Jul 13, 2024  
2019-2020 ATSU University Catalog 
2019-2020 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Graduate Health Studies

Dear Student and Colleague,

Welcome to the College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) and A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU). You are part of a rich history; joining an institution that has educated health professionals since 1892. ATSU instills in students the compassion, experience, and knowledge required to address the whole person and shape healthcare in communities where needs are greatest.

We are pleased you have selected ATSU-CGHS and assure you we are dedicated to your success. We strive to create a learning-centered environment to support your professional education.

In this catalog, you will find important information related to your educational journey. Please read the catalog carefully so you fully understand ATSU-CGHS policies and procedures. We also encourage you read the University Student Handbook.

On behalf of ATSU-CGHS administration, faculty, and staff, I wish you nothing but success throughout your academic endeavors.

All the best,
Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA
Professor and Dean, College of Graduate Health Studies


Program Accreditation

The Master of Public Health and Master of Public Health with Dental Emphasis degree programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health – 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 220, Silver Spring, MD 20910 – 202.789.1050.

ATSU-CGHS Purpose Statement

The College of Graduate Health Studies is a learning-centered online school, focused on academic excellence. We are dedicated to preparing leaders for socially responsible practice, policy, and scholarly activity to improve prevention initiatives, wellness, and health care delivery to the underserved.


The College of Graduate Health Studies will be the preeminent school for leaders in the health-related industry. We will provide an innovative curriculum facilitated by distinguished faculty and exceptional support staff, that prepares our students to integrate theory into practice to meet the growing needs of domestic and global health and wellness.


Leadership: We value leadership development for our students, faculty, and staff and encourage participation in community and professional service.

Integrity: We value the highest ethical principles of fairness and honesty in all of our interactions.

Scholarship: We value critical thinking and the generation of ideas through innovation and analysis.

Diversity: We value differences among people and their personal and professional perspectives.

Interprofessional education: We value the combined contributions of our educational community and work to achieve an environment of teamwork and collaboration.

Innovation: We value a continual and aggressive push to develop new and efficient mechanisms for learning, teaching, and technological delivery.


A.T. Still University – College of Graduate Health Studies
800 W. Jefferson Street
Kirksville, MO 63501

Donald Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBS, MA

Katherine Adler, DHA
Associate Dean, Academics and Assessment

Terry Wise, D Min, PhD, JD
Associate Dean, Online Operations

Academic Advisors
All programs

Aesha Turner
Executive Assistant to the Dean

ATSU-CGHS School Policies

The following policies or guidelines apply to all programs at ATSU-CGHS.


Application Process

The College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) uses an online admissions system. Please visit https://cghsfastapp.com to access the A.T. Still University common application system. Additional information regarding the program application deadline date, tuition and expenses, and related financial assistance can be found at www.atsu.edu, or by calling 877.626.5577 or emailing cghsonlineadmissions@atsu.edu.

A.T. Still University is no longer accepting applicants for the online Doctor of Health Education program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Academic:
    1. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
      1. Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH), the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH), or the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) students who apply to the Master of Public Health with Dental Emphasis (MPH-DE) or the Master of Public Health-SOMA programs are admitted by virtue of being a residential student in good standing.
      2. Students who withdraw from a program of study, after completing a minimum of 16 credit hours, and apply through Admissions for re-entry, will be considered for re-entry based on the cumulative grade point average attained in the program at the time of withdrawal.
    2. An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Department of Education (bachelor’s degree or higher for master’s programs and a master’s degree or higher for doctoral programs).
      1. Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may be required to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.
    3. Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution.
      1. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
    4. Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.
  2. Elements of Success:
    1. A current resume
    2. Completion of an essay
    3. English Proficiency*
    4. Meeting of technology requirements**

*Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

  • Option 1 – English is your first language.
  • Option 2 – Graduated from an accredited four year college or university recognized by the Department of Education in the United States with a BA or BS or graduate degree.
  • Option 3 – You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
    • The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) is accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:
      • CBT – minimum total score of 213
      • iBT – minimum total score of 80
      • PBT – minimum total score of 550
    • The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. Information is available at http://www.ets.org/toefl. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 609.771.7100

**Technology requirements as outlined at: http://its.atsu.edu/knowledgebase/cghs-technology-requirements/

ATSU-CGHS Program Transfer

Students who wish to transfer to another academic program within ATSU-CGHS must apply to that program through Admissions. To apply for admission to another academic program, an applicant must submit an application including an essay and all other supporting documentation (i.e., letters of reference, medical documentation, etc.) to Admissions by the admissions deadline for the semester and block in which a student wishes to enroll. An applicant may also include additional supporting documentation for the admissions committee to consider.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to accept, reject, or defer any application. Applicants are notified following the committee’s decision. Successful applicants are granted a specified time period to notify the Admissions Department of the intention to enroll. After acceptance, matriculation is subject to the satisfactory completion and verification of all academic and admission requirements.

Transfer Credit

Please refer to the Transfer Credit Policy located in the ATSU Policies section of this catalog.  ATSU-CGHS only accepts up to three courses or 9 credit hours (whichever is less) for transfer.

The Master of Public Health with Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate Program does not accept transfer credits. All residents must earn their MPH with a Dental Emphasis from ATSU while in the 25 month residency.

Selection of Applicants

Applicants are selected by the Admission Committee for a specific start date. No deferrals are allowed. The Admissions Committee seeks applicants capable of meeting the academic standards of ATSU-CGHS. Completed applications, in compliance with minimum admission requirements, are reviewed for academic performance, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, work and life experience, recommendations, and interest in health education, health administration, health sciences, kinesiology, or public health.

Non-Degree Seeking Status

Non-degree seeking status may be granted to applicants with a cumulative GPA as low as 2.3. Students who achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA on two courses may then subsequently apply for program admission.

Minimal Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation


A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Sciences (ATSU-CGHS) is committed to equal access for all qualified applicants and students. Minimal Technical Standards state expectations of ATSU-CGHS students. The Technical Standards provide sufficient information to allow the candidate to make an informed decision for application. Minimal Technical Standards are a guide for accommodation of students with disabilities. Accommodations can be made for disabilities in some instances, but a student must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. Applicants and current students who have questions regarding the technical standards, or who believe they may need to request academic adjustment(s) in order to meet the standards, are encouraged to contact Learning and Disability Resources. Procedures to apply for academic adjustments are found at the conclusion of this policy.

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion encompass an authentic understanding and appreciation of difference and, at their core, are based upon the value each human being brings to our society and each person’s access and opportunities to contribute to our University’s cultural proficiency.

ATSU-CGHS admits and matriculates qualified students per the policies found in the ATSU-CGHS Catalog. ATSU-CGHS prohibits discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual preference or disability.  ATSU-CGHS expects all students to meet certain minimal technical standards as set forth herein. The standards reflect what the College of Graduate Health Sciences believes are reasonable expectations of online learning and performing common course work.

Categories of Technical Standards:

Students must be able to read, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data consistently, accurately, and in a timely fashion, as demonstrated by the ability to carry out the activities described below.  Students must possess, at a minimum, the skills and abilities outlined in the chart below. The examples mentioned are not intended as a complete list of expectations, but only as samples demonstrating the associated standards.

Category Standard Example
  • Sufficient uncorrected or corrected visual acuity for reading
  • Able to read text on computer monitor as well as hard print media suitable to meet the course requirements
  • Possess fluent formal and colloquial oral and written English skills
  • Capable of writing in English effectively
  • Capable of reading English effectively
  • Demonstrate command of the course material to instructor
  • Understand oral and written lectures, ask questions and understand answers
  • Explain procedures in writing and discuss results with instructors and fellow students
  • Complete written course assignments
  • Participate via the written word in on-line group discussions
Computing Abilities
  • Possess sufficient computer skills to operate computer system
  • Possess sufficient computer skills to navigate online.
  • Demonstrate the ability to navigate in an online environment suitable to meet course requirements.
  • Able to adjust computer settings
  • Able to download software, patches, and drivers with minimal or no assistance
  • Possess sufficient skills to perform tasks on a computer.
  • Able to place and remove information into and from the computer.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative
  • Apply knowledge, skills and values learned from course work and life experiences to new situations
  • To receive, decode, interpret, recall, reproduce and apply information in the cognitive form to solve problems, evaluate work, gauge progress and demonstrate understanding of course material
  • Interact in writing with group discussions synthesizing, explaining, and presenting information and conclusions in such a way as to help establish and maintain an active learning environment.
Behavioral and Social
  • Possess the emotional health required for full use of intellectual abilities
  • Exhibit appropriate behavior, judgment and ethical standards
  • Develop mature and cooperative relationships with peers, faculty and staff members
  • Interact through appropriate electronic, telephone, written and oral communication with peers, faculty and staff members.
  • Project an image of professionalism.
  • Work independently on all projects.
  • Interact professionally, ethically and confidentially with peers, faculty and staff members
  • Control temper and never perpetrate harassment

Additional Information

Records and communications regarding disabilities and academic adjustments with the Director of Learning and Disability Resources have no bearing on the application process. You may contact the director at Learning and Disability Resources, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, 800 W. Jefferson Street, Kirksville, MO 63501, disabilityresources@atsu.edu, or by phone at 660.626.2774.

Applying for Academic Adjustments

The institution remains open to possibilities of human potential and achievement, providing support for students with disabilities. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the administration of and compliance with the Technical Standards and Academic Adjustments Policy (ATSU Policy #20-110) through the Director of Learning and Disability Resources. Please see the University Student Handbook for information on how to apply for academic adjustments, or email disabilityresources@atsu.edu.

Auditing a Course

ATSU-CGHS does not allow auditing of courses at this time.


ATSU-CGHS programs adhere to the University grading scale .

ATSU-CGHS does not round scores. Grades are assigned by faculty members and are based on the points possible in any given course. Final grades are posted in the CampusNexus Portal 14 days after the last day of the semester block.

Incomplete Grade

While it is expected requirements for completion of a course are met at the end of a term, there are times when it is necessary for a student to request an incomplete grade. An incomplete grade may be issued by an instructor if a student presents in writing a rationale for circumstances beyond his or her control that prevented completing the class in a timely fashion and the student completed at least 50% of the assigned coursework at the time of request.

At the time when an incomplete grade is requested, a student must be passing the class with a grade of C or higher. Other than in cases of emergency, this request must be received by the instructor no later than two weeks prior to the end of a term. If an instructor submits an incomplete grade, an “I” shall be entered on the final grade form. An instructor must complete an incomplete grade form on which the conditions for removal of the grade of “I” are specified and the date any missing work must be submitted is included.

In general, an incomplete grade must be removed within two weeks of the end of a term, unless the extenuating circumstances warrant a longer time. A copy of all documentation for removal of an incomplete grade must be submitted to the department chair. It is a student’s responsibility to meet the conditions for the removal of the “I” grade. If there are additional extenuating circumstances, a student may request an extension of the “I” grade; but in no case will an extension be allowed for more than one calendar year following the end of the term in which the “I” grade was granted. If an “I” grade is not changed in one calendar year, it will automatically revert to a grade of F (excluding dissertation-only courses). Students with an outstanding grade of “I” are not eligible to graduate.

Appealing a Grade

Students who wish to file an academic appeal concerning a course grade should visit the Academic Appeals policy  located within the ATSU Policies section of the Catalog.


Plagiarism Defined

Plagiarism is the presentation of another’s work as if it were one’s original. Proper and complete citation and reference, in accordance with APA style guidelines, is required of all student work. Specific examples of plagiarism include:

  • Cutting and pasting or re-entering information from another’s work into a document without correct citation or attribution
  • Information is attributed to a source other than the original
  • Material authored by someone else is submitted as original work
  • Turning in previously prepared work, in part or in whole, is considered self-plagiarism and is unacceptable. In instances where it may be appropriate to include prior work, the student must obtain permission from the instructor to include the prior work.
  • Information is properly cited but the paraphrasing is not substantively different from the original source
  • Infrequent or missing citations

Plagiarism Sanctions

All assignments submitted for a grade are subject to review for plagiarism. The consequences of plagiarism vary based on whether the incident is a first, second, or third occurrence.

First occurrence: A first instance of plagiarism is generally believed to result from a lack of familiarity and inexperience using APA guidelines and is perceived as a misuse of sources.

The sanctions for a first offense generally are, but not limited to:

  • Required completion of the University Writing Center’s Proper use of Resources tutorial
  • A grade of zero on the assignment
  • Resubmission of the assignment for a reduced grade
  • Students who choose not to participate in the tutorial or fail to complete the tutorial will receive a grade of zero on the assignment

Second occurrence: A second occurrence of plagiarism is a more serious academic offense and is not attributed to naiveté, ignorance of guidelines, or a misunderstanding of what constitutes acceptable graduate scholarship at ATSU.

The sanction for a second plagiarism offense is, but is not limited, to:

  • A grade of F in the course

Third occurrence: A third occurrence of plagiarism is seen as a student’s chronic inability or refusal to produce acceptable graduate-level scholarship.

The sanction for a third plagiarism offense is, but is not limited, to:

  • Expulsion from the university

Academic Probation

If a student fails to meet the 3.0 cumulative GPA, he or she will be placed on academic probation. There are two phases of academic probation.

Phase I Academic Probation:

  • Student is limited to a maximum of two courses per semester block
  • Student’s cumulative GPA must be a 3.0 or above at the end of the probationary semester
  • If a student receives a grade of W during the probationary semester, he or she automatically fails to meet the requirements of probation

If a student meets the requirements of the probationary period, he or she is removed from academic probation and returned to good academic standing. ATSU-CGHS students in poor academic standing when withdrawing from all courses in a semester block are required to petition the program chair for re-entry.

Phase II Petition Academic Probation:

If a student fails to meet the requirements of Phase I Academic Probation, Phase II is not automatically granted. Requirements for this phase include:

  • Student must petition the department chair or program chair in writing within 5 days of notification
  • Student is limited to two courses per block
  • If a student receives a grade of W during the probationary semester, he or she automatically fails to meet the requirements of probation.
  • Student’s cumulative GPA must be a 3.0 or higher at the end of the probationary semester
  • Students must meet any additional criteria outlined by a program chair during the Phase II academic probation term.

If a student meets the requirements of the probationary period, the student returns to good academic standing.

Students on Phase I probation who do not meet probation requirements and fail to request Phase II probation will be administratively withdrawn from a program of study. Students denied Phase II probation or who fail to meet requirements on Phase II probation may be dismissed from a program of study.

Continuous Enrollment

ATSU-CGHS students who are finished with all coursework and completing culmination projects (practicum, dissertation, applied research project, doctoral research project, etc.) must maintain continuous enrollment until completion of all graduation requirements. Students will be assessed a continuous enrollment charge for each semester block that the student maintains enrollment until all degree requirements are completed. More information on the University’s continuous enrollment process may be found under the Enrollment Status Definitions within the ATSU Policy section.

Course(s) or Program of Study Withdrawal

Students who have been inactive one semester may resume their program of study by contacting their Academic Advisor and registering for courses prior to the registration deadline.

ATSU-CGHS students who are not registered for courses in a semester are considered in Incomplete-Withdraw status and must register for courses in the following semester or be administratively withdrawn from the program. In most instances, students withdrawn from ATSU, regardless of the reason, must apply for re-admission and fall under the most recent academic catalog and admission requirements.

ATSU-CGHS students in poor academic standing when withdrawing from all courses in a semester block are required to petition the program chair for re-entry.

For the specific policy on grades awarded for withdrawal, please see the Withdrawal from School section of the Matriculated Student Policies 

Graduation Requirements

A degree is awarded at the end of the semester following completion of requirements. Attending commencement is not required but highly recommended. Students who only have one registered block of coursework to complete may participate in the graduation ceremony under the following guidelines:

  • Students who only have one registered block of coursework to complete
  • Dissertation Only Students (DHA & DHEd): The student has obtained committee approval of Dissertation Chapter 4
  • Practicum Only Students: The student has identified a practicum site, the practicum supervisor is in place, and the practicum plan (with an anticipated completion date in the next block) is approved

The official graduation date on the transcript and diploma will be the last day of the semester.

The following items must be completed in order to request a final transcript or verification letter:

  • Cumulative GPA 3.0
  • Credit earned in all required courses (to earn credit for a course a student must earn a grade of C or higher)
  • Zero financial balance is determined by the Finance Office
  • Exit interview with Enrollment Services (if student received financial aid at ATSU)
  • Graduate exit survey completed
  • Any programmatic specific graduation requirements

Degree Completion

Students at ATSU-CGHS are expected to complete a degree in a program’s standard plan of study. Students will have a maximum degree completion timeline of five years for a master’s program and seven years for a doctoral program from the time of initial enrollment. Failure to complete a degree program in the time allowed may negate some or all previously earned degree credits.

Academic Standards, Guidelines, and Requirements

Academic Standing

In order to maintain good academic standing, students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Academic standing is evaluated after the Fall and Spring semesters.

Participation in Courses

Please see the ATSU Policies section of this catalog for the University policy on student absences.  In addition to the University policy, ATSU-CGHS requires the following:

As a student in an online program, it is expected you participate in all class activities every week. The academic week is from 12:00 AM Arizona time Monday morning through 11:59 PM Arizona time the following Sunday. Participation is defined as having completed one or more of the activities required in any week. These include:

  • Participate in the class discussion
  • Submit a paper
  • Complete a quiz or examination
  • Complete some other assignment as presented in the course syllabus

If a student does not complete any activities during the first week of class, he/she will be administratively withdrawn.


The book list is posted on the ATSU portal four weeks prior to the start of a semester block. Students should order books from this list only for the new semester block.

It is a requirement that students have all required books the first day of class. Students may purchase books from any bookstore.

Course Access

Students are granted Blackboard course access one week prior to the first day of class.

Course Cancellation

The institution has the right to cancel a course. Any student enrolled prior to a course cancellation will receive a full refund of tuition paid.

Inclement Weather Policy

In the event a major weather occurrence prevents a student from accessing a class, instructors will work with the student to set reasonable accommodations to accept assignments after a due date. Instructors may request documentation from a student if a weather occurrence is not widespread.

Late Assignment Policy

In the event you are unable to submit work to Canvas by the deadline, you must:

  1. notify your instructor through the Canvas messaging system and attach your assignment; and
  2. open a ticket with IT by calling 1-800-626-2200.  Be sure to keep the ticket number as documentation the issue has been reported.

Once the IT issue has been resolved, you should then submit your work through Canvas for grading.

Reuse of Work Policy

When a student withdraws or fails a class and then retakes it, all previously prepared work, in part or in whole, may not be resubmitted. The consequences for using previously submitted work vary based on whether the incident is the first or second occurrence.

First Occurrence: A first instance of using previously submitted work is generally believed to be due to lack of familiarity with this policy. The possible sanctions for the first occurrence are, but are not limited to:

  • A grade of zero for the assignment.
  • The program chair may allow the student to revise the assignment within 7 business days of notification for a grade up to 80% of the possible points.

Second Occurrence: A second instance of using previously submitted work is generally believed to be purposeful. The sanction for the second occurrence is, but is not limited to:

  • A grade of F for the course.

Third Occurrence: A third instance of using previously submitted work is viewed as the student’s refusal to follow this policy. The sanction for third occurrence is, but is not limited to:

  • Dismissal from the university.

Program Cancellation

Should the institution cancel a program, currently enrolled students are permitted to complete a program before it is discontinued. No new students are permitted to enroll in a program the institution has cancelled.


    Doctor of Education
    Doctor of Health Administration
    Doctor of Health Education
    Doctor of Health Sciences
    Master of Health Administration
    Master of Public Health (and certificate)
    Master of Science