MPH in Maternal and Child Health

Mission Statement

The mission of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) concentration is to prepare students for leadership roles in the broad range of domestic and international programs that serve women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families. 

Program Description

Coursework provides students with a background in the biologic, sociocultural, behavioral, and policy issues that impact the health of the MCH population. Students will gain the skills needed to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions with a special emphasis on women and children over the lifespan. Programs will be conceptualized with a sensitivity to cultural diversity within a global context.


Program Competencies

It is expected that students will acquire the core public health competencies through successful completion of the school core courses. The expected terminal knowledge and skills provided by the program and expected of the student in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences will vary by student because of the self-direction inherent in this program.  However, it is expected that students, with the guidance of an advisor, will be well-versed in planning and evaluating community programs (GCHB 6110 and GCHB 6120) with a special emphasis on women and children, have the knowledge and skills required for community-based work, and obtain hands-on experience in community-based work by completing a community-based practicum.

Upon completion of the program, the graduates should obtain the following competencies from the courses listed in parentheses (competencies achieved will vary according to courses selected):

  • Incorporate knowledge of the Public Health core areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health systems management, and the biological, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease in addressing and solving problems. (BIOS 6030, EPID 6030, GCHB 6030, GEHS 6030, GHSD 6030, TRMD 6010)
  • Critically review Global Maternal and Child Health research literature. Describe GMCH problems in terms of time, magnitude/severity, scope, dispersion/location, and co-occurrence/co-morbidity and identify the scientific underpinnings and determine the validity of evidence for interventions addressing MCH problems. (TRMD 6010; GCHB Courses: 6410, 6420, 6460, 6470, 6500, 6510, 7510)
  • Apply knowledge of demographic, health, familial, socio-cultural, environmental and community factors to the design of MCH programs and services. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6100, 6110, 6410, 6460, 6510)
  • Recognize different strengths, needs, values, and practices of diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and determine how these factors affect health status, health behaviors, and program design. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6100, 6110, 6140, 6420, 6460, 6510, 7510)
  • Prepare and interpret data from vital statistics, censuses, surveys, service utilization, and other relevant reports on the health of MCH populations, and have the ability to detect meaningful inferences from data and the translation of data into information. (BIOS 6030; GCHB Courses: 6140, 7130)
  • Evaluate the integrity and comparability of data and identify existing gaps (EPID 6030, GCHB 7130)
  • Integrate population-based health promotion and disease prevention strategies within primary care and other service delivery systems. (GHSD 6030; GCHB Courses: 6100, 7510)
  • Develop mechanisms to monitor and evaluate program and service networks for their effectiveness and quality, including use of performance measures. (GCHB Courses: 6110, 6120, 7130)
  • Develop strategies to assure integrated service systems for MCH populations. (GCHB COurses: 6140, 6420, 6460, 6510)
  • State the feasibility and expected outcomes of achieving policy options along with the appropriate course of action. (GCHB Courses: 6100, 6140, 6420, 6510, 7510)
  • Promote cultural competence within diverse MCH settings. (GCHB Courses: 6030, 6100, 6140, 6420, 6460)

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the school, the applicant's career goals must be consonant with the educational objectives of the section.


Program Requirements

The program requires completion of 45 academic credits, satisfactory completion of the School Core Requirements, Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences requirements, and the Maternal and Child Health program requirements, including a practicum focusing on the MCH population and a culminating experience.


SPH Core Requirements(18 credits)


BIOS 6030

Introduction to Biostatistics


GEHS 6030

Survey of Environmental Health


EPID 6030

Epidemiologic Methods I


GHSD 6030

Principles of Health Systems Admin & Mgmt


TRMD 6010

Biological Basic of Health and Disease


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


SPHL 9980



SPHL 7950

Culminating Experience



GCHB Core Requirements(6 credits)

GCHB 6110

Planning of Health Education Programs


GCHB 6120

Monitoring & Evaluation of Health Educ & Comm Programs



MCH Specialty Requirements(At least 4 of the following courses, 10-12 credits)


GCHB 6140

Leadership and Communication in Public Health


GCHB 6160

Management of Community Organizations


GCHB 6220

Community Organization


GCHB 6410

Clinical & Cultural Issues in Reproductive Health


GCHB 6420

Best Practices in Women's Health


GCHB 6460

Child Health and Development


GCHB 6470

Issues in Adolescent Health


GCHB 6500

Violence as a Public Health Problem


GCHB 6510

Essential Issues in Maternal and Child Health


GCHB 6800

Training Methodology for Health Prof. In Develop Countries


GCHB 7510

Seminar in Maternal and Child Health



MCH Electives List(with advisor approval)

Additional electives can be chosen from any SPHTM or Non-SPHTM courses with approval of MCH faculty advisor.

Students must also complete the School Practicum and Culminating Experience requirements. It is recommended that students in this program carry out a field practicum and culminating experience related to maternal and child health for a total of 300 hours. Students with substantial professional experience in maternal and child health may elect other Practicum options in consultation with their advisor.


Example Schedule

View a sample course schedule 



A 300-hour advanced field experience (practicum) that allows students to develop competencies in advanced practice skills, under the direction of a qualified preceptor in the practice setting, is required. This practicum should focus on developing advanced leadership skills in public health disciplines. The advisor works with each student to develop measurable learning objectives prior to their practicum experience. Self assessment and reflection as well as assessment of teams, peers and supervisors are important skills in future public health leaders.  Examples include: 



Culminating Experience

Students in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences can choose one of two options for their culminating experience:

1. Culminating Examination

The Comprehensive Examination consists of two parts: Part A – a school-wide examination based on core competencies, as well as cross-cutting competencies, established by the American Schools of Public Health; and Part B – a departmental-specific examination based on principles and concepts of Community Health Sciences, as covered in the required departmental core courses.

2. Public Health Analysis

The Public Health Analysis is an in-depth written report that considers a topic of relevance to public health practice. It involves a thorough review of the literature, discussion, and recommendations for public health policy and practice. The content and format of the report are described in school and departmental guideline documents.

Information on both options can be found from the link listed below as SPH Academic Policies and Guidelines.

Please visit the links below for details:

PHA Sample 1

PHA Sample 2

School of Public Health Academic Policies and Guidelines


For more information, contact us at 504-988-5391 or



GCHBS, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5391