Community and Public Health

Department Chair and Associate Professor: Lindsay

Program Director of Health Education and Associate Professor: Olsen

Program Director of Health Informatics and Assistant Professor: Payne

Program Director of Master of Public Health and Assistant Professor: van Woerden

Associate Professor: Fore

Assistant Professor: Schow

Assistant Professor: Van De Griend

Clinical Assistant Professor: Salazar

Visiting Assistant Professor: Moeteke

Instructor: Caudle

Emeriti: Kearns, McAleese, Morris, Rankin

Department website:

Master of Health EducationDegreeMHE
Master of Public HealthDegreeMPH
Master of Science in Health InformaticsDegreeMSHI
Dual PharmD/MPH DegreePharmD/MPH
Accelerated Degree Program in Health EducationDegreeBA or BS/MHE
Accelerated Degree Program in Public HealthDegreeBA or BS/MPH
Graduate Certificate in Public HealthCertificateCertificate
Graduate Certificate in Rural HealthCertificateCertificate
Online Addiction Studies CertificateCertificateCertificate

Public Health

The goal of public health is to improve the health of populations through planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote health and prevent disease and injury. Public health professionals utilize a combination of social, environmental, legislative, and economic support to improve health programs designed to create a healthier population. ISU offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Health, Graduate Certificate of Rural Health, and a Master of Public Health (MPH).  Classes are offered both face-to-face and online. Students may attend classes on the Meridian or Pocatello campuses or through synchronous or asynchronous online formats.

Graduate Certificate in Public Health

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health is an 18-credit program that is designed for graduate students currently enrolled in other academic programs and working professionals who would like to expand their knowledge of public health. The Graduate Certificate in Public Health Curriculum includes courses that address the public health core knowledge areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration, and environmental health sciences.

Graduate Certificate in Rural Health

The Graduate Certificate in Rural Health is a 15-credit program that is designed for graduate students and health professionals who currently practice, or intend to practice, in rural settings. The certificate's curriculum includes courses that: 1) address the public health issues in rural communities, 2) introduce students to rural health systems, and 3) give students a hands-on opportunity to partner with rural health organizations. It also offers a wide variety of electives to help students tailor their experiences to individual needs and interests.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

The MPH Program at ISU is accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH). The 42-credit curriculum has been developed to meet the Public Health Foundational Competencies required for all CEPH-accredited programs. In addition to the traditional public health core knowledge areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration, and environmental health sciences, the curriculum also addresses cross-cutting and emerging public health areas. Upon completion of the MPH program, graduates will demonstrate the following competencies:

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health                    

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, and computer-based programming and software, as appropriate                              

4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice                 

Public Health & Health Care Systems                     

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                    

Planning & Management to Promote Health                     

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       

Policy in Public Health                  

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                      

Interprofessional Practice                          

21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams        

Systems Thinking                            

22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Master of Health Education (MHE)

The master's degree in Health Education is a 30-credit degree designed to educate students in strategies in health promotion/disease prevention. Coursework emphasizes the acquisition of skills to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate health education programs in the school, community, or worksite setting. This master's degree can be completed in as little as a year and helps prepare and advance health professionals. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. 

Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI)

The MSHI degree is an innovative program in Health Informatics, an emergent field at the intersection of information, people, process, and technology within healthcare organizations. The 39-credit curriculum is developed in accordance with the Health Informatics Competencies established by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Courses for the MSHI program are offered online, providing the convenience of completing the degree remotely. Upon completion of the MSHI program, graduates will demonstrate competency in the following areas: 

  • Health
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Social and Behavioral Science
  • Health Information Science and Technology
  • Human Factors and Socio-Technical Systems
  • Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health
  • Social, Behavioral, and Information Science and Technology Applied to Health
  • Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership

MSHI Mission 

The mission of the MSHI program is to provide potential and current healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds with knowledge and skill in three broad domains - Health, Information Science & Technology, and Social & Behavioral Science – enabling them to contribute to the practice of transforming data into information and knowledge to facilitate informed decision-making to enhance outcomes, advance medical research, empower patients, and enrich society.

Program Outcomes

  • Implement and manage health informatics solutions in ways that respect the prevailing culture, organizational context, and policies relating to health
  • Assess the information technology needs and resources of patients, organizations, and communities
  • Design health informatics solutions that are appropriate to their context and have a high probability of being successfully deployed
  • Work collaboratively across disciplines to analyze and solve key issues in Health Informatics
  • Communicate complex ideas effectively both orally and in writing to different audiences and stakeholder groups

Dual PharmD/MPH

Students enrolled in the PharmD/MPH Program at Idaho State University may combine the PharmD degree with an MPH degree with approximately one year of additional effort. There are no changes to the existing programs, nor does it replace any existing programs. The proposal involves one existing seven-credit course 6651 Public Health Project/PHAR 9981 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience - Public Health) that will be cross-listed and will meet objectives for both programs. In addition, the required MPH courses will meet and exceed the 6 required elective credits in the PharmD program. The required PharmD courses will meet and exceed the 6 required elective credits in the MPH program.

Note that while the MPH program will be taught fully online, the PharmD program is taught face-to-face.