Saint Louis University

Master of Public Health in Behavioral Science and Health Education

Nancy Weaver, PhD, MPH, discusses Behavioral Science and Health Education at SLU

The Master of Public Health in Behavioral Science and Health Education prepares students to design, implement and evaluate programs, policies, and environmental and systems changes to improve individual and community health.

This concentration positions students to take leadership roles in the field after graduation, as students are immediately able to apply their skills in many diverse career paths. Students may also choose to pursue further education.

Joint Concentration Option
Students can combine two concentrations, allowing them to expand their knowledge in both areas. The joint concentration option for Behavioral Science and Health Education is Epidemiology.

Faculty and Research
Our faculty are committed to quality teaching, excellence in research, improving community health and reducing health disparities. Students have the opportunity to work on projects with faculty members through research assistantships, class projects or volunteer opportunities. Each of our faculty has active research in areas such as:

  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Community Development
  • Health Communication
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Men's Health
  • Health Equity
  • Injury Prevention
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Women's Health
  • Adolescent Health

MPH Practice Experience 

Students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program are required to complete a practice experience (internship) with an approved community health organization and preceptor. This 320-hour experience is designed to enhance students' educational experiences and promote professional competence in Behavioral Science/Health Education.

Internships in this concentration might involve the following activities: planning, developing, implementing and/or evaluating behavior change interventions for promoting and improving health. Examples of organizations that have sponsored internships include: American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes Missouri Chapter, and the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition.

Admission Requirements

The field of public health needs people with all types of backgrounds and skill sets, so most undergraduate degrees or their equivalents are sufficient for pursuing a graduate degree in public health at SLU. The concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education prefers applicants to have a bachelor's degree in a social science, biomedical science or a closely-related field.

MPH-BSHE Curriculum
Students in joint concentrations will have a curriculum that varies from the one below.

MPH Core Curriculum

  • Behavioral Science and Public Health 

  • Principles of Biostatistics

  • Environmental and Occupational Health

  • Principles of Epidemiology

  • Mission and Practice of Global Public Health

  • Ethical Issues in Public Health 

  • Managerial Aspects of Public Health Practice or Management of Health Care Organizations

  • Internship/Practice Experience 

  • Special Study for Examinations

Concentration Curriculum

  • Community Diagnosis

  • Health Communication

  • Health Promotion Program Planning

  • Health Promotion Program Evaluation

  • Historical, Philosophical and Political Bases of Public Health and Health Education
  • Concentration Elective(s)

  • Capstone in Behavioral Science and Health Education

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