Program Curriculum

The program is designed to meet the needs of a variety of students by offering a generalist MPH degree, certificates in specialized areas, and dual degrees with master's level programs in business administration and organizational behavior.

The year-round program is offered in four quarter terms a year winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Classes are held on campus in the evenings, Monday through Thursday, from 6:30PM to 9:30PM; on weekends; online; or in a blended online and on campus format. Students are admitted to either the on-campus or the online program.

M.P.H. Degree: Curriculum

The generalist MPH degree prepares students to be public health practitioners who draw on knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines. The foundation (core) coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, management, policy, behavioral and social aspects of public health, environmental health, and biology, provides a scientific and practical base for public health practice. Elective courses may be taken in a variety of areas such as health education, finance, law, and information technology or in other programs such as psychology, business, information systems, nutrition and wellness. The M.P.H. degree can be applied in a variety of settings and positions. A few examples are administration of private health organizations, social service or public health agencies at the local, state, national, and international levels; managers, planners, evaluators or practitioners in community or workplace health promotion programs; and epidemiologists working on cancer surveillance or in the pharmaceutical industry. Current and future health professionals in medicine, nursing, dentistry, or pharmacy find the M.P.H degree provides them with a broader perspective and additional skills to complement their primary disciplines.

The M.P.H. degree requires 43 semester hours which includes 30 semester credit hours of foundation (core) courses; 9 quarter credit hours of elective courses; and an internship/capstone experience of 4 semester credit hours (240 contact hours).

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience gives students the opportunity to integrate knowledge and competencies acquired through the curriculum and apply this approach to real public health problems and practice.

PBHL 6898 Community Health Analysis and PBHL 6899 MPH Internship/Capstone are considered the two culminating courses in the program. PBHL 6898 is the final foundation course taken and must be completed in order to be eligible for PBHL 6899-MPH Internship/Capstone. PBHL 6899 is typically the final course taken in the program and is required as the definitive experiential learning experience of the MPH degree

  • PBHL 6898 Community Health Analysis is taken after successful completion of all other core/foundational courses. In this course, students will conduct an in-depth analysis of health-related factors for a defined population(s) or community of interest, synthesizing and integrating knowledge acquired in previous coursework to resolve a significant public health problem. The final work product is a major paper representing all concepts covered in the course (average paper length is 30-40 pages)
  • PBHL 6899 Internship/Capstone is taken after successful completion of all core courses. This is a pass/fail course designed to prepare students to become public health professionals. Students should begin planning for the internship/capstone upon admission to the program and submit application forms to the internship coordinator at least 1-2 terms prior to starting internship. The internship gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and competencies acquired through coursework in a real work setting. Internships are frequently unpaid. Many students are able to work at regular jobs and complete the 240 contact hours (6 quarter credits) required for the internship on a part-time basis. This often requires some flexibility in one's regular job. Internships may be completed overmultible terms. Internship coordinators work with students on an individual basis. Students must complete a minimum of 240 hours in an approved site with an approved preceptor who will supervise and mentor the student’s work. Upon completion of 240 hours, students will submit 10-page reflection paper describing specific competencies and skills gained/demonstrated in the practice setting. A full-length oral presentation summarizing and reflecting upon the internship is also required for the final grade.

A student must complete a minimum of 24 semester credit hours of coursework at Benedictine University at the 5000 level or above. This requirement is known as the academic residency requirement. For students in dual degree programs, the residency requirement is 48 semester credit hours.

The average length of time to complete the MPH degree is 2-3 years; however, students have up to 6 years to complete the program. Dual degree programs require additional time to complete. Dual-degree students must complete both program requirements within 6 years. Graduate-students-at-large may count a maximum of 12 semester hours toward a degree and then must apply for admission to the degree program. 

Courses designated as foundation (core) courses, as identified in the course catalog, require a grade of a 'B' or higher to apply toward graduation/certificate requirements. Students receiving a grade of 'C' must or below in a foundational course must repeat the course to be eligible for PBHL 6898 and PBHL 6899. Students must receive a grade of 'C' or higher in elective courses. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 to graduate from the MPH program or any MPH dual-degree program.



The Master of Public Health program at Benedictine University is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

The final accreditation report is available upon request. To obtain a copy of the report please contact Susan Cheng, PhD at scheng@ben.edu or 630-829-6181.

My M.P.H. degree continues to provide benefits in more ways than I can imagine. Thanks to the great mentorship provided by the Benedictine faculty, I am better able to stay abreast of health care system reform efforts and be involved in those efforts. I serve as a student delegate to the American Association of Public Health Physicians, and was one of the few students selected to attend President Obama's address to the American Medical Association in Chicago. These issues are second nature to me because we discussed them often in my classes at Benedictine.

Ibrahim Shamsi
Medical school student
M.P.H. program graduate

For Admissions Inquiries:

Caroline Pluta, M.S.
Graduate Admissions Counselor
(630) 829-6311

For Graduate Tuition Information:

Current Graduate Tuition and Fees at Benedictine University


Department of Public Health
Benedictine University

Jeffrey Trask, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Mary Spengler, MOT
Program Coordinator

Email: mspengler@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6215

Hours: 9:00 a.m. -  5:00 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281