The Community Health Promotion program focuses on developing policies and programs to improve the health of certain populations.
Our student-to-faculty ratio is low and our program is flexible. We provide students with enough elective credits to concentrate in policy, global health, or complementary and alternative medicine. You can also tailor your electives to meet your own interests.
This program will prepare you to:
- Serve as a public health leader
- Design, advocate for and evaluate efforts to promote healthy behaviors and social conditions for specific populations
- Use social science theories and individual, community, and policy-based intervention strategies
The basic two-year, full-time program requires 48 credits to complete. Students may pursue their MPH on a full-time or part-time basis. The majority of the courses are offered during the day, but public health core courses are also available online.
Students also have the opportunity to pursue a PhD in Community Health Promotion. Those interested should apply to the behavioral track of the Epidemiology PhD.
Research activities focus on behavioral and social epidemiology and community health promotion programs. Faculty are involved in assessing population behavior patterns and psychosocial risk factors; designing community-wide prevention and treatment programs for heart disease, cancer and AIDS; preventing alcohol and drug abuse; influencing health policies; and evaluating outcomes of behavior change efforts in schools, worksites, physicians’ offices, and communities.
Field Experience/Culminating Project
Professional experience prior to enrolling in the CHP program will not exempt students from this requirement. Work on research projects, including data collection, data analysis, or intervention for the project, carried out in conjunction with a unit of the University of Minnesota or some other research institution, will not fulfill the fieldwork requirement for the CHP program.
If you want to conduct work with a unit of the University of Minnesota for your culminating experience project, you must choose Strategy Two.
This strategy enables students to complete both their culminating experience project and field experience requirements by doing a needs assessment, a program evaluation, or a program development project within an organization other than the University of Minnesota. This is the most efficient way for students to complete degree requirements. However, this option may not be appropriate for students desiring an internship opportunity or those students needing to acquire research or data analysis skills. Students completing Strategy One register for PubH 7094: Culminating Experience Project for 2 credits.
The second choice is to complete 120 hours of field experience in addition to a culminating experience project. Only students who complete a separate field experience may do the research or data analysis project format of the culminating experience project. Students choosing this option can also elect to complete the other culminating experience project options. Students choosing Strategy Two register under PubH 7096 for 2 credits for the field experience credits, and PubH 7094 for 2 credits for Culminating Experience Project credits.
See additional field experience resources
Applicants are admitted from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, including social and behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology), the humanities, basic sciences (e.g., biology, nursing), and mathematics. There is no single appropriate undergraduate major, but applicants should meet prerequisites by the time of admission.
Who should apply?
Individuals who want skills to:
- Influence policy and public opinion on health issues
- Develop and evaluate innovative community-based programs to prevent disease and injury
- Work with communities, health departments, and nonprofit organizations and policymakers to create healthy living and working environments
- Work on issues related to specific population, including youth and disadvantaged populations
- Have a variety of backgrounds, including those trained in basic sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities
- Want an MPH degree
- Plan to pursue a PhD degree in social and behavioral epidemiology at the University of Minnesota
- Have met the prerequisites listed below before admission
- Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university
- College-level courses in the following areas:
- Social and behavioral sciences (at least 3 courses)
- Introductory statistics (1 course)
- One year of paid or volunteer experience in a public health, social service, or community setting
Preferences for admission:
- Strong personal statement indicating why applicant is interested in pursuing a community health education degree
- Compatibility of interests with program faculty
- GPA of 3.0
- Combined GRE (verbal, quantitative) score of 300 and analytical writing score of 3.5
- TOEFL score of 600/250/100 for international applicants
- Strong reference letters
The professional field of community health promotion once was practiced mainly in classrooms and health care facilities. Now, community health educators work in a variety of settings, including all levels of government, voluntary and social service agencies, medical care organizations, workplaces, schools, and advocacy organizations.
This MPH is a good path for students planning for a career as a public health practitioner or to pursue a PhD degree in social and behavioral epidemiology, which is available in the School of Public Health.
Samples of recent graduate jobs include:
- Tobacco research program
- High-risk youth project
- Community health planner in an HMO
- Health program coordinator
- Minneapolis Urban Coalition
- Reproductive health coordinator
- American Refugee Committee
Job titles several years after graduation include:
- Public affairs director
- Planned Parenthood (program manager)
- Edina Public Schools (executive director)
- Association of Health Care Journalists
- Minnesota Migrant Health Promotion Program (director)
CHP students are active in the public health community through field placements and employment at local, state and national public and private organizations.
The field experience and/or master’s project gives students the opportunity for mentorship, and to apply the knowledge and skills attained in the classroom in hands-on work experience. CHP students also have the opportunity to be matched up with mentors in the field through the School of Public Health Mentor Program.
Students are also involved with faculty and division matters. Student representatives attend monthly Division Training Committee meetings and meet with the major chair each semester. Students are also frequently asked to meet with prospective students and to share their experiences at School recruitment events.
The Center for Health Interprofessional Programs (CHIP) student center builds alliances between different members of the health professions. The organization provides a student lounge in the Academic Health Center as well as opportunities for socializing and service.
Students may also become involved in student government through the School of Public Health Student Senate and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. Four Twin Cities students are elected by the official student legislative bodies as student representatives to the Board of Regents.
Kathryn Schwartz Eckhardt
Kate Levinson is pursuing a master’s degree in CHP with a focus on education. Learn why she chose the program and the field. Watch the video