Master of Public Health Degree in Health Behavior & Health Education

Interns standing in front of the Lansing capitol building

  • 60 Credit Hours

The Department of Health Behavior and Health Education's Master of Public Health program prepares students for leadership positions in the development and application of social and behavioral science theory to health problems. It teaches research methods to analyze social and behavioral determinants of health and approaches to effective intervention design to improve population health and quality of life for diverse groups.


We welcome MPH applicants for Fall 2024 on a rolling basis until May 15, 2024.  (The Final Application deadline for international MPH applicants is January 15, 2024.) All applicants are considered for tuition scholarships, regardless of when they submit their application, as long as funding remains available.  We encourage you to apply as soon as possible to ensure full eligibility for all available scholarship funds.  Please contact us today, we are eager to assist you in completing your application for Fall 2024!  Questions may be directed to Jackie Cormany, Graduate Program Coordinator,

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Student experience and support

Skills and Competencies

The Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) competency-based curriculum ensures students gain a breadth of foundational public health knowledge and key skills including:

  • Applying social and behavioral science theories, concepts, and models
  • Program development
  • Program evaluation
  • Behavioral science research methods
  • Perspectives for addressing health disparities
  • Applied health communication

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Program Curriculum and Prerequisites

Our curriculum in HBHE consists of several components designed to prepare you for success in the profession you choose upon graduation. Students enroll in select courses from the School of Public Health Masters of Public Health Core Curriculum to gain a foundation of knowledge in public health. They also enroll in a series of Health Behavior and Health Education Program Requirements ensuring expertise in our concentration. This classroom experience is complemented by Internship and Applied Practice Experiences and culminates in the Integrative Learning Experience.

The HBHE MPH Program is 60 credit hours, and half of the required credits must be taken in Health Behavior and Health Education courses (subject code HBEHED). In addition to the required courses listed below, students will complete electives of their choice to achieve the required total credit hours to earn the degree.

Public Health Core Curriculum

Course Title

Course Number Credits
Foundations of Public Health Practice Online Module   Non-credit
Investigating Public Health Issues PUBHLTH500 6
Developing Public Health Solutions PUBHLTH501 6


Health Behavior and Health Education - Master of Public Health Curriculum
Course Title Course Number Credits
Psychosocial Factors in Health-Related Behavior HBEHED600 3
Program Development in Health Education HBEHED651 3
Program Evaluation in Health Education HBEHED622 3
Research Methods (select one class) HBEHED 530, 620626638, 639, 700 3
Health Equity (select one class) HBEHED 605613, 614, 617, 640, 645, , 677679, 690, 710: Racial & Ethnic Disparities, 733 3
Applied Health Communications (select one class) HBEHED 641, 661, 668, 669 3

Internship Credit Reduction *Credit reduction limited to 3 credits for dual degree students

252-504 hours 3-6* credit reduction
Culminating Seminar in HBHE HBEHED675 1

The Health Behavior & Health Education MPH Degree program is 60 credit hours. In addition to the courses listed above, students will complete electives of their choice to achieve the required total credit hours to earn the degree.

Note: Students are required to take at least half of their credit hours within the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. The credit reduction received for the internship may not count toward this requirement.

The HBHE MPH Program does not have any specific prerequisites.

Desired Qualifications of Applicants

HBHE uses a holistic review process that recognizes that there are many different types of experience and academic training that can lead to interest in Health Behavior and Health Education. We encourage applicants to highlight all aspects of their background that they feel most directly motivate their interest in HBHE. 

Note: Michigan Public Health does not require and does not review GRE or other standardized test scores for admission to any master's or doctoral programs. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on required application components. Please contact our admissions staff at if you have questions.


Public health is a broad field, and many types of employment, academic, extracurricular, and life experiences are relevant to a career in health behavior and health education. The HBHE MPH Program admits both applicants with years of experience and applicants who desire to pursue graduate work immediately after their undergraduate education. We look for an appreciation of health challenges and disparities that exist in the world, a motivation to create change, and a desire to understand the role that health behavior / health education interventions can play in addressing those issues. We also appreciate that a passion for working with communities and achieving health equity often stems from living in these communities and facing those inequities. 

Academic Record

In reviewing applicants’ academic record, we pay particular attention to individual courses that are relevant to public health (broadly defined) and to applicants’ trajectory of success over time. Many different disciplines can contribute to someone becoming an effective public health professional. We also recognize that many factors can affect one’s academic progress, and we encourage applicants to speak to such issues in their application materials.

Quantitative Preparation

HBHE does not have a specific prerequisite requirement regarding quantitative preparation. However, because students must use biostatistics skills as part of the MPH core, we expect applicants to have at least a foundational level of quantitative ability acquired through any of the following: college algebra or higher mathematics courses, college-level statistics or biostatistics courses, college-level science courses (e.g. physics), and/or demonstrated work experience that incorporates quantitative skills.

NOTE: Any student whose quantitative preparation is missing, weak, or significantly out of date is highly encouraged to take a college algebra course though an accredited institution (e.g., an accredited community college) in preparation for, or concurrently with, their application. Admission to the program may be made conditional on successful completion of such a course.

You may download a copy of our MPH Student Handbook for a more detailed overview of our program requirements.  

Internship and Applied Practice Experience

Students gain experience in professional, mentored, and evaluated research and practice placements resulting in work products that contribute to their training and benefit partner organizations.

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Integrative Learning Experience

Students integrate and synthesize foundational and concentration competencies and apply them to solving a complex public health problem in writing the HBHE Culminating Essay.

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Financial Support

  • All admitted students are considered for departmental scholarship—no additional application is required.
  • Donor named scholarship opportunities are available to apply to during a student’s second semester.
  • Limited internship funding opportunities are available to support part of the cost of unpaid internship and practice experiences.

In addition to departmental financial resources,  please review financial aid and funding opportunities from the School of Public Health.

Ready to Apply?

Applications for the Health Behavior and Health Education MPH program are processed through SOPHAS. Visit our Applications & Deadlines page to start the application process.