Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management
School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

MPH Course Descriptions

PH 600: Foundations of Public Health. This course introduces students to public health
concepts as well as public health professional practice. Students will examine the origins and
development of the modern public health system and the relationship of public health to the
overall health system. This course will broadly cover topics that students will explore in future
public health coursework, including epidemiology, global and environmental health, health
policy and administration, and planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.

PH 635: Theories in Health. Selected health behavior theories and their application to the
practice of public health will be covered. Using a social-ecological framework, we will examine
theories, research, and interventions that aim to promote the health of individuals, communities,
and populations.

PH 625: Research Design and Evaluation. This course covers basic research design and
application toward conducting research and evaluations in public health, park and recreation
management, and exercise science. In addition, coursework will emphasize the interdisciplinary
nature of health-related research and foster understanding of different research designs.

PH 646: Epidemiology. Broadly applied, this course will focus on demographics, distribution,
etiology, and patterns of disease. Students will learn the behavioral determinants of disease
through the course’s focus on statistical and methodological aspects of epidemiology.

PH 626/PH 511: Statistical Analysis/Applied Statistics. This course is an introduction to
statistics and the science of organizing, analyzing, and interpreting numerical data. Students will
be required to use SPSS to solve various statistical problems.

PH 528: Public Health Policy. This course will provide an overview of the public health and
healthcare systems in the U.S. so students have a better understanding of how policy shapes
health in our country. Through lectures, readings, and case studies, students will learn how
public health policies are developed and implemented as well as how their impact is evaluated.

PH 555: Health Equity. The purpose of this course is to illustrate health disparities across a
range of populations in the U.S., position those disparities within the broader sociopolitical
framework that leads to their existence, and most importantly present specific ways in which
health equity solutions can be designed and implemented. This course will provide students with
the basis to achieve greater health equity in their communities by reviewing current theoretical
foundations, cultural context, and evidence-based models and interventions.

PH 515: Motivational Interviewing. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a participant-centered
health behavior counseling method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring
and resolving ambivalence. This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and
techniques associated with the MI method, with consideration of diverse environments
(community, worksite, healthcare, research) and varied behavioral issues (healthy lifestyle behaviors, chronic disease prevention). Students in this class will complete readings related to
MI, gain additional information from lectures and discussions, and practice MI skills.

PH 505: Health Program Planning. This course is designed to help students understand and
develop skills necessary to carry out health promotion program development in a variety of
settings. Theoretical and practical information related to needs assessment, program planning,
and program implementation will be introduced. The course will also focus on developing
competency around formulating and implementing health programs, including understanding
community organization and best practices for sustaining health programs.

PH 685: Health Program Evaluation. Students will gain practical knowledge and skills in
designing and implementing evaluations for public health programs. Students will learn the
entire program evaluation process, starting with community assessment and program
development as precursors to the participatory model for evaluation. Framing program
evaluation in the context of community-based participatory research, this course will utilize case
studies to teach best practices and end with students designing a complete program evaluation.

JOUR/IMC 585: Health Communication. This course targets students in communication and
health professions interested in health-related careers. It focuses on the growing field of health
communication, with an emphasis on health promotion, behavior change campaigns, and health

PH 698: Public Health Practicum. This experience provides students with an opportunity to
apply public health concepts and skills in a practical setting under the guidance of a trained
professional. The supervised practicum assists students in making the transition from the
university setting to the applied work setting. Furthermore, the practicum helps students adapt
more readily to the professional roles they may assume after graduation.

PH 699: Public Health Capstone. Students will complete an Integrated Learning Experience
(ILE) during their final semester. This experience should demonstrate foundational public health
knowledge and concentration-specific competencies. Through this capstone project, students will
apply public health theories and principles learned in the classroom to an area of public health