Master in Public Health (Community Health Education)

45 credits

Purpose of Degree

The master of Public health (MPH) graduate program, with a focus in Community Health Education, prepares students to enter the dynamic and challenging field of public health as research practitioners working in the prevention of disease and improving the quality of life in communities.

Through a well-integrated program of study, students receive instruction in the core public health disciplines of:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health Administration
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences

The MPH program provides students with a variety of opportunities to study the intersection of the social behavioral sciences, information technology, human behavior, organizational and community systems, and policy development.

With the concentration in Community Health Education, graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. This certification indicates that they have the requisite skills in developing, planning, implementing and evaluating programs. Our MPH program is accredited by CEPH; thus, students are also eligible to sit for the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam.

National Accreditation

The MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) through 2020.

CEPH is the independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and certain public health programs. CEPH accreditation attests to the quality of an educational program that prepares professionals for entry into the public health field.

Accreditation also provides assurance to students that the school or program has been evaluated and has met accepted quality standards established by and within the profession. Our accreditation provides potential employers with assurances that our training program covers the essential public health skills and knowledge needed for achieving success in today’s public health arena.

Mission Statement

The faculty are heavily involved in scholarly service to the field of public health as well as conducting research to facilitate solving public health problems. Faculty members conduct this work at the national, state and local level.

Examples of faculty research include: social marketing strategies and tobacco control; the use of social marketing and social media in improving health literacy; evaluating asthma and diabetes prevention programs; providing technical assistance and evaluation/outcomes research in chronic disease prevention; conducting community-based substance abuse prevention initiatives; using health informatics and information technology applications in public health and prevention, to name a few.

Faculty members are actively engaged in research and seek to collaborate with graduate assistants and other students. A number of these students, some supported by research assistantships, are integrally involved in these projects.


Program of Study

The Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Education is a 45-credit program that includes a six-credit (300 hours) internship requirement, a requirement to pass a comprehensive oral exam and a requirement to conduct research resulting in a publishable quality paper.

Because the program combines traditional public health course work with professional training in community health education, graduates are well prepared to work in a variety of public health settings, or continue on for doctorate work.

Graduates work in program development, implementation, and evaluation of population based prevention programs to promote healthy behaviors and prevent disease as well as developing health policies that protect citizens from risk factors associated with negative health outcomes.

Students who enter the program typically have backgrounds in a variety of social service occupations with undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the social behavioral sciences (such as health education, psychology, anthropology or sociology), as well as nursing, medicine, biology, and various other fields. No specific undergraduate degree is required for admission.

Illustrative plan of study

Required courses:

HLTH 509Skills for Applied Community Health Practice

2 credits

HLTH 537Community Health Practice for Health Educators

3 credits

HLTH 538Health Policy and Administration

3 credits

HLTH 553Health Ethics Policy & Law

3 credits

HLTH 555Health Education Evaluation

3 credits

HLTH 557Computers Applications in Health Education

3 credits

HLTH 560Scientific Foundations of Health Behavior

3 credits

HLTH 561Epidemiology

3 credits

HLTH 562The Physical Environment and Community Health

3 credits

HLTH 563Public Health Measurement Sciences

3 credits

HLTH 570Introduction to Research

3 credits

HLTH 571Health Education Research Problem

1 - 3 credits

HLTH 581Public Health Seminar

1 credit

HLTH 586Field Experience and Internship

3 - 12 credits

3 credits of electives from 500 level health course work

Additional Requirement:


  • Bachelor's degree
  • Undergraduate minimum GPA of 2.8
  • Three letters of reference
  • Personal statement
  • GRE Scores: While the program takes a portfolio approach to admissions, scoring 143 or higher on both the verbal and quantitative sections (new scale) of the test or a minimum total score of 285 is desired (concordant scores on the old scale will also be accepted). MCAT or GMAT can be used in lieu of GREs, with a minimum MCAT score of 19.0 or a minimum GMAT score of 400 required. For students completing the Public Health Certificate with grades of at least a "B" in all requirements, do not require GRE scores. TOEFL Scores are required for International Students (580 for paper; 233 for computer test; 90 for Internet test). Minimum IELTS Scores: Band Score = 7.


Final graduation requirement

All MPH graduate candidates will be required to complete a comprehensive oral exam at the end of their coursework along with submission and presentation of a publishable quality research paper.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available through the department and other departments and programs on campus. These are awarded based upon merit and achievement to full-time students in the graduate program.

Graduate assistants do not teach classes, but complete projects and tasks assigned by professors. Graduate assistantships are awarded for the first and/or second year of full-time study. Graduate assistants are evaluated each semester, with continuation contingent on acceptable performance. Prospective students should apply for a graduate assistantship at the time of original application to the program, using the application form provided by the Graduate College.