MPH: Maternal & Child Health Concentration

The mission of the concentration in maternal & child health (MCH) is to improve the health of women, children, families, and communities, with a strong commitment to address health inequities and the systems and policies that contribute to them. To this mission, the concentration faculty brings life-course, gender-based, and ecologic perspectives. The primary focus is on the United States; however, the faculty, curriculum, and scholarly activities include countries across the development spectrum. The faculty conduct research, education, and service in partnership with community-based organizations; advocates; and local, national, and international government agencies.

Students in the MCH concentration explore the unique physical, emotional, and social needs of this population through coursework in the health of women across the lifespan, mothers and infants, children and adolescents. They learn the skills of community-based needs assessment and the value of placing their knowledge into a socio-political context. Through the MCH concentration, students obtain a comprehensive understanding of the multiple determinants of health and the local, state, and national programs and policies that affect the well-being of families and communities. The MCH curriculum:

  • assumes that the health of women, children, adolescents, families, communities, and society at large are integrally related
  • emphasizes learning by doing
  • translates research into practice
  • launches a life-long process of self-directed learning and action

Graduates from the MCH concentration are equipped with the knowledge, critical thinking ability, technical skills, and professional vitality essential to assessing community needs and assets, designing and evaluating programs and policies, and advocating for health equity. They are employed as managers, researchers, and advocates in a variety of private and public sector organizations and agencies in the United States and around the world.

Concentration Requirements

MCH concentrators work directly with their advisors in planning a course of study that addresses both the students’ interests and the MCH concentration requirements. In addition to meeting the MPH degree requirements, MCH concentrators must earn a minimum of 16 concentration credits. Of these 16 credits, 8 credits are earned by successfully completing two required courses:

  • MC 725 Women, Children, and Adolescents: Public Health Approaches
  • SB 820 Assessment and Planning for Health Promotion

In addition to completing MC 725 and SB 820, all MCH concentrators must earn at least 8 additional credits in SPH courses numbered MC 700 or above, or in these courses, which are approved for MCH concentration credit:

  • EP 759 Reproductive Epidemiology
  • IH 735 Gender, Sexuality, Power, and Inequity in International Health
  • IH 753 Beyond Reproductive Health: Women’s Health in Developing Countries
  • IH 766 Sexual and Reproductive Health in Disaster Settings
  • IH 881 Evidence-Based Strategies for International Reproductive Health
  • IH 887 Planning and Managing MCH Programs in Developing Countries
  • SB 750 Intimate Partner Violence
  • SB 751 Sexual Violence: Public Health Perspectives in Intervention and Prevention
  • SB 808 Merging Clinical and Population Based Perspective in Public Health: Tension and Resolution
  • SB 821 Intervention Strategies for Health Promotion
  • SB 822 Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation

MCH Culminating Experience

All Maternal and Child health concentrators must complete an integrative paper. Students must meet with their advisors to plan the experience, submit a signed Culminating Experience Approval form, and complete the drafts and final product according to the established deadlines. In addition, MCH Leadership Program students must complete an electronic portfolio by the established deadlines for the MCH Culminating Experience.