MPH in Community and Behavioral Health

The MPH in Community and Behavioral Health prepares public health practitioners for a variety of positions related to community development, health program implementation, and health education. Students learn how to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions that are directed toward identified public health problems in populations. Bachelor’s level training in the social and behavioral sciences is good preparation for this program, but current students come from a variety of educational backgrounds.

The Applied Practice Experience requirement has been fulfilled in the past with organizations or agencies that are actively addressing public health concerns with intervention programs. Past sites have included the Johnson County Public Health Department, the Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa City Family Planning Clinic, and the University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics.

Graduates of the CBH subtrack are able to:

  1. Identify the major socio-behavioral phenomena, which impact the health of the public and understand the mechanisms by which they impact health.
  2. Work effectively with communities in defining and addressing important public health concerns.
  3. Design, implement and evaluate community-based behavior interventions to prevent disease and/or promote health.
  4. Critically assess the scientific basis for preventive interventions.
  5. Plan and conduct program evaluations to assess quality and effectiveness of public health interventions.
  6. Communicate effectively with a broad range of groups utilizing state of the art communication media.


An undergraduate degree is required. The cumulative grade point average should be a minimum of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Although no specific major is required, prerequisite coursework includes one semester each of college algebra and biology.

MPH Core Courses (18 s.h.)

The following course work is required for all MPH students. Students are expected to earn ≥ B- (2.67) on each core course and must earn a ≥ B (3.0) cumulative grade point average on all core courses. When necessary, a student may repeat courses to achieve this standard.

Number Title Hours
CPH:5100 Intro to Public Health 3 s.h.
BIOS:4120 Intro to Biostatistics 3 s.h.
CBH:4105 Intro to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 3 s.h.
EPID:4400 Epidemiology I: Principles 3 s.h.
HMP:4000 Intro to the US Healthcare System 3 s.h.
OEH:4240 Global Environmental Health 3 s.h.

CBH Required Courses (15 s.h.)


Number Title Hours
CBH:5220 Health Behavior and Health Education 3 s.h.

Community and society (pick one)

Number Title Hours
CBH:5235 Community-Based Participatory Research 3 s.h.
CBH:6230 Health Equity and Social Justice 3 s.h.

Intervention (pick one)

Number Title Hours
CBH:6205 Designing and Implementing Interventions 3 s.h.
CBH:6220 Health Communication Campaigns 3 s.h.

Methods (pick two)

Number Title Hours
CBH:5305 Evaluation: Approaches and Applications 3 s.h.
CBH:5310 Qualitative Research for Public Health 3 s.h.
CBH:6335 Research Methods in Community and Behavioral Health 3 s.h.

Electives (6 s.h.)

Students must take an additional 6 s.h. of elective credit in CBH or elsewhere on campus. In addition, once the 15 required CBH hours are met in the areas of the other classes in the choice lists above (theory, methods, community and interventions) any can be taken as elective credits or any of the following courses below are recommended as electives:

Number Title Hours
CBH:3150 Media and Health 3 s.h.
CBH:4140 Feminist Activism and Global Health 3 s.h.
CBH:5230 Public Health Issues in Overweight Management 3 s.h.
CBH:5435 Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention 3 s.h.
CBH:5440 Prevention and Intervention of Mental Health Disorders 3 s.h
CBH:6115 Ethnographic Field Methods 3 s.h.
CBH:6210 Health Communication 3 s.h.
CBH:6405 Global Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health 3 s.h.
CBH:6410 Special Topics 3 s.h.
CBH:6415 Independent Study in Community and Behavioral Health 3 s.h.
HMP:6360 Non-Profit Organizations Effectiveness 1 3 s.h
URP:6253 Health Cities and the Environment 3 s.h.
URP:6260 Transportation Policy and Planning 3 s.h.
URP:6400 Eco-Sensitive, Low-Cost Housing: The Kerala Experience 3 s.h.

For students who started the MPH Program prior to Fall 2018:
Practicum Requirement (3 s.h.)

The experience from this course, including a final written report and a poster presentation, constitutes the final examination for the MPH.

Number Title Hours
CPH:7000 MPH Practicum Experience 3 s.h.

Pre-Requisite to MPH Practicum

Students must complete all of their MPH core courses and the majority of other MPH coursework prior to registering for the Practicum.

For students who started the MPH Program in Fall 2018 and beyond:
Applied Practice Experience (2 s.h.), Capstone Experience (1 s.h.), and Interprofessional Experience (0 s.h.)

Number Title Hours
CPH:7500 MPH Applied Practice Experience 2 s.h.
CPH:7200 MPH Capstone Experience 1 s.h.
CPH:5201 Interprof Educ & Pract MPH Students I 0 s.h.
CPH:5202 Interprof Educ & Pract MPH Students II 0 s.h.
CPH:5203 Interprof Educ & Pract MPH Students III 0 s.h.

Pre-Requisites to the Applied Practice Experience and the Capstone Experience

Students must complete all core courses prior to beginning the Applied Practice Experience, and they must take the Capstone Experience course in their final semester.

Summary of Requirements for students who started the MPH Program prior to Fall 2018:

Area Hours
MPH Core 18 s.h.
Practicum 3 s.h.
Required courses 15 s.h.
Electives 6 s.h.
Total 42 s.h.

Summary of Requirements for students who started the MPH Program in Fall 2018 and beyond:

Area Hours
MPH Core 18 s.h.
Practice Experience 2 s.h.
Capstone Experience 1 s.h.
Interprof Experience 0 s.h.
Required courses 15 s.h.
Electives 6 s.h.
Total 42 s.h.


Questions or comments? Contact Justin Denman. This page was last reviewed on November 30, 2018.