Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (2024)

SDSU’s online MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program is a rigorous 22-month program designed to help early-career professionals advance their career in public health without putting their lives on hold.

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About the Program

San Diego State University's fully online Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program is focused on the unique interactions of health science and public policy, with a specific focus on group behaviors and health-related issues in diverse communities. With this online MPH program, you can put yourself in a better position to develop, implement, evaluate, and critique public health programs.

$30,804

Total Estimated Cost
$604 Total Cost/Unit

22Months

Min. Completion Time

Online + Mostly Asynchronous

Course Format

SDSU’s expert instructors will show you how to use multiple sources of data to assess the health needs of a population and how to improve the health of that population. You’ll also learn how to identify personal, social, political, and environmental determinants of health-related behaviors, morbidity, mortality, and health disparities. Through this advanced degree, you’ll acquire the skills you need to expand access to public health resources at a community level.

All instructors are shared with SDSU’s School of Public Health, many of whom are world-renowned experts in public health research. SDSU’s online MPH programs are all fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Is This Program Right for Me?

This program is designed for early-career professionals in healthcare and health-related fields who want to learn how to develop their own public health programs. SDSU’s online MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program will put you in a position to attain a high-level position in a number of fields, including:

  • Nonprofits
  • Research
  • Education
  • Public Policy
  • Corporate Wellness

This program is designed with today’s busy professionals in mind. The coursework is entirely online, which means that you can earn your degree while also navigating a busy work schedule, family obligations, and other responsibilities.

What Can I Learn

With a practical curriculum reinforced by on-site experiences and expert instructors, earning your Master’s Degree in Public Health online from SDSU will help you address public health inequities and facilitate far-reaching changes in your own community. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use multiple sources of data to assess the health needs of a population
  • Identify personal, social, political, and environmental determinants of health-related behaviors, morbidity, mortality, and health disparities
  • Identify the most efficient and effective intervention strategies for improving population health
  • Evaluate health promotion programs
  • Develop scientific papers and presentations

The coursework in SDSU’s 22-month online MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program is broken up into 51 units. You’ll take two 3-unit courses every eight weeks. The curriculum includes ten foundational public health courses, which cover a range of essential public health-related topics, including:

  • Health Promotion Program Planning and Assessment
  • Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Health Communication

You’ll also choose from several electives, which will help you specialize your degree to fit your needs as a public health professional. Topics include disease prevention and control, behavioral medicine, and human behavior.

Essential to your success in the program is a 180-hour field placement experience. You’ll get invaluable on-site training and experience with public health organizations and institutions in your own community. These field experiences take place in a variety of professional environments, which include, hospitals, managed care organizations, health care organizations, government agencies, community organizations, research institutions, advocacy and policy programs, and private institutions.

The field practicum is non-residential; you will not need to travel to SDSU to complete the requirement.

Time Commitments for Online Courses at Global Campus

Field Practicum Objectives

  • Apply classroom knowledge to real world work experience by aligning internship work/duties with the SPH learning objectives and public health competencies.
  • Obtain hands-on experience in the design, development and/or implementation of a project(s) that aims to address a public health issue and results in tangible products.
  • Gain public health professional and interprofessional (IPE) development experience by working and collaborating with diverse populations and groups including community members, leaders and government officials across sectors and throughout the world.
  • Develop cultural competence and global leadership skills to meet evolving public health needs

Career Outcomes

Labor Analysis
Registered Nurse

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (2)
3,172,500
Number of Jobs, 2022

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (3)
6%
Projected Growth
(2022-2023)

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (4)
$81,220
Median Salary Range, 2022


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Labor Analysis
Healthcare Social Workers

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (5)
182,420
Number of Jobs, 2022

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (6)
7%
Projected Growth
(2022-2023)

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (7)
$62,760
Median Salary Range, 2022


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, link

Labor Analysis
Medical and Health Services Manager

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (8)
509,500
Number of Jobs, 2022

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (9)
28%
Projected Growth
(2022-2023)

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (10)
$104,830
Median Salary Range, 2022


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, link

What Do Our Students Have to Say?

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (11)Despite all of the courses being taught online and off campus, the instructors’ willingness to spend critical time thoroughly explaining each topic per module, before and after a regular class session, really helped me comprehend the objectives by the end of each course. They truly cared about my future goals and inspired me to make a greater impact on the lives of those in need.

- Michelle Young, SDSU MPH Graduate,

Why Should You Choose Us?

Accessibility

Earning your master’s in public health online means that you don’t have to put your life on hold. The coursework is fully online, making it ideal for highly motivated early- to mid-career professionals who are currently working in a public health-related field. The program is also highly intensive, which means that you’ll be able to earn your master’s degree in just 20 months.

Expert Faculty

Your courses are taught by the same faculty and lecturers who teach on-campus courses with the School of Public Health. This faculty is augmented by expert practitioners in specialized fields related to public health, many of whom come from a variety of professional settings such as the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), HMOs, hospitals, managed care agencies, military services, and other academic institutions.

Practical Experience

You’ll gain invaluable hands-on experience through 180 hours of supervised field experience with a public health organization in your own community. If you’re based in San Diego or the surrounding Southern California border region, the School of Public Health has developed deep professional ties through a series of jointly sponsored binational research and service projects designed to improve public health conditions and health services on both sides of the border. Local students will have many opportunities to work with Latinx populations located throughout San Diego and Baja California.

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In order to earn your MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science from SDSU, you’ll need to complete 51 units of courses, which include:

Public Health Core Courses (18 Units)

PH 601: Epidemiology (3 Units)
PH 602: Biostatistics (3 Units)
PH 603: Behavioral and Social Science in Public Health (3 Units)
PH 604: Environmental Determinants of Human Health Elective (3 Units)
PH 605: Health Services Administration (3 Units)
PH 606: Applied Research Methods in Public Health (3 Units)

Health Promotion and Behavioral Science Concentration Courses (15 units)

PH 607: Research Methods (3 Units)
PH 661: Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion (3 Units)
PH 662: Motivating Health Behavior (3 Units)
PH 663: Health Communication (3 Units)
PH 672: Public Health Program Evaluation (3 Units)

Supervised Field Placement (3 units)

PH 650R: Field Practice: Required Community Practice (3 Units) Cr/NC

Integrated Learning Experience (6 units)

PH 797: Research for Graduate Studies (3 units)
PH 798: Special Studies (Alternative Capstone) (3 Units)

Prescribed Elective Courses (A minimum of 9 additional units)

Elective offerings will be determined by the department chair, SDSU Global Campus, and faculty availability on a term-by-term basis. Decisions are based on the list of approved elective courses in the SDSU Graduate Bulletin.

PH 700F Seminar: Health Disparities (3 Units)
PH 667 Seminar: Prevention & Control Chronic Illnesses (3 Units)
PH 700F Seminar: Women, Children, & Adolescent Health (3 Units)
PH 700A Seminar: Migration and Global Health (3 Units)
PH 700F Seminar: Qualitative Methods (3 Units)

Only students admitted to this program may register for courses.

Click here for information about our drop policy.

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Attend an Application Workshop for tips on successfully applying to SDSU Global Campus.

Upcoming Workshops

Out-of-State Applicants
While we welcome out-of-state students, SDSU Global Campus currently cannot accept applications from students residing in some specific states. Please check back often, as this list of approved states does change.View the list of authorized states here.

International Applicants
Pleaseclick here for detailed guidance on how to submit your transcripts.

Admission Requirements

Below is a list of general admission requirements for the online Master of Public Health program.

We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact one of our Student Service Representatives to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program.

  • Hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited university. A specific major is not required for admission; in fact, our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Have satisfactorily completed an introductory statistics course prior to admission.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.85 (overall, or in the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units) for admission to SDSU. International students should have a GPA of at least 3.0. The average GPA for students enrolling in the SPH is 3.3.
  • Be currently employed at least 30 hours-per-week (75% full-time), preferably in a public health-related position/organization (e.g. research organizations, public health departments, corporate wellness, health education, etc.). You should also have the ability to demonstrate a minimum of 3 years of full-time work experience, preferably in a public health-related position/organization.
  • Demonstrate English proficiency if you’re an international applicant.

Application Instructions

To apply for the online Master of Public Health program, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  • Complete a SOPHAS Application, which includes:
    • Personal Statement (approximately 1500 word limit) should address all of the following items:
      • Describe one academic experience that has meant the most to you in your educational career;
      • Outline your professional goals and objectives, immediate and long term;
      • Discuss why you are interested in attending the School of Public Health at San Diego State University, the strengths you bring with you, and those areas in which you would like to increase your expertise and personal growth;
      • Describe your interest in a topical area and any faculty members you would like to work with.
    • Proof of English Proficiency
      • If your medium of instruction was in a language other than English, you’ll need to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting one of the following test scores (taken within the past two years):
        • TOEFL — scores should be submitted to Code 5688 SOPHAS, Massachusetts. The minimum acceptable scores for the TOEFL are 80 iBT, 550 PBT
        • IELTS — scores should be uploaded in the “Applicant Uploaded Documents” section of the SOPHAS application. The minimum acceptable scores for the IELTS is 6.5
        • PTE — scores should be uploaded in the “Applicant Uploaded Documents” section of the SOPHAS application. The minimum acceptable scores for the PTE is 58
        • Duolingo English Test — scores should be uploaded in the “Applicant Uploaded Documents” section of the SOPHAS application. The minimum acceptable scores for the Duolingo test is 105
    • Official Transcripts
      • One copy of official transcripts (sent directly by the institutions) from all colleges and universities you have attended should be sent to SOPHAS. SOPHAS only accepts electronic transcripts from Credentials Solutions, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse. If your school does not offer any of these services, your transcript should be sent by mail, to the following address:

        SOPHAS Transcript Processing Center
        PO Box 9111
        Watertown, MA 02471

      • If you’ve completed international coursework, you should submit a Course-by-Course evaluation report from the World Education Services (WES) instead of submitting your official transcripts. SOPHAS will not accept official transcripts for international coursework; only the evaluation report will be accepted.
    • Letters of Recommendation
      • Three letters of recommendation are required. Two should be academic references, from professors who have taught you in class. The third letter can be another academic reference or a professional reference (employer, volunteer work, etc.). Letters of recommendation should be submitted to SOPHAS directly. Please see the SOPHAS application instructions for details.
    • Résumé/CV
  • Complete an SDSU Application
    • Apply to the University through Cal State Apply
    • Submit Official Documents, which include:
      • Official transcripts sent in sealed envelopes (issued by the school) from all postsecondary schools attended. Do not send transcripts before submitting the Cal State Apply application as this may result in processing delays.
      • If you have international coursework, you should have your school send one record of all academic coursework and proof of degree, both in the original-language. For each original-language document you should also send a certified literal English translation, which can come directly from the school itself or from a professional, certified translator. The translation should contain all information shown on the original-language documents and in the same format.
      • Official documents should be mailed to:

        Graduate Admissions
        San Diego State University
        5500 Campanile Drive
        San Diego, CA 92182-8225

      • Electronic transcripts are highly encouraged. Please ensure that you indicate this preference when making your request. If you are required to provide an email address to send the secure online document to SDSU, please use transcriptsforsdsu@sdsu.edu.
    • Submit Official Test Scores, which include:
      • English Proficiency
        • All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (regardless of citizenship status) applying to SDSU from an international institution where the medium of instruction was not English, should submit passing TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE as proof of English proficiency.

After submitting the online Cal State Apply application, you will receive an email from San Diego State University that includes your SDSUid, which is needed to log intomy.SDSU. You can use my.SDSU to check your application status, update your contact information, access your financial aid, and more. Please check back frequently to make sure all of the required materials have been received — you’re responsible for ensuring that all supporting materials are submitted by the deadline.

For a more detailed description of the application process and admission requirements, please visit the Admission Requirements and Instructions page on the SDSU School of Public Health website.

Financial Aid

This program is approved for financial aid. To begin the financial aid process, visit theOffice of Financial Aid and Scholarships website. There, you'll be able to access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

We encourage you to apply for financial aid as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will my degree say “online”?

No, it won’t. Upon graduation, you’ll have earned the same advanced degree as SDSU’s on-campus students — a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science from San Diego State University.

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How is the program structured?

Our online master of public health program is designed with today’s busy professionals in mind. The coursework is entirely online, which means that you can earn your degree while also navigating a busy work schedule, family obligations, and other responsibilities.

The coursework in SDSU’s 22-month online MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program is broken up into 51 units. You’ll take two 3-unit courses every eight weeks. The curriculum includes ten foundational public health courses, which cover a range of essential public health-related topics.

Back to Top >

What is the program format?

The coursework is fully online, making it ideal for highly motivated early- to mid-career professionals who are currently working in a public health-related field. The program is also highly intensive, which means that you’ll be able to earn your master’s degree in just 20 months.

The mostly asynchronous courses may be preferable for students in different time zones as they provide the flexibility to work on your own schedule at your own pace. However, these courses may require group activities and arranged meetings with faculty.

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What else does SDSU Global Campus offer?

When you enroll in an academic program at SDSU Global Campus, you’re joining the San Diego State University community even if you’re not on campus. This means that you’ll have access to many of the same services, programs, cultural centers, clubs, and resources that SDSU’s on-campus students enjoy. Click here to learn more.

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I’m interested. How do I get started?

Ready to take the next step? Click here to connect with the SDSU Global Campus Welcome Center.

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Related Links

MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science Flyer
SDSU's School of Public Health

Submit this web form and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process. Or, you can reach a program recruiter by emailingrecruiter.global@sdsu.eduor by calling(619) 594-7700.

Master of Public Health Online (MPH) (2024)

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