Master of Public Health Degree Program
Behavioral, Social, and Community Health
This concentration prepares you in focusing on the social and behavioral sciences that are essential for understanding health behaviors and for developing effective health promotion interventions.
You will complete coursework related to the social, behavioral, and cultural determinants of health; the design, implementation, and evaluation of health behavior change interventions; and the foundations of serving as a leader in community-based settings.
Throughout the program, you work closely with faculty and community leaders who are engaged in research and practice across a broad and diverse range of communities and health issues.
Explore Program Details
During the Master of Public Health program, our students complete coursework in core public health courses as well as courses specific to their concentration area. Students typically take two years to complete the MPH degree (three semesters of coursework and a one-semester applied learning experience).
Full curriculum details (Tab Sheet).
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Research and Community Engagement
Students have opportunities to work with faculty members in different areas of public health research. Examples of recent research projects include:
Community Health Determinants. Over the past two years, first and second year MPH students have been actively involved in the process of understanding the determinants of community health in close to 40 Indiana counties through participation in research activities related to community health needs assessments conducted in collaboration with the state’s non-profit hospital systems, health departments, city governments, and other community-based organizations (Reece and Sherwood).
Sexual Health Promotion. On a regular basis, MPH students are actively involved in a variety of research projects via the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to training the next generation of sexual health scholars. From nationally representative studies of sexual health in the U.S. population to more community-based participatory work related to HIV, STI, sexual assault, and other issues, the Center provides a robust environment for student research participation (Reece, Herbenick, Dodge, Sherwood, Beckmeyer).
Sexual Health: Grant implementation with Prism Youth Community to conduct an evaluation through the process of Evaluation Capacity Building. This included keeping all stakeholders up-to-date, planning weekly lessons, teaching youth how to conduct an evaluation, developing tools, applying for IRB, implementing evaluation, analyzing data, and writing reports (Dodge).
Childhood Obesity: Studied logging and self-monitoring habits of children in a childhood obesity program, comparing an app to paper-based notebooks. (Sherwood-Laughlin)
- Nutrition and Weight Management: Evaluated effectiveness of an intervention to adapt the cultural cuisine of a Punjabi community to improve health outcomes. The intervention was situated in Gurdwaras (faith-based communities) in Indianapolis (Middlestadt)
Community collaborations that engage in research:
Applied Practice Experience
The MPH degree prepares students to serve as public health professionals and leaders in government, business, industry, higher education, volunteer agencies, and public and private sector healthcare settings. A variety of field experience opportunities are available for MPH students. It is highly recommended that students speak with their advisors and personally research possible field experience sites. Please review the course requirements in the MPH Field Experience Handbook.
Students have completed their field experiences in a variety of settings which include:
- Positive Link
- IU Health – Bloomington
- Cook Medical
- Bloomington Meadows Hospital
- Indiana Prevention Resource Center
- Indiana Minority Health Coalition
- Monroe County Health Department
- Indiana State Department of Health
- World Health Organization
- Indiana Public Health Association
- Riley Teens Social Media Project
In addition to MPH Foundational Competencies for MPH Students in the School of Public Health-Bloomington, after completing the Master of Public Health degree with a major in Behavioral, Social, and Community Health students will be able to:
- Communicate, both orally and in writing, an evidence- and theory-based rationale for modifying a specific health behavior in a specific segment of the population by addressing intrapersonal, social, and environmental determinants
- Plan an evaluation of a community-based public health program using a systematic process and including a logic model, methods for process and outcome/impact evaluation, and methods for engaging stakeholders
- Conduct, in a participatory way with a range of community stakeholders, an analysis of an existing intervention that addresses a prioritized community need. Apply established steps and procedures to evaluate community-based public health programs, policies and interventions.
- Plan a multi-level community-based prevention program that is grounded in theory, supported by scientific evidence, and based upon community input.
- Develop a complete proposal for funding for a community-based public health program that responds to all of the components of a request for proposals from an external entity.
Next Steps in Your Public Health Career
An MPH from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington opens doors to a variety of exciting opportunities. Tracking of post-graduation outcomes of the most recent cohort of MPH graduates revealed that 88 percent of graduates reported employment or continuing education within six months of earning their degree (with the outcomes of 95% of MPH graduates known). The Office of Career Services in our school offers a valuable array of advice and support for our MPH students in successfully pursuing their career goals.
Graduates of the Behavioral, Social and Community Health concentration work in a range of career fields:
- Community Health Educators
- Disease Prevention Managers
- Health Promotion Specialists
- Obesity Prevention Coordinators
- Public Health Educators
- Sexual Health Educators
- Technical Advisors for HIV/AIDS Programs
- Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinators
Most recently, program graduates have begun careers at the following:
- Western States Regional Director, Tobacco 21 and Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation
- Senior Program Manager, Adolescent Health at Association of Maternal and Child Health Program
- World Trade Center Program Benefits Manager, CDC
- Campaign Coordinator for Healthy Foods Financing, American Heart Association
- Community Health Improvement Specialist, Carroll County Partnership for Healthy Living
- SBIRT Training Specialist, Indiana Prevention Resource Center
- Government Affairs Director, Direct Supply, Inc
- Ph.D. student at Indiana Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
- Lifestyle Engagement Coordinator, 5 Star Senior Living