This information describes a program for students already enrolled in 2017 and earlier. Read about our new Maryland Experience MPH for students enrolling in 2018 and beyond.

Prepare for a career that integrates physical activity into public health practice at various levels. 

This unique Master of Public Health program is led by our Department of Kinesiology, which is ranked among the top 10 departments of kinesiology in the country. The department focuses on the interdisciplinary study of physical activity and its complex role in human health, and faculty members bring expertise in physiology, psychology, sociology, communications, history, engineering, education and neuroscience to address challenging public health problems.
Find out more about the admissions process and deadlines.

View the Department of Kinesiology Flyer.


The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Physical Activity is a 43-credit professional degree, administered by the Department of Kinesiology. All MPH students with concentration in Physical Activity will complete five public health core courses, eight courses in the physical activity and related cognate area, an internship, and a capstone project. To accommodate a variety of career pursuits, students have flexibility in designing their course structure. Once a foundational knowledge is acquired through the MPH program's core requirements, students are encouraged to take electives across a range of disciplines. A large number of elective courses are available within the existing graduate curriculum within the department of Kinesiology as well as within other departments and colleges.  Students will be advised to work with Kinesiology faculty for recommendations about how certain elective courses will best support particular career aspirations. The curriculum is adaptable to both a full and part-time student status.


MPH in Physical Activity Program Competencies:

  • Explain how physical activity integrates within the core areas of public health. Students will be able to describe how the promotion of an active lifestyle can be accomplished within the various disciplines of public health.
  • Apply evidence-based knowledge and understanding of the relation of physical activity to health and function across the life-span. Students will be able to explain how exercise impacts physical and mental health in both healthy and diseased populations.  This understanding will include the physiological, psychosomatic, and psychosocial dimensions that underlie these relationships.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate physical activity interventions in a variety of populations and community settings. 
Students should be able to identify benefits and risks of physical activity interventions and formulate appropriate and measurable program objectives. Students will apply their knowledge of the built environment, as well as their skills in biostatistics and epidemiology, to evaluate the success of interventions.
  • Utilize a conceptual understanding of social, behavioral, and cultural theories to promote and implement physical activity programs and policies. Students will be able to describe how these theories impact participation in physical activity and apply them to optimize physical activity adoption and maintenance.
  • Evaluate the impact of physical activity and sedentary behavior at the community level. 
Students will be able to use ecological methods to evaluate the association between patterns of physical activity and sedentary living within a community and various pediatric and adult indicators of health in that same community. Students will be able to describe ways of altering the built environment of a given community in order to promote more active living.
  • Develop and utilize the ability to collaborate with public health professionals at local and/or federal levels to promote physical activity research, practice, and policy. 


A summary of MPH in Physical Activity program requirements is in the table below. 

  Course Credit
Core Courses 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 KNES 600 Kinesiology in Public Health 3
KNES 601 Epidemiology of Physical Activity 3
KNES 602 Physical Activity Program Planning and Evaluation 3
EPIB 641/KNES 689Y Public Health and Research Ethics 1
HLSA 775 Public Health Research Methods 3
Electives with Advisement  9
Capstone KNES 785 Internship in Physical Activity and Public Health 3
KNES 786 Capstone Project in Physical Activity and Public Health  3
  Total MPH Physical Activity Program 43


MPH students complete both an internship and an applied project as culminating experiences in the program. The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of public/community health activities carried out in a health or allied health organization involved with physical activity. Students gain practical experience in areas such as program planning and implementation, program evaluation, public policy analysis, research, and management. Numerous local, state, and federal agencies are available for such internship opportunities, as well as local non-profits and other organizations. The applied research project is a culminating experience in which the student applies knowledge and skills learned in the MPH program to conduct independent work on a physical activity problem under the supervision of a faculty advisor.