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Health, Behavior and Society

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Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Health Education & Health Communication

The MSPH degree in Health Education and Health Communication offers specialized formal academic training in health education, health promotion and health communication.

The program equips students with the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary for careers in these areas. The curriculum develops skills in: understanding social and behavior change; developing, implementing and evaluating programs; and advocating and communicating effectively with individuals, organizations, communities, and policymakers.

Example job titles in this field include (but are not limited to):

  • Communications Specialist
  • Research Program Coordinator
  • Training Manager
  • Patient Outreach Coordinator
  • Evaluation Specialist
  • Program Director
  • Population Health Research Associate
  • Grants officer

The program, completed in one-and-one half to two years, consists of one academic year of coursework, a minimum six-month field placement experience, and a practice-based proposal. The full-time field placement is designed to provide students with an opportunity, under supervision, to apply the knowledge and skills from the classroom to real-world health education, promotion and communication practice.

Part-time applicants are welcome in this program.

Please view the curriculum and program competencies. A solid foundation in social and behavioral science principles and theories is provided, along with advanced skills in program planning, implementation and evaluation. The program provides a solid mix of both required courses and electives, thus providing students with significant flexibility to to tailor the program to their career interests. Electives can also be used to complete certificate programs in selected areas.

Students conclude the program by producing a practice-based proposal on a topic relevant to their field placement. Students who successfully complete this degree program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to become Certified Health Education Specialists.

Application Deadline: March 1

Learn How to Apply

Student Handbook

View the Department of Health, Behavior and Society's MSPH Student Handbook.  

State-specific Information for Online and Externship Programs

Students in the MSPH program currently cannot conduct field placements in Kentucky. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

An update on GRE requirements and COVID-19

The Department of Health, Behavior & Society recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may significantly impede prospective students’ ability to complete standardized testing requirements. To help address the unique challenges the pandemic has presented, the Department of Health, Behavior & Society has opted to alter our policy requiring GRE scores for applicants to the 2021-2022 academic year.

For prospective students applying to all HBS academic programs for the 2021-2022 academic year, GRE scores will be optional, but highly recommended. We encourage applicants with existing GRE scores to include them as part of their applications. However, applications will still be reviewed without GRE scores. 

Applicants may submit GRE scores to JHSPH using the SOPHAS code 3738.

For additional questions related to admissions requirements and applications, please contact L. Robin Newcomb (