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) 
  May 19, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

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

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


The M.P.H. is designed for individuals with aspirations to be practitioners in health department, community, school or worksite settings. The program requires 45 hours of course work, including public health and health promotion, education, and behavior core courses and a 6-hour practicum. The public health core is designed to develop competencies in using epidemiology and biostatistics to understand distributions and causes of diseases in populations; understanding the relationship between environment and health; and managing and administering health organizations. The health promotion, education, and behavior core is designed to develop competencies in planning implementing, and evaluating programs which promote informed decision-making and health behavior change in individuals, and communities. Candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination at or near the conclusion of program requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of a) fundamental principles and practices in health promotion, education, and behavior; b) organization, principles, and practices in health administration; c) principles and practices in epidemiology, and tools for translating epidemiological findings into public health action; d) public health statistical applications; and e) environmental health from the perspective of the earth as a complex, dynamic system.
  • 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 an ability to research, develop, implement, and evaluate a program involving health behavior change at the individual, agency, or community level.
  • Students will demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communication with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities.


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.
  • three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources
  • a letter of intent which describes professional goals and objectives, and 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.

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

Applications for the MPH 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 the MSW/MPH program or 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 (15 Hours)
  • Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Core (15 Hours)
  • Cognate Area (9 Hours)
  • Public Health Practicum (6 Hours)

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