Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online (MBCO)
The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online (MBCO) is offered through the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in the School of Public Health. The online learning option is in direct alignment with the traditional in-person option that meets at the College Park campus and follows the same guidelines, course structure, and admissions policies.
Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. Students with specific academic questions may contact Dr. Dina L.G. Borzekowski, via email: email@example.com.
The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online (MBCO) is designed for passionate, aspiring public health advocates and public health leaders and emphasizes idea that health status is the interplay of individual and social, political and economic structures of a society.
- Prepares behavioral and community health professionals working in public health service as practitioners, administrators, supervisors, educators, consultants, and researchers.
- Promotes the development of behavioral and community health professionals who understand the science, theory, and practice of public health and to apply this knowledge toward the enhancement of health status of communities.
- Students participate in both academic and applied training in program planning and implementation, program evaluation, public policy analysis, research, and management.
- Can be completed in eighteen months of full-time enrollment. Part-time enrollment is welcome. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status.
The program has a 45-credit, sixteen-course, multi-disciplinary curriculum with 38 credits of coursework and 7 credits that consists of an internship and capstone project. Plan of study includes:
- 14 credits (six courses) in evidence-based approaches to public health that includes public health and health care systems, planning and management to promote health, policy in public health, leadership, communication, and inter-professional practice and systems thinking;
- 15 credits (five courses) in a behavioral and community health concentration/cognate area selected from a list of approved electives and additional courses;
- 9 credits (three courses) in electives; and
- 7 credits (two course) in a capstone experience that consists of an internship and capstone project.
Students complete HLTH786 Capstone Project in Public Health during the final semester in which the student intends to graduate.
- Demonstrates synthesis of foundational and concentration-specific competencies acquired from different coursework and other experiential learning techniques to solve practice-based public health problems and challenges at the community or organizational level.
- Provides the student with a culminating capstone experience where s/he applies the knowledge and skills learned in the MPH program to a specific public health issue or problem.
- Illustrates the student's understanding of health behavior theories, principles, and processes, as well as her/his ability to actively apply this knowledge and demonstrate acquisition of the necessary knowledge and competencies of behavioral and community health professionals.
- Applies active learning techniques purposefully designed for online environment and interactive course activities that enable students to collaborate directly with the Department’s caring community of scholars.
- Easy access to Baltimore and Washington metropolis provide opportunities to practice newly acquired skills (through internship opportunities), with faculty, and peers during the program’s first year.
- Experienced faculty who are committed to supporting students with internship placement, mentoring, and helping students understand the interconnectedness of issues and challenges in population health and public health program implementation.
- Continued networking with experienced faculty, alumni and practice-based industry experts after graduation.
Below is a listing of all program courses. For a detailed course description that includes pre-requisites or co-requisites, see The Graduate School Catalog, Course Listing as follows.
|Core||SPHL601||Core Concepts in Public Health|
|Core||SPHL602||Foundations of Epidemiology and Biostatistics|
|Core||SPHL603||Public Health Data Laboratory|
|Core||SPHL610||Health Program Planning, Development, Evaluation, and Resources|
|Core||SPHL611||Public Health Ethics|
|Core||SPHL620||Leadership, Teams, and Coalitions: Policy to Advocacy|
|Cognate||HLTH625||Community Assessment through Qualitative Methods|
|Cognate||HLTH665||Health Behavior I|
|Cognate||HLTH672||Public Health Informatics|
|Cognate||HLTH710||Methods and Techniques of Research|
|Electives||Electives||Electives (Three) - TBD|
|Internship||HLTH778||Internship in Public Health|
|Capstone||HLTH786||Capstone Project in Public Health|
See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director.
- Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite.
- Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on the University of Maryland’s (UMD) interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit.
- The program uses specific section codes for registration that are listed on the sample plan of study.
Sample Plan, Full-time
|Semester||Year||Course Number||Section Code||Credits|
Sample Plan, Part-time
|Semester||Year||Course Number||Section Code||Credits|
- Features 100% online instruction with engaging and interactive learning.
- Uses the semester academic calendar with classes held during fall and spring semester (16 weeks each) and Summer Session (two 6-week sessions).
- Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field.
- Using advanced audio and video technology, UMD’s online learning environment delivers dynamic and interactive content.
- Featuring convenience and flexibility, online instruction permits asynchronous or synchronous participation.
- Lectures are video archived. Students who are unable to attend in real time can review the session through asynchronous participation.
Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:
|Choose major social, behavioral and public health theories to use with the design and evaluation of interventions.||HLTH 665, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
|Build emergent themes and sub-themes within qualitative data which require re-reading of text and an iterative process of data aggregation and interpretation.||HLTH 625, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
|Identify and use mobile/computer apps to gather information or collect data for use in the evaluation of research.||HLTH 672, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
|Manage traditional and new media to communicate health information (e.g., statistics, reports) effectively.||HLTH 672, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
|Build valid data collection tools to measure behavioral factors that influence community health.||HLTH 710, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
|Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions.||HLTH 780, possibly HLTH 778 & HLTH 786|
Advising and Planning
- Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online students are welcome to attend the new student orientation at University of Maryland, College Park in August for an overview of degree requirements, academic policies, regulations, and procedures for completing the program. Students who cannot attend the new student orientation, should review the Program Guidelines.
- Consult with your advisor to develop your personal Program Plan of Study. Students should meet with their advisor regularly throughout the program to stay on track and up to date with the most recent deadlines and policies.
- Prior to a semester/session registration, meet and consult with your advisor to stay on track with your Program Plan of Study.
- Ensure completion of all coursework as outlined in the Behavioral and Community Health, Online Plan of Study.
- Consult the MPH Internship Manual and the MPH Project and Thesis Guidelines to plan and complete the MPH Internship and Project/Thesis capstone experience.
During Your Final Semester
- Apply for graduation at Testudo (Graduation Application). There is a specific deadline early in the semester. Consult the deadlines page on the Graduate School website.
- Submit the Approved Program Form for the Behavioral and Community Health, Online. There are specific deadlines. Consult the deadlines page on the Graduate School website.
- Three working days before final oral defense of project (5 working days for thesis); submit final version for review to Examining Committee.
- Schedule and post notice of project/thesis oral defense, three to five working days in advance, depending on option chosen (project or thesis). Email announcement to the School of Public Health Graduate Studies Director for distribution to all graduate students and faculty.
- Orally defend the project or thesis and make changes if required. If the project option is chosen, please email an electronic copy of your project to the School of Public Health Graduate Studies Director. If the thesis option is chosen, submit the thesis electronically to the Registrar’s Office.
- Work with your advisor to ensure that you have completed and submitted all required forms by the appropriate deadlines. Forms include:
What is community and behavioral health?
- Behavioral and community health, Online focuses on individual and community lifestyle behaviors and aspects of our social environment that affect our health. Practitioners and researchers in this field use theory and evidence based practices to seek out ways to encourage people to make healthy choices. The Department of Behavioral and Community Health at UMD prepares graduates to improve the health of communities through health promotion and disease prevention. By understanding the different aspects of behavioral and community health, students are able to actively engage with communities to develop approaches and solutions to everyday health issues.
- Behavioral and community health also seeks to improve the public’s health through the application of social and behavioral sciences. By studying behavior, graduates are able to not just understand disease, but are also able to modify the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of many diseases that affect the communities in which we live. Additionally, community health specialists promote more efficient uses of health services, adopt self-care practices, and participate actively in the design and implementation of health programs.
What are some public health issues addressed by behavioral and community health?
Encouraging children and their families to eat fruits and vegetables in schools; helping women understand the importance of prenatal vitamins and early care for child; and promoting tobacco cessation are just some of the important issues addressed by behavioral and community health professionals. Behavioral and community health practitioners also work in the following areas:
- Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV
- Women’s Health
- Health Communication
- HIV/AIDS Prevention and Intervention
- Health Disparities
- Tobacco Control and Prevention
- Adolescent Health
- Mental Health
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Cancer Prevention
- Obesity & Nutrition
Why get a Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online at the University of Maryland, College Park?
The Behavioral and Community Health, Online offers several opportunities to network and gain practical experience in one of the most prolific public health environments nationally. Students have access to a departmental internship database that includes organizations and contacts that have a history of mentoring Behavioral and Community Health, Online students. Depending on the student’s learning objectives, interests, and career aspirations, there are countless internship opportunities available that will support career goals and provide valuable networking connections. In the past, students have secured internships with organizations such as:
- US Department of Health and Human Services
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
- National Institute of Health (NIH)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- State and County Government Programs
- Health Departments
- Non Government Organization's (NGO's)
- Health Associations
- Non Profit Associations
What is unique about the Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online program?
- Convenient online coursework gives you the flexibility to complete your degree without taking time off from work.
- Stimulating online courses are conducted by UMD School of Public Health faculty and experts from leading public health organizations in the Greater Washington DC Area.
- Focus on practical knowledge and professional skills that you can immediately apply to your work in the health industry.
- Internship and capstone projects that can launch you to the next stage of you career.
What will I learn to advance my career as a leader in behavioral and community health?
The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online requires completion of 16 courses (6 MPH core courses, 5 courses in a behavioral and community health concentration/cognate area, 3 elective courses, and an internship and capstone/thesis). Students must complete at least 45 credits to graduate. The cognate courses are selected from a list of approved electives and additional courses in consultation with the academic advisor. This flexibility allows students to specialize in a specific area of behavioral and community health. Other graduate courses available online with prior permission of the student’s advisor. See Courses. Other graduate courses available online with prior permission of the student’s advisor.
How is instruction delivered?
Students can complete the Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health 100% online. Visit Online Learning at learn more about UMD’s online learning environment. The curriculum for the online program and the on-campus program are identical. Students interested in the on-campus program should visit School of Public Health's website.
How long will it take to complete the Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online?
The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online may be completed full time or part time; although full time is preferable. All requirements must be met and the degree awarded within five years following the date of entrance into the program. The recommended sequence for completing the program considers prerequisites and course scheduling. Refer to the part-time and full-time plans of study for additional information.
Will my diploma indicate that I took my degree online?
No. Your diploma and your transcript will look the same as a student attending the physical campus.
Is the School of Public Health accredited?
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits the School of Public Health at University of Maryland, College Park. Acquisition and fulfillment of key competencies are required by CEPH and are the foundation for a successful career. The Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online competencies are listed and mapped to specific courses, as mandated by the CEPH accreditation requirements. See Learning Outcomes.
Who are the faculty?
Full-time faculty and experts from leading public health organizations appointed by the Department of Behavioral and Community Health deliver instruction.
Can I waive or substitute coursework?
Students may request a waiver for a requirement if they have a sufficient background to show that they have done work that is substantially equivalent to the requirement. The request is evaluated by comparing previous coursework or experience to a current requirement. While a waiver allows a student to take a substitute course, the student must still complete the total credits necessary for that student’s degree program. Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online students must graduate with 45 credits taken/earned at University of Maryland, College Park. All requests for waivers/substitutions must be made within the FIRST semester in the program.
I have taken one or more of the required courses at another institution. Can I transfer these credits?
No more than six (6) credit hours of graduate work may be transferred from another institution. When moving from non-degree seeking status at University of Maryland, College Park to Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online degree-seeking status, students may request inclusion of a maximum of nine (9) credits earned at University of Maryland, College Park. Students seeking acceptance of transfer credits are urged to consult with their advisor and the Graduate Studies Director to ensure compliance with Graduate School guidelines. A request for transfer or inclusion of credit for the master’s degree form must be completed during the student's FIRST semester in the program.
Whom do I contact if I have questions?
Students with questions related to Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health, Online program academics should contact Professor Dina Borzekowski: firstname.lastname@example.org. Students with questions related to program administration (registration, payment, online access, etc.) should contact the Office of Extended Studies at email@example.com.