The mission of the GW Master of Public Health (MPH) Physical Activity in Public Health program is to train the next generation of health professionals to integrate physical activity into all aspects of public health practice. Graduates will contribute to the development and improved efficacy of health programs related to physical activity, health promotion, and disease prevention. In addition, the MPH in Physical Activity in Public Health degree coursework helps professionals to evaluate the best physical activity interventions to use at the community, national, and global 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 Physical Activity in Public Health program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Physical Activity in Public Health graduates can:
- Understand the pathophysiology of selected chronic disease processes.
- Understand exercise physiology and the role of physical activity and exercise in health promotion and disease prevention.
- Develop skills in physical activity assessment using state-of-the-art technology.
- Utilize epidemiological methods to develop and test hypotheses pertaining to physical activity and health and disease outcomes at the population level.
- Develop skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for improving physical activity at the community level.
- Appreciate the role of public health policy in altering physical activity patterns at the community level.
To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Physical Activity in Public Health students to take up to 15 credits online.
The only prerequisite for the Physical Activity in Public Health master’s program, other than a bachelor’s degree or higher degree, is a course in Exercise Physiology (i.e. EXNS 2111). This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in improving human health through physical activity. 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 Physical Activity in Public Health.
MPH Core Requirements
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 6009* | Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (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)
*Option B students do not take this course.
CORE TOTAL: 19 CREDITS (option A) 17 CREDITS (option B)
Physical Activity in Public Health Requirements
Required Department Courses
EXNS 6202 | Advanced Exercise Physiology I (3 credits)
EXNS 6203 | Advanced Exercise Physiology II (3 credits)
EXNS 6208 | Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology (2 credits)
EXNS 6620 | Design of Healthy Communities (2 credits)
Option A: Epidemiology Concentration
PUBH 6247 | Design of Health Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6249 | Statistical Packages for Data Management and Data Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 6252 | Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (3 credits)
Option B: Program Design and Evaluation Concentration
EXNS 6621 | Applied Data Analysis in EXNS (1 credit)
PUBH 6500 | Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6501 | Eval. of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6503 | Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing (3 credits)
DEPARTMENT AND PROGRAM-SPECIFIC TOTAL: 19 CREDITS (option A) 20 CREDITS (option B)
Physical Activity in Public Health Electives
7-8 credits - any SPH (PUBH, HSML, EXNS) graduate level course. See program guide.
ELECTIVE TOTAL: 7 CREDITS (option A) 8 CREDITS (option B)
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.
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 Physical Activity in Public Health 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 Physical Activity in Public Health graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Students in the Physical Activity in Public Health MPH program complete both a Practicum and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
In the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, 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, or collecting and analyzing data.
The Practice Activity for the MPH Physical Activity in Public Health 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.
Your 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.
Students pursuing an MPH in Physical Activity in Public Health 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 Physical Activity in Public Health Master of Public Health program include pathophysiology, chronic disease prevention, program design and evaluation, research methods, design theory, and policy advocacy.
There are numerous opportunities for Physical Activity in Public Health degree program graduates as new health initiatives are developed and tested. MPH Physical Activity in Public Health 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 Physical Activity in Public Health degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting.