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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

School of Public Health


SPH Handbook for Master and Doctor of Public Health Students:

The School of Public Health Student Handbook, is provided to assist you with the resources available to guide you in your pursuit of your educational goals. The handbook is an information compendium concerning academic requirements for the School of Public Health Program. Please note the Student Handbook contains only information pertinent to the School of Public Health degree(s). For more complete details regarding SUNY Downstate Medical Center policies, student rights and responsibilities, and names, locations, and telephone numbers of campus services, please consult the Student Life & Services SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Student Handbook.


PUBH 6500: Field Experience Handbook for Master of Public Health Students:

This booklet introduces you to the Field Experience requirement and provides guidance as you create and fulfill that requirement. Except in rare circumstances, every student must complete the Field Experience requirement and a culminating experience before being awarded a MPH or DrPH degree. Waiver of the Field Experience may be granted in limited circumstances. Please see p. 18 for waiver criteria.


PUBH 6001: Culminating Experience Guidelines for Master of Public Health Students

Every student must complete a satisfactory Culminating Experience to earn the MPH degree. The Culminating Experience builds upon the practical Field Experience and requires a student to integrate knowledge acquired in the classroom and in the field. The student submits a major paper or project usually related to the Field Experience that applies skills from across the curriculum and demonstrates integration of knowledge in the five core areas of public health (epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, social and behavioral science, health policy and management). After acceptance of the final report by the departmental faculty, the student makes an oral presentation on his or her work during which overall faculty question him or her to assess mastery of core MPH competencies.


PUBH 7000: Field Experience Handbook for Doctor of Public Health Students:

The goal of the Field Experience is to integrate material from practice, research, and academia. Students gain in-depth experience through supervised internships relevant to the student's career plans. The experience allows students to develop competencies at an advanced level under a qualified preceptor’s supervision.


PUBH 8001: DrPH Dissertation

The Doctor of Public Health dissertation must be (1) based on an original public health project, (2) worthy of publication, and (3) acceptable to the sponsoring Department and to a committee of dissertation readers.

The dissertation process consists of two (2) major stages:

  • The dissertation proposal and oral examination, and
  • The dissertation and dissertation defense.

The purpose of the DrPH Dissertation handbook is to give each student detailed information on the procedures of the dissertation.


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