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. 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.

MCH applies a life course perspective to its mission. The life course perspective combines an understanding of human development and the social determinants of health as they accumulate and interact across the life span and across generations. Throughout our education and research activities, we give special attention to the impact of gender, race and racism, culture, and economic well-being on people’s health. We integrate principles of family-centeredness, cultural competence, and anti-racism, in the effort to eliminate health inequities, and we recognize that the strengths of individuals and communities must be harnessed to create comprehensive solutions.

The MCH curriculum combines knowledge of the scientific foundation of MCH practice with the technical and professional skills needed to shape and influence public health practice and policy:

  • community assessment and planning
  • program design and management
  • research and evaluation
  • policy and advocacy
  • community partnership and team leadership

Students learn to base their practice on the best public health evidence available and to tailor their practice to the cultural, social, and economic realities within communities. MCH courses cover women’s health across the life span; sexual and reproductive health and justice; the perinatal period and birth outcomes; inter-conception care; child health with an emphasis on their mental health and well-being, special needs, along with youth and adolescent development.

Upon graduation, MCH concentrators are equipped with the knowledge, critical thinking, and technical and leadership skills essential for assessing community needs and assets, designing and evaluating programs and policies, and advocating for health equity. Graduates are employed as managers, researchers, and advocates within private and public sector organizations in the US and across the globe.

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 or SB 821 Intervention Strategies for Health Promotion (students are required to choose one)

In addition to completing MC 725 and SB 820 or SB 821, 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 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 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. Students register for MC 940 for the Culminating Experience. Those students who do not finish the Culminating Experience register for MC 941 in the next semester.