Graduate Program Health Promotion: Community Health

PSU faculty member doing research on a cure for Malaria

Health Promotion: Community Health Master's Degree and Doctorate Overview

Our Health Promotion and Community Health graduate programs prepare you to drive social change, advance health equity and remove barriers to community health.

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) unites two outstanding research universities that have spent decades working to help reduce health disparities and designing innovative solutions to public health challenges.

Our graduate degrees in Health Promotion and Community Health equip you to identify the root causes of health problems and to devise interventions that create healthier communities from local to global levels. You will have opportunities to work with leading experts in the areas of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), social determinants of health, sexual and reproductive health, food systems and nutrition, physical activity, aging, and other pressing issues.

As a unique partnership between two world-class universities, the OHSU-PSU SPH unites health and scientific expertise with advanced scholarship in governance, public policy, urban studies, social work, and education. We offer a stand-alone Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, as well as dual degrees that pair the Health Promotion MPH with a Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Urban Planning (MURP). Our terminal degree in this discipline is a Ph.D. in Community Health.

These programs excel because of their:

  • Commitment to equitable, socially just access to health and health-supporting resources for all
  • A holistic approach that is built on collaboration among experts from multiple academic disciplines
  • Emphasis on solving real-world health challenges
  • Partnerships and engagement with a breadth of populations and social groups
  • Deep relationships with state, county, and local agencies; schools; nonprofit organizations; and other community stakeholders
  • A tight-knit culture that fosters supportive relationships among faculty and students
  • Direct access to OHSU’s medical and scientific experts and PSU’s leading scholars in community engagement, public policy, urban affairs, and the social sciences

MPH in Health Promotion

Graduates of our MPH in Health Promotion are highly qualified to work for government agencies, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, universities, research institutes, and health care organizations. You will acquire direct experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating health promotion programs and initiatives, with the ability to address health issues across the lifespan.

Our MPH in Health Promotion prioritizes community engagement. You will work with a broad range of populations and groups, building skills in an effective partnership, meaningful collaboration, and positive social change. The OHSU-PSU SPH’s unique structure provides outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, which is one reason our graduates are known for policy and programmatic innovations that synthesize ideas across multiple fields.

MPH in Health Promotion/Master of Social Work Dual Degree

In this dual MPH/MSW degree program, you will gain a broad perspective on the factors that cause adverse health outcomes, and an equally broad range of tools for promoting public health. In addition, you will collaborate with experts from PSU’s nationally ranked School of Social Work, which, like the OHSU-PSU SPH, has promoted leading-edge innovations to improve the health of people in traditionally underrepresented communities.

Through both programs, you will gain perspectives on eliminating systems of oppression, racial and ethnic discrimination, economic inequities, and advancing programs for social and political justice. Both the MPH in Health Promotion and the Master of Social Work include extensive fieldwork and community engagement in their curricula. By leveraging overlapping coursework, you can earn both degrees in three years, a full year less than it would take to earn the degrees separately.

MPH in Health Promotion/Master of Urban Planning Dual Degree

By combining an MPH in Health Promotion with Portland State’s nationally ranked Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree, you can sharpen your ability to examine and understand the effects of “place” on the health of communities and society, in general. You will develop tools to promote public health through community structures and systems such as transportation, housing, open space, population density, air and water quality, and public safety.

The MURP degree includes advanced training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other analytical methods for understanding the organization of cities and metropolitan regions, and the two degrees, together, will enable you to assess the impacts of such an organization on the public’s health. You can complete the MPH/MURP dual degree program in three years, a full year less than if each degree had been completed alone.

Ph.D. in Community Health

OHSU-PSU’s Ph.D. in Community Health equips you with superior skills in research methodology, qualitative research, data analysis, and epidemiologic study design. You will acquire an interdisciplinary skill set and a range of analytical frameworks that you can apply to address community health challenges.

Because the OHSU-PSU SPH has such a strong presence in the community, Ph.D. candidates in the Community Health program have robust opportunities to make an impact on public health. You will be able to collaborate with stakeholders on a wide range of upstream factors, such as housing, transit, education, employment, air and water quality, and other issues that affect the public’s health. The program qualifies you for a career as university faculty or in executive leadership for government agencies, major nonprofits, health care networks, insurance companies, and other organizations.

Degree Details


Health Promotion: Community Health Master's Degree or Doctorate: Why OHSU-PSU?

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health reflects the spirit of innovation that is at the core of our two universities and the city we call home. Renowned for its collaborative outlook and embrace of new ideas, Portland is a hive of civic engagement, entrepreneurial energy, and creative vitality -- and our two universities, located in the heart of downtown, are an important part of that mix. Both universities are known for pioneering research and the public-spirited pursuit of knowledge. We are proud that the collaborative OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is built on the strengths of both campuses and a product of that innovative energy.

We at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health are training the next generation of public health leaders while working with communities to find enduring solutions to difficult public health problems. We are committed to social justice, health equity, and global sustainability. And, we are a proving ground for new ideas that offer transformative potential. We invite you to join us in this mission.

What can I do with a Master's degree or Doctorate in Health Promotion: Community Health?

Graduates of our MPH in Health Promotion are highly qualified to work for government agencies, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, universities, research institutes, and health care organizations.

With the MPH in Health Promotion/Master of Social Work Dual Degree, you will gain perspectives on eliminating systems of oppression, racial and ethnic discrimination, economic inequities, and advancing programs for social and political justice. Both the MPH in Health Promotion and the Master of Social Work include extensive fieldwork and community engagement in their curricula. By leveraging overlapping coursework, you can earn both degrees in three years, a full year less than it would take to earn the degrees separately.

Ph.D. candidates in the Community Health program have robust opportunities to make an impact on public health. The program qualifies you for a career as university faculty or in executive leadership for government agencies, major nonprofits, health care networks, insurance companies, and other organizations.

Core Competencies

Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Commitment to equitable, socially just access to health and health-supporting resources for all.  
  • Holistic approach that is built on collaboration among experts from multiple academic disciplines.
  • Emphasis on solving real-world health challenges.

 

  • Partnerships and engagement with a breadth of populations and social groups.  
  • Deep relationships with state, county, and local agencies; schools; nonprofit organizations; and other community stakeholders.
  • Tight-knit culture that fosters supportive relationships among faculty and students.
  • Direct access to OHSU’s medical and scientific experts and PSU’s leading scholars in community engagement, public policy, urban affairs, and the social sciences.

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).