Prospective USF graduate student applicants who are interested in pursuing a career in public health can now apply to the newly added Behavioral Health concentration within the Master of Public Health program. The concentration, known as MPH-BH, will officially begin matriculating students in fall 2019.
It will be replacing an existing dual degree program: the Masters of Science in Behavioral Health, according to Kelly L’Engle, a professor and MPH program director.
Development of the new concentration was integrated to respond to the desires of students and alumni for additional health education to prepare them for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. “The new concentration will provide the professional recognition and knowledge and skill sets associated with the MPH degree,” L’Engle said.
According to Mona Woo, the department supervisor for the MPH program, only first-year graduate students applicants will be able to apply to and join the new concentration.
MPH Professor Dory Escobar helped make changes and improvements to the current Master’s courses to prepare them for the new concentration. She said one benefit of shifting the behavioral health focus into the realm of public health is that it draws a link between behavioral science and Ignatian values of community service.
“In public health practice, that translates into a focus on analyzing and addressing health disparities and inequities experienced by distinct populations in our communities,” Escobar said.
L’Engle said that some of the courses will be included in the concentration will be Integrated Behavioral Health and Chronic Conditions, Health Education and Promotion, and Health Promotion Competencies.