Master of Public Health Accreditation

History and Accreditation

In May 1989, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi approved the creation of the Center for Community Health at The University of Southern Mississippi.  In December 1989, the Board gave approval for the Center to grant the first Master of Public Health degree offered in Mississippi.  The Master of Public Health degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the national accrediting body for programs in Public Health, as a Community Health/Preventive Medicine program. The first class of students was admitted to the MPH program in the summer of 1990.  Initial CEPH accreditation was awarded in 1993, with the program being reaccredited in 1997. In 2001, the MPH program was awarded reaccreditation for a minimum of five years. The unit was renamed the Department of Community Health Sciences in 2004. In 2006, the Department instituted the Executive Master of Public Health in Health Services Administration program. The Department was granted reaccrediation in October 2007 for a period of seven years.  The Department will seek reaccrediation in 2014. In July 2013, the name was changed to the Department of Public Health. 


Mission and Values of the Master of Public Health Program

The mission of the Master of Public Health program is to prepare students to become competent health care professionals and to assist in the improvement of health services by practicing health professionals through the delivery of competency centered programs, experiential community service, research opportunities, and technical assistance to and collaboration with health care organizations in the government, not for profit and for profit sectors of the health care delivery system on local, regional, and international levels with emphasis on the rural gulf south area.  

The mission of the program is supported by the following values of its faculty:

  • The development and enhancement of collegiality among the faculty members
  • Innovativeness in approach to teaching, practice and research
  • Open-mindedness, respect, compassion, universal fairness, and equity
  • Striving to increase population health, eliminate health disparities and improve the health and safety of the general public by teaching and following public health principles
  • Collaboration and team work among the faculty and the establishment of partnerships with communities
  • Collective responsibility and the wise use of resources
  • Diversity and support for individual autonomy and privacy
  • Student centered approach to teaching and program development
  • Continuous seeking quality and excellence in scholarship
  • Teaching and practicing individual and professional ethics
  • Enjoyment