Online Master of Public Health Program Handbook

 

Program overview

On behalf of faculty and staff at the School of Public Health (SPH), we welcome you to the Online Master of Public Health (MPH) Program! This handbook should be used throughout your program to provide guidance for requirements, expectations and opportunities within the SPH and the Graduate School.

Vision of the School of Public Health

Equitable, healthy, and resilient communities. We achieve this vision through these values:

  1. Promoting health equity
  2. Embracing diversity
  3. Advancing knowledge
  4. Succeeding through collaboration
  5. Developing workforce excellence

Mission of the School of Public Health

To develop, disseminate, and apply knowledge to protect and promote the health of populations. The school’s goals that describe strategies to accomplish the defined mission:

  1. Develop and advance knowledge for public health through research and practice
  2. Cultivate and prepare a skilled and diverse workforce that can sustain equitable and healthy communities
  3. Prepare students to become public health practitioners, researchers, educators and leaders
  4. Lead innovative approaches to improve public health and reduce health disparities
  5. Engage with diverse communities through professional, educational, and scholarly service

Online MPH program of study

The SPH offers a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with specializations in Epidemiology, Health Administration and Policy, Social and Behavioral Health, and Public Health Practice (online only). A BS to MPH program and a MD/MPH dual degree are also offered. Students graduating from a CEPH accredited program are eligible to sit for the national Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam.

For students in the online program, the MPH specialization is Public Health Practice.

The goal of the MPH program is to prepare students to be effective public health professionals. Public health professionals work in a variety of organizations and agencies to contribute to the common aim of promoting and protecting health in human populations through innovative research, policy analysis, and education that draws upon multidisciplinary expertise. The school serves local, national, and international communities with its knowledge through practicum experience.

Contact information

For questions related to the Public Health Practice (Online) specialization or application, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Leslie Elliott, at lelliott@unr.edu.

MPH competencies

MPH foundational competencies

  1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice
  5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels
  7. Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
  8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  9. Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention
  10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs
  12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  14. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
  16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
  17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
  18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
  21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
  22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Public Health Practice MPH competencies

  1. Create goals, measurable objectives, related activities, and expected outcomes for a public health program
  2. Explain the strategic planning processes and the relationship to budget formulation and sustainability planning
  3. Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to measure the spatial and temporal clustering of disease
  4. Identify factors associated with the spatial distribution of disease
  5. Utilize charts, diagrams and other forms of visualization during project management
  6. Apply the principles of emergency preparedness to solve problems under emergency conditions
  7. Monitor population health using surveillance data
  8. Evaluate a public health surveillance system
  9. Distinguish methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness through review and analysis of public health law
  10. Utilize information technology to assess, evaluate and interpret public health data

New student information

New students are enrolled in the online Student Resource Center (SRC) after admission into the MPH program. The SRC provides students with important information about the program and introduces students to the online learning environment. The Student Resource Center is also the location for all program information. Students are responsible for all information within the SRC, and for information sent through announcements from the SRC.

University of Nevada, Reno student ID and communication

  • After admission to the University, students need to obtain and set up an account with My Nevada.
    • Under “For Current Students,” “Create My Profile”, students can set up their university account, including providing an email address that will be used for all University and program communication. Use of the Nevada.edu email address is required when communicating with instructors and the Program Director.
  • Set up NetID and password at Net ID Activation
    • This site assists students in activating their NetID and user password, which will be used to access MyNevada, WebCampus and other university resources.
  • Log into WebCampus with your University NetID to view course content and announcements.
  • Purchase a WolfCard student ID
    • Online students may order a WolfCard student ID through the Student Resource Center. This requires a valid U.S. State or Federally issued photo ID or a passport and a recent photo.

Class registration

After admission into the MPH program, students are registered into classes by the Admissions and Records Office. Students are not responsible for course registration. Students with questions about course schedules should discuss them with the Program Director.  

After students are registered, they must log into the course during the first week of class to participate in the course. Students who do not log in and participate by the end of the 5th day are at risk of being dropped from the course.

Tuition and fee Information

Academic calendar

 

Admission requirements

Admissions deadline

The online MPH program admits students for Spring, Summer and Fall semesters, with admissions deadlines six weeks before the beginning of each semester. To receive full consideration for graduate scholarship funding, however, applicants are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible for the semester in which they want to begin. Applicants to the online program do not submit materials to SOPHAS, but only submit an application to the Graduate School.

Applicants need to meet and/or complete the following:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale. Applicants with cumulative GPA < 3.0 will be considered if their GPA for the last 60 hours of coursework is 3.0 or greater.
  2. Completion of an undergraduate or graduate (or approved) course in statistics
  3. At least two letters of recommendation are required. Three letters are recommended. 
  4. Written statement of purpose. The essay should be approximately 500 words in length, addressing applicant’s career objectives and interest in graduate study.
  5. Updated resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  6. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for applicants from non-English speaking nations with a minimum score of 550 for the TOEFL paper exam, 80 for the internet-based exam, or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or Duolingo of a minimum score of 105.
 

Degree requirements

All MPH students must complete a minimum of 45 graduate level credits: 21 credits from the MPH core courses, 18 credits in the concentration area (Public Health Practice), and a culminating experience that includes a 3-credit practicum (field studies course) and a 3-credit integrative learning experience (capstone course).

Required prerequisite coursework

Completion of an undergraduate or graduate course in statistics is required prior to admission into the MPH program.

Sample curriculum for Public Health Practice emphasis

The following represents a suggested curriculum and course progression for the Public Health Practice emphasis. Students should consider this an example only, consult their advisor and check the current course catalog. 

VIEW THE COURSE CATALOG

Public Health Core Courses (21 credits)

All students receiving an MPH in any specialization are required to take the following seven core courses. Substitution of transfer course credits from other institutions must be reviewed and approved by faculty and the Program Director. The Graduate Credit Transfer Evaluation Request form must be completed and emailed to the Online Program Director for consideration of transfer credits. The Transfer Evaluation Request must be accompanied by a syllabus of the course requesting to be transferred.

Public Health core courses (21 credits)

  • CHS 700 Research Methods for Public Health (3) (CHS 747 for On-Campus Programs)
  • CHS 701 Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health (3)
  • CHS 712 Epidemiology in Public Health (3)
  • CHS 725 Health and the Environment (3)
  • CHS 755 Health Policy (3)
  • CHS 756 Organizational Behavior and Leadership in Health Services (3)
  • CHS 780 Biostatistics in Public Health (3)

Public Health Practice emphasis courses (18 credits)

  • CHS 702: Program Development in Public Health Practice (3)
  • CHS 716: Public Health Finance (3)
  • CHS 733: GIS and Spatial Analysis in Public Health (1)
  • CHS 734: Project Management Principles for Public Health (1)
  • CHS 735: Public Health Emergency Preparedness (1)
  • CHS 748: Epidemiologic Surveillance (3)
  • CHS 761: Public Health Law (3)
  • CHS 762: Public Health Information Systems and Data Management (3)

Practicum (3 credits)

The practicum is an important element of the MPH curriculum where the student obtains experience in a public health setting (150 hours) appropriate to the development of professional practice skills.

  • CHS 798: Field Studies in Public Health (3)

Integrative Learning Experience (3 credits)

All MPH students will complete an integrative learning experience that demonstrates synthesis of foundational and specialization competencies. This will be achieved by writing and presenting an MPH Capstone paper.

  • CHS 796: MPH Capstone (3)

Sample course progression

In addition to the six- and seven-semester program progressions, the online program also offers an eight-semester, two-courses per semester option. In this option, each semester has two courses (except for the semesters with field studies), and students begin field studies in the fifth semester instead of the four semester.

X-Term: Course progression for students matriculating in spring or fall of odd years (e.g., 2021, 2023) or in summer of even years (e.g., 2020, 2022).

Y-Term: Course progression for students matriculating in spring or fall of even years (e.g., 2020, 2022) or in summer of odd years (e.g., 2021, 2023).

Six-semester course progression

Cohort start: X-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 756 CHS 748 CHS 762 CHS 796
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 725 CHS 755 CHS 716 CHS 761
n/a n/a CHS 734 CHS 733 CHS 735 CHS 702
n/a n/a CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 798 n/a

Cohort start: Y-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 748 CHS 756 CHS 702 CHS 796
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 755 CHS 725 CHS 716 CHS 761
n/a n/a CHS 733 CHS 734 CHS 735 CHS 702
n/a n/a CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 798 n/a

Seven-semester course progression

Cohort start: X-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6 Term 7
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 756 CHS 748 CHS 762 CHS 716 CHS 761
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 725 CHS 755 CHS 733 CHS 702 CHS 796
n/a n/a CHS 734 CHS 798 CHS 735 CHS 798 n/a
n/a n/a n/a n/a CHS 798 n/a n/a

Cohort start: Y-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6 Term 7
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 748 CHS 762 CHS 702 CHS 725 CHS 761
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 755 CHS 756 CHS 734 CHS 716 CHS 796
n/a n/a CHS 733 CHS 798 CHS 735 CHS 798 n/a
n/a n/a n/a n/a CHS 798 n/a n/a

Eight-semester course progression

Cohort start: X-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6 Term 7 Term 8
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 725 CHS 748 CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 796
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 756 CHS 755 CHS 762 CHS 702 CHS 716 CHS 761
n/a n/a n/a n/a CHS 735 CHS 734 CHS 733 n/a
Cohort start: Y-term
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6 Term 7 Term 8
CHS 700 CHS 701 CHS 748 CHS 725 CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 798 CHS 796
CHS 712 CHS 780 CHS 755 CHS 756 CHS 702 CHS 762 CHS 716 CHS 761
n/a n/a n/a n/a CHS 733 CHS 735 CHS 734 n/a

MPH internship

The purpose of the internship requirement is to provide each MPH student with significant practical public health experience in an agency outside of the University. There are a wide variety of organizations that qualify as an internship site locally, nationally, and internationally.

The MPH student is expected to find an organization to complete the internship opportunity. The Internship Instructor and other faculty can provide support through their various connections in the communities, but it is up to the student to arrange an internship that best fits with his or her area of interest. The identification and approval of possible internship sites should begin in the semester prior to being enrolled in CHS 798 Field Studies in Public Health.

Students must register for a total of three credit hours of CHS 798 and complete a minimum of 150 total work hours. Students may meet the hour requirement at their own pace, upon approval from their field studies preceptor and the field studies instructor, with the understanding that the hours should be completed over one to three semesters.

When determining an internship site, emphasis should be placed on arranging an internship experience that will provide the student with new skills and experiences, where the student will be working in a professional capacity. Once a site and preceptor (site supervisor) have been identified and arranged, the student will work with all parties to complete the Student Learning Contract (SLC), which outlines student goals, objectives, and competencies to be addressed during the Internship. Competencies are defined by CEPH as: Competencies clearly define what the student will do to demonstrate learning for a workforce-related need. The course objective specifies what the institution intends to do to achieve its course goals.”

The SLC is due the semester before the internship begins. The SLC must be signed by all parties and submitted to the internship instructor prior to the start of any internship hours. Preceptors must have significant education and/or work experience in public health to qualify as a preceptor. Final determination of preceptor qualification will be made by the Field Studies Instructor or appropriate faculty in the program. 

Students enrolled in the 6-semester option should plan on enrolling in 1 credit of CHS 798 each semester beginning in their third semester and ending in their fifth (penultimate) semester. Students work with the Field Studies Instructor in the Field Studies Resource Center (FRC) during their second semester to prepare for the field studies experience.

Students in the 7-semester option enroll in 1 credit hour of CHS 798 beginning in their fourth semester and ending in their sixth (penultimate) semester. Students work with the Field Studies Instructor in the Field Studies Resource Center (FRC) during their third semester to prepare for the field studies experience.

Students in the 8-semester option enroll in 1 credit hour of CHS 798 beginning in their fifth semester and ending in their seventh (penultimate) semester. Students work with the Field Studies Instructor in the Field Studies Resource Center (FRC) during their fourth semester to prepare for the field studies experience.

Interprofessional education (IPE) didactic and practice sessions, a core component of the CHS 798 course, take place throughout the internship. Attendance in IPE exercises is required as part of the CHS 798 course.

Background checks policy for University programs

Some states, as well as federal laws, now require that any individual who regularly provides services to certain segments of the population (generally, those deemed “vulnerable” or “special,” including but not limited to children and the sick) must submit to a criminal background check in order to obtain and maintain privileges in clinical and/or educational settings. Additionally, many sites affiliated with the University of Nevada, Reno have adopted this requirement for educational purposes. 

It is not University policy to perform background checks on all University students, and University does not certify or vouch for the background of the students who participate in an internship. Accordingly, an organization must conduct its own background check or require the student to obtain a background check, if the organization wants to determine fitness for duty using that information. It shall be the organization’s responsibility to evaluate the results of such background check and determine the student’s fitness for duty.

Students must be aware that:

  • If a criminal background check is required for placement at any internship or clinical facility, the expense for the check will be borne by the student or requesting agency. 
  • Student’s responsibilities: Each student required to provide a criminal background check must provide documentation that they have completed the fingerprinting and criminal background check as required by the facility.  Students may need to provide this information prior to beginning the internship. 
  • Results of a criminal background check will not be the property of the University. The University will not require the submission of results to the School of Public Health or the University.
  • If a student fails to pass a criminal background check, they may be ineligible for participation in the internship experience, which may impede their ability to progress in their coursework.
  • The School of Public Health or the University does not accept responsibility for any student being ineligible for coursework or continued enrollment in the School of Public Health for any reason, including failure to pass a criminal background check.

MPH capstone course: Professional paper and presentation

According to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), all MPH students must demonstrate skills and integration of knowledge through a culminating experience.  A culminating experience is one that requires a student to synthesize and integrate foundational and concentration competencies.  Students will complete an MPH capstone paper that represents the culmination and mastery of the MPH curriculum. 

The MPH capstone course will provide the structure students need to complete the capstone paper and presentation. Students will provide and receive peer evaluation on their paper and presentation in the capstone course. Students will receive points in the capstone course for meeting paper and presentation deadlines and the quality of ALL submissions. The student’s paper must be of sufficient academic rigor to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum and competencies. 

Students should plan on taking CHS 796 in their last semester of the program. The focus of the capstone paper will vary based on the student’s interest, and generally derives from the field studies experience. In addition to the competencies identified by the capstone course instructor, students will choose one additional foundational competency and two additional Public Health Practice competencies that they will achieve with their paper and presentation.

In addition to providing the structure for completion of the MPH capstone paper and presentation, the capstone course will also address planning for lifelong learning and professional service.

Graduation process

MPH students graduate in the semester that they complete all requirements of the MPH degree, usually in the same semester they complete the MPH capstone course. Students have a total of 6 years to complete all degree requirements. Students graduating in Summer semesters may participate in the Hooding and Commencement Ceremonies in (1) Spring preceding graduation, or (2) Fall following graduation. Students graduating in Fall semesters may participate in the Hooding and Commencement Ceremonies in the Fall semester or in the Spring following graduation.

The student should purchase a graduation application by the posted deadline. The Graduate School will review each application and email the students within 3 to 8 weeks with the result of their graduation review. All candidates for graduation should communicate with the Program Director or the Academic Advisor to confirm expectations for the final semester. Important dates, deadlines, and milestones are located on the University’s graduation and deadlines website. 

The MPH Hooding Ceremony is the highlight of the Graduation Process – all family and friends are invited. The timing of this allows for MPH students to attend the University's Graduate Student Commencement as well.

 

Academic and professional standards and policies

Academic standards

The University Academic Standards Policy defines academic dishonesty, and mandates specific sanctions for violations. See the University Academic Standards policy: UAM 6,502. Sanctions for violations of University academic standards for academic dishonesty may include academic and/or disciplinary sanctions. Academic sanctions for both undergraduate and graduate students may include: filing a final grade of "F", reducing the student's final course grade one or two full grade points; giving a reduced grade or zero on the coursework; or requiring the student to retake or resubmit the coursework. Before beginning the program, all students must review the University Academic Standards Policy.

Good standing

All graduate students must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0. If their GPA drops below 3.0, they are either placed on probation or dismissed from the program. Undergraduate courses will not count towards graduate GPA.

To be counted toward the MS degree, each graduate course must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. To remain in good standing in the program, students are required to maintain a 3.0 “B” grade point average in both the core and the specialization, individually.

Probation and dismissal

According to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Code, Title 2, Chapter 11, “a student may be dismissed from a program for academic reasons which may include but are not limited to inadequate grades or failure to remain in academic good standing as defined by the program, a lack of professionalism or unethical conduct, or failure to comply with other specific program requirements. Failure to comport with professional and/or ethical standards applicable to the particular discipline or program may be grounds for dismissal from a program.” The School of Public Health has developed a dismissal policy that includes dismissal for failure to maintain required grades or required grade point average, dismissal for lack of professionalism, unethical conduct, or failure to comply with other program requirements. Before beginning the program, all students must acknowledge that they have reviewed the School of Public Health Dismissal Policy.

Students whose cumulative grade-point total is between 2.31 and 2.99 are placed on academic probation for one semester. Graduate students on probation are not eligible for graduate assistantships. If they fail to raise their cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of one semester, they are dismissed from their graduate program. Thesis, dissertation, S/U graded credits, and transfer credits have no impact on a student’s GPA.

If a student’s grade point average is 2.30 or lower, the student will be dismissed from graduate standing. A student dismissed from graduate standing because of grade-point deficiencies may enroll as a Graduate Special in undergraduate or graduate courses. To enroll in graduate-level courses, advance written approval must be obtained from the course instructor, the department/program concerned and the Graduate School. Enrolling in undergraduate courses will not raise the cumulative graduate GPA

Dismissal recommendations for reasons other than failure to maintain required grades or required grade point average require a written Notice of Dismissal from the Director of Graduate Studies to the student and the Graduate Dean, and the scheduling of a Review Conference, according to Chapter 11 of the Nevada System of Higher Education CODE. Students can appeal their dismissal from graduate standing by submitting a formal letter to the Dean of the Graduate School and to the Director of Graduate Studies. The letter must be submitted within 10 working days following notification of the dismissal (see the School of Public Health Dismissal Policy for more information). 

Master's degree timeline

All course work must be completed within six (6) years preceding the awarding of the degree.

Transfer credits

Transfer credits are credits transferred from another institution. Credits completed at University in another program do not need to be transferred. Transfer credit is requested by using the Graduate Credit Transfer Evaluation Request form available on the Graduate School forms page and must be signed by the student, advisor, and Director of Graduate Studies. Up to nine (9) transfer graduate credits are permitted, however, with the approval of the faculty advisor and the graduate director, and under special circumstances, a student can petition the Graduate School to accept additional transfer credits.

Graduate courses

Only graduate courses (numbered 600 or higher at the University) are applicable toward the MPH degree and can include web-based courses, however graduate credit may not be obtained through Professional Development, Extension or Correspondence courses.

Student unit loads

A full-time graduate student may not register for more than sixteen (16) graduate units in any semester, or more than six (6) graduate units in any six-week summer session. Audited or undergraduate courses will not be counted toward the 6-credit minimum requirement. Graduate assistants may not register for more than twelve (12) graduate units per semester.

Students who register for nine (9) graduate units or more in a semester are considered full-time. For graduate assistants on a 20-hour (half-time) contract, six (6) graduate units or more constitute full-time. To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, all graduate students, including those on assistantships, must be enrolled in nine (9) graduate units; to be considered part-time for financial aid reporting purposes, graduate students must be enrolled in five (5) graduate units. For those graduate students who are required to take Intensive English Language Center Bridge Courses, these courses can be considered part of full registration upon approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Continuous enrollment

To maintain in “good standing” all graduate students are required to enroll in a minimum of three (3) graduate credits each fall and spring semester until they graduate. International students may be required to enroll in nine (9) graduate credits each fall and spring semester depending on the requirements of their visa. All students holding assistantships (whether teaching or research assistantships) are required to enroll in a minimum of six (6) graduate credits each fall and spring semester they hold the assistantship.

Leave of absence

Students in good standing may request a leave of absence by completing a leave of absence form available on the Graduate School forms page during which time they are not required to maintain continuous registration. Usually, a leave of absence is approved for one or two semesters. The leave of absence request may be extended by the student filing an additional leave of absence form. Students applying for a leave of absence should not have any “incomplete” grades which could be changed to “F” and have a detrimental impact on their cumulative GPA. Requests for leave of absences must be received by the Graduate School no later than the last day of enrollment for the semester the leave is to begin.

Reinstatement

When a student has been absent for one semester or more without an approved leave of absence, he or she may request reinstatement via the Reinstatement Form available at the Graduate School forms page. This form allows the program the option to recommend the student be re-admitted to their graduate program based on their previous admission OR require the student to re-apply for admission which would require students to submit a new application for admission and pay the application fee. The Notice of Reinstatement to Gradate Standing must be received by the Graduate School no later than the last day of enrollment for the semester the reinstatement is to begin. 

Academic integrity

Expectations regarding Academic Standards are stated in the University Administrative Manual.

According to University policy, a graduate student who violates this policy may not withdraw from the course in question and may not utilize “grade replacement or grade appeals policies” for that course. Sanctions may include filing a final grade of “F,” reducing the student’s final course grade one or two full grade points; awarding a failing mark on the coursework; or requiring the student to retake or resubmit the coursework. The faculty member may also drop the student from the class, upon approval by the Dean.

The University has formal proceedings for charging a student with plagiarism, and the student’s response and appeal to a charge. These may be found in the University Administrative Manual.

Managing student complaints in the Online MPH program

We honor differences and diversity of opinion and will create opportunities for fair and equitable resolution. Student complaints and grievances may involve grades, course management, faculty and/or student interactions, curriculum issues, and professionalism issues.

It is always best to start with the instructor to see if the issue can be resolved at the class level. However, if a student is uncomfortable bringing the issue to the instructor or if the issue remains unresolved, the process may be taken to the Program Director. If the student is uncomfortable bringing the issue to the Program Director, or if the issue remains unresolved, the student should contact the Associate Dean of the School.

There is no wrong door for submitting complaints.  Students can skip any of the steps described above. While it is best to work directly with the instructor first, certain complaints that deal with professionalism or other sensitive concerns may be best handled by the Associate Dean or Dean as a first step.

Students may file a complaint using the complaint form on the School of Public Health Website. These complaints will be forwarded directly to the SPH Associate Dean unless the student requests that the complaint be submitted directly to the SPH Dean. Complaints can be submitted with your contact information or anonymously. While anonymous complaints may be more comfortable, it can make resolution more difficult if additional information is needed.

Students who choose to share their contact information will receive an individual response within one week for individual complaints. Students who submit a complaint anonymously will only receive acknowledgement that the complaint was received.

The Concierge service through the Provost’s office is also available for all students if that is more comfortable. Complaints submitted through the Concierge service will typically be forwarded to the SPH Associate Dean and Dean.

Grade appeals

The University Grade Appeal Policy and Procedures may be found in the Administrative Manual. According to the policy, “a grade assigned by an instructor is only subject to the appeals procedure if (1) there was an administrative error in the calculation and/or assignment of the grade; (2) the grade assignment was based on factors other than the student’s performance in the course and/or completion of course requirements; or (3) the grade assignment meant that the student was held to more demanding standards than other students in the same section of the course.”