The mission of the public health program at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) is to provide the highest quality education, research & population based services. This will be accomplished through an innovative, dynamic, responsive public health curriculum while preparing to be ethical competent professional public health practitioners and researchers so as to be able to excel in promoting and protecting health in the community and in a diverse, globalized society
Vision The PHSU Public Health Program commits and aspires to be a leader in preparing public health professionals, by excellence in academia and by building and expanding public health knowledge and competency, in order to improve the health of communities and populations locally and across the world.
Core Values of The Public Health Program
Public Health Program: Core Values of The Public Health Program.
The following core values enlighten the institutional environment and guide us in the fulfillment of our mission and goals:
- Evidence-based public health
- Population perspective
- Community empowerment
- Balance in competing priorities
We value honest, ethical, and transparent practices and determine to have integrity in everything that we do.
We value the protection of the individual and collective rights, and promote the respect for social and cultural differences that distinguish human beings, as fundamental aspects of those rights and respect them as essential to achieving “Health for all”.
We value diverse perspectives and the unique contributions that result from diversity, and promote caring, support, confidence, compassion, camaraderie and a “can do” attitude.
We highly value the use of our health expertise and academic abilities, capabilities and resources in service to our students and the whole community.
We value evidence as a sound basis for the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs and policies in public health. This evidence base is accomplished through the application of the principles of scientific reasoning, including systematic use of data and information systems, behavioral science theory and program planning models to build effective public health programs and policies.
We value integrating a population perspective into all our research, service and teaching; the collective or “public good” is takes priority over the individual good.
We value community empowerment, which enables communities to increase control over their lives in their understanding of health and ability to protect their health and seek appropriate care.
In Public Health there are many competing “goods”. We value the careful assessment of these competing goods and strive to balance the alternatives to derive the most good for the most people.
Goal 1: Provide research experiences based in public health ethical standards that address the personal and social determinants of health with the purpose of developing and building healthy communities.
- The program faculty will lead environmental, behavioral, prevention or population-based research projects funded by grants.
- The products of research conducted in the PHP will be disseminated widely in professionals’ journals, professional conferences and/or workshops.
- The faculty projects will provide research opportunities for students.
Goal 2: To create an academic environment in which students are supported as they attain the knowledge, skills and competencies of the public health profession.
- The PHP will maintain high admissions standards for students recruited to study MPH and DrPH.
- The PHP will maintain a high quality of instruction in all didactic courses taught by the faculty.
- The PHP will provide a variety of instructional modalities consistent with the approaches in public health.
- The education received by the students in the PHP will be essentially relevant to opportunities for either continue their education in health-related fields or gain employment in their selected field of interest.
- The PHP will provide leadership skills for students in order to implement and sustain change in community’s health.
- The PHP will provide appropriate instructional technology support.
Goal 3: Encourage and promote public health education within the framework of ethical, social, justice, and professional standards.
- The PHP will broaden student’s awareness of their responsibility to participate in the community.
- The PHP will prepare public health professionals with the capacity to work with a diverse community and develop an inclusive environment to reduce health disparities.
Goal 4: Engage with communities, government and private sectors to reduce social inequities through health promotion and diseases prevention programs.
- The PHP will engage in service to communities, public and private agencies that support public health research, teaching and practice.
- The PHP will engage in community service and education initiatives for advancing public health knowledge.
Goal 5: To propose and defend a balance budget to provide support to PHP instruction.
- Objective: The PHP will recruit and retain a critical mass of qualified faculty and investigators.
The MPH Program is established in response to the needs of our society. It provides a multidisciplinary program through education, research and community service to develop the skills of a public health professional necessary for the protection of health and prevention of disease of the individuals and communities. Students will be well prepared to improve the challenges of our health care such as improving the access of people suffering contagious diseases and work to reduce environmental hazards such as violence, drug use and abuse, accidents, etc.
PHSU will consider candidates for the MPH Program from different walks of life such as school teachers, news reporters, researchers, lawyers, physicians, health professionals and others. The Public Health Professionals will be able to work for the government, for private institutions and/or for local or international companies which provide services to the community. These professionals face the challenge of protecting the public health of the present population and of future generations.
To accomplish this, PHSU has developed a 55-credits curriculum that will expose students to the basic concepts in public health, research and community services. Three tracks are offered: Epidemiology, Environmental Health and General, with the MPH first year being common to all tracks.
General Public Health
Is the science that studies how to protect and improve the health in communities through education and by promoting healthy life styles. It is in charge of developing public policies, educational programs and services as to avoid those public threats.
The study of the relationships between the various factors that determine the frequency and distribution of diseases in human (and other animal population), the risks to contract them, the human susceptibility and how to prevent new incidences.
Relates to the air we breathe, water we drink and other complex environmental factors. These risks may cause sicknesses such as asthma, cancer, food poisoning, etc. It studies the impact the environment has on our health.
Ponce Health Sciences University encourages its applicants to seek the broadest education available prior to their training in Public Health.
In evaluating the applicants, emphasis is placed upon integrity, character, academic achievements, motivation, emotional stability, GRE, EXADEP or MCAT scores, evidence of health care-related experience, interview reports, letters of recommendation and other information provided by the applicant. The applicant must:
- Bachelor’s degree of a college level institution accredited by the PR Council of Higher Education or by a US Department of Education recognized accrediting organization.
- GPA – 2.75 is requested for applying, however our classes average is 3.2 (on a four-point scale)
- EXADEP, GRE or MCAT examinations (no more than five years old)
- Submit the following documents:
- Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
- Official GRE, EXADEP or MCAT scores (if the candidate does not hold a health professional degree).
- Three letters of recommendation
- Two of the letters of recommendation should provide input from people in responsible position who can comment on your academic, employment or volunteer performance, character and interest. For undergraduate this often means professors, academic advisors or employer.
- The third letter must be of someone who is able to assess your advocacy experience. Letters from people that really know you, rather than from people who have impressive titles, are the most valuable. All of them should be written using the format accompanying the application form.
- Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background Check)
- Application fee – $85.00 non-refundable
The Admissions’ Committee selects the best candidates. The Committee looks for accepting students of integrity and maturity that show concern for others, leadership potential, character. In evaluating the applicants, emphasis is placed upon the following:
- Potential to work with individuals, analytical skills and understanding of ethical standards of the profession.
- Past experience in research projects or potential for the development of research skills.
- Academic achievement (GRE, EXADEP, MCAT scores)
- Motivation and emotional stability
- Letters of recommendation (see previous description)
Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:
- Written confirmation of acceptance and a deposit of $100.00 to secure your seat in the entering class.
- Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office)
- Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
Other documents will be notified as pertinent
How to Apply
Deadline to submit a complete application is May 30.
The Application for Admission to the Master in Public Health Program can be downloaded or obtained personally at our Admissions’ Office
The Master of Public Health is an evening program that lasts two academic years of three trimesters per year and one summer trimester. To receive the degree of Master of Public Health (MPH), every student must fulfill the following requirements:
- Satisfactorily complete the assigned curriculum requirements for the degree, with a GPA of 3.00 on a four-point grading scale:
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- Demonstrate a behavior acceptable to academic faculty and supervisors.
- Satisfactorily meet all financial and library obligations.
- Attend in person the rehearsal and commencement program at which time the degree is awarded.
All courses and grades obtained will appear on the student’s academic record, including elective courses taken at other institutions.
All departments establish evaluation criteria for the successful completion of courses taught by the department. These criteria are made available to the students at the beginning of the course. It indicates the number of examinations, quizzes, laboratory exercises, grading procedures and practical tests with their weight. The grading system for graduate students is as follows:
A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) has been established to ensure that the MPH students completes the academic program within the acceptable time frame and with the expected quality of performance. This policy also ensures that the student financial aid requirements set forth by federal regulations have been met. Student’s academic progress should be evaluated annually at the end of each academic year.
This policy applies to all MPH students enrolled at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU).
- Time Frame for Completion of the Academic Program
A student will be allowed a maximum time frame of two (2) years of enrollment beyond the standard of two (2) years required for the completion of the Program.
The total credits for completion of a degree include those graduate courses accredited on admission to the Program.
Time Frame for Completion of the Academic Program
Program Standard Maximum Master’s in Public Health 2 years 4 years
Definition of Full Time
Students with an academic load of six credits or more per trimester will be considered full time master degree students.
Definition of Part Time
Students with an academic load of less than six credits per trimester will be considered a part time MPH student.
- Completion of the MPH Requirements
- Course Requirement – Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a minimum of 55 credits.
- Performance Requirement:
- A student must complete each academic year with a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Any student failing to meet 3.00-point GPA standard of performance or failing any course will be placed on probation and referred to the PHSU Student Promotion Committee.
- A minimum grade of B may be obtained in required and selective courses.
- A minimum grade of C could be obtained in elective courses.
- Integrative Learning Experience:
- Comprehensive Exams – A Comprehensive Exams (core and Specialty) must be taken upon completion of the second academic year. If the student fails the core, the specialty or both exams, he/she will have another opportunity to achieving all Public Health competences. Any student failing to meet this standard performance will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee.
In order to graduate, the student must complete all requirements and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 GPA in scale of 4.00 point. Satisfactory Academic Progress is required for financial aid eligibility and will be reviewed on a yearly basis, at the end of each academic year.
- One “F” or one “NP” in any of the courses, or a cumulative GPA less than 3.00 in the academic year is not allowed. A grade of “F” in any course will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee, to be considered for dismissal from the academic program.
- The student may have a maximum of two elective courses with C in record.
- A student repeating a course or with a GPA less than 3.00 will be considered in academic probation.
- If the student fails to obtain a grade of B or more in a repeated course, he/she will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee for a consideration of dismissal from the academic program.
- Courses with “F” grade will remain on record after they are successfully repeated, but only the new grade (s) will be used to compute the grade point average.
- Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP” (No Pass) are applicable to the qualifying examination. Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP” (No Pass) are applicable to the capstone.
- A grade of “I” (Incomplete) will only be allowed under very special circumstances as determined by the faculty member teaching that particular course. The student must remove the “I” (Incomplete) by the end of the following trimester or an administrative “F” will replace it.
- Graduate courses not offered at PHSU could be taken at other institution only with permission and approval of the MPH Track Coordinator, Associate Dean for Public Health and the Dean for Health Sciences.
- If the student obtained a reversed dismissal, he/she won’t be in satisfactory academic progress and is considered both on academic and financial aid probation.
Financial Aid Eligibility
A student failing to meet the program requirements will be dismissed. Students notified that they are to be dismissed from program, have the right to appeal the case in writing to the University President within seven working days after receiving the notification.
The Appeal or Due Process for Dismissal
Students who are notified by the Program’s Academic Dean a decision of the Students Promotion Committee that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year or to be dismissed from the program, have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.
The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.
The student will appeal in writing to the Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request. The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision. After the meeting, the SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Program’s Academic Dean, who will notify the decision to the student.
If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (SBBS). The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification. The SBBS’ Dean will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The SBBS’ Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.
If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the appeal will be evaluated. After the meeting, the Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the SBBS’Dean. The Dean will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.
Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of the SBBS is final.
The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The SBBS’ Dean, or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.
In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the SBBS’s Dean sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affair. Any additional appeal should be submitted to the PHSU President.
Professional Behavior Requirement
The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by the Ponce Health Science University at all times.
Commitment to Public Health Philosophy
It is expected that every student be committed to the betterment of our fellow human beings as exposed by the philosophy that governs the Public Health Profession.
Academic Probation and Financial Aid Eligibility
Any student failing to meet the grade requirement might be place on academic probation for one trimester, but will be eligible for financial aid. Students that fail to comply with grade requirements after the prescribed probation time will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee for dismissal from the program.
Appeal Process for Academic and Financial Aid Probation
Students notified that the Public Health Students Promotion Committee (SPC) decided to dismiss them from the MPH Program, or that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year, will have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.
The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.
The student will appeal in writing to the Public Health Students Promotion Committee (SPC). The letter should include all relevant documentation to support the request. The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they would change their initial decision. The SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Associate Dean for Public Health, who will notify the decision to the student.
If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Health Sciences. The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the last notification. The Dean of Health Sciences will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.
If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing the date and time set to appealing meeting. The Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the Dean of Health Sciences. The Dean of Health Sciences will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.
Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of Health Sciences is final.
The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The Associate Dean for Health Sciences or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.
In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the Dean of Health Sciences sustains the decision after the appealing process, the student may appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and then to the President.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid
Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. It is the student’s responsibility to request reinstatement of financial aid.
The President, the Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean for Student Affairs, the Registrar and the Financial Aid Director will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policies set forth.
Created and Revise by V. Green & M. Roubert August 5, 2016
For more details of PHSU tuition and fees please refer to: Cost of Attendance
ALL TUITION AND FEES ARE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE REGISTRATION.
Ponce Health Sciences University reserve the right to increase the tuition or other fees as deemed necessary.
Ponce Health Sciences University is pleased that you have selected our institution to continue with your academic and professional goals. The Office of Student Financial provides you with the information and tools to assist you in reaching educational goals. Please take your time to navigate through the various links we have provided and feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you need more information: email@example.com
Financial Aid Application Process Links
Important Links (External):
- Financial Aid Education Portal (https://fa.financialavenue.org/fa/login/index.php) (Inceptia): PSHU access code: bw4g33 to setup your account. We recommend taking one of the following courses: COLLEGE AND MONEY or PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY. PSHU will receive a report of those students accessing this site. This information will help students to be smart borrowers.
- Get your FSA ID (https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm) – this is your electronic signature for federal documents.
- Fill-out your Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) Online (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/)
- View Your Loans History (if applicable to determine available funds) (http://www.nslds.ed.gov/)
- Manage your Federal Student Loans (Entrance & Exit Counseling, Master’s Promissory Note, etc.) (http://www.studentloans.gov/)
Important Links for PHSU application forms and manual
Click here to download your
– Student Financial Aid Manual
Federal Financial Aid Programs
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan: students who meet the requirements established by the US Department of Education may receive a Direct Loan, according to the academic program: graduate and professional students are eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year. As an institution that previously participated in the HEAL Programs our MD, Doctorate and PhD in Clinical Psychology, as well as certain Master Degree Programs might be eligible for additional amount of loan. The amount is established annually by Federal Regulations. The Financial Aid Office provides orientation about the application process for student loans, the student’s qualifying requirements and the specifics regarding interest rate, orientation fess, repayment process, etc. The student must submit an agreement form known as a Master Promissory Note, and complete electronic entrance counseling, both on-line: www.studentloans.gov.
- Direct Loan-Plus Graduate Loan: This is a federal fixed-interest loan for graduate and professional students, beyond the DL Unsubsidized award, to cover any additional cost of attendance. The interest rate and origination fee, which is annually fixed by the Federal Government, begins to accrue from the date of the first disbursement. The loan qualifying process requires a credit check verification, on-line entrance counseling and an on-line submission of a Master Promissory Note: www.studentloans.gov
- Private Loans (Alternative Loans). These are credit-based loans that may be used to supplement other types of financial aid programs. The loan amounts vary according to amount requested and approved for the student. The interest rate is variable, accrued while in school and usually based on the current “Prime Rate” plus a lender’s predetermined interest rate. Repayment may be up to 20 years. These Private Alternative Loans provide funds to complete the remaining need after the student is awarded other financial aid. Due to the high interest rate that these loans represent, the student should consider these loans as a last resource to their financial need. PHSU does not recommend any specific lender, the evaluation and selection is a student’s individualized decision.
- Historical Private Lender List
PHSU does not deny or otherwise impede the student’s choice of an alternative lender or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification of these loans. The following is a list of the three private loans that have been most commonly selected by our students during last two previous academic years, however, we reiterate that the student may select any other lender they esteem will meet their financial need.
- Discover: www.discover.com/student-loans
- Sallie Mae: www.salliemae.com
- Wells Fargo: www.wellsfargo.com/student/graduate-loans/med-school
Other Financial Aid Options:
Military Scholarship Programs: Students interested in a military career may consider apply for one of the scholarships programs for healthcare professions offered by the US Army, the US Air Force, Navy or the National Guard. The students must contact the desired program:
National Health Services Corps Scholarship Program: available for students in the primary health care specialties and committed to serving part or their entire career in federally designated health professional shortage area. Learn more about this program at: nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov
Financial Aid Application Process
Direct Loan Application Process
Students interested in applying for a Direct Loan must comply with the federal requirements and following requirements:
- Have financial need.
- Be an US Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student working toward a degree.
- Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
- Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
- Certify that are not in default on a federal student loan and that do not owe money on a Federal student grant.
- Student cannot exceed the aggregate loan limit established by the Department of Education.
- Comply with the Entrance Interview/Counseling.
- Provide all the documents and information required by the Financial Aid.
Students must fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the corresponding academic year, in order to be evaluated to determine eligibility for federal and state funds. It must be submitted on line at www.fafsa.gov no later than last working day of April. The PHSU school code is G24824. Students need a pin number, which can be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov.
Once the student submits the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) to the school, which will be used for evaluation and analysis.
Students with a FAFSA application selected for verification by the Department of Education will be required to submit the following documents:
- Complete a Verification Worksheet (provided by the Financial Aid Office)
- Copy of the Tax Return (IRS or PR tax return form) or
- W-2 form(s) (if apply)
- Evidence of wages, salaries, tips, etc., reported on the FAFSA
If the student (student’s parent or spouse) is not required to file income tax return, he/she will be required to complete and sign a Certification of Income, provided by the Financial Aid Office, among other documentation. Note: No loan will be process until the verification process is completed.
As part of the evaluation, the Financial Aid Office will take in consideration the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student should contribute towards his/her cost of education, and it is determined by the Federal Government. The need analysis consists of the following basic calculation: Cost of Attendance minus EFC equals Financial Need. As part of the analysis, it will be considered any other expected financial aid (external funds such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Veteran Administration, military scholarships, and any other grant or scholarship). Note: A student cannot receive financial assistance in excess of the determined Financial Need.
Awarding and Notification
The next step is the awarding of financial aid amounts by PHSU and preparing the award notification for the student. Once the awarding process is completed, a Notification of Award is sent to each student.
Return Policy and Requirement for Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid (see PHSU catalog refund policy section)
Suspension of Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses
If convicted of any offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, a student’s eligibility for Title IV Financial Student Aid Program will be denied for:
- One year after the first conviction
- Two years after the second conviction
- Indefinitely after the third conviction
Eligibility may be restored if the student partakes of an approved Federal Government Rehabilitation Program.
Please refer to the Student Financial Aid Manual for specific information regarding all the dynamics of financial aid as it applies to new and continuing students.
Financial Aid Contact Information:
Financial Aid Personnel:
Mrs. Myrian Gaud Maitín, MBA
Financial Aid Manager
Mrs. Nicole Vázquez Colon, MSS
Financial Aid Officer
Ms. Mariannette Cruz Rentas, BS
Monday to Thursday: 8:00-11:30 am – 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday: Administrative Work (By appointment only)
Financial Aid Office Contact Information
Phone Number: (787) 840-2575 ext. 2134, 2135 or 2136
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7004, Ponce. Puerto Rico 00731
Physical Address: 388 Zona Ind. Reparada 2 Ponce PR 00716-2347
Applicants must submit the following documents:
- Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended
- Letter of Recommendation Format – Written by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills
- Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background check)
- USD $85.00 Application Processing Fee (check or money order payable to Ponce Health Sciences University)
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Deadline to submit a complete application – May 30-Extended Date June 30