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MPH Gate System

In Fall 2015, the Liberty University MPH program began a gate system to help students monitor their progress through their degree plans. In 2022, the gate was realigned to meet improved program standards for retention and curriculum experience. Students entering or reenrolling in the MPH program after August 2022 must complete the updated gate courses to complete the degree. Students enrolled on the DCP between 2015-2022 will remain on the previous gate system. The following structure outlines the gates for the updated 2022 gate system. Once you have been accepted for admission and enrolled in HLTH 501, you have entered the MPH Gate System.


  1. Once students have been accepted for admission into the MPH program and enroll in HLTH 501, they have entered Gate 1. Students are required to complete HLTH 501 as the first course in preparation to complete the Students will also enroll in and complete the first Gate course, PHGT 510 Public Health Orientation Course. This course will help to ensure the students are aware of the multitude of resources offered to them during and after their time as a student.

1a Full Admission– Have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a least a 0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).

1b. Advisory Admission- Have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with at least a 5 GPA ranging from 2.5-2.99 (on a 4.0 scale).

    1. Students must take HLTH 500 in their first semester.
    2. Online students should take HLTH 500 as the only course in the 1st term; if students elect to take a second course in the 1st term, take the introductory course to the chosen concentration (HLTH 620, 630, or 640) along with HLTH 500. In the 2nd term, take HLTH 501 plus another MPH core course, as well as PHGT 510.
    3.  Residential students may enroll in 9 credits in the first semester and may take the introductory course to their declared concentration (HLTH 620, 625, 630, or 640) and either 507 or

2. Students pass Gate 1 once they have completed HLTH 501 with a grade of C or higher and the first Gate course, Orientation PHGT 510.


  1. The faculty understands many students enter graduate studies to explore career options; they may change programs after taking a few courses on any given degree completion Completion of Gate 2 establishes the student as belonging to the MPH program. This step provides the basis for calculating enrollment and completion statistics for the MPH program.
  2. Gate 2 is completed after the student has fulfilled Gate 1, taken 12 credit hours, and finalized the PHGT 512 Public Health Essay Course.
PHGT 512

Upon entering Gate 2, students will enroll in PHGT 512 Public Health Essay Course. Each student is asked to write a paper explaining what public health is and how it fits into their career goals (1000 words minimum). Students will gain a better understanding of the purpose of the public health essay and thus will learn to align their concentration and career goals.

This will add to the Faculty/Staff ability to understand students’ professional plans, provide a framework for selecting electives, and help the students locate an appropriate practicum experience. Additionally, the document may prove useful for the student as she or he seeks employment opportunities. The Public Health Essay will be placed into the student Portfolio as a requirement later.


  1. PHGT 513 is designed to help the students build and create a successful electronic student portfolio that they can utilize as a resource when applying for jobs.
  2. Students enter Gate 3 upon successful completion of Gate 2 (PHGT 512) by enrolling in PHGT 513, Public Health Portfolio Course. Students will begin collecting the artifacts needed for this portfolio upon successful completion of their first core course. Specific assessment opportunities for the Program’s foundational competencies comprise the student Each core class has an assignment that will be required for the portfolio. During the program, as students complete each core class, students are expected to upload assignments into the InPlace Profile for safekeeping until it is time to build their portfolio during PHGT 513.
  3. The Public Health Portfolio is a documentation repository for student achievements. Required assignments provide an assessment of program effectiveness and evidence of student mastery of the foundational competencies. Students are responsible for all required documents pertaining to the portfolio. The PHGT 513 Public Health Portfolio will include:
    • An essay on public health and how the MPH will be used to meet student career (See the MPH Student Portal for details).
    • Documentation of specific assessments and assignments from each core course (see Portfolio tab in the Portal for details).
    • A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV). Students are encouraged to contact the Student Career Center for assistance in resume or CV development, as needed.
    • A paragraph describing volunteer service, co-curricular activities, or extracurricular activities considered as applied practical experiences (APE) as well as a paragraph describing interprofessional experiences (IPE).
    • Background check (valid for up to one year after completing). This is completed in HLTH 511 as a requirement for enrollment in HLTH The appropriate receipt is included in the portfolio to indicate completion.


  1. Students entering the program prior to Fall 2018 will take the competency exam by being manually registered into the exam course, HLTH 600. Students on DCPs between Fall 2018-Fall 2022 will register for themselves for the zero-credit HLTH 600 course in the semester prior to their practicum, or after they have completed all core classes. Students registering during or after Fall 2022 will be placed in the most recent updated Gate system, which currently includes PHGT 514 as the exam course.
  2. PHGT 514 is comprised of the Competency Exam, as well as resources for the Practicum class, HLTH 698, and the application process for Practicum.
    • The competency exam provides evidence of a student’s readiness for a practicum A passing score of 70% is a requirement to register for HLTH 698 Practicum. The exam may be taken a maximum of 3 times (during HLTH 600 or PHGT 514 dependent on your DCP year) to achieve a passing score. Failure to successfully pass the exam after 3 attempts results in dismissal from the program, unless remediation is considered. If remediation is granted and successfully completed by the student, the student may be permitted by the panel to retake HLTH 600/PHGT 514 no more than once.
  3. Assignments within PHGT 513, Public Health Portfolio course and the study guide on the MPH Portal will help students prepare for the exam.


  1. Students should refer to the next section for details about the selection and completing the practicum. Questions for the Practicum can be directed to MPHpracticum@liberty.edu
  2. Students must complete all core and concentration courses, HLTH 600/PHGT514 (competency exam) prior to enrolling in a practicum.
  3. Students are responsible for locating an appropriate practicum to match their degree concentration and career goals and submitting their selection to the Director of Practicum through InPlace by the Application deadline for the term desired.
  4. Ideally, the practicum site should be approved by the Director of Practicum at least 2 weeks prior to the term during which the student intends to enroll in HLTH 698 Practicum to secure your seat in the class, complete financial check-in, and enhance transition into the course.


  1. Students are permitted to walk in the commencement ceremony prior to completion of the HLTH 698 Practicum; however, students should apply for graduation upon enrollment in the practicum to ensure degree conferral at the end of the
  2. Refer to the University Registrar webpage for details.

Note: Students may walk within the graduation ceremony with up to 6 outstanding credits. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to apply for department awards if you meet the necessary requirements.

Contact the Gate Coordinators for more information or explanations:

MPH Gates 

Email: MPHgates@liberty.edu

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