With a particular emphasis on racial and ethnic health disparities, the program addresses a broad range of public health concerns, including environmental issues such as air, water, and food quality; the control of infectious diseases; illnesses associated with the built environment; substance abuse; and international terrorism.
Professional opportunities in public health abound, and graduates with master's degrees in public health commonly go on to take jobs in settings such as federal, state, and local health agencies, academia, hospitals, community-based agencies, pharmaceutical industries, and private foundations.
Non-Thesis Curriculum Leads to MPH
The Master of Public Health Program in Urban Public Health at Northeastern University is a non-thesis (professional) master's degree program with a curriculum that typically requires two years of full-time study to complete. However, the degree may be earned on a part-time basis as well.
The program includes 5 core courses: Epidemiology; Biostatistics; Occupational and Environmental Health; Public Health Administration and Policy; and Society, Behavior, and Health.
In addition, students take 3 core urban health courses, including Principles and History of Urban Health; Race, Ethnicity, and the United States; and Urban Community Health Assessment.
Students are required to receive a B- grade or higher in all required courses.
In keeping with Northeastern University's heavy emphasis on experiential learning, students in the Master of Public Health Program in Urban Public Health, instead of completing a thesis, complete a capstone project, in which they work on-site in a wide range of public health practice settings.
The capstone projects relate to students' chosen areas of urban health focus, and allow for the integration of theory and practice experiences in major research, program planning, policy development, management, service delivery, or evaluation projects.
Faculty members provide guidance and mentoring on the student-led, community-based projects, and students also participate in capstone seminars to support the integration of their practice and analytic experiences.
Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice
Northeastern houses the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice which is devoted to knowledge discovery and its practical application to improve personal and public health within urban communities. The Institute is headed by John Auerbach, Distinguished Professor of Practice. He brings a wealth of public health experience including oversight of government agencies, healthcare facilities, and nonprofit boards, most recently as the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Under his leadership, the Institute’s research focuses on health issues that disproportionately impact urban communities. Specific research projects investigate racial and ethnic health disparities and the cultural and community contextual factors that impact health status and health care access. Additional topics of study include emerging health issues such as those related to healthcare reform and the linkage of population health with clinical care.
The faculty of the Public Health Program in Urban Public Health represents an interdisciplinary mix of experts in various fields, including population health, health disparities, nutritional epidemiology, medical sociology, public policy, and mental health. Dr. Alisa Lincoln, associate professor of sociology and health sciences recently received a $1.3 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to explore the connection between literacy and mental health.
Professor Elmer Freeman, Executive Director at the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. brings his experience working in Boston’s communities of color as a community organizer, health care clinician, administrator, public health practitioner, and more recently as community researcher. Mr. Freeman is a recognized expert in the application of community-based participatory research principles in partnerships with academic researchers to address disparities and inequities in health and health care of underserved communities.
Dr. Jean McGuire brings considerable public health experience to the Master of Public Health Program, having served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services for the state of Massachusetts, her longstanding work in HIV/AIDS as well as expertise in health policy, healthcare reform, and disability.