Community Health Degree Programs

A degree in Community Health Education seeks to provide a broad outlook of public health in terms of awareness, education, and research. A MPH in Community Health degree program itself focuses on the analysis of common health concerns, research methods that are appropriate for the given community, statistics, and the effects of government regulation and policies on smaller populated areas.

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Online Community Health Degree Programs

The Community Health topic in public health focuses on the needs of all citizens within a designated area rather than just one individual group. The educational component adds in the necessary communication aspect of public health that helps create understanding among professionals and individuals within communities. Providing adequate community health education can mean more than just a better understanding of how disease and illness can affect people, but it leads to better preventative habits and an overall safer area to live.

Students that choose community health education degree programs may find that the generalized outlook of this path provides for a large pool of prospective careers in the future, including some within state and local agencies, health departments, and education. The importance of community health goes beyond the individual and seeks to provide improvement for the country as a whole.

School Spotlights: Top Online Community Health Programs Available

Online MPH at the George Washington University (MPH @ GW)

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University (MPH @ GW) prepares public health professionals to make a difference in communities around the world, helping students succeed in advancing the health of populations locally and globally. Complete your MPH in 12 months. GRE waivers available.
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Online MPH at the University of North Carolina (MPH @ UNC)

UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, top-ranked on U.S. News' most recent list in 2015, offers an online Master of Public Health program, MPH @ UNC.
Admissions information at

Master of Public Health (MPH) Online from Baylor University

The service-oriented Master of Public Health online program from Baylor University is now accepting applications. Complete the program in as few as 12 months. GRE scores are not required.
Earn a Master of Public Health Online From Baylor

Online Master of Public Health at Simmons University

MPH @ Simmons, the online Master of Public Health program from Simmons University, prepares students to become public health practitioners and address health inequity at a local, national, and global level. The program can be completed in 21 months. No GRE required to apply.
Admissions information at

California State University - Online MPH Community Health Education

CSU's Community Health Education program can be completed in 2 years in an online setting. This degree program sets itself apart from the others through the use of real-world application and research, which is vital to success in the public health field. The 5 core aspects of this program include: health policy, social/behavior science, environmental health, disease epidemiology, and biostatistics. The entire program consists of 14 courses, one of which is a field training requirement.

Concordia University Nebraska - Online MPH Community Health Education

The 2 year plus 8 week online MPH Community Health Education program at Concordia University Nebraska is one of the top programs for community health available. Students that enroll in this program may learn the different topics related to community health education, including personal health habits, hygiene, and teaching skills for the general public. This program assists students with developing strategies for health promotion, implementing programs that are relevant and effective, and working in a way that is in accordance to ethical guidelines. There is no GRE requirement for this degree program, which adds to the attraction to Concordia University Nebraska.

Loma Linda University - Online MPH Community Health Education

Loma Linda University's online MPH Community Health Education program consists of a 56 unit requirement, which can be completed in 2-3 years. Using real and up to date statistical data, this program focuses on the importance of reliability in the public health field. Students in this program can learn to assess public health concerns, investigate and evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs, and work to organize more advance health care promotion programs.

Bachelors in Community Health Programs

The bachelor's program that focuses on community health is an integral part of the public health field. This 4-year program helps to introduce students to the development, planning, and evaluation of health education programs across the country. There are many different aspects that play a role in the development of community health programs, including mental health awareness, research, insight into illness and disease, and governmental programs that have been created to help monitor and prevent such widespread outbreaks. Students that are involved in this bachelor's program may find that the information within can contribute to a successful career assisting the public with their overall health success.

Curriculum for a BPH in Community Health

During a bachelor's degree program, students may be expected to take courses that are fundamental to their understanding of community health education practices and policies. This can include classes that focus on local health departments and their purpose, health and safety while working on the job, and family health and wellness. Proper methods for educating people from diverse backgrounds may also be addresses, since this is a central part of health education. As with most bachelor's programs, these degrees typically require 120 credit hours for completion. This amount may vary depending on where students attend college and the inclusion of any previously completed coursework. A few sample courses have been added below.

Intro to Health Behavior

This course seeks to help students understand the relationship between health and psychology. Students may gain a more powerful insight into how people react to sickness and illnesses as well as practices that can increase health and wellness from a biopsychosocial perspective.

Anatomy and Physiology

Students taking this course have the opportunity to learn about the structure and function of the human body. Bodily systems are discussed in detail as well as how disease and illness have an effect on the body.

Masters in Community Health Programs

The master's level programs in community health are the most commonly sought after programs in this discipline. At the master's level, students may get a more in-depth look into community health education, which can provide more expertise while working in the field. Master's level education may also lead to more prominent positions of employment, which is helpful especially for professionals that are currently working in positions concerned with public health.

These programs may take 2-3 years to complete, which can change depending on whether students attend at full-time or part-time status. The credit hour requirement may be between 45-60 and can vary between universities. Online programs are more prominent in the current age than ever before, making this a great opportunity for interested students.

Curriculum for an MPH in Community Health

As previously stated, the master's level program in community health education provides a more thorough investigation into the concepts and ideas surrounding the implementation of community health programs. Class work at this educational level allows students to become more involved in their chosen area, which is important in distinguishing skills and setting themselves apart from others within their field.

Students that choose this major for their degree have the option to take courses that are specific to their area of interest and take part in extensive studies into real-life scenarios. Different perspectives of community health are also touched on throughout the program, including widespread prevention, education, and implementation of lawful public health policies. Sample classes are listed below.

Community Health Science

This course is an introductory learning course for students involved in community health. Concepts, research, and practice in community health are discussed in detail with focus on the improvement of public health.

Program Planning and Research

This course introduces students to various research methods that are applicable to the community health discipline. Finding applicable research subjects, designing a research plan, and analyzing results are a large portion of what is included in this process. Public-health programs are focused on throughout this course.

Health Policy and Management

Proper management techniques and policy analysis may be taught to students taking this class. Ethics, diversity, and personnel management may also be a large portion of focus. Health policy and management seeks to instruct students on how to manage a public health-related team in terms of proper business practices and organizational concerns.

Doctorate Programs in Community Health

The doctorate program focusing on community health can provide adequate research opportunities as well as program evaluation studies for students interested in pursuing community health-related careers. The doctorate program itself can last from 2-4 years, depending on whether students have completed bachelor's or master's level education prior to entering. Most universities require that students have some experience working in community health, while others require the completion of previous degree programs in this focus. Online degree programs can be found throughout the country, providing high-quality education to students through innovative learning environments.

Curriculum for DPH in Community Health Programs

Some Ph.D. programs require that students complete around 60 credit hours in order to graduate. Depending on the university and the concentration, the classes that students take in this degree program may be different than others in similar degree programs. Doctorate degree programs usually require a lot of independent class and field work, most of which takes place working in a real-life setting.

There are certain specialties that students can take part in, such as community health education and community health and behavior. Choosing one of these example specialties can change the course of the class work that is required for graduation and possibly the timeframe. Some of the more popular courses for this degree program are listed below.

Public Health Informatics

Students taking informatics for public health may be introduced to various technological applications of community health information. Data systems and analytical tools are discussed in detail in hopes to provide students with ample knowledge for data collection in the field.

Foundations of Epidemiology

This course seeks to provide definitions, examples, and explanations into the reasoning and biology behind various illnesses and diseases. Students in this course have the opportunity to investigate case studies and draw their own conclusions about how illness and disease are maintained and spread throughout communities.

Environmental Health

Environmental health can provide students with the knowledge needed to investigate the effects of pollution, biology, and other environmental triggers on human health. This course provides a look into how the environment plays a role in the development of helpful community health policies.

Community Health Career Options and Salary/Employment Information

Community health is an important part of society. Specialists within this domain may have the option to pursue careers that work to provide program planning for cities and municipalities that require direct support for community members.

Research is another field that calls upon educated professionals to provide evidence and information into the causes of dramatic spread of disease or illness. Finally, education is a highly influential field that can help communities understand how their own health habits can increase their overall health. A degree in community health could potentially lead to a career in any of these fields. Some example careers and salaries are listed below.

  • Epidemiologist - $70,820 on average per year (BLS;2015)
  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers - $44,390 on average per year (BLS;2015)
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists - $68,910 on average per year (BLS;2015)
  • Top Community Health Organizations

    The Association for Community Health Improvement

    The ACHI is a remarkable organization that seeks to provide better educational opportunities to professionals across the country in an effort to promote better health for all. It is well understood that better education is a key aspect of providing better services to the public, which is why members of this organization are encouraged to engage in continuous learning opportunities. As the times change, more advanced health education policies and programs may be released, making agencies such as this one an important part of staying current with new events and releases. This agency is an excellent resource for professionals that are working in public health-related fields. Resources, tools, and support may be provided to members of this organization, which encourages accuracy and reliability while working in the field. Graduates that join societies such as the ACHI may find that the support system is continuous regardless of what stage of the professional cycle they are in.

    American Public Health Association

    From personal to environmental health, the APHA is a great organization that assists with providing resources and support to members of any public health domain. On a regular basis, the APHA's website provides updated policies, concerns, and studies that are important for professionals working in this field. Becoming a member of this type of organization can not only provide support from other professionals, but also act as a guide for everyday professionalism. This agency is one of the largest public health organizations in the country and seeks to improve public health through the use of further education and health awareness in all walks of life.

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