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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. A joint concentration degree combines the competencies of each concentration. The joint concentration option for Behavioral Science and Health Education is Epidemiology.

Competency-Based Education

Competencies are student outcomes - both knowledge and skills - that are specific to the degree and to the area of study. They reflect the knowledge and skills that we strive to develop in our students and form the basis of our evaluation of each student's achievement. For the MPH, there is a set of core competencies and set of discipline-specific competencies that guide the development of the curriculum. The competency sets are developed with input from current public health practitioners, our alumni, our faculty and our students to reflect current and future needs of the profession.

Behavioral Science and Health Education Concentration Competencies

  • BSHE 1: Apply conceptual models and theories at multiple ecological levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community and policy).
  • BSHE 2: Examine risk factors and determinants of specific health threats at multiple ecological levels.
  • BSHE 3: Assess needs, assets, resources and capacity for social and behavioral science interventions at multiple levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community and policy).
  • BSHE 4: Plan theory and evidence-based interventions (program/policy/environmental change) to improve health.
  • BSHE 5: Collaborate to implement public health related programs, policies, and environmental changes.
  • BSHE 6: Develop programs, policies and environmental strategies that address social determinants.
  • BSHE 7: Conduct evaluations (process, impact, and outcome) of public health related interventions using multiple methods.

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.


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

  • Rounds

  • 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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