Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find your answer here, please feel free to contact us with any remaining questions.
Does the Department of Community and Behavioral Health (CBH) accept applications for all semesters- fall, spring or summer?
The department accepts M.P.H., M.S. , and Ph.D. applications for fall and summer semesters. The department prefers that all students enter the program in the fall semester.
What are the deadlines for applications?
For M.S. applicants the deadline is January 15th for summer and fall semester entry. For Ph.D. applicants, the deadline for summer and fall semester entry is also January 15th. M.P.H. applicants should refer to the M.P.H. admission web page for information about deadlines.
Is a personal interview required?
M.S. and M.P.H. applicants are not asked to participate in an interview as part of the application process. The department recommends that Ph.D. applicants establish contact with a CBH professor with similar research interests before or during the application process.
What undergraduate courses are recommended as preparation for the M.P.H. or M.S. programs of study within the Department of Community and Behavioral Health?
College level biology, math, social sciences and statistics courses are all important preparation for the CBH M.P.H. or M.S. program of study.
Are certain undergraduate degrees the best preparation for an M.P.H. or M.S. in CBH?
Entering students have a variety of academic backgrounds, as seen in our student profile. No specific undergraduate degrees are required.
When does the CBH department make acceptance decisions?
The department accepts and decides on applications on a rolling basis, so application files will usually be considered soon after they are received. The review process usually takes 2-4 weeks.
What is the difference between the M.S. degree program in CBH and the M.P.H. with a CBH subtrack?
The M.S. program is designed for students with strong interests in research who plan to continue with doctoral studies. The M.S. program ends with a thesis which prepares M.S. students for later dissertation work. The M.S. program is usually a little longer than two years because of the time spent on the thesis. When considering applicants for the M.S. program, admission committee members look for research experience and interests along with the other requirements for admission.
The M.P.H. program ends with a practicum experience. This is fitting because the M.P.H. program is designed for persons who primarily want to become professional practitioners of public health, and don't necessarily desire a Ph.D. When considering applicants for the M.P.H. program, admission committee members look for experience in public health (paid or volunteer) along with the other requirements for admission.
It is possible for M.P.H. graduates to later go into Ph.D. work. It is also possible that M.S. graduates will work a while before continuing into Ph.D. work. The department accepts more people into the CBH M.P.H. program than the M.S. program.
If you choose to apply for the M.P.H.(in Community and Behavioral Health or Health Communication), you apply to the M.P.H. program directly. If applying online, in the “B. Admission Information” section of the online application form, make the choice “M.P.H.”. Do not choose “Community and Behavioral Health” which is above “M.P.H.” in the list. Choose “M.P.H.”, and then fill in “Community and Behavioral Health” as your chosen “subarea of interest of specialization.” Your application materials are sent to staff in the M.P.H. office, and those staff will keep you informed of your application status. Lexie Just at 319-384-5470 is the M.P.H. staff person to contact if you have questions about the M.P.H. application process.
Explain the CBH subtracks within the M.P.H. program.
Within the M.P.H. program there are many combined degrees and subtracks.
A subtrack offers students the opportunity to attain specialized training in a major field within public health. The subtrack is designated on the transcript to provide an additional credential. The Community and Behavioral Health department is the responsible department for two subtracks: 1) community and behavioral health and 2) health communication. If students apply for those subtracks, their applications will be reviewed by the CBH department, and if accepted, they will belong to the CBH department.
May I complete the M.S. , M.P.H., or Ph.D. program from a distance?
CBH does not operate a distance education program. There are a few courses that are web-based, but most courses require on-campus attendance.
How are Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) chosen?
Many CBH students are appointed as a TA or RA as a mechanism for financial support. The department usually takes a preliminary look at course enrollment numbers before deciding how many TAs to appoint and for which courses. International students must take an English proficiency test (called the SPEAK test) before finalizing their appointments as TAs. Many CBH students are able to secure Research Assistant positions through one of our three research centers. New students should express interest in RA or TA assignments to both their advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator. The department will accommodate as many requests as possible. The availability of positions is determined by the grant funds received each year.
What is the pay for TAs and RAs?
The Grad RA and TA rate for the upcoming year, 2009-2010, will be as follows:
Appointment Annual Salary Fringe Benefits
50% (20 hours/week) $20,408 $3980
Do TAs and RAs have to pay tax on the income they receive?
The issue of taxes depends on a number of factors. The Payroll Department at the University will be able to advise you for your specific situation. Their phone number is 319-335-2381.
How long does it typically take to complete each program?
Most M.P.H. students are able to complete their programs of study in two years. Most M.S. students take a little longer than two years to complete their programs. The average length of time to date, for Ph.D. program completion in CBH is four years.
How are your graduates employed?
Graduates of the CBH program are qualified for a wide variety of careers. See the Alumni Success Stories web page for information about some of our CBH graduates.
Direct other questions to:
Graduate Program Coordinator
Community and Behavioral Health