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The Master in Public Health (MPH) program of the Zamboanga Medical School Foundation, Ateneo Graduate School is an accredited program approved by the Commission on Higher Education in the Philippines.

In contrast to other MPH programs offered in other Universities of the Philippines, the MPH as offered by the ZMSF, is an applied MPH designed to prepare graduate students to help solve the burgeoning health problems in Region 9, Mindanao and beyond.

The ZMSF MPH program nests the traditional MPH topics within critical social, political, economic, and cultural perspectives. It focuses not on disease and its biological bases but on health and its social, economic and political determinants. Students are exposed to critical analyses of the process involved in the social production of health. The MPH program combines modular course work and a thesis to produce graduates who understand the dependency of community health status on social, economic, cultural and political process and who are equipped to work with communities towards enhancing their health development status.

Some of the modular courses offered, likewise concentrate in the training of health professionals with leadership skills in public health, development and promotion of health, and prevention of diseases. The content prepares graduates for positions in diverse public health and non-profit setting including government, voluntary health organization (VHO) and community based primary health care.


By the end of the MPH modular courses, the graduate must be able to

  1. Evaluate the Health status of the community or a health project/program
  2. Implement a health program/strategies to address health issues
  3. To read and critic research and literature on public health
  4. To get involved in government policy making or advocacy regarding health issues
  5. Make interventions in the community relating to health through social marketing
  6. Do disease surveillance and report
  7. Control Disease outbreaks
  8. Make project proposals for funding assistance
  9. Administer a health system, project or organization. 



This course content is designed to provide students with a FOCUS on the theory and technique of collecting, analyzing , interpreting and data processing which have become essential in quantitative research. This is achieved through direct “hands on” model of directly doing a research paper which becomes their thesis. Its educational offering range from a review of basic courses to advanced study in statistical analysis, probability and statistical theory. The students must cover grounds on the Principles of Biostatistics, and Statistical methods.

This section focuses on the development of competences needed to go into health planning and management roles in health care delivery, ranging from an integrated health system to other various governance components. This focus will help prepare professionals for position either as manager, director, consultants, advocates or directly as policy makers.


  1. To provide a basic knowledge of major policy and management issues for health.
  2. To develop skills for the analysis of health problems services and for the selection of appropriate problem solving measures
  3. To develop skills for managing information , people, materials, money to help management systems achieve effectively their goals.

Health promotion and social marketing are important for modification of life style and specific health related behaviour in both the traditional rural settings as well as the new urban settings. These modular topics covered in this section are meant to provide the students an understanding of the social science principles underlying health and illness, health education and public health programs as well as an opportunity to study a variety of practical approaches to their implementation.

Social and Behavioral Dimension of Public Health
Society and Health
Gender and Health
Principles of designing Health Intervention using social behavioral perspective
Ethical basis for the practice of Public Health
Women’s Health and Adolescent Health
Social services for Health
Domestic Violence
Family Gender, and reproductive Health
Public Health Practices for Social change
Concept of illness and disease


Infectious diseases continue to constitute the bulk of the burden of diseases in our country. Their control involves both the general health services and specific intervention programs. The content of this module are intended for the students to develop competences in controlling these diseases through epidemiological methods . While the basic foundation on epidemiology will be taken up in the earlier modules, its application will be reviewed and emphasized in this module.

By the end of this module, the students will be able to:
1. To carry out epidemiological survey into the distribution , impact and population at risk of particular disease
2. To describe the biology, etiology and epidemiology of selected communicable diseases such as TB, Malaria, HIV-Aids, DHF, etc.,

This area is designed to provide students the basic background on human settlements and ecological contaminants to health. Particular emphasis is given to air and water quality as affected by population shifts and their impact to ecological settings and subsequently to the health of the population. Industrial hygiene and occupational safety are likewise reviewed.

Public policy is viewed in its broadest sense as encompassing Social issues, Law , Ethics, History, Politics and Science. The effect that public policy have on health of a population and the ability to employ public policy to relieve the burden of disease and injury are discussed in this module.

Health policy, seeks to prepare students to understand how health policy is developed, established and implemented and with what results.

This module provides the students with a substantive understanding of health policy issues, knowledge of the process by which public policy decision are made. It aims to develop the skills needed to use and critique data, research findings and program evaluation in the development and analysis of health policy. It focuses on the analysis of public policy intervention that improve the health of populations and patterns of organizing financing and delivery of health services including primary, secondary and tertiary. This studies include the investigation of the political, social, economic and cultural context of those policies, understanding their historical evolution and current potential, the establishments of social policies and its impact on health, the international comparison of health policies and the health care required for vulnerable population.

The thesis for dissertation must be a piece of original , independent work focussing on a selected topic of importance for public health practice, usually concerning policy or practice issues relevant to disadvantaged or under served population. It must be of publishable quality and make a substantive contribution to new knowledge or provide a reassessment of current approaches to an important public health problem in the region. The completed dissertation must be defended orally before a Committee of Readers composed of a representative from the CHED, DOH, Ateneo Graduate School, External Evaluator, and two other ZMSF faculty members. Student must be judged satisfactory by all evaluators.

For medical graduates of the ZMSF, their research project in the undergraduate may be expanded to a thesis level. A thesis adviser shall be assigned for each student.

A preliminary oral examination will be conducted to prepare the student . It must be taken and passed a month prior to the final dissertation. The student thesis adviser will identify three faculty in addition to the student advisor, who will participate in the preliminary oral examination. The same faculty will sit in the final dissertation along with the other members of the Committee of Readers. The Committee will, prior to the dissertation, establish the criteria and the passing standard for the oral validation.

The chairman of the Committee of Readers which is usually the Dean of Graduate School, will be responsible to maintain an atmosphere of constructive criticism, ensuring that each faculty member has adequate opportunity to question the student, and limiting the total duration of the exam to two hours or less.

Students who fail to meet the Committee of Readers with satisfactory performance will be allowed a second dissertation.

CAREER PATHWAYS FOR MPH GRADUATES, The future possible career placement of MPH graduate may include the following:

Community Organizer- Mobilizer 
Health Project Programmer – Implementor- Evaluator- Coordinator
Community Health Researcher
Public Health Administrator
Academe – Faculty
Family Practice with community base practice

Admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s educational and work experience, past performance, and potential to provide leadership in public health practice. Admission requirements include the following:

1. MD graduate of an accredited medical institution
2. Evidence of quantitative or evaluative skills and ability. This may be
provided in the form of evidence from graduate level course work, publication or technical reports.
3. A recommendation from previous medical school dean.