Health Promotion - MPH


Health Promotion - MPH




The mission of the GW Master of Public Health (MPH) Health Promotion program is to train the next generation of health professionals to assess, implement, manage, and evaluate health promotion and education programs. Graduates will contribute to the improved efficacy of health programs for the public and, specifically, for at-risk populations. They will use research and evidence to inform decisions about public health. In addition, the MPH in Health Promotion degree coursework helps professionals to evaluate the best interventions to use at the individual, group, organizational, and societal levels.

At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MPH Health Promotion program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Health Promotion graduates can:

  • Use social and behavioral theory and behavior change models and strategies that have been shown to be successful in improving health behaviors and practices for a variety of populations.
  • Assess needs for health interventions for the general public as well as at-risk populations.
  • Plan, design, implement, evaluate, and communicate programs and research targeted toward health promotion and/or disease prevention for the public.
  • Advocate for improvements in social practices, policy and law that will provide supportive environments for the improvement of public health.
  • Use the structures and resources of organizations and governments to create healthy environments that promote health.

Flexible Programming

To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Health Promotion students to take up to 15 credits online.

Program Prerequisites

There are no specific prerequisites for entering the Health Promotion master’s program, other than a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in improving human health. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations and those who wish to study broad categories of health programs are great candidates for this MPH in Health Promotion.

MPH Core Requirements

PUBH 6000 | MPH Applied Practice Experience (0 credits)
PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6021 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 1: Leading Self and Teams in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6022 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 2: Managing Organizations & Influencing Systems in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6023 | Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE) (0 credits)


PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (2 credits)



Required Departmental Courses

PUBH 6500* | Planning & Administration of Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6501* | Evaluation of Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Programs (3 credits)

Note: * Courses marked indicate a three course, consecutive sequence: PUBH 6007, 6500 and 6501. These courses are to be taken in sequence with each serving as a pre-requisite for the next. 


Required Program-Specific Courses

PUBH 6503 | Introduction to PH Communication & Marketing (3 credits)
PUBH 6530 | Qualitative Methods in Health Promotion (2 credits)
PUBH 6504 | Social & Behavioral Science Research Methods (3 credits)

+ PUBH 6007 is a pre-requisite for PUBH 6504.



Health Promotion Electives

12 credits - any SPH (PUBH, HSML, EXNS) graduate level course. See program guide.



Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the student records department [email protected].

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research prior to beginning the practicum.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Past Program Guides

Program Guides from prior Academic Years

Students in the MPH in Health Promotion program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.


Students in the GW MPH programs gain practical skills and knowledge through their practice experiences. It is important for MPH Health Promotion graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Students in the Health Promotion MPH program complete both an Applied Practice Experience (practicum) and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.


In the Department of Prevention and Community Health, the Applied Practice Experience (practicum) is designed to engage students in a Practice Activity—a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice. It might include activities such as conducting literature reviews, writing proposals, designing ad campaigns, and collecting and analyzing data.

The Practice Activity for the MPH Health Promotion degree may not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. This is to ensure that students learn and apply new skills in the context of public health. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, it must be work for which the student is not remunerated. Some recent examples of sites at which Health Promotion MPH students have completed their practicums include:

  • Center for Health and Health Care in Schools
  • Grassroots Project
  • STOP Obesity Alliance
  • SIECUS: Sex Education for Social Change
  • PEPFAR Office of Global Affairs
  • Truth Initiative
  • American Public Health Association
  • DC Department of Health 
  • Allegheny Reproductive Health Center

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the Practice Activity. The CE requires students to identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate hypotheses to address that issue. Students work with data obtained through either primary research or from an existing dataset. The process of proposal development, data analysis, interpretation, and extrapolation of the results culminates in a written report or manuscript and an oral presentation.

Recent examples of CE research topics in the Health Promotion MPH program include:

  • Bridging the Gap: Food Desert Prevention in Washington D.C.  
  • An Evaluation of the Girls on the Run Project  
  • Dating Violence with Substance Use Behaviors Among 2017 and 2019 YRBS Respondents
  • Putting Insurance in Action: An Explorative Study on the Barriers to Health Insurance Utilization in Black Young Adults
  • High‐quality and Person‐centered Healthcare Referral Systems in Low-income Areas: A Scoping Review
  • Ethics and Best Practice for Adolescent Consent to PrEP
  • Assessing the Role of Social Support and HIV Behavioral Risk Among Transgender Women in Washington, DC: Analysis of the HIV Behavioral Surveillance Survey 
  • Factors Associated with the Sustainability of Patient Navigation Programs in Oncology Care: A Multi-Site Qualitative Assessment
  • Quantitative Analysis of Physical Activity & Emotional Eating among College Students Enrolled in a Weight Loss Intervention
  • The Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare Experiences of Lesbian and Bisexual Women: A Systematic Review 
  • Student Mental Health Resource Promotion During COVID-19: An Exploration of Health-Focused University Websites
  • Assessing Federally Qualified Health Center's Approach to Preventative Blindness
  • Youth Risk Behaviors Associated with Sexual Violence
  • A Messaging Framework for Obesity
  • An Intervention to Address Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black Women
There are numerous opportunities for Health Promotion degree program graduates as new health initiatives are developed and tested. MPH Health Promotion graduates are in high demand at state and local governmental organizations, private health agencies and foundations, non-profit research centers, and educational institutions. Graduates with an MPH Health Promotion degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting.
Jobs For Which You Will Be Prepared For
  • Public Health Analyst
  • Health Communication Specialist
  • Research Associate
  • Program Manager
  • Account Executive
Organizations You Are Prepared to Help
  • Office on Women’s Health- HHS
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • FHI 360
  • National Coalition of STD Directors
  • Edelman Public Relations
  • DC Dept of Health
  • School-Based Health Alliance
  • Milliman India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Maryland Department of General Services
  • American University
  • Temple University National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • The George Washington University
  • Altarum
  • GWU Cancer Center
  • American College of Cardiology
  • Abt Associates
  • Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare
  • Children's National Health Clinic
  • Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Inc.
  • Healthways
  • AArete
  • American Lung Association
  • Maryland Health Care Commission
  • CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • American College of Physicians
  • Peloton Interactive
  • EMP 180
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • EmbRace Healing
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute
  • American Kidney Fund
  • Somerset OB/GYN Associates, Ltd
  • Elevate Consulting
  • From the Core Studios
  • Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health
  • Hong Kong Paralympc Committee
  • United Way Worldwide
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • GWU Cancer Center
  • Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food
  • Children's National Health System
  • The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington
  • Genetic Alliance
  • Community Health Accreditation Partner
  • Ankura Consulting Group
  • Capital One
  • The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
  • National Institute of Health
  • Crisis Text Line
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • NYU Langon Memorial Hospital 


Students pursuing an MPH in Health Promotion have access to world-class faculty with experience and expertise in research and a wide range of practice settings. Health Promotion MPH students learn from and interact with faculty across the entire Department of Prevention and Community Health and Milken Institute School of Public Health, and receive academic advising from a smaller set of Health Promotion Affiliate faculty, including: