending for health care continues to grow, ensuring that the demand for public health professionals will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future.

SCHOOL-WIDE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN PUBLIC HEALTH

The interdepartmental professional programs are designed to provide students with the breadth of knowledge necessary for an understanding of public health, as well as broad exposure to the practice of public health through internship experiences. The Dr.P.H. Program is intended to train public health leaders who have demonstrated command of the field and competence in the analysis and solution of real public health problems under given political and resource constraints.

Applicants to either the M.P.H. or Dr.P.H. Programs are expected to hold a bachelor's degree and to have successfully completed at minimum one undergraduate course each in mathematics and chemistry and two courses in biology and social sciences. Applicants are required to submit official scores of the Graduate Record Examination aptitude test. For the Dr.P.H. Program, preference is given to applicants who have completed the M.P.H., or other graduate or professional-level coursework. International students must take TOEFL and GRE regardless of previous degrees earned.

Students in the professional education programs choose one of six areas of concentration: Behavioral Science, Community Health, Biomedical Sciences, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, or Health Administration.

PROGRAM LEADING TO THE MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE (M.P.H.)

Program of Study and Internship
(45 - 51 credits)

  1. Core curriculum: 21 credits:*

    1. Epi 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3);
    2. Sta 552 Principles of Statistical Inference I (3);**
    3. Hpm 500 Health Care Organization, Delivery and Financing (3);
    4. Epi 503 Principles of Public Health (3);
    5. Bms 505 Biological Basis of Public Health (3);
    6. Eht 590 Introduction to Environmental Health (3);
    7. Hpm 525 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)

    *Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the seven core courses: Epi 501, Sta 552 (or Sta 554), Hpm 500, Epi 503, Bms 505, Eht 590, and Hpm 525.
    **Students selecting the Biostatistics concentration take Sta 554, Introduction to the Theory of Statistics I (3) instead of Sta 552.


  2. Areas of Concentration: 18 credits

    1. Behavioral Science
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II or Hpm 520 Fundamentals of Research Design or Hpm 647 Program Evaluation
      2. 3 credits - Hpm 521 Introduction to Family and Community Health
      3. 3 credits - Hpm 627 Public Health Education: Targeting Social, Organizational and Behavioral Factors to Promote Health
      4. 9 credits – Three electives in any department as approved by advisor
    2. Biomedical Science
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II
      2. 9 credits - Bms 601A and B Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (3, 3); and a third advanced Bms course in an area of interest to student
      3. 6 credits - Two electives with approval of advisor
    3. Biostatistics
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Sta 555 Introduction to the Theory of Statistics II
      2. 3 credits - Sta 558 Methods of Data Analysis I
      3. 3 credits - Epi 502 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II
      4. 9 credits - Choice of three electives, at least two must be from Department of Biometry and Statistics as approved by advisor
    4. Environmental Health
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Epi 514 Computer Programming for Data Management and Analysis in Public Health or Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II or Eht 665 Risk Assessment
      2. 3 credits - Eht 530 Principles of Toxicology
      3. 3 credits - One of the following courses:
        Eht 520 Principles of Environmental Chemistry
        Eht 605 Water Quality and Public Health
        Epi 613 Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
        Eht 665 Risk Assessment
        Eht 730 Hazardous Materials Management
      4. 9 credits - Choice of three electives in any department as approved by advisor
    5. Epidemiology
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II
      2. 3 credits - Epi 502 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II
      3. 3 credits - Epi 514 Computer Programming for Data Management and Analysis in Public Health
      4. 6 credits - Two 600-level Epi courses
      5. 3 credits - One elective in any department as approved by advisor
    6. Health Policy and Management
      1. 3 credits - Quantitative skills requirement: Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II or Hpm 550 Financial Management Healthcare Institutions or Hpm 647 Program Evaluation or Hpm 669 Topics in Health Policy and Management
      2. 3 credits - Hpm 501 Introduction to Health Policy and Management
      3. 3 credits - Hpm 641 Principles of Health Organization Management
      4. 3 credits - Hpm 650 Strategy and Leadership Applications in Health Management
      5. 6 credits - Two electives in any department as approved by advisor

  3. Internships and Seminar, 6-12 credits:

    Students are expected to have completed a minimum of four core courses (listed in A) prior to enrolling in their first internship.
    Sph 690-695 Internships in Public Health (3, 6) and
    Sph 680 Seminar for Public Health Internship (0).
    All M.P.H. students must attend the Sph 680 Seminar series each semester they are enrolled in an internship. These seminars are for M.P.H. students to report on their internship experiences. Part-time study permitted.


Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and M.D. with Albany Medical College Dual Degree Program

The M.P.H./M.D. dual degree program builds upon the existing relationship between the School of Public Health and Albany Medical College to prepare physicians who are aware and capable of addressing public health problems and public health professionals who are adept at clinical knowledge and practice. Physicians are enabled to be better practitioners and leaders in the fields of medicine and public health.

Students pursuing the dual M.P.H./M.D. degree will be able to complete the degree in five years. M.P.H. coursework and internships are completed during the summer between medical school years 1 and 2 (core courses), the summer between medical school years 2 and 3 (core courses), a third year of M.P.H. coursework in between years 2 and 3 of medical school (core, track, and elective courses; and internship) and a fifth year internship. The following courses/internship are waived for medical students: 1) Hpm 500; 2) Bms 505 and 3) a six-credit internship which is substituted by one of the medical school clerkships designed to reflect medical and public health principles.

To be considered for admission into the dual M.P.H./M.D. degree program, applicants must be admitted first to medical school. Subsequently, an application must be submitted to the State University of New York at Albany for admission consideration into the School of Public Health’s M.P.H. degree program.

Program Leading to the Doctor of Public Health Degree (Dr.P.H.)

The Dr. P.H. prepares leaders in the public health profession who will address the complex public health issues our society will continue to face over the coming decades. Graduates will be expected to combine sophisticated analytic and research skills with a broad-based understanding of the political, scientific, medical, statistical, psychosocial, ethical and economic factors that contribute to health problems. The Dr. P.H. curriculum is predicated upon intensive practical instruction, offering the opportunity to do four internships in a range of public health programs and culminates in a professional dissertation.

The Dr.P.H. Program will be highly individualized and tailored to the interests of the student and the availability of advisors and mentors with matching interests.

Dr. P.H. Admission Requirements

Students are admitted on a competitive basis. Only those with an M.P.H. from an accredited school or program or another graduate degree with substantial public health content will be considered. Some experience working in the field of public health is strongly preferred. The admissions committee will evaluate each application based on the applicant's demonstrated ability to excel at graduate work and evidence, contained in the application, that the applicant has clearly defined career goals that can be advanced by completing the Dr.P.H. Program. Applicants should have met the undergraduate course requirements of the University at Albany's M.P.H. program. GRE or MCAT scores should be submitted, along with letters of recommendation and transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work, as required in the University at Albany's graduate application. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, in accordance with University requirements.

A narrative statement of the applicant's career and educational goals and the objectives of his/her planned graduate study should accompany the application. This statement should include present or previous professional experience, the desired area of concentration and the area of interest for the dissertation. The narrative statement will be an important factor in reviewing the applicant's interests as related to the capacities of the School of Public Health.

If the submitted credentials are judged acceptable, the student may be invited to visit the School of Public Health to discuss his/her public health career goals with appropriate faculty members to ascertain whether the objectives for graduate study are compatible with the resources of the School. Those individuals who are unable to visit the campus are encouraged to discuss their objectives by phone with the program director and other faculty.

Applicants whose graduate academic experience is limited or whose career goals are not sufficiently well defined may be advised to enter the M.P.H. program to gain more knowledge and experience in public health before reapplying to the Dr.P.H. Program.

Dr. P.H. Program Requirements

The program leading to the Dr.P.H. degree requires a minimum of 48 hours of course work past the bachelor degree and 12 to 24 hours of internship, depending on previous public health experience. In addition, the student will undertake a doctoral project of at least 30 weeks of an extended internship, worth at least 15 credits.

Students may apply for admission with advanced standing, based on previous graduate work, and be allowed a maximum of 24 credits for courses applicable to the Dr.P.H. Transfer credits must be approved by the Professional Programs curriculum committee. For students with prior public health experience, up to 12 credits of internship may be waived with permission of the Professional Programs internship committee. All students must complete at least 36 graduate credits, including at least 12 credits of internships but not including the doctoral project, in residence at the University at Albany.

Part time study is permitted. Students must carry at least 3 credits per semester before admission to candidacy and, according to University requirements, be continuously registered. All students must spend two semesters in full time study. For the Dr.P.H. program, a 6 credit internship is considered full-time study.

A. Core curriculum (30 credits)*:

The core curriculum includes the following courses or their equivalents. Students will have completed the equivalent of many of these courses as part of a master's degree program.

1. Epi 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3);

2. Epi 502 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II (3)**;

3. Sta 552 Principles of Statistical Inference I (3)***;

4. Sta 553 Principles of Statistical Inference II (3)***;

5. Hpm 500, Health Care Organization, Delivery and Financing (3);

6. Epi 503 Principles of Public Health (3);

7. Bms 505, Biological Basis of Public Health (3);

8. Eht 590, Introduction to Environmental Health (3);

9. Hpm 525, Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3); and

10. Hpm 641 Organization and Management in Health Institutions (3), or other course in management as approved by advisor.

*Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the core courses.

**Students in the Behavioral Science/Community Health concentration should take Hpm 520, Fundamentals of Research Design instead of Epi 502.

***Students selecting the Biostatistics concentration take Sta 554 and Sta 555, Introduction to the Theory of Statistics, I and II (6 credits total) instead of Sta 552 and Sta 553.

B. Area of Concentration (18 credits, minimum):

Students will have chosen an area of concentration on admission to the program and an academic advisor will be assigned at that time. A change in the area of concentration may be allowed with concurrence of the new department and assignment of a new academic advisor. The change must be approved by the original advisor, the department chair of the original area of concentration, the new advisor, the department chair of the new area of concentration, and the director of professional programs.
Dr.P.H. students are required to take at least six additional courses beyond the core, excluding internships. These are to be selected with the approval of the advisor and should be chosen to prepare the student to undertake the doctoral project and dissertation. They must include the course requirements of the University at Albany M.P.H. program or their equivalents. The student and his/her advisor are encouraged to seek out doctoral level courses in other departments of the University or at other academic institutions if necessary to ensure selection of the most relevant courses to fulfill the student's program objectives.

Specific requirements by area of concentration:

Social Behavior and Community Health

Hpm 521 Introduction to Family and Community Health (3)
Hpm 627 Public Health Education: Targeting Social, Organizational and
Behavioral Factors to Promote Health (3)
Hpm 647 Program Evaluation
Choice of three 600 level or above electives in any department as approved by advisor

Biomedical Sciences

Bms 601A Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (3)
Bms 601B Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (3)
Choice of three 600 level or above electives in Biomedical Sciences as approved by advisor
Choice of two 600 level or above electives in any department as approved by advisor

Biostatistics

Sta 558 Methods of Data Analysis (3)
Choice of two 600 level or above electives in Biometry and Statistics as approved by advisor
Choice of three 600 level or above electives in any department as approved by advisor

Environmental Health

Eht 530 Principles of Toxicology (3)
Eht 665 Risk Assessment (3)
Epi 613 Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (3)
Choice of one elective in Environmental Health and Toxicology as approved by advisor
Choice of two 600 level and above electives in any department as approved by advisor

Epidemiology

Epi 601 General Topics in Epidemiological Methods (3)
An advanced level methods course (in epidemiology, biostatistics or another department) as approved by the advisor and the Dr.P.H. subcommittee
Two 600 level or above Epidemiology courses as approved by advisor
Choice of two 600 level or above electives in any department as approved by advisor

Health Policy and Management

Hpm 501 Health Policy Analysis and Management (3)
Hpm 511 Economic Analysis for Health Policy and Management (3)
Hpm 650 Strategy and Leadership Applications in Health Management (3)
Choice of three 600 level or above electives in any department as approved by advisor

C. Preliminary Examination:
Upon completion of the core courses, each student will be required to pass a written preliminary examination. This examination assesses the student's level of knowledge of the core areas of public health and should be taken as soon as possible after matriculation in the program, usually at the end of the first academic year. While the exam is based on material contained in the core courses, it is expected that the student will demonstrate a superior ability to organize and express these concepts. If a student fails to pass the examination, he/she may attempt it a second time within one year. A second failure will result in the student being dropped from the program. All Dr.P.H. students, including part-time students, should have passed the preliminary examination by the end of their third academic year in the program.

D. Topics for Public Health Practice (3 credits):
All Dr.P.H. students are required to complete Sph 701, Topics for Public Health Practice (3). Students will be expected to enroll in this course as soon as possible after passing the preliminary exam. The course addresses current public health problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, providing an opportunity for doctoral students to synthesize their academic knowledge with public health experience of their own and fellow students and of the faculty. Assigned readings, critical analysis and group interactions are aimed at developing novel approaches to public health policy related to the problems discussed. The course will have a mix of formats, including journal club, student presentations on their research and practice experiences, and faculty presentations. Topics will vary from year to year. This is the only doctoral level course that all Dr.P.H. students take and it will provide an opportunity for doctoral students to interact with each other. Students will be encouraged to take the course more than once.

E. Research Tool:
The research tool requirement for the doctoral degree is met by satisfactorily demonstrating computer literacy; competency is evaluated by the faculty. Satisfactory completion of Epi 514 fulfills the research tool requirement.

F. Internships and Seminars (12-24 credits):
Students who have completed the M.P.H. at the School of Public Health will have completed six months of field experience in public health programs, usually structured as two internships of three months duration each. Doctoral students with other academic preparation must fulfill this requirement by taking Sph 690 - 695, Internships in Public Health, or by waiver by petition to the Professional Programs Internship Committee.
Dr.P.H. students are required to complete, after satisfying the master's level internship requirement, 12 credits of doctoral level internship experience, usually structured as two internships of three months duration each in two different areas as follows:

Sph 790 Doctoral Internship in Area of Concentration (6)
Sph 791 Doctoral Internship Outside Area of Concentration (6)

To ensure the breadth of the student's total practice experience, the 24 credits of internship (including those waived) must be completed in three separate concentration areas.

Students registering for doctoral internships must complete registration forms describing the objectives of the internship as agreed upon by the student, the advisor and the mentor and signed by all three individuals, in a process equivalent to that required of M.P.H. students. A one-month review should similarly be documented. On completion of each internship, the doctoral student must submit a written report of the experience, and present an oral report in a public forum, attended and evaluated by the mentor, advisor, and Director of Professional Programs.

All Dr.P.H. students must enroll in Sph 780, Doctoral Seminar in Public Health, one semester for every semester they register for a doctoral internship.

G. Doctoral Committee:
After passing the preliminary examination, in consultation with the academic advisor, each student will assemble a doctoral committee of at least three members, including the academic advisor and the dissertation mentor. To conform with University at Albany requirements, the chair of the dissertation committee must hold an unqualified appointment at the University. The chair and two other members must hold an earned doctorate or full professorship. Two members must be faculty of the School of Public Health and the third member should have an academic appointment external to the School of Public Health. If the dissertation project is conducted in a public health practice setting with a mentor that does not meet the degree or faculty requirements, it will be necessary for the committee to include a fourth member. The doctoral committee must be formally approved by the Director of Professional Programs before the student takes the qualifying examination.

H. Qualifying Examination/Proposal Defense:
After completing all course requirements and internship requirements, Dr.P.H. students must take and pass a qualifying examination before beginning the doctoral project. The examination will consist of a written and oral presentation by the student of the planned project to his/her doctoral committee, with questioning by the committee to ascertain that the project is appropriate and the student has an understanding of the area of concentration adequate to conduct the project.

I. Admission to Candidacy:
A student will be admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Public Health upon completion of the following:
1. Satisfactory record in course and internship experiences (minimum GPA of 3.0 in core courses and minimum GPA of 3.0 overall)
2. Satisfaction of the residence requirement
3. Satisfaction of the research tool requirement
4. Satisfactory performance on the preliminary examination
5. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examinations and approval by the dissertation committee of the doctoral project proposal

J. Doctoral Project and Dissertation (15 credits):
The doctoral project is the culmination of the Dr.P.H. experience for the student. It consists of an extended internship (at least 30 weeks) investigating a significant public health problem in the student's area of concentration. The doctoral project is described in the doctoral dissertation, which is intended to be the product of the student's original thinking and analysis. While the doctoral project does not require the collection of new data, it must demonstrate that the candidate is capable of sophisticated independent analysis. Upon acceptance of the dissertation, which must be of professional quality as judged by the doctoral committee, the student will present a formal defense of the dissertation in a public forum. Students may register for Sph 898 before admission to candidacy. After admission to candidacy they may register for Sph 899.

CERTIFICATE IN PUBLIC HEALTH FUNDAMENTALS AND PRINCIPLES

The School of Public Health offers a Certificate program in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles (CPH-FP). The Certificate is aimed at preparing students for the continuously changing challenges in public health. Students may choose to take the required courses either online or in class. Building upon the School’s relationship with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and local health departments, the program acknowledges the emerging need for creative educational modalities in health.

The program requires the completion of 18 graduate course credits. These consist of 6 Master of Public Health (MPH) core courses. All of the CPH-FP courses will be offered in-class (SUNY-East Campus) and online through the SUNY Learning Network (SLN). The courses include:

EPI 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3 credits)
EPI 503 Principles of Public Health (3 credits)
STA 552 Principles of Statistical Inference I (3 credits)
HPM 500 Health Care Organization, Delivery and Financing (3 credits)
HPM 525 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3 credits)
EHT 590 Introduction to Environmental Health (3 credits)

Course waivers can be obtained only through prior approval and there is a transfer credit limit of one course (3 credits). To obtain the degree, each student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and file an application for Certificate completion within four years of admission.

Students who are enrolled in a School of Public Health degree program and who would like to pursue the Certificate degree can do so if they fulfill the above-mentioned requirements for degree completion.

All of the Certificate’s six required courses are identified by the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the School of Public Health. Students who have completed the CPH-FP and who have been admitted to pursue a MPH may apply these courses to a degree at the School if they have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher while pursuing the Certificate; have completed the courses within five years of application to the degree program and have fulfilled the admission requirements of the desired degree program.


CERTIFICATE IN PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE AND PREPAREDNESS

The School of Public Health’s Certificate in Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness program offers formal training in public health preparedness with a focus on bioterrorism and infectious disease. A major advantage of the Certificate is the availability of most required courses through distance education as well as the traditional in-class modality. This flexibility enables the Certificate to build upon the School of Public Health’s goals of providing public health education to working professionals and upgrading the skills of the public health workforce. The Certificate’s close association with the Center for Public Health Preparedness provides access to a rich database of training and education resources for both students and faculty.

The program requires the completion of 15 graduate course credits. These include two Master of Public Health (MPH) core courses (Epi 501 and Eht 590) for a total of six credits that may be applied towards an MPH. The courses include:

Epi 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3 credits)
Epi 605 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
Eht 590 Introduction to Environmental Health (3 credits)
Sph 539 Topics in Public Health Preparedness (3 credits)
Sph 589 Emergency Preparedness: The Public Health Perspective (3 credits)

Course waivers can be obtained only through prior approval and there is a transfer credit limit of one course (3 credits). To obtain the degree, each student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and file an application for Certificate completion within four years of admission.

Students who are enrolled in a School of Public Health degree program and who would like to pursue the Certificate degree can do so if they fulfill the above-mentioned requirements for degree completion.

Non-matriculated students can take a maximum of two Certificate courses before being admitted into the Certificate.