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MPH in Community Health Sciences

The MPH in Community Health Sciences (CHS) is designed to train public health generalists who will apply the principles of social and behavioral sciences to plan, design, implement, monitor, and evaluate public health programs in a broad range of community-based settings.  Successful public health programs require trained professionals knowledgeable about social determinants of health and health disparities, and who are able to apply that knowledge to assess the health needs of communities and design evidence-based programs that change health behaviors and improve health outcomes. The CHS program provides a foundation in social and behavioral aspects of public health, in addition to training in the cornerstone areas for public health practitioners: 1) planning and design of public health programs, and 2) monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of these programs to assess their effectiveness and impact. Because community-based approaches are so widespread throughout public health, the program builds in enhanced flexibility for the student to develop – with their advisor - their own learning plan to apply these core concepts in program planning and M&E through coursework in various content areas in GCHB, according to the interests of the individual student. This program is designed for mid-career professionals and joint professional degree students (e.g. MD/MPH or MSW/MPH) who may want to incorporate public health programs into their other professional activities.

Program Competencies
  • Identify health problems at the level of the community.
  • Design a theory-based public health intervention or program.
  • Develop a plan to monitor and evaluate a public health intervention or program, based on a theory of change.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in applying monitoring and evaluation skills to public health topics.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in program planning skills to public health topics.
Admission Requirements

The CHS program is suited for mid-career professionals and for professional students in the MD/MPH and MSW/MPH. As a generalist program, it is not recommended for BSPH/MPH students. Students applying to the Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences  must meet the school's admission requirements.

Degree Program Requirements

Students must meet with advisor prior to starting the program to outline their program of study and then at least once a semester to track progress. Students will compile a portfolio of assignments as outcomes demonstrating program competencies.   

Student must achieve a grade of B- or better in GCHB 6030 and in GCHB program planning courses (GCHB 6110 or GCHB 6330); and Monitoring and Evaluation courses (6120 or GCHB 6270/GCHB 6200).
The MPH Degree in Community Health Sciences requires a total of 45 credits that includes:

SPHTM - Core Courses (15 credits)

  • BIOS 6030 Introduction Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods 1 (3)
  • GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health (3)
  • GEHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health (3)
  • GHSD 6030 Health Systems, Management and Policy (3)

MPH in CHS - Required Courses (18 or 21 credits total)

CHS Required courses consists of:

  • CHS Essential Skills courses (6 - 9 credits)
  • CHS Essential Skills Application courses (12 credits)

CHS Essential Skills (6 - 9 credits):

Program Planning (3 credits):

  • GCHB 6110 Health Promotion and Health Education Programs (3)

Monitoring and Evaluation (3-6 credits) - consists of single-course and two-course options:

Single-Course Option

  • GCHB 6120 Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Education and Communication Programs (3)

Two-Course Option

  • GCHB 6200 Evaluation of Programs Interventions in Global Health (3)*
  • GCHB 6270 Monitoring of Program Interventions in Global Health (3)**

* (may be substituted by equivalent course TRMD 6200 Impact Evaluation)

** (may be substituted by equivalent course GHSD 6270 Monitoring for Program Management)

CHS Essential Skills Application Coursework (12 credits minimum)

Students will work with their advisor to choose at least 12 hours of coursework (at least 4 courses) from the approved courses offered by the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences to apply the skills they learned from the CHS Essential Skills courses, with the goal of including courses with at least 2 learning objectives related to the program planning skills and at least 2 learning objectives related to monitoring and evaluation skills. Relevant learning objectives in these approved courses are detailed on the CHS Essential Skills application tracking forms (weblinks shown below). CHS program advisors can provide more details.

  • For the current list of approved CHS Essential Skills application courses, click here.
  • For the CHS Essential Skills application tracking form for Program Planning, click here.
  • For the CHS Essential Skills application tracking form for Monitoring and Evaluation, click here.

Elective Courses (9-12 credits)

In consultation with their advisor, students may select elective courses. These credits may be applied to a certificate program if the student chooses this option.

Practicum (SPHL 9980)

All GCHB students must complete a 300-hour field practicum related to applied public health practice. Learn more about this requirement in the SPHTM field practicum handbook.

Culminating Experience (SPHL 7950)

All students must complete a Culminating Experience. For CHS, the experience is a public health analysis, an in depth written report that considers a topic of relevance to public health practice. It involves a thorough review of the literature, discussion, and recommendations for public health policy and practice.

Advising Statement

The flexibility in course selection requires that each student must document fulfillment of program competencies. Students must meet with their advisor prior to starting the program, during the first semester and at least once a semester thereafter. By the end of the first semester, the student and advisor complete a program plan to meet the application learning objectives. The program plan is reviewed regularly and modified as necessary. At the regular meetings, student and their advisor assesses progress toward competencies. Student must compile a portfolio with papers, projects, presentations and other work demonstrating program competencies. 

Contact Us

Department Chair: Richard Oberhelman, MD

Program Director: Maya Begalieva, MD

Department Administrator: Gale Marie Abass


Phone: (504) 988-5391

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