Trainees in the two-year program complete the academic training leading to the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Trainees are encouraged to complete the majority of the MPH courses during the first year of training. Most trainees complete 8 or 9 of the required 14 courses before beginning the practicum year of training. The didactic training provides a foundation for the practicum and research activities in the second year. Trainees have the option of completing the MPH at the Worcester or Amherst Campuses of the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences. In Worcester, a full complement of core courses and electives are offered for trainees choosing to concentrate in epidemiology or health policy and management. Trainees who prefer to concentrate in biostatistics, community health education, or environmental health have the option of taking courses on the Amherst campus. Both options fulfill the requirements of the training and the American Board of Preventive Medicine by offering courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, environmental and occupational health, and social and behavioral influences on health. Trainees who enroll in the Worcester Campus MPH program have the option of taking some of their courses on the web. The School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers an on-line Public Health Practice MPH; these courses are available to our trainees and offer flexibility to trainees who are interested in taking MPH courses while they are participating in institutional or federal off-site rotations (Table 3).
Trainees typically enroll in three courses per semester during the academic year and one to two courses during the summer session. Fall and spring semester courses are conducted once a week for 13 weeks; summer session courses are offered in six-week blocks with courses conducted twice a week. On the Worcester Campus, courses are taught from 5:00 to 7:30 in the evening, allowing trainees flexibility to schedule practicum and clinical experiences during the day. The requirements for the MPH degree include a total of 42 credits, with up to six credits being earned through a required MPH project. The project may be an original epidemiologic study, development and evaluation of a disease prevention/health promotion project, or an original analysis and interpretation of epidemiologic data that has been collected by researchers at UMassMemorial or the State Department of Public Health.