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

Skip to Main Content
Columbia Campus    
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Jun 07, 2023
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, M.S.P.H.

Return to Programs A-Z Return to: Programs A-Z

The M.S.P.H. degree is designed for those interested in pursuing specialized areas of health promotion, education, and behavior and for those who wish to complete a thesis in preparation for doctoral work. This degree is a more individualized program of study emphasizing the scientific base of public health and the investigation of public health related problems. The program requires 45 hours of course work, including 12 hours in core courses and 6 hours of thesis preparation. Candidates must also successfully complete a comprehensive examination at or near the conclusion of program requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history and fundamental principles and practices in health promotion, education, and behavior.
  • Students will understand and develop the ability to apply proven social science, health and behavior theories in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health education and promotion programs.
  • Students will develop skills and knowledge to work effectively with culturally diverse individuals and communities, and to apply principles for ethical conduct in health promotion, education, and behavior.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to develop a logical, congruent progression of research questions, hypotheses, methods, analysis, and study conclusions, and to develop an appropriate research/evaluation design to test hypotheses or evaluate intervention effectiveness.
  • Students will develop skills in the interpretation and communication of research/statistical findings to professional and lay audiences.


See the department Web site 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. While there is no minimum guideline for the master’s programs, the average GRE (combined verbal and quantitative) for incoming students is approximately 300. For the M.S.P.H., a minimum verbal score of 150 is required.
  • three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources.
  • 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.
  • 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.

M.S.P.H. applicants should be supported by at least two HPEB faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program.

Admissions process information and links can be found at the Arnold School of Public Health webpage:

Applications for the M.S.P.H. program are made through the new Schools of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS). Please go to for further details.

Only single program applications are accepted, so you may only apply to one program at a time (unless you are applying to a concurrent graduate certificate program). Once received, your application and credentials are sent for review by the HPEB faculty. After reviewing your credentials, the department makes a recommendation to The Graduate School which officially grants admission. We will inform you of the department’s recommendation regarding admission, but official notice of admission comes from the USC Graduate School.

You are encouraged to review carefully the information provided on the above websites before beginning the application process. If you have further questions, you may contact:

Ken Watkins
HPEB Graduate Director
phone: 803-777-7603

Casey Goldston Giraudy
HPEB Academic Programs Coordinator
phone: 803-777-2966

Office of Student and Alumni Services
phone: 803-777-5031 

Degree Requirements (45 Hours)

  • Basic Public Health Core (12 Hours)
  • Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Core (12 Hours)
  • Cognate Area (9 Hours)
  • Research Methods (6 Hours)
  • Thesis (6 Hours)

Return to Programs A-Z Return to: Programs A-Z