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.
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.
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 6001 | Biological Concepts for Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6002+ | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6004 | Environmental & Occupational Health in a Sustainable World (2 credits)
PUBH 6006 | Management & Policy Approaches to Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6007* | Social & Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
CORE TOTAL: 15 CREDITS
PUBH 6014 | Practicum (2 credits)
PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (2 credits)
PRACTICUM/CE TOTAL: 4 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, consecetive sequence: PUBH 6007, 6500 and 6501. These courses are to be taken in sequence with each serving as a pre-requisite for the next.
DEPARTMENTAL TOTAL: 6 CREDITS
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 from sample list of courses below or other PUBH graduate courses. See program guide for updated sample list.
PUBH 6514 | Preventing Health Disparities (2 credits)
PUBH 6516 | Community Health Informatics & Resources (2 credits)
PUBH 6531 | Health Promotion in Healthcare Settings (2 credits)
PUBH 6532 | Community Organization, Development & Advocacy (3 credits)
PUBH 6535 | Promotion of Mental Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6536 | Workplace Health Promotion (2 credits)
PUBH 6537 | Health Promotion & Aging (2 credits)
PUBH 6560 | School Health & Safety (2 credits)
PUBH 6562 | Physical Activity & Obesity Interventions: From the Individual to the Environment (2 credits)
PUBH 6573 | Media Advocacy for PH (3 credits)
PROGRAM-SPECIFIC ELECTIVES TOTAL: 12 CREDITS
Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities are pre-approved by an advisor and may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, and 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.
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
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 red "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.
To view sample schedules and learn about the core competencies developed within the program, see the degree program guide.
Practicum / CE
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 a Practicum and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
In the Department of Prevention and Community Health, the 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.
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.
Some previous CE research topics in the MPH Health Promotion program include:
- Bridging the Gap: Food Desert Prevention in Washington D.C.
- An Evaluation of the Girls on the Run Project
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
Public Health Analyst
Health Communication Specialist
Organizations You Are Prepared to Help
Office on Women’s Health- HHS
National Committee for Quality Assurance
National Coalition of STD Directors
Edelman Public Relations
DC Dept of Health
Students pursuing an MPH in Health Promotion have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in research, governmental, clinical, and educational settings. The many areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in the Health Promotion Master of Public Health program include program planning, program design and evaluation, research methods, design theory, and policy advocacy.