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MPH, Behavioral and Community Health

Students wearing caps and gowns at a commencement ceremony smiling at camera

Engage with communities to design, implement and evaluate public health programs

Our MPH program prepares behavioral and community health professionals to work in diverse fields. Graduates understand the science, theory and practice of public health and can apply this knowledge to enhance community health and well-being. Online option available.

Perfect for

  • Those who want to be “on the ground” and engaged with communities
  • People who are passionate about helping guide individual and community level change to positively influence health behavior
  • Students seeking flexibility - full time, part time, online or in-person options available


Career paths

Recent alumni job titles include: 

  • Public Health Informatics Specialist 
  • Science & Policy Fellow 
  • Capacity Building Research Analyst 
  • Assistant Director, Health Promotion & Wellness Services 
  • Communicable Disease Health Educator 
  • Health Communication Fellow 
  • Program Consultant 
  • Communications Specialist



Program Overview

Students engage in academic and applied training in health behavior theory, program planning and implementation and program evaluation.

See all Behavioral and Community Health graduate student resources. 

For more information, see the Behavioral and Community Health Flyer.

Student to faculty advising ratio

Upon completion of the degree requirements, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:


1. Design a range of qualitative research methods studies.

2. Apply major social, behavioral and public health theories to use with design and/or assessment of a community health program or research project. 

3. Apply major social, behavioral and public health theories to use with design and/or assessment of a community health intervention. 

4. Apply major social, behavioral and public health theories that aim to address health inequities in a community. 

5. Identify and use mobile/computer apps to gather information or collect data for use in the evaluation of research.

6. Manage traditional and new media to communicate health information (e.g., statistics, reports) effectively.

7.  Explain the basic concepts of study design, measurement, data collection and sampling related to community health.

8. Apply evidence-based approaches in the development or evaluation of a social and behavioral science community health program or research project. 

9. Apply evidence-based approaches in the development or evaluation of a social and behavioral science community health intervention. 

For information on course requirements, competency assessment and additional requirements of the program, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies,  Dr. Katherine Sharp, at


Students admitted to the Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health program will complete 45 credit hours of coursework. The course of study includes 9 elective credit hours and a 4-credit practical experience and a 3-credit capstone project. 

View all of the required courses for the MPH in Behavioral and Community Health.

For more detailed information about the practical experience, please contact Dr. Eveyn King-Marshall, the Practical Experience Program Coordinator, at

For more information on the MPH Capstone Project requirements, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Katherine Sharp, at

Sample of Courses Offered in The Department of Behavioral and Community Health for MPH Students:

HLTH 625 Community Assessment Through Qualitative Methods

A discussion of major paradigms in qualitative inquiry, an overview of the process of qualitative research, and an introduction to several qualitative research methods, including grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology, and content analysis. Students will collect, transcribe, analyze, and present qualitative data using introductory interview and analytic techniques.

HLTH 665 Health Behavior

The psychological, social-psychological, and sociological theories of health behavior. The relation of health knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior to preventive, illness, sick-role, and health utilization behaviors.

HLTH 671 Public Health Communication

An exploration of the broad and diverse field of health communication including medical encounters, everyday communication about health, advertising, news, public health campaigns, community outreach, public policy and international programs. Theories and applied efforts that have been studied and documented will be examined.

HLTH 672 Public Health Informatics

A basic overview of informatics and its application in a public health setting. The major goal is for students to understand the basic tools and building blocks needed to utilize this technology in order to improve their professional productivity.

HLTH 674: Health Literacy

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to health literacy research, practice, and skills. The course will develop students' understanding of how health literacy is both a barrier and an asset for health and how health literacy affects a wide range of outcomes. Students will learn the basics of health literacy concepts, models, and research methods, and discuss similarities and differences in health literacy research in clinical and public health settings.

HLTH 710 Methods & Techniques of Research

Provides an overview of research design and methodological issues in health education. Through lecture, reading, and several exercise, students will acquire an understanding of the research process. Issues include those of experimental and non-experimental designs, and both qualitative and quantitative data collection strategies. The course is designed as an examination of several research issues, particularly those related to reliability and validity of measurement and design, instrumentation and data collection methodology.

HLTH 780 Community Health

Overview of public health organizations, programs and policies, including their structure and function, and their ability to change with changing community health needs.

HLTH 778 MPH Practical Experience/Internship

The practical experience/internship provides an opportunity to apply previously acquired skills and knowledge to the planning, conduct, and evaluation of community health and public health in a professional setting. The practical experience/internship setting will depend upon the student's background and career goals.

HLTH 786 MPH Capstone Project

All Master of Public Health degree students are required to complete a field-based project with a community partner.