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MPH in Community Health Sciences

The Masters of Public Health Degree in Community Health Sciences (CHS) focuses on developing knowledge and skills to work with communities in addressing health needs and health disparities, and improving quality of life. This work requires skills in social and behavioral aspects of community health, monitoring and evaluation of community-based programs, community training methodologies, and active engagement within the community to promote health and well-being. This program is well suited for students in a combined degree (e.g. MD/MPH or MSW/MPH) seeking valuable skills in community-based interventions and public health programming.

Program Competencies

Students who graduate from this degree program can expect to develop the following competencies as they successfully meet and complete the program degree requirements.

  1. Analyze the nature of public health issues within the context of a specific community and environment, generate solutions, and apply solutions with communities.
  2. Design and implement theoretically informed and culturally appropriate interventions by applying public health theory and principles to a diverse set of problems at the community level.
  3. Develop an effective plan to monitor and evaluate a community-based public health intervention or program based on translation of scientific evidence.
  4. Collaborate effectively with members of a community through engagement in the process of public health programming.
  5. Develop an asset-based community assessment that identifies the determinants of health, local assets, and locally-determined priority needs.
  6. Effectively communicate in both oral and written forms to a variety of audiences and purposes related to community health.
  7. Apply the CHS Essential Skills concepts to public health topics.
Admission Requirements

Students applying to the Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences program must meet the school's general admission requirements and submit materials per the application requirements.

Degree Program Requirements

The MPH degree in Community Health Sciences requires a total of 45 credits that include:

SPHTM Foundational Requirements (15 credits)

  • SPHL 6020 Introduction to Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6070 Health Systems Policy and Management (3)
  • SPHL 6080 Design Strategies for Public Health Programs (3)
  • SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
  • Total credits 15

Program Course Requirements (17 credits)

The 17 credits required for the CHS program are composed of

  • Essential Skills Courses 8 credits
  • Content area course 9 credits

CHS Essential Skills Courses (Required courses - 8 credits)

  • GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health (3)
  • GCHB 6340 Monitoring and Evaluation of Global Health Programs(3)
  • GCHB 6800 Community Training Methodologies (2)

CHS Content Area Courses

Community Health (9)

  • GCHB 6610 Community Nutrition (3)
  • GCHB 6460 Child Health and Development in Public Health (3)
  • GCHB 7010 Health Communication Theory and Practice (3)
  • GCHB 7100 Public Health Policy and Practice (3)
  • GCHB 7200 Developmental Issues: Theory and Measurement (3)
  • GCHB 6760 Programs for Health Nut Women & Children (3)
  • GCHB 7510 Maternal and Child Health: The Lifecourse Perspective (3)
  • GCHB 6470 Issues in Adolescent Health (3)
  • GCHG 6500 Violence as a Public Health Problem (3)
  • GCHB 7220 Community Organization (3)

Examples of content areas (6 credits)

Gender and Sexuality (6 credits)

  • GCHB 6360 Sexual Health: A Public Health Perspective (3)
  • GCHB 6470 Issues in Adolescent Health (3)
  • GCHB 6870 Adolescent Health Policies and Programs (3)
  • GCHB 7070 Social Impact of HIV (3)
  • GCHB 7220 Community Organization (3)


Social Innovation (6 credits)

  • GCHB 6700 Social Innovation Tools for Public Health Professionals
  • GCHB 7200 Development Issues: Theory and Measurement (3)
  • GCHB 7220 Community Organization (3)
  • GCHB 7260 Social Marketing (3)


Elective Courses (13 credits)

Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with your academic advisor.

Applied Practice Experience (SPHL 9980)

The Applied Practice Experience (APE) (formerly practicum) is a supervised practice experience conducted in an agency or organization external to the university to gain practical experience.   The APE allows students to demonstrate attainment of at least five competencies, including at least 3 from the foundational competencies (CEPH Criterion D2).  The APE is conducted after completion of the foundational courses. An APE report and poster  summarizing the field experiences are required. 

Integrated Learning Experience (SPHL 7950)

All students must complete an Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) (formerly culminating experience) that demonstrates the synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies.  Students in the MPH in Community Health conduct a public health analysis.

Model Course Schedule

Degree Program Requirements (entry prior to Fall 2018)

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)

Selected from graduate-level courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with your academic advisor.

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

Program Manager: Gale Marie Abass


Phone: (504) 988-5391

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