Master of Arts in Maternal-Child Health Systems

Program Summary

The Master of Arts in Maternal-Child Health Systems is an accredited, stand-alone degree program offered primarily online, with two short residencies of two-three days, taking place at the beginning and end of the program at Bastyr’s Kenmore, Washington, campus. This program takes four quarters (one year) to complete.

The program prepares trained midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants and other maternal-child health care providers with the knowledge and skills to expand expertise in maternal-child health beyond personal service delivery. Students build on earlier education and practical experience, develop leadership skills, and acquire a systems-based perspective to promote a more humanistic, holistic, rights-based and equitable leadership in maternal and infant care.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MA in Maternal-Child Health Systems will be able to:

  • Integrate ethics, human rights and social justice principles into all aspects of maternal and child health systems.
  • Analyze and apply data to determine trends, create best practice models and implement the most effective components of holistic MCH care.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate practice models and delivery systems to improve MCH care.
  • Evaluate policy issues regarding women's health and maternal-child health within a variety of jurisdictions and organizations.
  • Demonstrate effective communication and leadership skills to enhance multidisciplinary team function and promote positive change in health care systems.
  • Evaluate and use informatics systems and other technology to improve the quality and safety in maternity care.


For general information on the admissions process, refer to the Admissions section in this catalog. Exceptional candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an interview.


  • Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent number of credits (180 quarter credits) from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Exceptional applicants without a bachelor’s degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants must also have appropriate training (with appropriate certification when available) and documentation of a minimum of two (2) full-time years of practical experience as a midwife, doula, childbirth educator or lactation specialist. Other credentialed MCH professionals such as perinatal nurses, public health specialists, social workers, health care financial experts, psychologists and physicians seeking leadership training consistent with humanistic, rights-based maternal-infant care will also be eligible.
  • Admitted students must have access to a laptop computer with high speed Internet, a webcam and a headset.

Course Prerequisites

Prerequisite courses (with grades of 3.0 or higher in each course) include:

  • A basic statistics or biostatistics course within the past five years
  • English composition and writing
  • A public speaking course or equivalent academic or professional experience with public speaking, as determined by the University’s admissions process

The curriculum tables that follow list the tentative schedule of courses each quarter


MW6120Professional Focus A: Power and Privilege


MW6125Research Design, Evaluation and Application in MCH Systems 1


MW6121Professional Focus B: Utilizing Health Data


MW6128Independent Project 1: Ideas and Context Review


Total Credit Hours:11


MW6126Research Design, Evaluation and Application in MCH Systems 2


MW6133Maternal-Child Health Systems


MW6122Professional Focus C: Programs and Models for MCH Systems


MW6129Independent Project 2: Proposal and IRB Application


Total Credit Hours:12


MW6127Research Design, Evaluation and Application in MCH Systems 3


MW6134Adult Education, Communication and Learning Principles


MW6123Professional Focus D: Integrative Culture and Social Justice in MCH Systems


MW6130Independent Project 3: Implementation


Total Credit Hours:12


MW6135Management Principles for Innovation in MCH Systems


MW6124Professional Focus E: Leadership in Maternal-Child Health


MW6131Independent Project 4: Finish Implementation, Analysis, Presentation


Total Credit Hours:10

Total Requirements

 Total Core Course Credits  45
Curriculum and course changes in the 2017-2018 Bastyr University Catalog are applicable to students entering during the 2017-2018 academic year. Please refer to the appropriate catalog if interested in curriculum and courses required for any other entering year.