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Curriculum

MPH Capstone Schedule

MPH Capstone Schedule

Key Dates and Deadlines

Timeline for online presentations, May 9-11, 2022

Complete 260.720: Communications Primer for the Public Health Sciences * No later than Term 3
Submit online Capstone Information Form By November 19, 2021
Submit final outline to capstone advisor  By February 4, 2022
Register for capstone course for Term 4 By March 25, 2022
Submit first draft of project to capstone advisor By March 18, 2022
Submit final draft of project to capstone advisor By April 15, 2022
Upload only the capstone advisor approved final paper to drop box. Unapproved papers will not be accepted. By May 2, 2022
Give oral presentation May 9-11, 2022

*This course is only required for students who matriculated in June 2019 and after.

Timeline for Full-time presentations at May Capstone Symposium, May 14, 2022

Complete 260.720: Communications Primer for the Public Health Sciences (This is only applicable to students who matriculated in June 2019 and later) No later than 3rd Term
Submit Capstone Information Form By November 19, 2021
Submit final capstone outline to capstone advisor By February 4, 2022
Submit first draft of project to capstone advisor By March 18, 2022
Register for capstone course for 4th Term  By March 18, 2022
Submit final draft of project to capstone advisor  By April 15, 2022
Upload only the capstone advisor approved final paper and slides to drop box.  Unapproved papers will not be accepted. By May 2, 2022
Give oral presentation  Saturday, May 14, 2022

(Tentative) Timeline for online presentations, August 1-3, 2022 session 

Complete 260.720 Communications Primer for the Public Health Sciences * No later than Term 4
Submit online Capstone Information Form By Mon., April 18, 2022
Submit final outline to capstone  advisor By Mon., May 16, 2022
Submit first draft of project to capstone advisor By Mon., June 27, 2022
Register for capstone course for Summer Term By Fri., July 1, 2022
Submit final draft of project to capstone advisor By Mon., July 11, 2022
Upload only the capstone advisor approved final paper to drop box.  Unapproved papers will not be accepted. By Mon., July 25, 2022
Give oral presentation On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug 1, 2 and 3, 2022

*This course is only required for students who matriculated in June 2019 and after.

Timeline for online presentations, December 5-7, 2022 sessions 

Complete 260.720: Communications Primer for the Public Health Sciences * No later than Term 1
Submit Capstone Information Form By Mon., August 22, 2022
Submit final capstone outline to capstone advisor By Mon., September 12, 2022
Submit first draft of project to capstone advisor By Mon., October 10, 2022
Register for capstone course for 2nd Term By Fri., October 21, 2022
Submit final draft of project to capstone advisor By Fri., November 4, 2022
Upload only the capstone advisor approved final paper to drop box.  Unapproved papers will not be accepted. By Mon., November 21, 2022
Give online presentation Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec 5, 6 and 7, 2022

*This course is only required for students who matriculated in June 2019 and after.

Timeline for presentation at alternate venue

Students presenting at an alternate venue must adhere to the schedules above, as per the time of year in which the project is completed. Deadlines for completion of the oral presentation are August online, December online, or the May symposium date, depending on the period in which the student is graduating. 

Step 1: Identify a capstone advisor, project, and format

You should start by identifying a faculty member whose research interests and expertise are in the topic area and/or methodology that you wish to pursue, and is available to advise the project. Your faculty advisor may serve as your capstone advisor, or they may have an initial discussion with you and then refer you to other faculty members. Another helpful strategy is to inquire with several faculty members about any current work of theirs that may lend itself to a potential capstone project. Other resources for identifying a potential capstone advisor are the MPH Program Office, the faculty directory (searchable by keyword) and Collexis.

A capstone project is suitable if it provides students the opportunity to apply the skills and competencies acquired in the MPH program to a problem likely encountered in public health practice and research. The topic and format of the capstone project is flexible and is developed through discussions between the student and capstone advisor. Possible options for format or design include:

Program Plan

The capstone project would involve developing a plan to implement a public health program. It would address critical issues such as management, fiscal, ethical and logistical issues.

Example Projects:

Program Evaluation

The capstone project would involve evaluating/monitoring an existing public health program, such as process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment and/or cost analysis.

Example Projects:

Policy Analysis

The capstone project would involve analyzing the public health implications of a current or proposed policy. The work could include perspectives on economics and financing, need and demand, politics/ethics/law, or quality/effectiveness.

Example Project:

Research Proposal

The capstone project would simulate a grant proposal or research plan. The project would include a clear statement of the research question, the specific aims of the proposal, review of literature, study design, methods of analysis, implications and significance of the work. The research question would be one that is encountered in professional work, such as the evaluation of a public health intervention.

Example Projects:

Research Report

The capstone project could involve the collection, analysis and/or interpretation of data to address a public health problem. The project could include sections on the research question, study design, data collection procedures, data analysis, interpretation and significance of findings.

  • Primary Data Analysis: Work for the MPH capstone can also involve the collection of data. Data collection for capstone is usually in the context of an ongoing study, but it is also possible (although not recommended) for MPH students to initiate an original study under the guidance of a Johns Hopkins faculty member. In the latter case, the student should allow substantial lead time for research planning and IRB approval.

Research Report Example Projects:

Research Report - Quantitative Analysis

Research Report - Qualitative Analysis

Policy Change/Advocacy

Example Project:

Training Program

Example Project:

 

 

Step 2: Determine if the project involves human subjects research

The Bloomberg School IRB Office is charged with assuring that human subject research studies conducted in the school comply with internal school policies and external regulations designed to protect human subjects. All students who plan to do human subjects research must have IRB approval before working with human data or samples and/or before contacting human subjects.

"Human subjects research" is broadly defined to include any activity involving living humans that seeks to test a hypothesis or answer a scientific question. This can include both secondary data analysis and research involving direct contact with subjects. The following resources are available to assist students with their IRB questions:

  • Navigating the IRB : A Primer for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows. This is your first step in learning more about the IRB process. This IRB Office publication is designed to provide additional information about the IRB process.  
  • To determine if your project involves data from human subjects, you should complete the online IRB Worksheet.  This worksheet will indicate any additional requirements to properly document IRB approval of your project.
  • If a student is listed as a researcher on an ongoing, IRB-approved study at an external institution (other than JHU), the student must submit the following to the JHSPH IRB Office at jhsph.irboffice@jhu.edu:
  • Additional assistance is available from Thomas Bradsher at the IRB Office (tbradshe@jhsph.edu). The IRB office is located in room E1100. Please make sure that you've completed the IRB Worksheet before you contact the IRB Office.

If the IRB Office determines that you must submit a PHIRST application, you must do so by the date that your MPH Capstone Information Form is due. The IRB submission deadline for field experiences taking place during the Winter break and requiring IRB approval is November 15th.

Step 3: Submit the online MPH Capstone Information Form

Submit the online Capstone Information Form two terms prior to completion of the project. You will need to indicate such information as the name of your capstone advisor, a working title and the aims of your project, IRB status if applicable, etc.

Step 4: Register for the two-credit MPH Capstone Course

Students must register for the two-credit "MPH Capstone" course number in the term in which the project is completed and presented. Full-time students must register for this course in 4th Term. Part-time/online students must register for this course in Term 4 for a May graduation; Summer Term for an August graduation; or Term 2 for a December graduation.

Students who are doing a large amount of preliminary research for a project may want to register for additional "Special Studies/Research" units. You should consult with your capstone advisor prior to registering. When registering, you should select the capstone advisor as the "instructor" and select the number of academic units that you and your capstone advisor have agreed is appropriate for the research.

MPH Capstone Course Numbers

Capstone Advisor's Department Capstone Course Number
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology PH.120.800
Biostatistics PH.140.800
Environmental Health PH.186.800
Epidemiology PH.340.800
Health, Behavior & Society PH.410.800
Health Policy & Management PH.300.840
International Health PH.220.800
Mental Health PH.330.800
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology PH.260.800
Population, Family & Reproductive Health PH.380.800

Special Studies/Research Course Numbers

Capstone Advisor's Department SS/R Course Number
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology PH.120.840
Biostatistics PH.140.840
Environmental Health PH.188.840
Epidemiology PH.340.840
Health, Behavior & Society PH.410.840
Health Policy & Management PH.300.840
International Health, Health Systems PH.221.840
International Health, Human Nutrition PH.222.840
International Health, Disease Control PH.223.840
International Health, Social & Behavioral PH.224.840
Mental Health PH.330.840
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology PH.260.840
Population, Family & Reproductive Health PH.380.840

 

Step 5: Work on the project and paper

Discuss an overall timeline for completing the various sections of your paper with your capstone advisor in preparation for submitting a first draft for their review. The first draft deadline is about five weeks before the final draft deadline, allowing time for revisions. Communicating with your capstone advisor about your progress, including any issues or concerns, is critical during this phase.

Your capstone advisor will review your final draft for any final edits and recommendations, and you will complete revisions as necessary.

Then submit the final, approved paper to the CoursePlus drop box.  Your capstone advisor will submit an online approval directly to the MPH Program Office. Please note: Students may not participate in the oral presentation unless the final paper is submitted on time.

Resources:

     

    More information

    Step 6: Give an oral presentation of your project

    After the final paper and capstone advisor's approval are submitted, you will complete the oral component of the capstone project by giving a 10-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of discussion. This will take place at the May MPH Capstone Symposium, scheduled online presentations or an alternate venue.

    Resource:

    Step 7: Capstone course completion, grading and awards

    The MPH Program Office will submit grades for the MPH Capstone Course as follows:

    • "Pass" grade for all students that submit an approved capstone paper and complete the oral presentation requirement.

    • "Incomplete" grade will be posted for those students who do not complete the capstone project in the term for which they are registered.

    The MPH Program Office also awards special honors to the best overall capstone projects. Nominations are accepted from capstone advisors and winners are selected by an awards committee based on the written project. The capstone award includes a plaque for excellence in public health professional practice. The student with the single overall best capstone project receives a $500 award.

    Examples of MPH Capstone Topics and Papers

    Capstone project papers submitted by Bloomberg School students from previous years can be found under Step 1 above to demonstrate the breadth of topics and formats that may be explored.

    Capstone Symposia Programs

    The following links are copies of the programs from MPH capstone symposia held here at the Bloomberg School in recent years.

    MPH Capstone Award Recipients

    Please click here to see the MPH Capstone Award Recipients from the last four years.