MPH Concentration: Community Health Promotion


Contemporary public health emphasizes a community and population-based approach to health promotion and disease prevention that encompasses social and environmental influences, in addition to individually-focused determinants that explain health behavior. Taught by leading faculty from the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at USC, students in this MPH concentration will take courses designed to prepare community health practitioners to assess the needs of populations, and to design, implement and evaluate health promotion programs to diverse audiences.

This concentration provides the curriculum to properly equip students to take the Certified Health Education (CHES) exam, a highly recognized credential for public health professionals in the health education field. For more information on the exam registration, go to the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing website. 

Application Deadlines

Priority: December 1st
Final: April 1st

October 1st

March 1st


Concentration at a glance

MPH students in this concentration will take the public health core courses plus 24 units of concentration-specific coursework (16 units of concentration core courses + 8 units of elective courses) in topics that include health education and promotion, health communication, and child and family health.

Concentration Core Courses (16 Units)

PM 501 Foundations in Health Education and Promotion (4 units)

Overview and application of behavioral theories to the field of health education and promotion. Examines the determinants of health behavior and strategies for change at the individual, group and community level.

PM 528 Program Design and Evaluation (4 units)

Core concepts, methods and values of public health program planning and evaluation, including community needs assessment, writing objectives, designing health promotion programs, process and outcome evaluation.

PM 563 Organizing and Mobilizing Communities for Public Health (4 units)

Survey of effective community organizing and mobilization efforts in the U.S. and abroad, using participatory, organizational, community empowerment and public-private partnership models.


In addition, students will choose one of the following to complete their core coursework:

PM 526 Communications in Public Health (4 units)

Application of communication theories and methods to community health problems. Includes background assessment, program design, evaluation, social marketing, media advocacy, and a review of major health campaigns.

PM 536 Program Evaluation and Research (4 units)

Overview of concepts, tools, data collection, analysis methods and designs used to evaluate health promotion programs. Examples from substance abuse prevention, family planning and reproductive health programs.

PM 562 Intervention Approaches for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (4 units)

Approaches for modifying health behavior in various settings and within diverse populations. Emphasis on practical considerations necessary to design and implement interventions with demonstrated effectiveness.

Electives (8 units)

Elective options can be found on the concentration Course Plan.

es tiempo campaign

Why study community health promotion?

  • To learn to use health education and specific interventions to tackle public health problems.
  • To use health education to facilitate behavioral and environmental changes to improve health.
  • To deliver programs and interventions conducive to health enhancement to individuals and communities.
es tiempo campaign

What types of work will students be able to do after graduating?

  • Develop community-wide education programs.
  • Design and implement of health education programs.
  • Promote individuals and communities to efficiently use health services and adopt self-care practices.
  • Assist clinicians in applying public health principles in their practice.
  • Develop program materials and curriculum for use in health promotion programs.

Careers in the Field

What are some agencies students could work for?
  • Program Manager
  • Project Director
  • Health Education Specialist
  • Health Education Coordinator
  • Patient Education Coordinator

Explore MPH Concentrations


In a time of ongoing discoveries in the biological sciences for new risk factors, treatments and prevention of disease, students in this concentration learn different approaches to understanding the distribution and determinants of disease in populations.

food program

Community Health Promotion

This concentration prepares community health practitioners to assess the needs of populations and to design, implement and evaluate health promotion programs for diverse audiences.

young woman in front of flags

Global Health

Students in this concentration build skills to effectively strengthen global, regional, national and local public health systems, enhance public health preparedness and emergency response, implement effective policies and programs, and protect and improve global health as a whole.

Health Services and Policy

Students in this concentration focus on health care systems, governmental and organizational decisions plans, and actions that affect the health of populations.

Go Back to Master Programs