Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
Columbia Campus    
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Jul 23, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior

Daniela B. Friedman, Chair


Programs leading to degrees in health promotion, education, and behavior focus on understanding how policy, environmental, institutional, and individual actions can improve the public’s health. This work, usually done in partnership with organizations and communities, uses principles and methods from the social and behavioral sciences to promote health in diverse settings across South Carolina, the US, and the globe. Health promotion, education, and behavior is an activist field with a deep commitment to improving the health and welfare of the most disadvantaged people in our world. The field recognizes the importance of learning not just what should and can be done to improve the public’s health, but also how it can be done in a way that is cost-effective, embedded in community structures and culture, and at a large enough scale to have real impact. Programs in health promotion, education, and behavior prepare practice and research professionals through courses, practical experiences, and research projects that emphasize understanding of learning, motivation, behavior change, program planning and evaluation, community development, organizational behavior, applied communications, and socio-political processes at multiple levels of societal organization. Students are prepared to engage in professional activities that will:

  • influence individuals to adopt or maintain healthful practices through skill development, social support enhancement, and environmental and policy change
  • foster teaching and communication skills in all those engaged in health promotion
  • advocate changes in organizations and the environment which will facilitate healthful practices
  • develop appropriate and effective programs aimed at promoting good health through change in behaviors at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public-policy levels
  • enhance the health promoter’s role as a model, advocate, and leader in public health
  • evaluate health promotion programs to ensure they are meeting societal goals and program objectives
  • develop and disseminate new knowledge through systematic research and evaluation
  • inform people about health, wellness, illness, and disability, and ways in which they can protect and improve their health, including more efficient use of the health care delivery system.

The Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior offers programs that lead to the degrees of Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Public Health, dual degree Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health (in cooperation with the College of Social Work ), Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Public Health and to the Graduate Certificate in Health Communication (in cooperation with the School of Journalism and Mass Communications  and the School of Library and Information Science ).

Department Admission Requirements

See the Arnold School’s website for details: Admission requirements follow those of The Graduate School  and include:

  • a completed application
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary schools and colleges previously attended, including non-degree courses taken
  • evidence of academic performance at a B or better level on academic transcripts
  • satisfactory GRE scores, within the last five years. While there is no minimum guideline for the master’s programs, the average GRE (combined verbal and quantitative with new format) for incoming students is approximately 300. For the M.S.P.H., a minimum verbal score of 150 is required. For the doctoral programs, a minimum of 300 (combined verbal and quantitative with new format) is required
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a letter of intent which describes professional goals and objectives. Master’s degree applicants should describe how the applicant became interested in the field of health promotion, education, and behavior. Doctoral applicants should describe research interests and professional goals.
  • satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam for applicants whose native language is not English. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (Internet-based) or 570 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.
  • current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Doctoral and MSPH applicants should be supported by at least two HPEB faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program.

Certificate of Graduate Study in Health Communication

Applicants to the Certificate of Graduate Study in Health Communication must have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and meet the general requirements of The Graduate School . Applicants may request that significant professional experience be substituted for standardized test scores.

Programs and Courses



    Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior