Behavioral and Community Health focuses on the cultural and behavioral factors that influence health in order to develop innovative methods for prevention and treatment. We aim to train and cultivate behavioral and community health professionals who understand the theory and practice of public health and are committed to applying this knowledge to tackle current and emerging public health issues.

Our graduates are prepared to navigate the intersections of research, practice, administration and policy development in a world with enormous health challenges -- from cancer disparities to mental health disorders to HIV/AIDS.

MPH students gain academic training and hands-on experience in health program planning, implementation, and evaluation as well as public policy analysis and management. The 42-credit program can be completed in two full years (9-12 credits a semester) or three and a half years to five years part time (6 or fewer credits a semester). This MPH program has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health since 2000.

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Explore Program Details

Requirements

The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health consists of 42 credit hours of graduate work, including 3 elective credit hours (for students who elect to complete a MPH project) and a 6 to 9-credit-hour capstone experience that includes an internship and either an MPH project or thesis. The program can be completed on either a full or part-time basis with classes offered in the late afternoon and evening. All requirements must be met and the degree awarded within five years following the date of entrance into the program. There are recommended sequences for completing the MPH program on a full or part-time basis that can help prospective students assess the coursework and time commitments.

In addition to these course requirements, all students are expected to participate in a bi-monthly department grand rounds presentations and monthly school-wide lectures, and are strongly encouraged to participate in school-wide student organizations.

Competencies

The Master of Public Health degree is a professional, practice-based degree. As such, upon completion of the degree requirements, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  • Identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions.
  • Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions.
  • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions.
  • Implement public health strategies, interventions and programs.
  • Conduct evaluation and research related to behavioral and community health. 
  • Administer behavioral and community health strategies, interventions and programs.
  • Serve as a behavioral and community health resource person.
  • Communicate and advocate for public health.

Curriculum

Core Courses:

  Courses Credit
EPIB 610 Foundations of Epidemiology 3
EPIB 650 Biostatistics I 3
HLSA 601 Intro. to Health Systems 3
HLTH 665 Health Behavior I 3
MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health 3

Cognate Area Courses:

  Courses Credit
HLTH 606 Foundations of Public Health Education 3
HLTH 671 OR
HLTH 672
Public Health Communication
Public Health Informatics
3
HLTH 710  Methods and Techniques of Research 3
HLTH 774P Community Health Program Planning  3
HLTH 776P Community Health Program Evaluation 3
HLTH 780 Community Health 3
  Zero (Thesis option) electives or one (non-thesis option) elective 0-3

Capstone Experience Credits:

  Course Credit
HLTH 785  Internship in Public Health 3
HLTH 786 OR
HLTH 799
Capstone Project in Public Health
Thesis
3/6

Total Credits: 42

Internship/Capstone

The MPH Program expects students to obtain a significant practicum experience in community-based health prior to graduation. A practicum/internship experience involves hands-on experience working and interacting with public health professionals. The purpose of the practicum experience is to provide students with an opportunity to apply the concepts, strategies, and tools acquired through the course of their study. The goal of the MPH mentored practicum is to have a practical public health experience that provides mentoring, contact with public health professionals, and the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way. All students are required to obtain a practicum experience as part of the MPH program, regardless of prior experience.

In addition to the internship, all students must choose to complete an applied project or a research thesis as the culminating experience of the program. These experiences are student-led and require synthesis and integration of knowledge acquired in coursework, practicum, and other learning experiences and the application of theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice.

There are numerous opportunities to obtain a practicum experience. Examples of previous student internship placements include:

  • Maryland Hunger Solutions
  • National Cancer Institute - Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch
  • National Associations of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • Baltimore City Health Department – Virtual Supermarket Program
  • National Council on Aging – Center for Healthy Aging
  • Breast Feeding Center for Greater Washington
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine – Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine – STAR TRACK Program
  • Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)